So, you heard someone mention content marketing and it sounded 1) like a really good deal, 2) like a really bad deal, or 3) like it’s much more than what it sounds like. I mean, it can sound scary right? Especially if you’re new to the whole marketing gig.
No matter what option you choose, you’re not alone. Welcome to the ever-so-dynamic digital marketing landscape, where “content” means “anything I put out”. I promise it’s not as scary as it seems, especially when you’re armed with the right strategies.
-But is there a benefit to this whole content marketing… thing?
There absolutely is. In fact, I’m going to share 10 of them with you in this blog, but that doesn’t mean there are only 10 benefits of content marketing. Stick around to learn how this powerful tool can add value to your business strategy and why it’s as essential to your brand as a good cup of coffee is to a Monday morning.
What Exactly is Content Marketing?
Content marketing isn’t about throwing a catchy video or social media post into the universe and crossing your fingers for sales. I like spaghetti, but not when you’re throwing noodles at the wall.
Content marketing is about the creation of valuable content purposefully designed to captivate your ideal audience. Your content should offer something in return, whether that’s knowledge, solutions, or even a chuckle or two (because who doesn’t appreciate a good laugh?). Yet, it should also be engaging, compelling, and authentic if you want sustainable results.
In essence, content marketing is that charismatic party guest who knows just what to say to keep everyone interested. Whether through engaging newsletters, comprehensive blog posts, eye-catching social media posts, or insightful podcasts, content marketing is your storyteller, community builder, and problem solver all rolled into one.
Now that we’re all on the same page about what content marketing is, let’s hop into our digital DeLorean and explore why it’s a timeless branding tool.
Why Content Marketing is More Than Just a Flash in the Pan
Before we traverse the landscape of the benefits of content marketing, let’s take a quick pit stop to look at some numbers. After all, they say numbers don’t lie, and who are we to argue?
For starters, 73% of consumers reveal they prefer to learn about a brand or product through video content. That’s like three out of four people choosing Netflix over reading an encyclopedia. In addition, a Google Cloud survey showed 82% of customers would jump ship from a brand that didn’t reflect their values – sort of like breaking up with someone because they don’t laugh at your favorite sitcom.
Furthermore, social media and influencer marketing are far from being yesterday’s news. In fact, they’re a powerful way to reach younger consumers, with 57% of all Gen Z customers and 50% of millennials trusting influencer recommendations over traditional advertisements. In other words, they choose advice from their cool cousin over that pushy door-to-door salesperson.
Lastly, businesses are catching on to the content marketing train, with 82% of companies planning to increase their content marketing budgets. Now, you wouldn’t want to miss this train, would you?
Top 10 Ways Content Marketing Can Boost Your Brand Strategy
Alright, folks. Buckle up, and let’s set off on a journey through the top 10 benefits of content marketing. Spoiler alert: this ride might change your perspective on digital marketing forever.
1. Amping Up Your Brand Visibility
Imagine content marketing as a high-powered spotlight for your brand. Through various content types like blog posts, videos, and social media content, you have the chance to display your expertise, highlight your unique selling proposition, and converse with a broader audience. As your content starts to click with readers and offer solutions, your brand stands a better chance of being discovered, shared, and recommended. And that’s pretty much the digital equivalent of getting standing ovations.
2. Climbing the Search Engine Ranking Ladder
With content marketing, you’re not just producing interesting material, but you’re also giving search engines like Google a nudge saying, “Hey, look at this awesome resource right here!” With regular publishing of high-quality, relevant, and optimized content, your website can become the favorite hangout spot for search engines and users alike. This is getting a VIP pass to the top of the organic search results.
3. Winning the Audience Engagement Game
Content marketing isn’t just a monologue; it’s an open dialogue with your audience. With compelling and valuable content, you can spark interest, inspire action, and foster a real connection. Think of it as hosting an exciting party where everyone wants to stay and chat rather than sneak out the back door.
4. Establishing Thought Leadership in Your Industry
As you regularly dish out insightful and valuable content, your brand starts to resemble that wise old sage that everyone seeks advice from. By sharing industry insights, research findings, or thought-provoking articles, you position your brand as a credible source and a thought leader. And that’s a pretty cool reputation to have, right?
5. Attracting New Business through Effective Lead Generation
If there is one analogy I want you to remember after reading this blog post it is this: Content marketing is the magnet that attracts potential customers to your brand. Through providing your target audience invaluable and relevant content that addresses their actual needs, you not only pique their interest but also guide them a little bit further down the sales funnel. It’s like leaving a trail of breadcrumbs through your content that leads prospective customers straight to your products or services – literally.
6. Building Long-Term Relationships and Loyalty
Who says content marketing is all about attracting new customers? It’s also your tool for keeping existing customers happy and engaged. By sharing personalized and relevant content throughout their journey, you can turn casual customers into loyal fans. After all, who doesn’t like being wooed?
7. Enjoying the Long-Term Benefits of Asset Creation
One of the cool things about content marketing that many forget is that it is the gift that literally keeps on giving long after your initial efforts. Evergreen content, which can take a variety of forms from simple product tutorials to in-depth and comprehensive guides, can remain relevant to your target audience over a very long time, attracting traffic and engagement to your content like bees are attracted to honey.
8. Leveraging the Cost-Effectiveness of Content Marketing
Think about it: All of that traditional advertising, such as television, radio, and print ads, can cost a fortune without producing measurable results. Content marketing, on the other hand, offers a more affordable and sustainable alternative that is also 100% digitally trackable. The focus here is more on delivering value and building relationships rather than disrupting people by simply promoting a product. Wouldn’t you rather spend money, while saving money, and something that is more valuable and trackable? I thought so!
Further Reading: 25 Useful Content Marketing Tools for All of Your Content Needs
9. Boosting Your Social Media Reach
In the era of likes, shares, and viral trends, content marketing can significantly broaden your social media reach. By creating content that resonates with your audience and encourages interaction, you can expand your brand’s visibility. And let’s be honest, going viral (in a good way) is the digital world’s version of winning the lottery.
10. Gaining a Competitive Edge
In a sea of businesses, content marketing allows your brand to stand out like a lighthouse guiding potential customers to your shores. By offering unique, valuable, and engaging content, you can outshine competitors and attract your target audience. It’s like wearing a neon sign in a crowd – impossible to ignore.
Content Marketing Best Practices: Illuminating the Road to Success
Now that we’ve delved into the benefits of content marketing, let’s get practical. How do you actually leverage content marketing to your advantage? Here are some tried and true best practices you should implement to elevate your content strategy. Remember, these aren’t just tips to skim over—they’re non-negotiables for success.
Craft Your Content Strategy with Purpose
Your content marketing isn’t a ship to be set adrift aimlessly. It should be anchored by a well-defined strategy that outlines your goals, target audience, content types, distribution channels, and performance metrics. Your strategy should align with your broader business objectives, effectively turning your content into a potent tool for achieving your goals.
Further Reading: 5 Content Marketing Strategy Examples to Inspire Your Marketing
Maintain Consistent Brand Voice and Identity
Your content should reflect your brand’s unique voice and identity consistently. This applies to the tone, style, visuals, and even the values expressed in your content. By doing so, you’ll foster a sense of familiarity and trust among your audience, boosting your brand recognition.
Further Reading: Brand Voice: 9 Tips on How to Create Your Own (with 7 Examples)
Quality is ALWAYS More Important Than Quantity
We often get asked to produce a LOT of content, but we should NEVER do it at a cost to the quality of our content. It’s better to publish one well-researched, insightful blog post per week that truly adds value for your audience than to churn out daily posts of mediocre quality. High-quality content is more likely to earn shares, backlinks, and a higher search ranking.
Optimize for SEO
Great content is discoverable content that brings website traffic. Incorporate SEO best practices into your content creation process. Use relevant keywords naturally, include meta tags, create compelling titles and headers, and use internal and external links wisely. But remember, write for your audience first, and search engines second.
Leverage the Power of Storytelling
Stories connect with people on an emotional level, making your brand messaging more memorable. Whether you’re writing a blog post, creating a video, or crafting a social media update, try to weave a compelling narrative that draws your audience in.
Use a Mix of Content Types
Don’t limit yourself to just one form of content. There are three common types of learners (visual, auditory, reading/writing), and you want to provide all of them with something to snack on. Blogs, for example, are great for the readers. Videos, on the other hand, get two birds with one stone – the visual and the auditory learners. Think about your buyer personas and develop multiple types of content to get the widest reach.
Repurpose Your Content
Content creation is time-consuming, but you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time. If you wrote a blog post, consider what information you can use from it for an infographic. Can you turn it into a video? If you just did a webinar, turn it into a series of posts. Not only does this save time, but it also ensures your key messages reach your audience through various formats and channels.
Further Reading: Repurposing Content: 15 Specific and Popular Methods
Analyze and Refine Your Strategy
Like most marketing strategies, content marketing isn’t a “set it and forget it” deal. Track your performance, learn what works and what doesn’t, and refine your strategy accordingly. The more you understand about your content’s impact, the better you can effectively invest your resources.
A Personal Revelation
Back in the early 90s, I had the opportunity to work closely with a full blown ad agency. During this experience, I discovered a profound truth about reaching audiences – an insight that continues to shape my approach to this day.
At first glance, it looks like a numbers game. Just measure how successful your content is by how many people read it.
But is that really a helpful metric? As I delved deeper into the world of advertising, I realized that true effectiveness lies in something far more profound. It’s not merely about capturing attention; it’s about understanding your audience on a level that touches their very soul. It’s psychology 101 and how you connect those dots.
Who are you talking to? What do they care about? What challenges do they face? To create content that truly resonates, you need to understand your audience inside and out. Use customer personas and audience segmentation to tailor your content to the needs, preferences, and behaviors of your various audience segments.
Information Driven Society
In this fast-paced, information-driven era, people are bombarded with an overwhelming amount of content vying for their attention. Amidst this chaos, what sets certain messages apart? What compels individuals to take action?
The answer lies in tapping into their emotional triggers. Every audience, every person, possesses a unique set of emotions, hopes, fears, and desires. As a content creator or marketer, your task is to identify those emotional triggers and tailor your message to resonate deeply within your audience’s soul.
Emotional Triggers Work
The key is to move beyond surface-level engagement and strive for genuine connection. It’s about understanding the aspirations, pain points, and dreams of those you seek to reach. By doing so, you can craft content that speaks directly to their hearts, compelling them to take meaningful action.
Understanding Your Audience
So, as you embark on your content creation journey, remember this pivotal lesson I learned back in the early 90s: understand your audience, truly grasp what makes them tick, and speak to their emotions. Seek to ignite a fire within them, a fire that propels them to act upon the words you have shared.
In the end, it’s not about the quantity of eyes that skim your content, but rather the quality of engagement that comes from that content. Touch their souls, inspire their hearts, and watch as your audience not only reads your words but embraces them, transforms them, and takes action upon them. That, my friend, is the true power of understanding your audience.
Closing the Chapter
Unleashing the power of content marketing can take your brand to new heights. Remember, the digital marketing landscape may seem like an alien planet at times, but with the right strategy and a dash of creativity, you can conquer it. So gear up, roll up your sleeves, and start your content marketing adventure!
Gabriella Sannino is a well-known author, branding expert, and international marketing consultant. As the founder of Level343, an international marketing and SEO company, her mission is to help businesses of all sizes succeed in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. With over two decades of experience in the industry, Gabriella’s expertise lies in Internet marketing strategies, optimization, and branding. Her passion for delivering comprehensive marketing information has made her one of the most sought-after thought leaders in the industry.
Hero photo by Razvan Chisu on Unsplash
Benefits Of Content Marketing FAQs
The advantage of content marketing lies in its ability to attract leads and convert them into loyal customers, all while boosting your online visibility and credibility. According to recent studies, businesses that implement content marketing strategies see a 3x higher lead generation rate than those that don’t. If you’re looking to expand your reach and build relationships with potential customers, then content marketing could be your secret weapon.
Content marketing can help you improve brand awareness, generate leads, and boost customer engagement. By creating high-quality content that provides value to your target audience, you can attract more website traffic, build trust with potential customers, and establish your brand as a leader in your industry. Additionally, content marketing is often more cost-effective than other marketing strategies, making it a great option for small businesses and startups.
The main goal of content marketing is to drive profitable customer action by providing helpful and informative content that meets the needs of your audience. By offering educational content that potential customers find valuable, you can establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry while building trust and credibility. In short, the purpose of content marketing is to build relationships with your audience, provide valuable information to potential customers, and ultimately drive sales.
As a content marketing hub for your business, a primary benefit is the ability to create a centralized location for all your content. This enables you to streamline your content distribution process, reaching your target audience across multiple channels with greater ease and efficiency. Additionally, a content marketing hub allows you to keep track of which content is performing well and which is not. This can help you make smarter decisions about where to focus your efforts and allocate your resources.
As social media marketing becomes increasingly competitive and crowded, it’s more important than ever to stand out from the crowd. That’s where content marketing comes in. By creating and sharing valuable content, you can establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry and attract potential clients to your business.