Are you using content marketing to drive traffic to your website? If not, you’re leaving loads of money on the table.
Did you know most businesses receive a significantly higher ROI from inbound traffic than they do from outbound traffic? It’s true!
Nearly 3/4ths of marketers have reported that inbound marketing generates a greater ROI than outbound marketing. In addition to have a higher ROI, inbound marketing provides higher quality leads, improves lead generation and converts easier to sales.
So if the benefits of content marketing are so great, why isn’t everyone using it? That’s the million-dollar question.
And the answer is…
Probably because it’s time-consuming, and when it comes down to it, many people don’t truly understand how to properly formulate an effective content marketing strategy that is capable of converting traffic into sales.
That’s why we’re going to dive deep into the topic of content marketing. We are going to talk about how content marketing should grab a potential customer’s attention, which can be done by writing compelling content. Then that same content can be used to build brand awareness. We’ll also discuss the importance of quality content for the search engines, as well as for the reader. Useful content that educates, informs, and leads the reader straight to your call to action where they are eager to take action is priceless. But that’s not all. We are also going to talk about how using a variety of methods, including social media, digital marketing, infographics, image optimization, and other techniques will help rank your content, boost conversion rates, build brand awareness, and skyrocket your ROI beyond your wildest expectations!
Are you ready to unleash the power of inbound marketing?
Let’s do this!
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a form of content creation that focuses on driving sales by giving your customers exactly what they’re looking for while they are actively searching for it. For example, someone has a question about how to perform any given task. He/she heads straight to the internet looking for information about “how-to” complete that task, including any supplies or services he/she might need to do it. And it’s the job of your marketing campaigns and content strategy to provide that reader with relevant content that gives them the exact information they need to solve their problem.
Do you know what happens next?
You have started the process of building a positive, long-lasting relationship with a potential customer.
“Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.”-Andrew Davis, Author
First, let’s go into a little more detail about the strategic approach to content marketing.
The strategic approach to content marketing means your content marketing strategy and other digital marketing tactics must be designed to specifically focus on consistently creating and distributing high-quality, valuable, relevant content. Additionally, that content must be capable of attracting and engaging a clearly defined audience. The end goal is to use your strategically developed content and all your blogging efforts to drive traffic to your website. Then have that reader so excited after reading your content they head straight to your call to action where they take the action you’ve asked for.
Now let’s compare the difference between traditional marketing and content marketing.
What is the Difference Between Traditional Marketing and Content Marketing
There is a significant difference between traditional marketing and content marketing.
Traditional marketing is any type of marketing that’s not done online. Additionally, traditional marketing doesn’t provide the consumer with any real value before trying to get them to buy your products and services. A general one-size-fits-all message is created and broadcast using a variety of advertising methods.
Traditional marketing might get you a sale; however, the chance of that sale developing into a loyal, lifelong customer is much less. Not to mention the overall chance of getting any given consumer to buy from you is much less as well.
Why is that?
Well, that’s because you didn’t do anything but shove a generic message in the consumer’s face asking them to buy or subscribe to your “stuff.” You didn’t build any trust, you didn’t try to develop a good rapport, and you didn’t make that consumer feel valued or ingratiated to you in any way. Think about how traditional marketing makes you feel.
Do you feel any particular brand loyalty or any real perceived value when you receive a traditional marketing message? Probably not.
Content marketing, on the other hand, uses a content creation technique that includes not only well-written content but other methods that turn good content into remarkable content. It also focuses on a target audience and starts by identifying that audience’s wants and needs, as well as the products and services, etc. that would solve their particular problems. Then, high-quality content is created around solving those problems.
We’re talking about great content that provides value to the consumer. By delivering value to the consumer, you have begun building trust, brand awareness, and creating a positive consumer experience that has a much higher chance of gaining and keeping a loyal customer.
Why? Because you didn’t force that consumer to read or watch your marketing message to entice them into buying what you are selling. Instead, you provided them with a valuable resource that is there for them now and will be there for them in the future when they are ready to buy.
And that’s money in the bank!
The Foundation of a Successful Inbound Marketing Campaign
A solid content marketing strategy is the foundation for a successful inbound marketing campaign. This is because, without content, there is nothing to optimize and nothing to share on social sites, through email, or using other marketing methods. But what exactly is an inbound marketing strategy all about?
An effective inbound content marketing strategy should contain the following elements:
- Persona Identification (what audience are you targeting)
- Search Intent (what is your audience looking for)
- Remarkable Content (what will engage your audience)
- Call-To-Action (what do you want your audience to do)
- Content Atomization (promoting your content everywhere)
And what is the result of these five elements?
If, as a brand, you deliver consistent, ongoing, valuable, high-quality content in the form of relevant information to consumers, typically, they will reward you with their business and brand loyalty.
Are we sure?
How do we know?
Well, what is your favorite brand of pizza, vehicle, smartphone, hotdog, etc.? Why? You will probably answer something like, “I love the taste.” That’s a huge benefit. Or, “I like my car because this brand is reliable.” That’s value. “I like the price.” This saves you money. “I like the BOGOs I receive.” This brand gives you free stuff.
There is a reason people like what they like, and it’s all about a real or perceived value of some sort. You have to provide value, or your inbound marketing campaign is dead in the water.
If you take the time to provide consumers with real value, you will have created a loyal, lifelong customer. This is because you have them hooked, and they WILL come back for more—indefinitely!
Still not convinced content marketing and SEO are all that?
Then keep reading, and we will provide further proof by showing you all the benefits you can expect to receive from a reliable, relevant, content marketing strategy that provides useful content, builds trust, and develops lasting customer relationships.
The Top 9 Benefits of Content Marketing
Here are the top nine benefits of content marketing in no particular order:
1. Google (and everyone else) Loves Quality Content
According to Matt Cutts – influencer, thought leader, and the former head of webspam at Google – there’s no other way to rank highly in the Google search engine than to “write great content.”
OK, but what does that mean?
Well, it means that Google is in the business of providing answers to the questions its users have and are searching for. The primary purpose of the Google search algorithm is to rank those pages, which it believes does the best job of providing those answers. So, if you’re not developing great content that answers the questions Google’s users and your audience is looking for, your content is not going to rank high. It’s that simple.
Did you know that…Google uses over 200 ranking factors in their algorithm?
Valuable content that answers questions, solves problems, or teaches someone how to do something equates to more traffic, higher conversion rates, and will generally result in a higher ROI (return on investment).
Let’s talk a little more about that.
Google sends about 10x more traffic to the average website than Facebook? And, even more traffic than any other website for that matter. This is achieved by receiving organic traffic (natural not paid for) from people looking for information. That searcher then clicks on your website and reads the useful content you posted. That could be information you posted to your website, Hubspot, or Facebook. Or by blogging, posting whitepapers, case studies, or by uploading your content to other online sites. These are the best ways to dramatically boost your website traffic using the most effective traffic channel available today—organic search.
Did you know that…90% of all organizations use content in their marketing efforts?
2. Content Marketing Drives More Sales
To understand how content marketing drives more sales, you have to follow the thought process a consumer goes through before actually committing to a purchase.
- Step 1: Awareness
People have a problem they need to solve, so they go to the internet for answers.
- Step 2: Consideration
After people realize they have a problem and go to the internet for answers, they then take the time to search for solutions to their problem.
- Step 3: Final Buying Decision
The last step in the customer buying process is the final buying decision. After the customer assesses the information they found, they make a final buying decision by taking that information and deciding on which solution is the best option for their particular situation.
With content marketing, your sales team can develop a sales funnel that is specifically designed to move your potential customers through the buyer’s journey at their own pace—without using any forced sales tactics.
Content marketing using many types of content that helps build customer relationships with your target audience, making them more likely to work with your brand versus your competitors. Additionally, taking the time to build customer relationships also builds trust and creates loyal, lifelong customers, and followers.
But that’s not all…
Content marketing also gives you (the brand) control of the consumer decision-making process.
You do this by simply controlling the conversation by first grabbing the customer’s attention, providing them with the information they need to solve their problem, then you write the conversation points. This is how you influence the decision-making process—by giving the customer the information they need to make an educated decision or by teaching them how to do something.
3. Less Annoying Than Traditional Digital Marketing
Let’s face it. Traditional digital marketing is annoying—very annoying. That’s why almost 40% of all internet users are already using ad blockers. Pretty much any form of marketing that interrupts the customer journey isn’t a good idea. Do you like it? Probably not! That’s why content marketing is so effective because it doesn’t annoy the reader, and it helps build customer relationships.
4. Improves Brand Awareness and Credibility
Building brand awareness and a positive brand reputation are massive when it comes to digital marketing because it helps establish authority in your industry. And creating quality content is the first step. Publishing great content that searchers actually want will result in higher rankings in the SERPS.
That’s because your content immediately provides a searcher with the information they need. And, the more your information is found and opened by a searcher, the better your page rankings will be. Why? Because that’s one of the factors Google’s algorithm uses to decide which content deserves the highest rankings on the search engine results pages.
But not only that, potential customers who continually get the information they are looking for from you will immediately come back to you when they need something else. That means you are building tighter customer and reader relationships.
A prime example of this is Gary Vaynerchuck’s personal brand. Gary Vee started several businesses in the early 2000s and used content marketing like email newsletters and blogs to establish his business’ domain authority. Over the years, his content marketing efforts have compounded and he has positioned himself as a content marketing expert. This consequently drives billion dollar companies to use his marketing services and this further establishes his credibility. One of the biggest assets of his content is that its value compounds while the costs stay relatively low. Most of the marketing channels he uses (Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, etc.) are free while the views for his content continue to compound.
5. Grows Your Social Media Following
This goes along with what we just talked about above. When you consistently provide a reader or potential customer with valuable content that solves their problems and builds trust, they will continue to follow your brand. Additionally, customers will see your brand as a valuable, trusted resource and will want to tell everyone else about you. This viral effect will provide your brand with more likes, tweets, and social shares, which will result in a larger, ever-growing social media following.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is a great example of how content marketing can grow your social media following. As the head of both Tesla and SpaceX, Musk gets thousands of questions per day on his public Twitter account. Musk takes some time occasionally to directly answer customer complaints related to production issues, support-related problems and socioeconomic influences affecting his businesses. By doing this for a few years since he has joined Twitter, he has established a brand of transparency for himself and his companies. Since joining Twitter in 2009, Musk has nearly 12,000 tweets and has amassed a following of over 37 million followers.
6. Increases Brand Visibility
Good content marketing and high-quality content creation will both directly and indirectly drive significantly more people to your product pages.
And here’s how…
Many people who read your content will go on to visit your product pages. This is because you provided valuable information; therefore, they see you as a trustworthy authority and want to learn more. Those people will follow the article backlinks you embedded in your content, and those links will take them straight to your website.
Did you know that… about 94% of all pages have zero backlinks?
When you write exceptional blog content, other websites will link back to that content. The more links your page has pointing back to your website, the higher you will rank in the search engines. But only if those links are natural (not purchased, manipulated, or farmed) and are high-quality (related, high-ranking) links.
7. Makes Life WAY Easier for Your Customer Service and Sales Team
If you have an excellent content strategy and produce great content, you will save your customer service and sales team loads of time by not having to continually answer the same questions and repeat the same answers to the most common questions and problems. And, you will save your customers the frustration of having to continually dig and search for answers. This is because you are immediately providing them with the information they need making your brand their trusted resource.
So, be sure to write detailed, informative answers and solutions to the most commonly asked questions in your industry. Additionally, your customer care team can use this information to help your customers as well; therefore, the time you spend writing useful content is time well spent.
Amazon.com is one of the best companies at making customer service easier through content. Jeff Bezos, the CEO of the company, stated “The best customer service is if the customer doesn’t need to call you, doesn’t need to talk to you. It just works.” Nearly every aspect of their customer service pipeline has links to articles, web pages or videos explaining how to fix an issue that the customer is experiencing. With this type of customer service infrastructure, only the most pressing customer complaints will need a live, human representative to help. If the customer is able to solve problems through the content your business provides, they will be satisfied easily. This directly helps improve brand image and credibility; through their superb customer service, Amazon.com is now the most valuable brand in the world.
8. Provides Value with No Strings Attached
Content marketing is a way to help people freely without expecting anything in return. Always leave it up to the customer to decide if they want to engage with or make a purchase from you instead of the other way around. The givers gain concept makes your business seem more approachable and makes people feel more comfortable because they came to you on their own terms. Then, depending on the interaction and how they were treated, they will decide whether or not they want to do business with you.
Did you know that…companies with blogs produce an average of 67% more leads monthly than companies that don’t blog? (DemandMetric)
9. Decreased Marketing Costs and Compounding Value
Another one of the great content marketing benefits is that it is passive to some extent. You create a piece of content once and keep reaping the benefits of that content until the end of time. Not to mention that your content could go viral on social media more than once and at any time. However, with that said, you have to keep creating new, fresh content to build on already published content for it to be effective. So essentially, content marketing is incredibly cost-effective, and even better, it offers compounding returns.
One of the best examples of how to use inbound marketing can be illustrated by the company HubSpot. HubSpot was one of the first pioneers of inbound marketing and exhibited the results first-hand by the growth of their company. CEO Brian Halligan stated “I cannot emphasize enough the importance of inbound marketing in our growth.” Hubspot focused on content marketing in particular to generate a devoted audience that turns to their company for all marketing related information. Over the past 15 years, HubSpot has become a billion dollar company and has also become a thought leader in marketing. Today, HubSpot grants marketing certifications and courses in virtually all aspects of marketing and their courses are recognized across all industries.
How Do You Get Started with Content Marketing?
You can take a DIY approach to content marketing; however, if done wrong, it could damage your brand and your brand’s reputation…or worse. However, if you have the proper instruction, the DIY approach is doable. Alternatively, you can partner with a content marketing team that has the time and experience needed to properly develop an effective digital marketing campaign.
Content marketing is extremely time-consuming. It takes a significant amount of time to keep up with the latest trends and changes in the industry. And that makes it even more important to be proactive when performing and implementing your content marketing strategy, especially if you are attempting to do it yourself.
If you are interested in partnering with a team of experts, please Contact Us Here.
What Are You Waiting For?
Still on the fence?
Here is a quick summary of the benefits of content marketing.
- Google and the other search engines LOVE quality content.
- Content marketing drives more sales.
- Content marketing is less annoying than traditional digital marketing.
- Content marketing can significantly improve brand awareness and credibility.
- Content marketing can grow your social media following, and, if it’s great content, it could boost the chances for your content to go viral.
- Content marketing increases the visibility of your brand and helps build your brand’s reputation and authority in your industry.
- Content marketing makes life WAY easier for your customer service and sales team by preemptively solving problems and providing answers to customer questions.
- Content marketing provides value with NO STRINGS ATTACHED!
- Content marketing decreases your overall marketing costs and provides an income source with compounding value.
Content marketing is one of the most practical, effective, and useful marketing strategies available to you today. It cannot be stated enough just how POWERFUL an effective content marketing strategy can be, but only if you choose to implement it and only if it’s done right.
So…it’s really very simple. Prepare a DIY content marketing strategy or hire a content marketing expert to develop an effective content marketing campaign strategy for you. You’ll see your brand awareness grow, your traffic and conversion rates soar, and your ROI skyrocket beyond all your expectations!
Then ask yourself if it was all worth it. We’ll bet the answer will be a resounding yes!