Content marketing may just be a buzzword for some, but for others, it is close to second nature. The problem is that most modern-day marketers vastly misunderstand it or are skeptical about its potential. It requires a significant amount of investment in time and resources and at the end of it, businesses have a hard time reconciling their return on this investment or ROI.
So let’s change that and review the how content marketing can impact your business.
Starting off with a definition. According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), content marketing is creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
As you can see, content marketing is more than just your occasional blog post. It’s more strategic than that.
Let’s now discuss why content marketing actually has the potential to make a difference. The following five reasons should be enough to convince you of its powers:
1. Greater Lead Generation
After studying many B2B and B2C organizations in North America, Demand Metric found that on average, content marketing not only costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing activities but for every dollar spent, is able to generate about 3 times as many leads. .
Since customers like to spend time researching and reading about brands and businesses before they make purchasing decisions, content marketing can be used as a means of engaging with your target audience during the early stages of their buying cycle. Furthermore, content is just as important for nurturing and educating individuals even before they are even aware that they need to want a product that you are selling.
These potential customers are actively looking for valuable information and answers to specific questions. They are either going to visit your competitor’s website and blog for information, or yours.
So what’s it going to be?
2. Thought Leadership in Your Industry
Want your target audience to think of you as the authority figure in your area of specialization? Then, give content marketing a chance!
By producing innovative and engaging content that caters to your audience’s needs, you are not only keeping them informed but are also encouraging them to share it. Nothing works better than online word-of-mouth recommendations these days. As long as your content is genuinely informative and not just a sales promotion, you will be on your way to establishing yourself as a thought leader.
With an effective content strategy, you can identify and engage your target audience and influence them to take an action after you have gained their trust with your knowledge and expertise.
3. Generate Brand Awareness
A content marketing program that focuses on keywords for your business, expertise and value proposition will help build your brand image. For instance, production of good content at a consistent rate helps with the “thought leader” image. It also improves your SEO rankings, which ultimately, brings in new unique visitors to your website to learn more about you and get access to even more content.
You can and should also use your content marketing to build loyalty among your existing customers. This reinforces their relationships with you and why your products and services are the right fit for them.
Content marketing just makes building top-of-mind awareness easy!
4. Increased ROI
Traditional advertising and marketing activities are expensive and becoming increasingly ineffective when it comes to reaching digital-savvy customers. With the help of content marketing, you can define your target audience and generate content that will resonate with them.
None of your efforts will be wasted here.
With effective content marketing, you will be meeting your target audience halfway in the digital space. Since this audience is already smaller and narrower, in terms of preferences and needs, your potential customers will be much more receptive to your content and messages.
5. Influence Customer Purchasing Decisions
It should come as no surprise that customers in different stages of their buying cycles will come across your content. When you take their preferences and needs in mind to generate content, you will be successful in educating them about why your products and services are right for them.
Content marketing will allow you to consider the different questions that the customer has prior to making the purchasing decision. You can use that to your advantage, by generating valuable content.
If your content was helpful and relevant, why wouldn’t the potential customer want to check out your products and services? It’s really that simple.
Content marketing definitely gives businesses an edge over those who don’t utilize it. It’s now up to you to define an effective content strategy, plan out your requirements, then start to produce it and distribute it. Results and success will take some time but it’s a proven formula to grow business.
Sources: – Content Marketing Institute – http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/what-is-content-marketing/  – Demand Metric’s infographic – https://www.demandmetric.com/content/content-marketing-infographic