In today’s digital age, having an online presence is vital to the growth of businesses. One of the primary drivers for growth and profitability is content marketing. What started as a way for brands to engage with potential and existing customers has become one of the digital marketing cash cows.
Content marketing isn’t just for bloggers anymore. Content marketing can be a valuable tool to attract customers without having to pay for advertisements. However, if the concept of content marketing still feels like an overblown marketing tool to you, you’re doing a big disservice to your own brand and business.
More often than not, a lack of understanding of what content marketing entails usually has businesses either failing to capitalise on it or using an entirely ineffective approach. So it’s only fair to begin from the basics. To fully grasp the essentiality of content marketing, it’s best first to understand what it exactly is.
What is Content Marketing?
Put simply, content marketing is a digital marketing tactic that’s entirely focused on creating and publishing content for a targeted online audience. These created content are not done explicitly to promote the business or brand. However, its goal is to stimulate interest and raise awareness about the business’s products or services.
Content marketing is one of the most valuable ways that you can use to tell your company’s story to new customers and educate them about your product. By providing insight into your business, you are making decision-making easier for your customers while also introducing new customers to your brand. However, content marketing requires significant research, organisation, and effort to make it work effectively. Nevertheless, when done right, content marketing builds trust between you and your customers and therefore helps grow your business.
With that out of the way, it’s easy to understand why content marketing has become essential for any business or brand.
Importance of Content Marketing to Your Business
Marketing is the act of promoting a product or service to a target audience with the intention of initiating suitable action and reactions in these people. In a nutshell, your goal is to promote your business. However, most businesses do not have a solid marketing strategy.
This means they haven’t identified their customers or why they need their product or service. With this knowledge, you can develop a content marketing plan to drive more traffic to your site and more sales for your business.
It is the Soul of Every Digital Marketing Campaign
As an online business, there’s absolutely no marketing campaign you’ll take on that wouldn’t be making use of content marketing in one form or the other. So whether it’s a marketing campaign involving blogs, e-mails, social media or others, you’ll need to incorporate content marketing at some point.
Given that it is the bedrock of digital marketing, it’s only logical that you take content marketing more seriously and be intentional about it for the sake of your business. For instance, you might be thinking of running an e-mail marketing campaign. So, you need high-quality content in the e-mails to keep potential customers hooked and ensure they sign up for whatever you’re offering.
Keeps the Target Audience Interested in Your Business or Brand
While the primary function of any business is to make a profit, you need to find paying customers to keep you in business. This is where content marketing can be used as an added advantage. Closing sales may be at the forefront of a marketing campaign, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add value to your target audience at the same time.
With content marketing, you can run content campaigns that keep potential customers glued to your brand. These customers may not necessarily have the financial power to make a purchase, but they stay interested in your brand anyway because of the quality of the campaign.
A good example is Apple’s “Shot on an iPhone” campaign. By making use of everyday Apple users and social media influencers, the campaign seeks to portray average iPhone users taking extraordinary photos like a professional photographers.
So here’s a possible take from a customer or potential customer’s perspective. The campaign will cause most users to try to take the best photos with their iPhones and also stay glued to see the photos taken by other users. But guess what? The campaign can also make non-iPhone users want to purchase an iPhone for themselves. Even those who don’t have the money for it now would remain interested enough to view the quality photos uploaded daily. Eventually, they too might become Apple’s paying customers.
Improves Brand Reputation and Makes You an Authority in Your Business Niche
If content is the key, then there are many doors it can unlock, including customer trust. The more content you deliver to your audience, the more they will see your brand as a trusted authority. This would ultimately improve your business reputation.
The more industry-related content you put out there, the more your target audience begins to trust your brand. So if, for example, you’re a tech brand looking for greater exposure by regularly publishing and posting content on simple “How to’s” and easy-fix DIYs that work, your audience will soon trust you.
While the main point of such content marketing is to educate your audience, it’ll also make it much more likely that they’ll patronise you when looking to purchase a product or service you offer.
Ranks You Highly in SERPs for Better Exposure
It’s always advisable to key into the power of SEO when employing content marketing. Search engines rank your content high on their results when you put out quality content and information that answers a user’s query. When your content gains more exposure, you can then subtly include a Call-To-Action (CTA) to get the readers to buy from you.
For a growing business, it’s important not to underestimate the power of exposure. However, to stay highly ranked on SERPs, you must remain consistent in delivering quality content.
It Can be a Cost-effective Approach to Marketing
Content marketing offers a level playing field for small businesses to get exposure and product awareness. For instance, you decide to invest quality time in building a social media presence. The more organic fans and followers you get, the more exposure your brand gets.
As long as you keep delivering quality products and services, your social media following can help push your brand. Of course, this does not negate or underplay the benefits of paid marketing campaigns. However, for a business with a tight budget, content marketing can help take your brand into places some paid marketing services would struggle to make conversions in.
Your Competitors are Probably Already Utilising It
As a business owner, the last thing you want is to play it safe when your competitors are engaging in aggressive marketing campaigns. However, this in no way encourages the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) approach to things – you have to be deliberate and intentional about putting your products or services in front of your target audience.
Believe it or not, many of your competitors are already utilising or have plans to use content marketing to promote their business. Therefore, you should stop playing second fiddle to your competitors and start taking the bull by the horn!
Content marketing is the process of developing and sharing valuable, relevant content with your audience. The logic behind it is that if you consistently produce high-quality content, your audience will keep coming back to see what new information you’ll be sharing next. As a result, content marketing will serve your business in various ways: it will help build an audience, improve your brand visibility, and establish credibility in the eyes of potential customers. It’s an essential part of a winning SEO strategy.
However, make no mistake; these are all benefits that other companies are also looking to gain. So, how will you stand out from the crowd? First, it’s not enough to invest in content marketing; you need to invest in quality content marketing. Content production can be a massive boon for your business with the right amount of planning and execution. Once you are able to establish, monitor, and respond to trends in your industry, you’ll be better prepared to create content that pays off in the long run.