When trying to reach an audience and built trust with them, nothing really compares to the power of content. Whether you want to attract new visitors and prospects to your business, form engagement and lines of communication with your leads, or providing exciting content for your existing customers, content marketing is so versatile that it’s an essential tool to have in your arsenal, especially now in the growing competition within the digital landscape of today.
In our complete guide to content marketing, we’ll be looking at everything you need to know in order to create an amazing content marketing strategy and get ahead of the most recent trends.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a method of engaging your target audience and increasing your number of successful leads based on relevant, up-to-date, and valuable content creation. It is a useful way of attracting, involving, and generating value for a brand’s audience.
By putting out high quality types of content (whether it’s a blog post, video content, social media post, podcast, or more) you can form a positive perception of your brand with your prospects and ultimately generate more business. With unique and attention-grabbing content that people will actively want to consume, you can make your business stand out from everyone else, be memorable to your audience, and avoid being overshadowed by competitors.
In the early days of digital marketing, simply being present online was enough to be successful. Nowadays however, being on the internet is not enough to ensure success. The focus now, is how to be online, getting in front of your audiences’ screens and staying relevant so they want to keep engaging with you and the content you release. This is the main goal of content marketing.
Why is content marketing important?
Content is at the heart of everything people do online, whether it’s scrolling through social media, finding an answer to a question, or making a purchase. From the moment they enter their first search query to when they click the buy button, they are taking in the content on the path to get there and allowing it to guide them into buying a product or service.
Without content, there wouldn’t be any web pages, search results, demo videos, online reviews, or anything else that influences a person’s buying choices.
Today’s market online is well saturated, and people are often overwhelmed with options and spammed with ads as soon as they open Google. Content marketing campaigns takes a different approach and enables you to form personal connections with your target audience and organically lead them towards buying from you without the hard sell they are seeing everywhere else.
Your other marketing strategies would also struggle to perform well without content too. SEO, social media, email marketing, web development, and more all need good content integrated into them to ensure their success and to help you meet your targets.
How content marketing works
Successful content marketing works by rewarding your audience with useful, inspirational, and interesting content, to incite them to take action and make a purchase from your business. This style of marketing is so well-regarded and valued by online users that studies have shown that 70% of consumers prefer to learn about a product from an article instead of an ad. Content nurtures customers and grows profitable, long-lasting relationships.
Profitable action from content marketing occurs when you provide your potential customers with value. For example, a how-to article will teach someone, an infographic informs, and a success story inspires. All these emotions can result in something profitable.
There is extensive evidence for content marketing being effective, but only when the content offers value to users. To do this successfully, you need a deep understanding of your audience, so you can assist them with their buying journey.
Is content marketing effective?
If the main aim of creating content for marketing is to encourage profitable consumer action, it’s safe to assume that content marketing is very effective in increasing sales and income. To put this into context, 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing and 24% plan to increase their investment in this style of marketing.
The clearest demonstration of effectiveness when it comes to content strategies is the return on investment you will get. It costs 62% less than outbound marketing, but it earns 3x as many leads. That’s not the only way that content can be effective though.
When you upload high quality content you will likely see improved brand awareness, better audience retention, higher levels of activity on social media, and increased brand authority. Putting all these benefits and you create arguably the most effective marketing tool in the field. Using an experienced and talented content marketing agency like Deliver Media will help ensure you have the most effective and right content strategy for your business in place.
How much does content marketing cost?
This is a tricky question to answer because how much content marketing costs will be based on the type of content, what you want to achieve with it, and how quickly you want to see results from it. Content marketing, when it has had time to mature, should be one of, if not the most, cost effective part of your strategy.
Theoretically, you can implement content marketing on pretty much any budget, but it’s important to keep in mind the time and other resources involved in developing a strategy that will be successful and create the right form of content that gets results.
You should also consider that the high return on investment nature of this type of marketing means you should always weigh up the return against your initial spend. In some cases, it will be worthwhile investing more to make more money back, and generally it pays to see results as soon as possible.
For example, it is normally a lot more difficult for a brand ranking that is below you to overtake you in the SERPs (search engine results pages) than it is to keep your position above them. Similarly, search competition is consistently increasing, which means that taking leads off your rivals after they have already built a relationship foundation with customers can be challenging.
With that in mind, the sooner you can establish a strong search presence with rich content, the higher and more stable your ROI (return on investment) should be. So, it will be much harder for competitors to overtake you in the search. Hopefully, you won’t need to spend as much to convert leads into customers as a result of having a stronger search presence enhancing your marketing efforts, all of which will further improve your ROI.
How can content marketing help with SEO?
Content and SEO services (search engine optimisation) are very closely linked, with each one helping the other to increase traffic and overall lead conversions long term. One way content marketing helps with SEO is through the use of keywords. An essential element to a good SEO strategy is keyword research into what people search for relating to the product or service you’re trying to promote.
By having great content, such as informative web and landing pages and blogs that include target keywords, search engines like Google will view your content as relevant to the searcher and rank it higher in the results page.
The higher you rank on Google with a piece of content, the more chance there is of your target market clicking on your content and following the marketing funnel to making a sale with you. For that to happen, your content needs to be optimised for search engines, and more importantly, ensure a good experience for the reader. This can be done by:
Using Google Analytics to analyse your results and inform you of which posts can be improved
Uploading your site map and using the Google Search Console tool
Installing SEO plugins like Yoast (if you use WordPress)
Introducing keywords that Google suggests in tools such as Keyword Planner
Optimising keywords by embedding them within the first 100 words of content and in certain subheadings, for example
Having short URLs and including keywords in them
Ensuring your content is optimised for reading on mobile devices
Improving your site speed and testing it in a tool like Google PageSpeed Insights
Designing your content to include the best practices for SEO to rank in Google page results
Using high quality backlinks
Content marketing gives you an amazing opportunity to attract potential customers to you and be creative in promoting your brand and products. It is a proven method of generating 3x return on investment compared to outbound marketing, increasing authority, and positive social media engagement. Contact us today to discuss our content marketing services and as an initial introduction to us, we’d like to offer you a free digital marketing audit.