Content marketing might be one of those marketing terms that gets thrown about in boardrooms, you may be sick of hearing it, think it’s a flash in the pan or that it’s unquantifiable. But if you’ve been paying attention to the latest trends in SEO and ranking factors you’ll know it’s a stratgey worth investing in. If you haven't slready - it's time to push that content marketing button!
But what exactly is content marketing? Simply put, it is creating media content such as videos, ebooks and articles relevant to your industry and making it available for free.
Think of it as inbound marketing as inviting the customer rather than getting in their face with traditional marketing. It may provide the solution to a problem, or some light relief from the daily grind, like this Cat Logic video sponsored by a cat food company.
Ok so cats on the internet are a sure thing, but content marketing delivers results even in dry or very niche industries.
Here are 3 reasons why it is worth investing in content marketing:
1. It builds an engaged audience
Unlike traditional marketing methods where marketers seek the customers, content marketing allows customers to seek out your business.
There is still a strong argument for investing in traditional marketing techniques on a scale affordable for your business. And given the budget big enough I’m sure we’d all love a 4 story billboard promoting our business much like this Prada advert.
Image from pixabay.com.
Billboards are in your face, but they’re not particularly engaging, they don’t solve a problem or make you laugh and you probably wouldn’t share them with a mate.
This is where content marketing really shines in the digital arena. The process often starts with a question in the mind of your desired audience, which will compel them to search for an answer. And like magic - there you are providing the answer or solution to their issue.
Creating content that applies to your customers' interests and lifestyles can help to form and build strong relationships. Good quality custom content engages, informs and builds your audience. At Digital Flavor we provide a package that promotes these elements and you can get in touch for a free analysis.
Engage: The content you create should address the needs of your target audience. It should also be easy to find by those lost souls seeking your solutions. Make sure you use clear headlines and don’t forget to add important keywords to your title tags and write descriptions that include a call to action.
Include images that are visually appealing, you can get started with plenty of free or affordable image on pixabay.com. Make sure your images are good quality but not too large - you don’t want them slowing down your site.
Inform: People can be drawn to the article with an exciting headline. Just remember, the article needs to be as exciting as its title, otherwise the consumer will move on.
Videos, articles and ebooks should be thorough, well informed, useful and fun! You don’t have to have a massive budget, but it does help to have a catchy idea - like the “Will it Blend?” campaign which went viral for Blendtec a few years ago. Ok so I mentioned previously that even quite boring or niche industries can produce fun content, check out the WD40 site for a comic book style aesthectic with tabs for 'cool stuff',' videos' and ' uses'. So maybe some of these techniques can be applied to your (or your clients) business after all?
If you’re stuck for ideas get out there and ask your existing audience what they would like to know. You should also read reviews, take notice of what’s trending in your industry, and get involved in community groups and forums.
It may also help to check out our 34 inspiring ideas for creating marketing content.
If you want more data driven information on what exactly people are searching around your niche check out the keyword questions filter in the Wordtracker Keywords tool.
Image from Wordtracker Keywords tool.
Build: If you’re consistent with the above 2 points your audience will feel proud to share it with their own audience helping to build and increase your authority and followers. When a customer finds the information you provide to be of value, they are more likely to share it with their friends, neighbors, and family members on social media platforms.
Don’t forget to analyze the success of your output. Content performance needs to be measured in order to detect if it is receiving the right exposure. That way the content can be customized to the behavior of your now growing audience.
If you haven’t already, set up your Google Analytics and regularly check the volume of people who have visited a page as well as your bounce rate. Time spent on your page is one of the factors search engines consider when ranking pages in their search results. It is also a good indication of how relevant your information is.
Check your Twitter Analytics and Facebook insights and track your progress. Build on what went well, but also analyse what didn’t go so well.
Image from Facebook insights tab.
2. It helps potential customers find you
Increasing your online footprint increases your chances of being found by prospective customers.
So, creating more valuable content that engages people searching around your industry is like dropping tasty morsels in a hungry crowd. The more pages you have addressing trends, new, tutorials the more potential leads you’re creating. But don’t just create pages with thin or low value content, it’s a waste of your time and won’t get results.
Good quality content now more than ever is vital for success online. This is because search engines are continually improving their ranking algorithms so they can be seen to deliver high quality results to their users.
Consider the 3 Vs value, variety and volume, if any of these 3 factors is lacking you need to address it.
Set out a content strategy that ensures you’re regularly adding fresh, unique, solid content to your site and social media platforms.
3. It increases leads, and reduces cost per lead
In Hubspot’s free report they discovered that marketing agencies were sourcing nearly half 47% of all leads through inbound channels.
They also found that these leads were less expensive than outbound leads.
Image from Hubspot's 2014 State of Inbound report
In response to this we can also see the budget for content marketing also increases, according to skilledup.com:
“In 2014 alone, 40% of companies surveyed reported increasing their content marketing budget and 50% of their professionals expect further increases in the coming year.”
These stats pretty much speak for themselves.
There is no denying that traditional marketing methods are still present in our daily lives.
However, a method that is available for businesses with small, medium and large budgets is content marketing. It helps build your brand’s authority online, directs potential customers to your site and has proven to be effective in delivering leads that are less expensive than traditional outbound methods. A winning trifecta.
We’d love to know how you’re planning to deliver content within your industry this year. Or if you’ve seen some great content marketing out there, please do let us know!