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Content marketing is a strategy that helps to improve conversions. It allows to connect with and educate leads and customers. Not only does it work to build trust and relationships, but it also encourages the conversions by giving them the information they need which enables them to make an educated purchasing decision.
A strategic marketing approach is focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. This ultimately drives profitable customer action. So, can one afford to overlook content marketing as a strategy going ahead in 2019? No, never, not in the wildest of dreams! So, let’s then discuss why content marketing will be so vital for any brand in the coming year.
Content Matters to Consumers, Search Engines and Businesses. To achieve reasonable success in today’s competitive climate, one cannot afford to ignore the power of content marketing. See how content matters to each of them – consumers, search engines and businesses.
Consumers: As seen today, prospective customers have a powerful resistance to a “hard sell” marketing strategy of a business. Instead, they have a stronger appetite for good information! Most are fond of researching products and services online before making their purchase decisions. For example, a consumer may be inclined to either study different cars, compare its prices and features, before setting foot in a showroom. Another example: even grocery shoppers use mobile phones to compare rates and deals before ordering it. And that’s where good content helps them make good decisions! As per a study, more than 70% of consumers prefer to learn about companies through articles, and they are less responsive to traditional advertising and old-school sales tactics!
Search Engines: It’s no secret – consumers turn to search engines for solutions to their problems! And to win new customers, it’s best to be there when they Google it. Search engines update the algorithms that they use to crawl the web, and that enables it to continuously improve the quality of results that one sees when they search. In recent years, Google has increasingly rewarded quality and punished low quality. Up-to-date content is always rewarded by Google, that’s one thing for sure. So, publishing fresh articles and updating existing content, will only help one to maintain a strong showing on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) that enables people to keep coming back to their site.
Businesses: One has very well seen and understood, how effective content helps to build customer relationships even at the cost of avoiding those “hard sell” tactics. Content helps to showcase one’s services and expertise. It helps to gain trust by highlighting important topics that affect their prospects.
Expressive, effective and well-crafted content can always help a business to:
– Draw traffic to their website and social media accounts,
– Boost performance on search results pages, and
– Give audiences the opportunity to share the content with their friends and colleagues.
As per a survey among marketing professionals, content marketing was the number one answer when asked about the most important digital marketing trend; even ahead of hot topics like big data, marketing automation, mobile marketing, and social media marketing. Another research found that more than half the businesses that were surveyed found posting on social media increased their marketing effectiveness – blogs submitted on other websites attracted more inbound links, while blogs posted on one’s own website attracted more visitors.
Marketing Funnel Involves Content all the Way. There are three major areas of marketing funnel that one needs to think about while developing digital marketing campaigns. During each stage of the marketing funnel, content marketing plays a role. Shown below are the areas where content marketing comes in during the marketing funnel:
Top-of-Funnel (TOFU): At this stage, the prospective customers are just starting to become aware of their problems and just becoming aware of the availability of solutions. Here content gives them the information they need. This helps them to decide which type of solution could be helpful to them.
Middle-of-Funnel (MOFU): At this stage, the leads evaluate their options for products or solutions. Here content educates them about the different options. This enables them to narrow their choices and come closer to a final decision.
Bottom-of-Funnel (BOFU): Once the leads reach this stage, it only means they are ready to convert. At this stage, content gives a final nudge of encouragement. This finally helps in empowering them to make an informed purchasing decision!
A business needs to be careful in creating their content marketing based on each of the above stages bearing in mind the buyer’s journey and what they need at that particular point: Prospects at the top need more general information. Leads that reach the middle of the funnel need more detailed information. And leads at the bottom of the funnel need content with specific details.
Improves Brand Reputation. One has often heard the phrase, “content is king.” And, today content marketing is used not just to set apart competitors but has become a necessity for any modern brand. Building trust can help any business to establish a positive brand reputation. In this busy digital marketplace, it’s vital for businesses to work in building trust with their leads and customers. The biggest benefits of content marketing that really shows is its reputation for building great content. Great content helps to build trust with leads and customers. When consumers read the content, they start developing an opinion about a brand.
A content that is engaging, educational, and valuable, will enable consumers to think on similar lines about a business. The more value is provided via content, the easier it gets in building trust with the target audience. Further, if the content is published consistently across platforms, it can create a perception of business being the leader in the industry. Sharing content with influencers can further help in building trust with the targeted market.
Every Digital Marketing Strategy Needs Content Support! Consistent, quality content is always required to support one’s digital marketing strategy. Most small businesses use more than one digital marketing strategy: from e-mail marketing to social media, many different tactics attract and engage an audience. And, all that is incomplete without content marketing.
If one thought that people don’t spend time reading content from brands, they are wrong and need to think again. According to a survey; 68% of people like to spend time reading about the brands they find interesting, and 80% of internet users like to learn about companies through the custom content provided. So, it’s important to give people what they want. It’s advisable to create custom content that speaks to the target audience – it could be either entertaining or educational. One needs to use content as an opportunity to show consumers what their brand or service is all about.
Influences Conversions. By allowing to connect with and educate the leads and customers, content marketing can help to improve conversions. It not only builds trust and relationships but encourages conversions by giving consumers the information they need. The information that the consumers get via the published content only facilitates their purchasing decisions. One must not forget to add a clear Call-To-Action (CTA) button which can help to optimize the content for conversions! The CTA tells the visitor what they need to do next and guides them to the next step in the conversion process. Using the CTA, it’s essential to make it clear within what it leads to – it could well be in the form of:
– Inducing a purchase
– Providing more information
– Contacting a sales team
Stats seldom lie! Check out some outcomes of researches about the importance of content marketing viz-a-viz improving website conversions that are shown below:
– Content marketing provided conversion rates six times higher than other digital marketing.
– 61% of online consumers made a purchase after reading recommendations on a blog.
– 74% of companies surveyed believed content marketing increased their marketing leads.
– 72% of businesses surveyed said video content provided great ROI and increased conversions.
It must be borne in mind; informative, educative and quality content marketing can significantly help in improving website conversion rates.
Helps in Setting Apart from Competitors. Content marketing is an effective way for small businesses to set themselves apart from others in the industry – it can enable them to display what’s special about them. Differentiating oneself in this busy digital marketplace is vital for any small business to set it apart from their competitors. And here lies the importance of content marketing that comes in handy and to its rescue!
Usually, the content topic created or the value of the content provided can make a difference between consumers choosing one’s brand over a competitor’s brand. Portraying a brand or developing a brand voice can help create content that is unique to a business. A brand personality helps to connect with target buyers and the best way to show it is by marketing the created content. One can further set themselves apart from the competition using the language of the content and the way information is presented.
Increases Quality Traffic to a Site: Ensuring that one’s site exists on the audience’s radar is very important. That’s why it’s essential to rank high in related search engine results. SEO is an integral element in any marketing strategy. And, it works hand-in-hand with one’s content strategy. Brand visibility can be increased by creating content around frequently searched industry keywords and long-tail queries that a business can solve. It will help in pulling the interested leads into the funnel.
The Final Word: Companies that regularly produce valuable, insightful and relevant content become lead-generating machines. Putting in place an effective content marketing strategy can help in driving greater ROI on marketing efforts. The age of product-centric marketing is over and behind us and adopting customer-centric marketing is the in-thing as today’s consumers have a high expectation. Flooded with offers, buyers are busy and overwhelmed with the various purchasing offers that are relevant to their needs. A comprehensive content marketing strategy helps in delivering meaningful content that goes well with the target audience at every stage of their buying journey. It’s for this reason why content marketing becomes vital for any brand that wants to create a mark for itself in 2019.