Updated: Feb 12, 2019
When people ask what I do I tell them I’m a Content Marketing Strategist. The next question inevitably is “What is Content Marketing?”
The most basic answer I typical give is
“Content Marketing is creating and putting content out to attract a specific target audience that you can ultimately convert into customers”
Another definition I recently came across that I loved was by Marcus Sheridan that defines Content Marketing as
"Your company’s ability to be the best teachers and problems solvers in the world at what you do”
Both are correct in their definition.
Content Marketing is about creating content to educate your target audience and solve their problems using content, which builds trust with said audience, positions you as ‘the best teacher’ or expert, and keeps you top-of-mind as the go to source for solutions your company provides when they are ready to buy (that’s how they become customers).
The Transition to Content Marketing
The math is pretty simple.
There’s a reason why most businesses, marketers, and Fortune 500 companies are transitioning to Content Marketing, and that reason, from an intelligent business standpoint, only makes sense.
Content marketing generates more leads than Traditional Marketing
There’s better conversion from website traffic with Content Marketing
82% of customers are more willing to trust a company after reading customer-focused content
I could go on and on of the benefits of Content Marketing (backed by data), but you get the point.
Does that mean Traditional Marketing doesn’t have its place and isn’t important?
My personal belief is that Traditional Marketing is a good channel to use for PR efforts and building brand. It adds credibility to your brand faster than digital media because audiences automatically associate credibility to traditional media since the barrier to entry is higher and it is firmly established.
However, from an ad spend standpoint it may be a waste of money if your audience is below 45.
Why Should Businesses Be Using Content Marketing?
A 2019 survey by Ascend2 found that Content Marketing is the most effective form of online marketing used by businesses.
Furthermore, with traditional marketing, your visibility and impact typically last only as long as you continue to invest in ads. Once you stop paying, new business stops coming in.
In contrast, Content Marketing is an investment you make that compounds and continues to pay off long after that investment has been made. Think of it as residual ROI.
Take my other website for example, 5 Years 2 Mastery.
It’s a personal development blog focused on helping my audience to create a better life by overcoming the mental barriers such as Fear and Self Doubt holding them back from doing so.
There was a period where for almost a year I was unable to post any content on the website because I was so caught up with my 9-5 work.
However, to my surprise almost two years later, content I had posted was still driving traffic to the website even though I wasn’t posting. People were still searching for answers and my blog had been providing those answers.
Some of the traffic came from as close as the US to as far as India and some countries that's not in the top 10 I can’t even pronounce.
After seeing this I decided to rebrand the entire website and optimize those pages to get more targeted subscribers.
For you it could be optimizing for sales leads, or whatever your objectives are for your website.
Picture if this was your website, and you still had potential customers interested in what you offer coming to your website for solutions after two years because of content you posted.
One probably could not measure the immense ROI that could be derived from a constant stream of leads coming into your sales funnel, even after two years.
How Content Marketing Can Be Used to Drive Business Results
There are several ways Content Marketing can be used to drive business results.
Below are just a few ways it can do so.
Attract highly qualified leads – By creating content for a specific audience it will allow you to attract only those who have the highest possibility to become customers as the content is relevant to them
Increase audience engagement – It’s simple: audiences will engage with content that speaks to them, their needs, wants, challenges, and dreams, this builds brand loyalty over time and increases market share
Increase customer base – Content Marketing extends your reach, and allows you to attract new customers who either wouldn’t have known you exist, or wouldn’t have known they have a need for what you offer
Reduce marketing costs – It reduces marketing costs because creating content costs less than paying significant amounts for traditional media ads and has a greater return; therefore even on a small budget you can focus on only using email, blog posts and/or Social media and still do more than paying for an ad in the newspaper
Lower customer acquisition costs – Referring to the last point because it costs less to create the content, you will need less resources to nurture leads and close deals
Close deals faster – Selling is about your customers trusting you. Content Marketing is an easy and cost-effective way to build trust by being helpful through content; as a result by the time you have your first sales presentation the trust has already been built, and it’s easier for them to come to a decision to do business with you
Increase customer retention – Customers will always come back to the business that they believe adds the most value to them. Content Marketing’s value to your customers is through being the brand with the solutions to problems they have. Once you can continuously be their go-to source to address their needs they will be loyal to you
Position as an authority in the market – Today the best way to build brand is to build authority. Going back to the previous point, once you are able to create content that offers solutions you become seen as the expert in the market, thus you no longer compete on price, and your authority sells for you
My Final Thoughts
Like it or not Content Marketing is the new era of marketing.
Gone are the days where simply pushing your brand’s messaging through ads with a ‘BUY NOW’ caption was enough.
Gone are the days when simply having an amazing product with an amazing sales pitch would woo customers to buy from you.
Customers are more sophisticated today and require brands that are willing to take time to understand them more, and are willing to put their needs first over the needs of profitability.
In their minds (and hearts) that’s how you get them to know, like, and trust you enough to want to buy from you and do business with you.
Content Marketing is able to do all that plus more, at only a fraction of the cost of how you may currently be doing marketing, and generates a far greater return on investment for your marketing spend.
By implementing Content Marketing into your business and marketing mix, it will give you a significant advantage over the competition, because I can guarantee you most either aren’t doing it for one reason or another, or aren’t patient and committed enough to make it work.
Do this and you will not only be profitable but dominate the market.
For a more detailed breakdown of Content Marketing: the what, why, and how to get started to drive results for your business click the link below for an online resource I’ve put together.
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