Content marketing is the creation and distribution of content over the internet to earn attention, nurture it and finally leverage it to generate revenue. To make sales over the internet businesses need to build traction. Almost every product has an alternative and everyone is trying to earn the traction online and showcase themselves as the best in the market. On the other hand, the internet has made consumers smarter than before. Now everyone makes purchase decisions based on the information they find online. Content marketing offers businesses a way to become a source of that information and thus, converting knowledge seekers into paying customers. In this blog we will understand some basics of content marketing like why and how content marketing works, how is it different from blogging and why it doesn’t work for everybody.
78% of CMOs believe custom content is the future of marketing. (Source: DemandMetric)
Content Marketing vs Blogging:
A lot of people think of content marketing as a fancy world for blogging. As a matter of fact, blogging is just a means to content marketing and not an end in itself. The idea behind content marketing is to create content that provides value to the target market of a business. This content can be anything from an infographic to a podcast. You might not even create your own content and hire influencers and established bloggers to create it for you. This is something we call influencer marketing. Bottomline is that content marketing involves everything from creating valuable content to putting it in front of your target audience and finally engaging them to earn customer advocacy.
5 Ways: Why and How Content Marketing Works for Businesses:
1. Build Your Influence:
Influence is the most valuable return that you can generate from content marketing. When you put your content out there you earn traction. This continuous traction gives you influence over your audience. You can use this influence to direct your audience to take a specific action whether it is a signup for a newsletter, sharing an article or pressing the buy button. Once you become the trusted knowledge source of your target market you can easily move them through the conversion funnel and generate revenue.
2. Generates Leads:
Content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing and brings 3X more leads.
Lead generation is a very crucial part of sales and marketing. With spam laws getting stringent marketers need to move towards permission-based marketing. Content marketing involves enticing website visitors with offers like free eBook to obtain their email address. This, in turn, gives you contact details of your target market. You can even obtain details like phone number, website URL, company name, position etc to enrich your lead database. This information about individuals in your target market can prove valuable in converting them into customers.
3. Gives SEO Value:
Ranking on the first page of Google for any keyword has become really difficult. To ensure that only quality content reaches to the searchers Google analyzes backlinks to identify the authority of a site. Backlinks are the links from other websites pointing to your domain. With the increase in the number and quality of links, your authority increases and hence your rankings move up in the search results. Content marketing involves creating a lot of valuable content that helps you earn backlinks thus giving you a step ahead in Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
4. Strengthen Knowledge Base:
With content marketing, you gain a lot of insights about your target consumers. These include information about their preferred choice of content, social behavior, stage in the buying cycle, future needs, experience with your brand and even chances of they becoming your brand advocates. Since in content marketing you already create a personal relationship with your customers you can easily obtain their feedback and suggestions using surveys. This information can help you pivot your product, service offerings, and marketing messages to better suit the needs of your potential customers.
Companies using content marketing enjoy up to 6 times more conversion rate than those who aren’t.
5. Educate Customers:
It is easy to sell a product or service that already has an established market. For instance, you might not need content marketing for a clothing business because everyone is aware of their need for clothing. But what if you want to create a market for your product which no one knows about. HubSpot is a great example of successful use of content marketing to create a market for their product. Earlier people weren’t really aware of inbound marketing. Hubspot did not only educate businesses about the ways to use inbound marketing but also created a library for marketers to help them leverage this methodology. Thus creating an entirely new market for their product.
How Doesn’t Content Marketing Work?
Now that you have understood how content marketing works it is important to highlight how it won’t work. A common misconception among people is that they will write a series of blog posts, customers will read them and proceed to checkout. This is simply not the case with content marketing. Building trust on the internet takes a lot of investment. To generate revenue from your content you will need to engage and nurture your audience. This is a common reason why many people simply avoid content marketing and think it is just a fad. If you want to get into content marketing then it is important to set up right expectations right before you decide to invest in it.
Content marketing is a great approach to marketing and there are many success stories. In fact, 82% of marketers generate positive ROI from inbound marketing using blogging. (Source: HubSpot). If performed properly content marketing can help businesses create a lot of revenue from online marketing because they gain influence on the market.