If your goal is to grow your business, you’ve most likely heard that content marketing is effective but you may not know why. Even the most experienced marketers find it difficult to quantify the impact that content has, but that’s not a reason to ignore its benefits.
Sticking with the status quo is not a strategy.
Paid advertisements were once all the rage in online marketing. Today, however, consumers are increasingly savvy about opting out of the advertising they would rather not see. In 2016, 615 million users worldwide had installed ad-blocking software.
While it’s great news for consumers, it’s terrible news for marketers who rely heavily on paid advertisements to spread their brand’s message.
Luckily, there’s a way to continue marketing efforts without being blocked by the people you’re trying to reach. The secret is content.
In addition to being impervious to ad-blocking software, good content is something consumers want to interact with, which makes it more effective and welcome on a foundational level.
9 incentives to use content marketing for business growth
The following points will provide you with incentives to use content marketing as a cornerstone to grow your business.
1. It builds trust and authority.
At its essence, those three things are why we do content marketing. And if you’re not hitting all three, you’re likely not enjoying success with your content.
Traditional marketing is big on the know — it’s all about creating awareness in the marketplace. Add in some clever messaging to prompt some level of liking, and mission accomplished, right?
It’s as if awareness of a brand is enough to spark trust. And it’s true — we do tend to prefer brands that we know, even if there’s no true difference between one product and a generic one.
But when it comes down to choosing between two or more brands, trust becomes critical. This is one of the benefits that content marketers have over competitors who don’t create and freely share valuable information — and it can be substantial if done correctly.
Content marketing allows you to tell stories that touch on know, like and trust over time. Even more, your brand can be viewed as not only trustworthy, but generous. Even selfless.
2. It produces brand recall, which increases engagement.
Successful brand awareness is more than simple name recognition. It means that consumers recall what you do on the most basic level and helps them understand the qualities that make your brand unique.
In order to create this distinction, your content should highlight the qualities that set your company apart from competitors.
Brand awareness is crucial because consumers are much more likely to engage with brands they recognize and trust.
3. It illustrates your culture.
A strong company culture is no longer a “nice to have.” It’s a business imperative.
Company culture is sometimes the only aspect of the company that doesn’t have external dependencies. Technology changes. People come and go. Markets evolve. But a strong company culture can be a solitary constant, paving the way for a sustainable competitive advantage.
Strong content allows you to show your clients who your company is and what your brand represents. It allows you to illustrate your company culture and how it’s unique.
4. It attracts ideal clients.
If your content is entirely focused on what your business offers, then you’re missing out on the other benefits of content marketing. The focus of effective content marketing is to serve your audience. Content marketing simply does not work when your sole focus is to serve yourself.
5. It levels the playing field.
FACT: content marketing works regardless of company size.
Because it costs 62% less than traditional advertising while being 3 times more effective, content marketing has effectively leveled the playing field for every company.
- Smaller companies can reach audiences that only large businesses once did.
- Larger companies can bring a more personal feel to their content, making them seem more approachable.
With a well-defined content strategy, a small company could rub shoulders with a much bigger one. The bigger one could capture the illusive client by engaging them in content they crave.
6. It allows you to reach Millennials.
25% of the U.S. population are Millennials. By 2025, 75% of the workforce will be Millennials and right now, they account for $1 Trillion in U.S. consumer spending. Every company must devise a content strategy to reach Millennials and content is a cornerstone of that strategy.
Whether your blog is informational or purely fun, the fact that you’re doing it is huge. And if you aren’t, you should start, pronto.
Blogs build personal repertoire with readers and Millennials rely heavily on information provided in your posts. For instance, 33% rely on blogs to inform their purchasing decisions. With that kind of attention-grabbing merit, your blog can be hugely influential.
7. It instantly improves social media.
Content and social media are like peanut butter and jelly. You can consume them separately, but they’re so much better together.
Social media platforms are hotbeds of discussion, debate and interaction. Clients, especially Millennials, can take in an overwhelming amount of content on social media. A solid social media strategy, which includes content strategy, will attract and engage clients and improve your social media presence.
8. It boosts organic search results.
Organic website traffic is a key metric to content marketing success. Many SEOs are turning to content marketing to replace or supplement their link-building efforts, but consumers think most of this content is clutter. How do you stand out?
Begin by defining your goals, strategy and KPI’s (key performance indicators).
Keep your content in a safe range of 700 to 2,500 words. Too few words and you won’t get indexed by Google, but too many and you’ll start losing a reader’s interest.
9. It allows you to present employees as client advocates.
Clients consider employees the most trustworthy representatives of your company. In leveraging content marketing to illustrate company culture, the next step is to present employees as client advocates.
Make no mistake, evangelism for any business starts with your employees. If you truly want to succeed, you need to educate your employees about the meaningful work you’re doing across your organization. More importantly, you need to get them excited about it.
Pro Tip: Content strategy is the infrastructure of content marketing. Without answers to ‘why’ and ‘how’ the result is chaos. Don’t jump in without a plan.