What is Content Marketing and Why Do Businesses Need it?
In today’s competitive digital landscape, content marketing has emerged from being a mere traffic-generating strategy to becoming the foundation for growing and establishing businesses.
But what exactly is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing is a strategy through which brands create content in the form of blogs, videos, social media, podcasts, etc. that revolves around customers’ interests. This, in turn, helps companies attain and retain target audiences in otherwise cut-throat competitive markets.
As of 2022, content creation is the top priority in 80% of marketing campaigns.
When it comes to sales, lead generation, and keeping customers engaged, quality content is king.
Although there is no unified definition of content marketing and it is generally assumed to be a relatively new concept, the strategy has been implemented by marketers since the 1890s.
Content marketing is largely based on storytelling, and there is no dearth of stories available online. Therefore, any brand that strives to stand out among the rest has to produce great content that resonates with its audience.
Why Content Marketing is Important
Thanks to ad blockers, customers are being annoyed with the constant bombardment of marketing messages. The entire purpose of content marketing is to connect with the audience through helpful, enjoyable, and readable content that paints a vivid picture.
Without appearing to be overly promotional, businesses are able to outline the key aspects and technical details of their products through the right content.
Two brands that have had and continue to achieve insane success through this strategy are Hubspot and Neil Patel. Hubspot is a public-traded company that provides premium inbound marketing solutions, whereas Neil Patel is one of the world’s leading digital marketing gurus.
Both create content at unprecedented levels. And if you look at their content, you find out that:
- The content is NOT promotional in any aspect.
- It has lots of numbers and stats to prove that they have done their homework
- The content serves its purpose of helping its readers
A mixture of Search Engine Optimization SEO and Content Strategy can help companies take off the ground in getting that much-needed digital exposure.
If there is one thing that you cannot buy, it is trust. It is also the most expensive commodity in a digitally competitive world. Brands can only establish trust with their audiences when the content is truly compelling and engaging. Once you set the tone straight for your content, your audience will keep coming back for more.
Considering the numerous benefits of content marketing, businesses are now ditching promotional advertisement strategies and have begun to create original content that provides people with the answers to their questions.
Brand Awareness and Visibility
In times when unwanted advertisements interrupt Youtube videos and social media experiences, content marketing provides the ideal alternative.
It is the kind of marketing where customers actually get what they search for, and come across useful content rather than a negative advertisement. Even the oldest of marketing campaigns were aimed at highlighting a particular product or service in a unique manner.
Consistently creating helpful content has proven to capture the users’ attention.
Doing good business is all about building brand awareness and convincing customers into choosing one brand over the others. A company that publishes great content is considered to be the best in the industry.
That’s the reason why businesses strive to regularly produce well-written blogs, social media posts, podcasts, videos, and press releases. Deploying this effective marketing strategy enables businesses to establish trust among their customers, consequently leading to improved sales and growth.
Attract Customers and Make Them Stay
It is the day and age of the attention economy.
When done properly, content marketing has the power to attract people’s attention. Create content for your customers as if you were talking to them.
What’s more? Compelling content is the ticket to establishing a positive impression in a cost-effective manner. Content marketing is neither free nor provides instant results. It is a painstakingly long process that needs to be implemented on a consistent basis to get the best possible results.
Well-optimized always tells a story. The more you paint a picture, the higher the chances of conversions. The more you PUSH for sales, the lower your customers will convert.
Google owns the biggest chunk of organic traffic. The same goes for videos. Youtube is the world’s second-largest search engine, owned by Google. This means to rank for your keywords, you need a mix-and-match strategy of blog writing, pillar posts, YouTube videos, ebooks, podcasts, and more.
Content that ranks higher in Google search results naturally attracts more readers as it’s considered to have the best information.
Companies that produce targeted content using the right keywords are able to generate leads especially when their blog title itself answers a customer’s question.
Businesses that invest in expert content for providing useful information to potential customers instead of using “open this link” tactics, see fruitful results. This is because Google recognizes quality content through its algorithms and when a user searches for a specific keyword or phrase, useful and valuable articles earn the top spot
Keeping up with Google’s ever-changing algorithms means running a never-ending race. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Brands that continue working hard on their content marketing strategy, eventually stay in the race.
Companies that develop a cohesive and effective content marketing campaign by understanding Google’s algorithms are able to display themselves as subject matter experts. Email marketing, social media management, and online communities are among the most successful strategies.
High-ranking and relevant content comes in handy for more than just gaining the readers’ attention and generating traffic. It also helps brands establish authority through association. Quality content attracts useful inbound links from associated third-party websites, and this comes with a number of benefits, such as:
- Increasing visibility and growth
- Establishing brand authority
- Developing brand personality
- Improving conversion rates
We all know that Facebook has tremendously decreased organic reach for pages over the last few years. But Facebook is just one social media platform. Leverage Twitter, Youtube, and Instagram to get your content across to as many targeted eyeballs as you can.
Here are some tips to swell your brand worth using social media:
- Write great copy and captions
- Design content that is customer-centric, focusing on trends
- Leverage Facebook Reels, Youtube Shorts, and TikTok to gain views and subscribers
- Get influencers in your niche to talk about your products
Today’s social media users, especially the younger lot, tend to support and trust products and services from brands that regularly post interesting and informative content.
When a reader or followers like what they see on the Instagram pages of brands, they often go one step ahead to follow them on Facebook and Twitter as well.
The curiosity to learn more leads them to read blogs and watch videos.
Many of them are likely to share the blogs in cases where they find the information valuable, ‘never seen before’ or ‘new’. As a result, social media proves to be a vital source for the success of every content marketing strategy when followers begin to grow exponentially.
Cost-Efficient Marketing Strategy
When discussing marketing strategies, the cost is one of the aspects that cannot be ignored. Content proves to not only cut down marketing costs but also bring better results. This is the reason why 70 percent of marketers invest in content marketing and 72 percent say that content plays a major in the success of their marketing campaigns.
Unlike paid advertisements, content marketing actually engages customers and establishes worth. Survey data shows that 70 percent of people prefer to learn about a product through an article.
Most small businesses struggle to find the budget for marketing campaigns while making efforts to build brand loyalty. Here, content marketing proves to be the most effective and cost-effective way to establish a brand presence in any given industry.
The Bottom Line
Be it building brand authority through digital marketing, social media marketing, or SEO, it all boils down to developing an interactive experience for the customers while conveying the information they need.
Businesses have demonstrated positive marketing outcomes through credible and compelling content, which attracts customers to websites, and consequently establishes trust. Therefore, it is safe to say that content marketing is the present and future of every successful digital marketing strategy.