In the pre-Internet era, the space for content was limited and content was leveraged by means of mass media resulting in hierarchical and one-sided communication model. In the post-Internet era, the space is unlimited, communication with the consumers is many-to-many and dynamic, majority of offline marketing efforts are reproduced on e-space and content is delivered online by means of websites, business blogs, marketing emails, etc.
Nowadays, remarkable and useful content has become the basis for a customer-centric marketing, and many businesses embrace content marketing as a part of a complete inbound marketing approach to help them grow.
Content marketing and its benefits
Content marketing is the marketing and business process that is editorial-based, marketing-backed, behaviour-driven, multi-platform and targeted. Marketing is not about using content for marketing, but is about delivering the type of content your audience needs in the channels where they are searching for it. (Source: ContentMarketingInstitute)
Creating valuable, high quality content on regular basis is not enough for successful content marketing. The created content also needs to be published and distributed timely to those for whom it has been created. This will help the business to attract, engage more readers and to convert them into leads by means of strategic conversions included in your content.
For the potential audience to find your content, the content needs be optimized for SEO. Thanks to the implemented SEO, your content will not get cut off in search results and your business will build authorative connections with the thought leaders in the industry. Therefore, it will provide business visibility, branding, increase traffic and bring qualified leads/customers to your business.
Sharing your content on social media channels makes it possible to attract users to your business, convert the qualified ones to leads, close and delight.
Content creation should also contribute to your marketing team’s lead generation efforts, and finally, your content will hit rock bottom without email marketing and lead nurturing. Therefore, content marketing without documented content marketing strategy with clearly defined SMART goals is hardly feasible. According to B2B Content Marketing 2016: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends- North Americaproduced by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 53% of the most effective content marketers have a documented strategy.
Benefits of content marketing:
Content marketing helps you to:
- Earn trust by positioning yourself as an expert in the industry: when delivered content is focused, timely and helps readers find solutions to the problems they have, people will return back and refer to your content continuously. Thus, you content will become a credible and authorative source;
- Go viral: the content you deliver gets people talk about your business and spread the word among their networks;
- Attract, engage the right people to your website to generate traffic: the content delivered to the right people by means of right channel at the right time will generate high volume traffic to your website. Every peace of content you produce can help you engage with and attract today’s tech-savvy and social media-sophisticated consumers to your business;
- Convert readers to leads/customers: engaging with the prospects on the social media channels, forums, etc. where they are spending most of their time online, you have the possibility to get them interested to read more of your content and learn more about the services you provide and products you sell. Where? On your website and business blog. Therefore, more visitors can ‘land’ on your website, where you can convert them to leads/customers.
- Nurture leads: call-to-actions, landing pages, thank you pages and email marketing can move the leads further into the buyers journey by providing additional helpful content.
- Get inbound links and customer reviews;
- Provide long-term presence and catch the attention of your prospect the moment they need and search for it: whaterever is published or shared on the Internet remains there forever;
Content marketing is worth the effort, since it helps people to find your business and engage in a long-term relationship with it. Content marketing can help to increase brand awareness, show off the company’s expertise, promote team work, generate high volume traffic, hold the top ranking spots on search engines, increase the number of inbound links, and ensure long-term presence on the Internet.
Therefore, plan and create consistent, helpful and enthraling content. Deliver it to the right people at the right place. Always be open to change, check results often, analyze content costs, usage and performance to achieve a higher return and repeat the cycle.