Content marketing is not new. Savvy businesses have been using non-branded content to promote their brand, services and products for hundreds of years. The only recent development is the industry-wide use of the term ‘content marketing’ to define the non-branded content created by companies.
Not only is content marketing here to stay, but it is going to become more important as brands fight for online space. This means that if your business has not already embraced content marketing, it needs to start.
While content marketing might seem an abstract method of increasing sales and revenue, it does in fact have a number of substantial benefits for businesses. It is for this reason that many multi-national brands, from Nike to Coca-Cola, invest a considerable amount of money into their content marketing strategies.
If is not just large brands that benefit from content marketing. All businesses, whether a sole trader or a large multi-national, can achieve better results by embracing content marketing. While the benefits are numerous, these are just five reasons why your business should invest in content marketing.
Search Engine Optimisation is vital for ensuring that your business is found when people are searching online for your products and services. Content marketing has a direct impact on SEO. The term ‘Content is King’ has been used within the SEO industry for many years now to describe the importance of content when it comes to SEO. The fact is that without great content businesses won’t be able to achieve great search engine rankings. Keeping your website regularly updated with content is one of the key factors search engines like Google look for when determining where websites should rank in searches.
The growth of the internet has radically changed how consumers interact with brands. Today consumers, especially those aged 18-34, want brands to engage with them. Engaging brands will not only attract new customers, but will also be more likely to retain customers. This trend is set to continue as research carried out by Seven found that 91% of UK adults agree that ‘in the future, brands will be built by aligning themselves with engaging content, as well as the more traditional advertising-led approach’*.
Establish yourself as a thought leader
Online shopping loses the physical interaction that you get when visiting a shop or meeting customers face-to-face. This means that you’ve got to establish trust with potential customers through different tactics. One of the easiest and most effective ways of doing this is by establishing yourself as a thought leader within your sector. Creating content, for example blog posts and articles that provide valuable and useful information about your industry, makes you a trusted source of information and by extension consumers will be more likely trust buying from your business.
Content marketing now sits firmly within the consumer buying process. Marketing experts agree that different types of content target different parts of the buying process. For example articles help to create awareness, while blogs and social media create interest. Content such as ebooks create desire and, finally, case studies and testimonials create action. This means that businesses need to create a range of content to attract customers from the initial awareness stage through to action.
Reinforce your brand
In a crowded market having a strong brand will help to set you apart and get you noticed. Content done well can help to reinforce your brand so that consumers can easily identify the content with your brand even without branding. All aspects of your content from tone of voice through to images used will impact how it is perceived. A brand that does this well is Innocent Smoothies, which dominated the smoothie drinks sector through strong content marketing.
Written by Derin Clark, Content Strategist.
Derin will be hosting a one day seminar for business owners and professionals wanting to know more about how content marketing can help their business and how to create a content marketing strategy. You can get more information or book your place on our seminars page.
*Econsultancy, Content Statistics Compendium, January 2016