A lot has changed in the world of marketing over the past decade. Today, businesses no longer rely on traditional marketing techniques, which are time and capital-intensive. Instead, we have modern marketing methods that are more effective and customer-centric. Top on the list of contemporary marketing techniques is content marketing.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing involves creating and sharing marketable content online via mediums like videos, blogs, and social media, with the desire to trigger profitable customer action. Unlike traditional methods, which were mainly promotional, content marketing seeks to provide value to the prospects first to stimulate interest in products and services.
Since John F. Oppedahl coined the term content marketing about 25 years ago, content marketing has become the dominant marketing strategy, and 82% of marketers utilize content marketing in earnest. Even prominent marketers agree that content marketing is king. So much that Seth Godin famously said, “Content marketing is the only marketing left.”
That said, let’s explore eight benefits of content marketing to understand why content marketing must be part of your digital marketing strategies.
8 Content Marketing Benefits
1. Content Marketing Increases Your Organic Search Traffic
Organic traffic refers to the traffic directed to your website when someone clicks your content on search engines like Google and Bing. Organic traffic is unpaid and is the most crucial form of traffic because it is targeted and cost-effective. Because it relies on keywords used in targeted searches, organic traffic is continuous and long-lasting.
Unlike other forms of traffic, organic traffic, depending on the topic and intent, can attract highly qualified prospects near the end of the sales funnel. Such prospects are most likely to convert since they know what they want, and they only need some convincing through quality content.
That is why content marketing is highly beneficial for all brands.
Creating meaningful thought leadership content that’s valuable and relevant to the target’s needs and then optimizing it for search engines improves your website’s rankings and brand visibility among prospects. This increases the chances of consumers finding you through organic content.
To bring in more organic traffic using content marketing, start by identifying your buyer persona.
What is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona is a fictional character created to represent your target audience.
Buyer personas are based on actual data and demographics available to your company through market research and tools such as Google Analytics.
Buyer personas make it easier to create relevant content that adequately addresses the needs of your audience because they provide you with better insight into who your audience is, what problems they face, and what they need.
Lastly, remember that keywords are the lifeblood of organic traffic.
Invest heavily in organic keyword research and formulate meaningful topics and content around the keywords you select for optimization.
2. Content Marketing Increases Brand Awareness
What is brand awareness?
Brand awareness is how familiar your audience is with your brand.
In an age where consumers rely on the opinions of others to make purchasing decisions, brand awareness strategies are of the utmost essence.
Well-targeted brand awareness strategies allow current and prospective customers to learn more about your business. This fosters customer loyalty since customers love to buy from companies they recognize.
Content marketing enables you to build brand awareness in multiple ways
But, how? Let’s dive in.
Content marketing offers you numerous avenues to tell your brand story.
For instance, video content allows brands to showcase company culture in a visual and engaging format that everyone can understand.
Additionally, written content such as e-books will enable you to demonstrate product and industry knowledge. This means prospects will recognize you as an industry leader and turn to your brand for solutions.
Content marketing drives brand awareness organically.
This is because Google loves content, so when you publish high-quality, valuable, and relevant content, the search engines reward you with high SERP (search engine result page) rankings. High SERP rankings mean prospects will easily find and interact with your content during their search. It’s during this interaction that prospects will familiarize themselves with your brand.
To foster brand awareness using content marketing, formulate your buyer personas, learn about their customer journey, create a strategic content creation strategy and choose your content types appropriately.
3. Content Marketing Gives Your Brand a Personality
As our world becomes more digitally connected and more businesses switch to online models, we’re slowly losing the interpersonal touch associated with brick-and-mortar transactions.
As a result, most consumers now prefer brands that offer personal and humanized experiences over those that don’t, making brand personality vital in attaining success.
Because brand personality is essentially a set of human attributes that a consumer relates to, a good brand personality helps create an emotional bond between customers and your enterprise, motivating them to stay loyal to your brand.
For instance, if you maintain a casual personality, you’ll attract customers who consider themselves relaxed and easygoing.
Brand personality also enables businesses to differentiate themselves from the competition.
For instance, consider two brands selling athletic wear. If one portrays itself as sporty and the other markets itself devoid of personality, the former will attract a more defined and more loyal audience since it has already differentiated itself.
Brand Personality in Action
Starbucks is an excellent example of a brand that is killing it with brand personality marketing.
The company uses humor, amazing graphics, and storytelling in its marketing strategies to appeal to consumers who prefer spirited, youthful, friendly, and innovative brands.
Content marketing gives you an excellent opportunity to create a strong brand personality. You can quickly humanize your content to speak to your audience in a specific style that appeals to their emotions.
4. Content Marketing Connects You to Your Audience through Multiple Forms of Media
Unlike when it began, content marketing today is significantly diverse.
Content marketing comes in different forms, such as blog posts, which are still relevant to every content marketing strategy despite being one of the earliest marketing tactics.
This is because a blog post is short, easy to read, and more informational than promotional content, making them more attractive to consumers.
Besides blog posts, case studies are another excellent form of content marketing brands can use to reach their audience.
Case studies enable your brand to use real-life customer experiences to communicate the benefits of your products and services. They also offer new prospects insights on what to expect when they contact your brand for solutions.
Videos are also exploding in popularity. 98% of marketers consider video the next big thing in content marketing.
As videos are visual and easy to understand, they come in handy when explaining complex topics. However, videos are one of the most time-consuming media in content marketing despite their immense benefits. When deciding how frequently video should be part of your content marketing, keep this in mind.
Other forms of content marketing include but aren’t limited to:
- Social media
- Photo essays
Maximizing the different forms of content available today enables you to diversify your marketing strategy and appeal to different types of consumers.
The diversity also ensures your audience doesn’t get bored with your content.
5. Content Marketing Increases Your Reach on Social Media
Today, social media is among the essential tools in every brand’s content marketing arsenal.
With more than 50% of the world’s population actively using social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, social media is a global marketplace where you can find and build customer relationships with customers from different backgrounds.
But to make the most of social media, you must stand out from the competition. But, how?
This is where content marketing comes in.
Because social media users are constantly bombarded by flashy advertisements and promotional posts, creating and sharing compelling content that offers them value helps your brand stand out from your competitors.
As a result, you attract organic followers who are likely to purchase from your brand and stick around for the quality content you share. But, that’s not all. Since quality content addresses your customers’ pain points adequately, they’re likely to share your content on their social channels with their followers. This significantly improves your reach and builds trust, as most consumers prefer to buy from a brand recommended by fellow shoppers.
To create engaging content and further maximize your reach on social media using content marketing, analyze all your posts, and identify the most successful. This will help you determine the kind of content your audience wants.
Alternatively, you could run a poll or use tools such as the question sticker for Instagram stories to find out directly from your audience what kind of content they’d like to see on your platform.
Review your competitors to see what they’re posting, and while you’re at it, make it a personal goal to publish high-quality, evergreen content.
Finally, remember that you can use optimization techniques on nearly every aspect of your social media profiles to improve visibility among your target audience.
6. Content Marketing Improves Lead Generation and Conversion Rates through Audience Intent
What is Audience Intent?
Audience intent, also known as search or user intent, is the purpose behind a prospect’s search online. In other words, it’s the why behind a user’s search query.
That said, it’s important to note that although people search the internet every second of the day worldwide, they do it for different intents or purposes.
In search engine optimization, audience intent is divided into four categories.
This is when a search engine user searches the web for information on a particular topic. For example, the weather for a specific region or how to do something. Informational search intent is often characterized by keywords such as: how to, why, what is, and when to.
Other users search for products or services they need soon to ensure they make an informed decision when they’re finally ready to buy. They’ll browse the internet for solutions, then research and compare different providers to identify the best.
This is known as commercial intent and commonly occurs with significant purchases, such as when the user wants to buy a home or a major household item.
This is when a user searches with a plan to complete an action such as buying, signing up for newsletter updates on a particular topic, or making a phone call. Note that when a user’s intent is transactional, they know what they want and don’t need convincing. For instance, if a user looks up “iPhone 13 Pro for sale,” they’ve probably done their research and want to buy it.
When a user browses the internet to find a specific page, for example, TikTok or Facebook, their intent is purely navigational. This means they’ll visit the platform directly and not other pages that talk about it. Thus, navigational intent is only beneficial if the user is looking for your site.
What does all of this mean?
Since you can constantly tailor content to satisfy changing customer needs, content marketing enables your brand to leverage audience intent to increase traffic and lead conversion rates.
For example, if you’re in real estate, optimizing your blog content around informational keywords such as how to buy a house or what makes a good realtor enables you to cater to audience members that are still researching.
Optimizing your product pages with content such as case studies and testimonials, on the other hand, helps you appeal to prospects with transactional or commercial intent.
If your audience finds your blogs, videos, or other content engaging, informative, and relevant to what they need, they’ll perceive you as an expert and will be encouraged to browse the rest of your website and engage your brand.
Note that Google exists for one reason — to rank pages that best fit the searcher’s intent.
That means crafting intent-based content will not only attract qualified leads but also help you rank higher on the SERPs. It’ll also reduce bounce rates since users will stay longer on your pages and offer a wider audience reach since the Google algorithm will rank your page for similar search queries.
7. Content Marketing Builds Brand Expertise, Authority, Trust, and Loyalty
Expertise, authority, and trust, commonly referred to as EAT, are concepts used to evaluate the quality and relevance of search results to the search query. These concepts are significantly important as they’re part of what Google considers when ranking websites.
And it’s no surprise because with more than 1.7 billion websites in existence today, concepts like EAT make it easier for the search engine to cut through the noise, and deliver high quality, intent-based results to the searcher.
While there are various ways to build EAT for your brand, content marketing is the most effective.
Consistently publishing high-quality content that satisfactorily addresses the reader’s needs often demonstrates your expertise in that topic and establishes your website as a credible source of information.
As a result, prospects and even Google trust and regard you as an authoritative source for expert knowledge in your industry. This inspires confidence and audience loyalty.
8. Content Marketing Saves You Money
On top of getting you qualified leads, building brand authority, and all the benefits of content marketing listed above, a well-done content marketing strategy is also incredibly cost-effective.
Unlike paid marketing, content marketing does not expire. So while the upfront costs of creating quality content might seem high, a single piece of well-written content can be a source of recurrent organic traffic for a long-time, meaning more ROI in the long run.
Also, well-crafted content, for instance, a blog, video, or infographic, can be repurposed across different marketing platforms, including social media.
This means you can always keep the costs down by investing in a few top-notch content pieces you can reuse across other platforms each month.
Plus, you may even use certain types of content, for instance, e-Books and whitepapers, in exchange for prospect information such as emails instead of paying for mailing lists.
Content Marketing: Next Steps
The benefits of content marketing run far and wide. If done right, content marketing drives higher SERP rankings which means improved visibility among quality prospects, conversely increasing brand awareness, lead generation, and conversion rates.
A well-crafted content marketing strategy also drives audience engagement, builds trust and loyalty, and positions your brand as an industry expert and authority.