Creating content can be time consuming. Do you ever wonder if content marketing is really worth the effort? Is content still really king?
The answer is a resounding yes. Content marketing has a multitude of benefits. Creating and sharing content with purpose can be an extremely effective way to:
- Build an audience.
- Cement your brand and reputation.
- Increase your revenue stream.
Looking for more reasons to improve your content output and share your thoughts with the world? Here are seven of the best reasons to focus on content marketing.
1. Increase Your Website Traffic
When you keep your content fresh, people have a reason to keep coming back to your site again and again for more insights.
There are many paths you can take when creating new content, including:
- Providing information about recent events
- Periodically updating evergreen content.
- Offering new how-to videos.
- Sharing infographics with engaging research results.
As long as you are offering content with value and not simply creating for the sake of adding content, you’re golden. Moreover, you can improve the results of your focus on content marketing by taking a single piece and sharing it in a number of different formats.
For instance, share content as:
- A LinkedIn post.
- A video ad.
- A Quora answer.
- A response to a prospect’s question on Twitter.
Search engines like Google rank sites higher when they have fresher content. That’s why keeping content fresh brings me to the next reason to focus on content marketing…
Improving SEO ranking is a vital part of increasing website traffic. You can, of course, pay for ads so you sit at the top of the list. At the same time, becoming highly ranked in natural search will increase your legitimacy, save you money, and strengthen customer trust.
Sadly, no one other than Google knows exactly how their algorithms work. That said, I can tell you that in addition to the fresh content mentioned above, using relevant keywords and having fresh backlinks from reputable sites are critical.
Great sites to target for backlinks include:
- Publications that speak to your market
- Forums that include your specific audience
- Social media venues like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook.
In addition, you can:
- Target niche markets with sites like Quora and Medium
- Answer employee questions via sites like Glassdoor.
- Post thoughtful replies on trusted blogs.
When search engines see fresh and increased links to your site, they regard your site as more relevant. This will push you up to a higher search rank. That doesn’t mean you should invest in link farming practices. However, you will benefit if you focus a portion of your content marketing efforts in including links back to your site from reputable sites, including those run by influencers.
3. Strengthen Influencer Marketing Efforts
Ah, the vaunted influencers. Whether they are micro-influencers or those with larger reach, influencers are respected individuals within their area of expertise. While it can be a challenge to gain influencer attention, it’s far from impossible.
There are a multitude of ways you can create influencer marketing campaigns as part of your focus on content marketing efforts. For example, you can:
- Publish and share lists of top thought leaders in your market. Talk about why you recommend top influencers and link back to their websites. Then let them know they’ve been praised on your blog. Chances are good they will be grateful for the review and share your content with their own audience.
- Support influencers by reposting their content. Content curation is as important as content creation. Curating influencer content helps you develop relationships with influencers, gives you great content to share with your own audience, and increases the chances that influencers will share your content as well.
- Pay influencers for their efforts. This is the most certain way to assure yourself of access to influencer audiences. Having a paid relationship with an influencer will help you on your way to using content marketing to grow your audience.
4. Use Content Marketing To Grow Audience Reach
What business doesn’t want to grow its reach? Building a large, strong, relevant following will help grow your brand, reputation, and revenue. A focus on content marketing provides an excellent way to achieve these goals.
Sharing great content shows that you want to provide true value for your audience. Other ways to grow reach through content marketing includes:
- Mention specific, relevant people when you share your content. Folks who are tagged and/or mentioned in your posts generally respond. Reactions can include resharing, replying to, and/or checking out the content you are sharing.
- Take advantage of events and event hashtags. Events in your market cater specifically to the audience you want to reach. Even if the event isn’t one you are running, you can incorporate them into your content marketing plans. Become a part of the conversation by using the event hashtag when you share great content. You will increase your reach by leaps and bounds.
- Target specific keywords – Keywords are especially important when using ads as part of your content marketing efforts. Keywords can be used to directly match what you’re selling. They can also be employed to reach a whole new demographic. Expand your audience by targeting tangential groups that might be interested in what you’re selling. While they may not have thought previously to look for your solutions, they will now!
- Participate in Twitter chats – Whether you are a rockstar Twitter chat guest or simply participating in the general conversation, real-time Twitter chats great! They provide an excellent means to expand your followers, share your knowledge, and build a strong community. They also offer an opportunity to build personal relationships, i.e., an emotional connection.
5. Make Emotional Connections With Your Content
Whether you are a B2C or B2B company, you need keep your content engaging. Emotional content is the key to that. Make people laugh, cry, or feel a bond with your company and you will come out ahead.
Many people think of B2B content as boring and B2C content as entertaining. The fact of the matter is even B2B content can (and should) be engaging. Building emotional connections with your customers results in longer, stronger relationships.
The emotional connection also makes it more likely that customers will recommend your business to someone else. After all, wouldn’t you want to give new business to a friend over a faceless company? I know I would.
Social media provides a real-time means for building that emotional connection through conversation. You can strengthen that connection by sharing emotional content. Videos are especially effective for developing emotional connections. According to a recent survey:
- Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it through a video.
- 46% of users act after viewing a video ad.
- Making your videos entertaining results in a 97% increase in purchase intent.
Looking for ideas about what kind of videos are the most effective? Read about these 7 Videos You Need To Make B2B Content Marketing Powerful.
6. Show You Are A Thought Leader
Making your content emotional and engaging does not mean the content has to be high-level or simply there for the laughs. Providing at least some forward-thinking, thought-provoking content. It shows that you are doing more than simply selling a product.
When you offer thought-leadership content, you demonstrate that:
- Your business is on the cutting edge, consistently improving based on forward-facing market changes.
- Your employees are sharp. Working with them will provide customers with the opportunity to take advantage of the best solutions possible.
- You are prepared to share extra value with your customers. You are willing to reveal interesting concepts and processes that will help them improve their business.
7. Develop Content Marketing Campaigns That Close Business
Focusing on content marketing at all levels empowers you to close sales faster and more efficiently. While thought leadership is excellent for providing high-level insights, not every prospect needs this type of information. In fact, people will be at all levels of the funnel when they find you. Some will be ready to purchase right away. Others will need time and do research before they purchase. Many even bounce back and forth between different levels at different times.
People may simply want to know you are thinking about their problems. Others may be ready to dive into content that relates to your products or services. This can help them make better decisions about how they want to work with you. You can also answer customer questions for those who want to purchase, even before people reach out to you. That’s why it’s critical to share content that hits a variety of funnel levels.
Set up your content marketing campaigns in such a way that people can easily find the information they need, regardless of where they are in the funnel. That way, when they are ready to reach out to your sales people or buy, they will have everything they need at their fingertips.
Bonus Content Marketing Benefit: Make Stakeholders Happy
Customers are only one part of a successful business (albeit a critical one). There are other stakeholders as well who will benefit from your focus on content marketing. Employees and partners both play important roles, which content marketing can help cement.
When employees and partners become personally involved in the creation of content, you strengthen their buy-in, ownership, and interest. Suddenly working with your business becomes transformed. It’s no longer an unemotional day-to-day requirement. Instead, working with you becomes a source of pride.
Examples of ways you can draw in stakeholders include:
- Author a blog post.
- Star in a video.
- Create a thought leadership piece.
Not only can partners and employees be a part of content creation, but they can also become an integral part of sharing content. This will increase the efficacy of your content marketing efforts by leaps and bounds. All of these stakeholders likely already have audiences that are right in your target zone. Equally important, customers trust people over brands.
Looking for more proof? According to the research shared in 10 Stats That Prove The Importance Of Employee Advocacy:
- Brand messages are re-shared 20x more frequently when distributed by employees through employee advocacy vs the brand.
- Leads developed through employee advocacy convert 7x more frequently than other leads.
- Customers referred by advocates have a 37% higher retention rate.
Increase Your Focus On Content Marketing
As you can see, there are a multitude of benefits to increasing your focus on content marketing. Ready to build out your content marketing plans today? Let me know how it goes in the comments below!
Learn more about how to craft an effective content marketing plan with this set of 21 rules, in this infographic from Kayak Marketing.