Content marketing can often get forgotten among other channels or is sometimes seen as an add-on, or supporting service, but this just isn’t the case. In fact, content marketing is a key driving force behind your digital marketing strategy and deserves its own recognition.
Content marketing is proven to deliver astounding results, driving more sales, boosting ROI, raising brand awareness and so much more, So, let’s take a look at what your business can achieve through creating consistent, high-quality content.
Before we delve into the importance of content, it is first important to define exactly what content marketing is. Content marketing is a type of marketing tactic that involves creating and amplifying content online (videos, blogs, social media posts, images, podcasts etc.).
Content marketing is overtaking more traditional marketing tactics by offering a new and exciting way of connecting with potential customers without coming across as overly self-promotional. It’s main goal is to attract, engage and retain an audience by providing consistent, valuable and relevant content, designed to address pain points, entertain and educate.
In the marketing world, key decision makers are often solely concerned with revenue. After all, money talks. Luckily, content marketing is proven to cost around 62% less than traditional marketing methods, whilst still delivering valuable, tangible results. This makes it a worthwhile venture for any business, offering a reliable return on investment in the long-run.
Nowadays, consumers want content – scrolling through social media, catching up on the latest news or turning to Google to answer all our burning questions, has become part of our daily lives. As a business, it’s your duty to give consumers what they want and become the go-to destination for all their content needs. You need to find out exactly who your readers are, what they want to read about and then get writing!
Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trustworthy source of online information, so an up-to-date blog is a must-have – or even a bare minimum. We recommend exploring new formats, like video, image and podcasts, where you have the budget and resources to do so.
That being said, consumer attention does have a limit, and we must all be aware of the current phenomenon – content shock. With an increasing volume of content published on the internet daily, brands are now competing for the consumer’s attention. Online content creation is set to increase by 500% in the next 5 years, making it harder than ever to gain visibility. Establishing a data-driven content marketing strategy can help you navigate this content shock and come out on top.
It’s safe to say that SEO and content go hand in hand. However, you don’t always need SEO for a successful content strategy, but then again, you can’t really have SEO without content. You’re probably wondering what we mean by this. Well, without content, there would be nothing for Google to crawl, index and serve to users. Whether that’s keyword-informed page copy, engaging meta descriptions or blog articles to serve user intent, content is king.
In fact, publishing high-quality blog content to your website has the potential to increase the number of your web pages indexed by search engines by around 434%, increase your rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs) and generate 55% more website visitors!
Rankings play an integral role in improving your online visibility and putting your brand in front of your target audience and, as such, is important for increasing leads and conversions – be that more product sales or email sign ups. Remember to strike a balance between search-engine and user-friendly content for optimum results!
Inbound marketing generates three times more leads than traditional marketing tactics, otherwise known as outbound marketing. Outbound tactics involve interruptive methods, such as pop-ups. Whereas, inbound marketing is designed to provide valuable content to a target audience and create long-term relationships, built on trust, which draw in qualified leads. The main focus of inbound marketing is a website and its content, such as helpful e-books, engaging social media posts, topical blogs, webinars or exclusive data-driven stories.
Conversions are the ultimate goal. It’s when a user takes your desired action, whether that’s picking up the phone or submitting a form. Content marketing provides conversion rates about 6 times higher than other digital marketing methods. So, although content marketing may require a lot of effort and you may not always see the results instantly, over the long-run content is always worth it.
The marketing funnel, also known as the Sales Funnel, is a representation of the buyer’s journey, which helps marketers understand what stage their leads are at, and use this to inform their strategy. Creating the right type of content, to reach the right people at the right time, will help nurture prospects through the marketing funnel and bring them closer to conversion. Here’s a breakdown of the funnel:
The top of the funnel is the awareness stage, where prospects are first learning about your brand. This could be by clicking through a display ad, finding your site through a Google search or being referred by a friend. Content at this stage will be focused on educating readers, with how-to content, email newsletters or a podcast, for example.
The middle of the funnel is the interest phase, where prospects begin to do their research and compare their options before purchasing. At this point, users already know who you are, so your content should be focused on standing out from competitors and winning them over. This could be through testimonials, demo videos, case studies or FAQs, for instance.
The bottom of the funnel is the conversion phase, where users now have all the information they need to make an informed decision and purchase your product or service. Content at this stage should be designed to help users convert, such as free trials, promotional offers or coupons.
Similarly, content will play a huge role in creating a seamless user journey, which is essential for providing great customer experience, nurturing leads and encouraging repeat business. If there’s friction along the way, your customers are less likely to make it to conversion, and even less likely to come back. Mapping out and optimising each and every customer touch point will help you create a user-oriented experience throughout.
We can guarantee that all your competitors are already investing in content marketing. Now’s the time to start creating unique and thought-provoking content that will set your business apart from competitors, and help you stand out in a crowded market.
Along with SEO, you can get your site at the top of the SERPs, ahead of your competitors, and dominate the search landscape.
Brand awareness refers to how memorable your brand is. In other words, you want your brand to be the first thought someone has when they think of your product or service.
Brand awareness comes in at the top of the sales funnel, when buyers realise they have a problem and are looking for a solution. Therefore, to build brand awareness, you need to be creating engaging, informational blogs, ebooks and landing pages to serve user intent, provide a solution to their pain points and introduce your brand. In turn, this will help you rank higher in search and gain the online visibility your business needs to boost brand awareness.
Within Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, it explains the value of E-A-T, which stands for expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. Google looks at these three factors when assessing page quality and, although it is not a direct ranking factor, contributes to your site’s performance.
There are a number of different ways to address E-A-T, including writing expert content, both on and off site, to signal your authority to Google. Some examples include designing extensive e-books on your niche, written by industry experts, creating on-site meet the team or author pages, conducting a pillar and cluster blog strategy or running a digital PR campaign.
Thought leadership content is crucial to demonstrating your expertise in your industry and sharing your knowledge with your audience. This type of content is not sales-heavy, but rather aimed at positioning your brand as a reliable source of information and building trust.
Additionally, with the right E-A-T and YMYL considerations, thought leadership content is a great way to signal to Google that you are an expert in your field, and are more likely to rank highly in the SERPs.
Shared values are key to branding your business. Your brand values help you tell a brand story and connect with your audience on a personal level, almost humanising your business and building trust with potential customers. Without trust, no one will buy from your business.
As such, you need to define your brand through your tone of voice and the types of content you publish.
Setting up a social media page, whether that’s Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, and publishing regular, audience-first content can help get the word out about your brand and attract new customers. With 4.55 billion people active on social media, it would be a missed opportunity not to!
Content can support all other channels of your marketing strategy, PR included. Did you know that content can help you receive 97% more inbound links?
Backlinks are an essential part of any SEO strategy. Creating link juice to your site signals to Google that your content is authoritative and plays a key role in your rankings. In fact, it is a direct ranking factor, according to Google.
That’s why a comprehensive digital PR strategy is essential. And, content plays an important part in PR, and vice versa. A lot of the time, journalists will be looking for original content sources to reference for data and quotes, so you need to make sure this is on your site. It is estimated that companies who regularly publish blog content, get 97% more links to their websites.
PR is also an effective way to amplify your existing on-site content, for example through content seeding. This involves creating engaging and valuable assets, such as infographics, blog articles, case studies or even just an expert quote, and outreaching this to journalists or influencers to tap into their existing audience.
Click-Through-Rate (CTR) refers to the number of clicks to your site per how many people view your site. When it comes to improving CTR in the SERPs, there are a few things you can do. And, you guessed it, content is involved.
A well-written and optimised title tag and meta description are effective at improving CTR and increasing site traffic. If you fail to capture the user’s attention with compelling content in the SERPs, chances are, they won’t click through to your site and may go elsewhere. An optimised title tag can improve your CTR by up to 100%!
Creating regular content and monitoring how it performs, can help you gain a better understanding of your target audience. To do this, you will need to assess who is engaging with your social media posts and reading blog content using various tools, such as Google Analytics or Audiense. This data is like gold dust, and will supercharge your marketing efforts. For example, you can then leverage this data to create hyper-relevant buyer personas and feed this back into all aspects of your marketing strategy, informing your Paid activity, blog creation, social posts and more.
The great thing about content is that it’s measurable. There are a number of different ways to measure your content marketing performance, such as ranking position improvements, clicks, traffic, social shares, impressions, leads and conversions. This means you can set achievable goals, keep on track to meet objectives and guide future marketing decisions.
Brand advocates can be anyone who loves your brand, be that employees, new customers or influencers. They spread the word about your brand through various channels, such as word of mouth and social media. Essentially, they work as marketers for your brand, unintentionally. Brand advocacy encourages customer loyalty and builds lasting relationships. In fact, 92% of people trust word of mouth recommendations and 76% are more likely to trust content shared by ‘regular’ people, rather than influencers or brands.
However, to achieve this, you need to give your advocates something to share – content! Think shareable blog posts, eye-catching social posts, cool infographics and engaging video content.
Video marketing proves to be the most engaging and best-performing content format on social media. Some food for thought: Social Media Today reports that video content can increase Twitter engagement by 1000%, make LinkedIn users 20 times more likely to share a post and Pinterest users 2.6 times more likely to make a purchase. In terms of search, users spend 88% more time on websites with video content.
We understand that video content can seem daunting at first, but with the right execution, can deliver invaluable results.
We all know the importance of email marketing for creating meaningful connections with existing customers and building trust with new ones, but to do this, you need to build your mailing list. People won’t hand over their emails easily, so you need to offer something valuable in return. This could be a weekly newsletter, a downloadable guide or e-book, for instance. Once you have enough email subscribers, you can start developing a tailored email marketing strategy to provide your audience with helpful information and promotional offers.
Marketing a business isn’t always all about attracting new customers, but acquiring the top talent, too. As a business, you need to show potential employees that you are a great place to work. This could be through posting friendly social media snaps to showcase your amazing company culture, writing in-depth expert blogs to demonstrate your industry expertise or listing captivating job descriptions and ad copy to draw in new talent.
Whether you go in-house or with an agency, or hire an SEO writer or copywriter, will depend on your business needs. What’s important is that you are creating consistent, valuable content nonetheless!
For more information, get in touch with our team or check out our fantastic content marketing services.