Nowadays, we are all bombarded with more advertisements than ever before. Both offline and online, everywhere someone tries to sell us something. And it works in reverse. Gradually, more and more people feel annoyed and resist when someone tries to sell them aggressively or directly.
If you run your own business, you probably seek different ways of reaching customers. Fortunately, there are many! Content marketing is one of them. It helps you engage your audience without making them feel uncomfortable before.
What is content marketing?
The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as such:
«A strategic marketing approach that focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and eventually drive profitable customer action».
This definition is accurate and includes the 2 key principles of content creation. The first is uncovered in “Valuable”. The content must provide value to the reader, whether this is information or just entertainment. The second one lies in “Consistent”. Content marketing is a long-term strategy. It takes time for Google to “read” the work done, but more importantly, to build a strong relationship with your target audience.
Types of content
There are different types of content you can use for your business. Top marketers suggest using a mix of these types for better results. In this way, you can also use existing content in a different way. For example, utilize the information from a popular and valuable article for creating a video.
Let’s look at the most common types of content:
This is the most common type of content and a great way to increase your organic traffic to your website through Google.
Infographics are a great way to educate your audience and provide helpful information entertainingly and visually. They are also a powerful tool for attracting shares and further spreading your brand.
Case studies are valuable content, especially for businesses that rely on services. They help your audience understand the precise value of what you are offering and also help them see that someone has actually benefited from your products/services.
According to a Wordstream study, a third of online activity is video viewing. Video content has proven effective in capturing the audience’s attention and keeping their interest. It can help you stand out from your competition.
eBooks are an effective type of content businesses can use to provide value to their potential and existing customers. To get an eBook for free, often a customer registers an email or responds to a form. It is an opportunity to understand your customers better, but always ensure your actions are GDPR compliant.
Benefits of content marketing
According to a Hubspot survey, in 2020, 70% of marketers actively invested in content marketing, and 24% planned to increase their content marketing investment. Another interesting study by Demandmetric shows that content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and that, per dollar spent, it generates about 3 times more potential customers than traditional marketing.
All these sound great, but what exactly are the benefits of content marketing? Here are the 4 most important ones:
Increases your brand visibility
By creating quality content and promoting it on social media channels and websites relevant to your industry, you are promoting your brand to potential customers. Therefore, content marketing is a great way to improve your brand awareness.
Helps you gain credibility
Whatever industry your business is, it is crucial to be credible. Especially for service-based businesses, their expertise and how well they can communicate with their audience are key factors in their success. Customers are more likely to pick out your brand, trust it, and choose it if they perceive it as an authority in its industry. Similarly, when you share useful content readers seem to like, Google gives you a slight advantage in its rankings.
Increases your website traffic
Of course, one of the biggest advantages of content marketing is attracting potential customers. Creating and spreading quality content online can help you expand your business’s digital footprint. Therefore, you gain a larger share of your target audience.
It is more accurate, especially if your content is SEO optimized, as it is more likely to gain higher search engine rankings and organic traffic. More organic traffic will naturally lead to more visitors and thus more customers.
Encourages the dialogue with your audience
As your content spreads, it is easier (and highly recommended) for your business to connect with people who have somehow shown interest. You can answer questions and show how important your customers are to you. In general, the interaction can help your customers move smoothly into the purchase process.