The benefits of content marketing
If you've heard about content marketing, but aren't sure whether it is right for your business, this is the post for you. (If you're not sure about what content marketing is, check out "What is content marketing?" first, don't worry, we'll wait on you getting back).
Content marketing is a strategic approach which allows you to engage your audience and build loyalty over time. By focusing on helping your customers and potential customers rather than directly selling to them, you can create a loyal and interested community in a cost-effective way.
Why use content marketing?
I've successfully used content marketing in a wide range of organisations over the years to deliver against business objectives and KPIs. For me, the main benefits include:
Building trust and credibility
Position yourself as an industry leader by creating and sharing valuable, insightful, and relevant content which showcases your expert knowledge and addresses the pain points of your target audience. This thought leadership status enhances your reputation and encourages your prospective customers to value and seek out your expertise.
Differentiating you against your competitors
Regardless of the size of your business, well-crafted content can differentiate you from competitors and establish you as the go-to person or organisation in your area. Think about it from a personal perspective: would you personally be more likely to do business with a company which gave you a cold hard sales pitch, or one which seemed to really understand your challenges and gave some of their expertise away for free?
Building relationships with your customers and prospects
Sharing valuable information through blog posts, social media updates, videos, or podcasts, allows you to foster two-way communication, encourage feedback, and build a loyal customer base. Engaging with people authentically in this way strengthens brand affinity, but, importantly, it can also provide valuable insights into your customers' preferences for products, services, communications, and more.
Increasing the chance of being found online
Digital marketing is highly competitive and paid digital marketing can be hugely expensive. But visibility online plays a pivotal role in the success of businesses. Executed correctly, content marketing can enhance your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, driving organic traffic, and improving search engine rankings. By consistently creating and optimising high-quality content around relevant keywords, you can attract the attention of search engines and improve your online visibility for prospective customers. This increased visibility not only leads to higher website traffic but also generates more qualified leads, expanding the reach and potential customer base of businesses of all sizes.
Adapting to your budget and resources
One of my favourite things about content marketing is that it can be delivered on both tiny and generous budgets. As with everything, if you have the cash to create Steven Spielberg style video productions, amazing. If you need to do it with one guy or gal with an iPhone, it can still be absolutely fantastic. The key isn't in the production values, it is in the value it provides to your audience. So don't be put off if you don't have much to start with; just start!
While I've said that content marketing is not about active selling, it absolutely can contribute to revenue growth. Key to content marketing is the idea of nurturing a lead: grabbing someone's interest, and cultivating a relationship over time. The end goal however is usually still to generate a lead, sale, or repeat purchase. Through valuable content, you can educate your audience about your products or services, highlight your unique selling propositions, and ultimately influence their decision to purchase. Mixing up your content to include a range of content formats also allows you to guide customers through the buyer's journey, resulting in increased conversions and ultimately boosting revenue.
Hopefully now you are convinced about why content marketing is a great option for businesses of all sizes. But if you're not sure where to start, or need some help to develop a content marketing plan which will drive engagement and revenue, get in touch - I'll be delighted to help.