It’s no surprise that promoting a business isn’t easy. Even with all the latest digital tools and technologies, it’s still hard to establish a strong online presence and gain the interest of your target market. But if you want to become memorable in the digital landscape, look at some of the most successful brands and companies and you’ll see that they have one thing in common: they’re creating and publishing online content.
So how exactly does content marketing bring value to your business? In this increasingly digital world, content marketing is one of the best tools that can help you stand out from your competitors. From building your brand presence, educating your consumers, generating more website traffic, and influencing targeted leads to convert, content produces impactful and measurable results that can support your business growth.
Getting the word out about their products and services is crucial for many business owners and entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, not all of their promotion and advertising efforts will become successful on the first try. One of the reasons why businesses fail at their marketing initiatives is that they’re not implementing the right strategies.
Nowadays, a lot of marketing activities are done online. Over the years, the internet has become an invaluable part of consumers’ everyday lives and it has enabled them to connect more easily with brands. For this reason, modern businesses are finding ways to develop the right digital marketing strategy that will help them attract and engage their target market.
One of the most effective ways to get your business in front of a specific audience is with digital content marketing. As the online competition gets tougher by the day, traditional advertising methods are no longer enough to help you build your reputation and convince people to transact with your business.
To better understand why is content marketing a valuable asset for companies today, here’s a table about the benefits of content marketing and how it differs from traditional advertising:
|Content marketing||Traditional marketing|
|Definition||It's an inbound marketing strategy which means it’s more focused on attracting the target audience with relevant and valuable content. It’s sometimes referred to as pull marketing.||It’s an outbound marketing technique that involves sending a message to a broad group of people in hopes of bringing them to your brand. This is also a type of push marketing technique.|
|Benefits for your business||Allows you to create more authentic and personal connections with your target market |
Helps build your authority online and increases your search engine rankings
Starts a conversation and encourages two-way communication with your consumers
More cost-effective for your long-term marketing plans
|Helps improve your brand exposure to a mass market |
Also called interruption marketing since it involves direct promotion to your consumers and is hard to ignore
Lets you reach a wider range of demographics and connects you to those who aren’t as tech-savvy
|Common examples||It can come in various forms such as blog content, video marketing, social media posts, webinars, podcasts, white papers, ebooks, and emails.||Traditional marketing involves sharing your brand messaging through billboards, TV ads, banners, brochures, and direct mail.|
|How is it distributed||It uses a multi-channel approach for distributing online content. A content distribution strategy can include social media platforms, websites, and blogs.||Unlike content marketing, traditional advertising takes on a more linear approach and uses offline channels.|
|How to measure results||It's easy to track and measure the results of content marketing through digital analytics tools and software.||It can be challenging to quantify the results of traditional marketing and assess how it translates to more leads and conversions for your business.|
The benefits of digital content marketing go beyond increasing sales. The real value of content lies in its ability to support your business goals and objectives by enabling you to share your solutions and showcase how you can enrich the lives of your consumers. This way, you’re building a deeper sense of customer trust among your target market and improving your reputation in the industry and digital world.
Here are several ways that content marketing can bring value to your business:
The majority of modern consumers support and care about brands that have a strong digital presence. In fact, having a professional website, social media channel, or blog makes it easier for your target audience to discover and reach out to your business.
Research about consumer behavior shows that at least 81% of online users and shoppers are likely to search for a business before purchasing. When it comes to content, about 55% are likely to read about online reviews and 47% of individuals will visit a business website prior to buying or signing up for a service.
That said, it’s crucial to have a well-thought-out content strategy that will help build your presence and bring more people to your website and social media platforms. There are different techniques that can help increase your content reach and website traffic, such as:
Online content also serves as the foundation for your lead generation efforts. With high-quality, consistent content, you can attract more potential customers and keep them engaged and interested in your business. According to a report by Content Marketing Institute, at least 54% of marketers view content as a valuable tool for generating interest and building awareness among targeted leads during the early stage of the buyer’s journey.
One way that content can bring in more quality leads for your business is by attracting the right audience. Content personalization is an important strategy that marketers use to make sure that their online content resonates with their intended readers. It also allows them to deliver their brand messaging more efficiently using the right channels and create more memorable marketing experiences so that consumers will move forward in the buyer’s journey.
Some of the common types of online content used for lead generation are:
Another value that content marketing provides to your business is that it helps display your expertise. Instead of simply promoting and selling your business, telling and showing the benefits of your products and services through well-written and informational content is more useful to the consumers.
You can have greater online visibility if you share educational content that offers a solution or addresses the questions and concerns that your target audience has. You can also create content to explain difficult concepts or topics to show how much you know about the industry.
For example, if you’re an e-commerce company, writing content about the latest retail trends or sharing stories on online shopping innovations can help win the interest of your consumers. This type of high quality content will cement your position as a trusted and reliable business.
The first step to creating a successful educational content strategy is to have a deep understanding of your target audience. To guide you in the content creation process, here are some questions that your marketing team needs to answer:
Content is one of the most effective strategies that can generate a high ROI for your business without spending too much of your marketing budget. So if you’re a startup with limited means for promotion, you can leverage content marketing to introduce your brand and get organic traffic on your website and social media platforms.
However, don’t expect immediate results from your brand’s content. Since it’s not a direct promotion, it can take several months to see tangible and quantifiable results since search engines may not immediately take notice of your published content and index your web page.
But once you’ve started ranking on search results and sharing consistent content, you’ll be able to see more and more people reaching out to your business. Here are some of the metrics that marketers use to measure the success of online content assets:
According to Hubspot’s State of Inbound report, the best content format that produces the highest ROI for marketers is video. In terms of media format, the majority of customers prefer to consume interactive, short-form videos because it gives them the information they need in a brief and concise manner.
The most popular online channels for publishing video content are YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Next to videos, social media channels and email marketing are good content investments that can generate significant ROI.
One thing about digital marketing is that a lot of businesses are already doing it and if you still aren’t sharing your own content, you’ll be falling behind your competitors. By doing content marketing, you’re not only promoting what your business offers but you’re also sharing who you are as a brand. With a unique brand story and voice, you’ll be able to set your online content apart from your competitors and help build a loyal following of consumers around your business.
Before making a purchase, customers go through several steps of researching and considering different products and services. A sales funnel is the specific term used to describe the journey that your prospects take before taking a purchasing action.
It’s important that you have a wide range of brand content discoverable throughout this process to guide potential customers in their decision-making and bring them closer to conversion. Here’s a look at how content marketing strategies support the sales funnel:
|Stage||Role of content marketing||Samples of content you can create|
|Awareness||Your content assets focus on introducing your products and services and educating the audience about the value that your business brings to their lives||Social media posts, infographics, videos about your company, and blogs|
|Interest||Once your target audience is aware of your brand, the next step is to create content that generates demand about your offerings and showcases why they should consider your brand||Email newsletters, how-to articles, guides, landing pages, ebooks, and gated content|
|Desire||In this stage, you’ve earned the trust of the consumers and they’re actively considering your brand. You can use content to further convince them why your business is the right solution for their needs.||Emails, testimonials, case studies, free demos, videos, and blog posts|
|Action||This is the stage where the customers are ready to purchase and you can develop content to provide additional information and increase their satisfaction with your products or services||FAQ pages, email newsletters, videos, special offers, blog posts, and social media content|
|Loyalty||This is where you use content to nurture and engage your existing customers in hopes of turning them into repeat buyers||Emails, surveys, quizzes, videos, blogs, and social media posts|
It can be tempting to follow in the footsteps of businesses that have demonstrated success in content marketing and implement the strategies that they already have. But know this: even if you’re in the same industry, your company is different from theirs and there’s no guarantee that their content strategy will work for your goals and objectives.
That said, it’s important that your content marketing strategies should be aligned with your specific business needs and objectives. You can take inspiration from other companies who are already doing content, but your strategy and brand messaging should be unique to you.
Here are the essential elements of a high-quality content marketing plan:
More and more entrepreneurs are bringing their businesses into the online space and the competition to attract potential customers is more difficult than ever. But with the right digital marketing tools and strategies, you can ensure that your company remains competitive and relevant in the industry.