Before we dive into the benefits of content marketing (and there are a lot), it’s important to have a good grasp on what content marketing really is. First and foremost, content marketing is information. At its core, content marketing is all about sharing information, whether educational or entertaining, that provides value to whoever is reading it.
Smart content marketing is far from a sales pitch. Rather, great content marketing is about developing a relationship with your audience. By creating and distributing relevant content consistently, businesses have an opportunity to earn trust and compel loyalty - two things most businesses would give an arm and a leg to get.
While the medium for the content varies, its intention doesn’t. Whether a blog or a video, a podcast or an email, at the heart of content marketing is sharing something of value - and then hoping that it gets shared again and again (or, in many cases, compel sales).
For the most part, content created for content marketing purposes is given away for free, but some business models are changing that by asking for a small fee in order to “reserve a spot” in a webinar or download an ebook. Depending on your strategy, you’ll decide which content should be free for your audience and which requires a transaction, but, regardless, you should remember that the most effective content aims on building trust.
5 Benefits of Content Marketing for Businesses of All Sizes
Content marketing is so beneficial for businesses because it fulfills a need within the typical buying cycle. This cycle, which is often considered to have four steps (awareness, research, consideration, purchase), is greatly influenced by content marketing. Content is the best way to promote awareness and drive research, which is why building your marketing strategy with a preference towards content is so effective.
The biggest benefits of content marketing are:
- Return on investment. When you create content, it has the potential to become many different things: emails, social media posts, blogs, podcasts, etc. And, because it’s naturally SEO-friendly, content is an effective (and affordable) way to help improve your search engine presence. Not only that, but because your customers are already searching for the content you're putting out there, they're more likely to interact with your site, whether it's signing up for a webinar, purchasing a product, or registering for an event. The sales cycle may be longer in some cases, but it's cheaper than running a commercial or billboard when you think about it.
- Improved SEO. And, speaking of SEO, content really is king. According to marketer Neil Patel,"SEO demands content. Content marketing is content. There is no such thing as SEO without content. You need words, articles, substance, keywords, verbiage.” Long story short: If SEO matters to your business, then you can’t ignore content.
- Customer service. Content doesn’t just attract new customers to your website, but it does a great job at keeping your current customers happy. When you develop resources for your audience, such as engaging and informative tutorials or a robust FAQ section, then you greatly improve the overall customer experience. And, when you’re thinking about traffic, a lot of businesses don’t realize just how powerful these resources, like FAQ pages, are for getting more eyes on your website. Content also helps to create community, adding to the overall customer journey and increasing the likelihood that your business will be shared and talked about.
- Brand building. In today’s digital world, brands are built with content. If you aren’t giving content marketing the attention it needs, then you will struggle to gain traction and compete with other brands in your niche. Not only is content marketing an industry standard, but it’s packed with so much potential for your brand that it’s potentially fatal for your business to ignore it.
- Audience engagement. The content you create has the potential to be immediately consumed by your audience - there are few barriers to entry. While in the past videos could only be shared by paying for a spot on TV (or knowing someone in high places), today videos can be uploaded and shared with the push of a button. This type of engagement is what propels your business forward. And, because you can strategically target who your content gets in front of (thanks, Facebook!), you can generate buzz (and sales) even more rapidly. Hiring a publicist to get you in front of your audience is no longer necessary - all you need is great content and accounts in the same places where your people hang out!
And this is just the beginning.
Content marketing is incredibly powerful. So powerful, in fact, that not doing it can actually cause businesses to fail. But, if you do it properly (and consistently), then content marketing can be the #1 reason why your business is successful.
Learn How to Use Content Marketing For Your Business
Talk with us about how to integrate content marketing into your overall marketing strategy. We have expertise in not just creating content, but at creating content for your ideal customer that influences action in your favor.