If you’re not living under a rock, then you will have probably heard of the phrase “content is king.” There’s no doubt that content marketing is very important, with most businesses opting to use it as a viable marketing tactic. But what makes it so important, and why is everyone – either businesses or an international marketing agency – gravitating towards content marketing these days?
Well, simply put, with the way content and technology continue to evolve, so too are the ways companies market themselves to get their brands noticed. Additionally, consumers are also looking beyond simple advertising tactics and now want to engage with something more unique and authentic online. Fortunately, content marketing is a very powerful method of boosting brand awareness, building trust, and generating better leads in a very cost-effective manner for a business. In fact, studies have shown that 97% of brands use content marketing since it is how most contemporary consumers prefer to communicate and learn about a business.
So, let’s get down into the nitty gritty details and explore what makes content marketing so powerful and valuable to brands.
What is content marketing?
Before we dive into why content marketing is so important to your brand’s marketing strategy, we need to understand what content marketing even is. According to the Content Marketing Institute, it can be defined as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience.” So instead of just simply pitching your brand’s products or services, a company will instead provide interesting and valuable content in order to solve their customer’s pain points. Now, content marketing is used by a majority of marketers and brands, such as Microsoft, John Deere, and Cisco Systems, to name a few.
When considering what types of content to include when you do content marketing, it is important that they align with the long-term goals you laid out for your brand. That means your content should be able to add value or improve your brand’s image and reputation in some form. You can also try experimenting with various content formats such as text, images, infographics, video, emails, podcasts, and more to help you boost your overall reach, attract a wider range of audiences, and improve your sales conversion.
Benefits of content marketing
According to data from the State of Inbound report, content creation remains a top priority for at least 80% of marketers. Furthermore, on average, content marketing tends to account for 26% of a business’s marketing budget. So, there is no doubt that consistent brand messaging when brands create content helps to build trust and strengthen their credibility. Below are the top benefits of content marketing, and why businesses should start using it in their marketing efforts.
Content marketing’s whole schtick is building a brand’s authority in addition to establishing relationships with potential customers. This generally happens on a brand’s own website. So, unlike social media marketing, where the platforms are owned by other large corporations (such as Meta or Twitter to name a few), content marketing happens on a platform that a brand personally owns. With social media marketing, because you technically do not own the platform, this means that anything you post or send from those channels may end up disappearing one day if the platform disappears. This means all your hard work will have effectively vanished, in addition to all your audience and your means of communicating with them. Social media platforms also constantly change their rules and algorithms regarding which types of posts will be prioritized in their feeds, with your brand’s visibility largely being dependent on their whims. Therefore, if you slowly build an audience via content marketing on your own platform, this means you have complete control over what your audiences see.
Grows trust with the audience
According to research done by Conductor, 65% of consumers feel a brand is trustworthy after they read a piece of educational content written by that brand. Moreover, a week after reading the educational content, 74.49% of consumers viewed that brand as ‘positive’. Therefore, this shows that content, created and tailored to a specific audience to answer their questions and pain points, is great at building trust in a brand. However, to do this well, marketers must do thorough research to identify and understand their ideal customers deeply enough to create content that caters to their needs.
This is because content marketing’s main aim is to help, not just to sell a brand’s product or service. Consistently helping your audience does not only showcase a brand’s expertise and knowledge, but also its empathy in understanding its consumers. This empathy signals to potential audiences that a brand cares about their plight and that their problems are understood and heard. The fact that a brand’s products or services are the solutions is just the icing on the cake.
Brings in high-quality leads
High-quality leads refer to people who are more likely to convert into paying customers. These people tend to fall into one of two categories. The first category is that they already know the brand and are familiar with their expertise, products, or services. The other group is people who recognize they have a problem and understand the solution they need and are now looking for the best options available. So, if a brand uses content marketing alongside targeted SEO practices, it will be able to reach these kinds of leads. By targeting keywords with the correct search intent, a brand’s content will show up in its audience’s search results, leading to higher brand awareness and conversions in the long run.
Enhance digital marketing presence
One great thing about content marketing is that it helps to support almost every aspect of your digital marketing strategy. It is important that even if you are marketing across various channels and platforms, you should showcase consistent brand messaging and high-quality content no matter what you are publishing. By using a well-thought-out content marketing strategy, it will let you to better enhance your digital marketing presence across various marketing platforms and channels. This in turn will help boost your brand exposure and potentially attract new audiences to your brand.