Bricks and mortar businesses need to continue to fight to get their audience’s attention whilst battling the onslaught of cheaper online competitors.
In this post, we are going to go through just 10 of the many reasons why your business needs content marketing. As a business owner, you may be thinking that you don’t need content marketing, but this graph should make you think otherwise:
Now that you know your business needs content marketing, let’s start by defining:
What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing is a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing and distributing content for a targeted audience online. It is often used by businesses in order to:
- Attract attention and generate leads
- Expand their customer base
- Generate or Increase online sales
- Increase brand awareness or credibility
- Engage an online community of users
As a business owner, it is important to realise the importance content marketing plays in building and nurturing an online community of customers that have a genuine relationship with your brand.
Content can take on different forms, variations and can be repurposed to cater for different audiences at different times of the day or year. Types of content that can be used online include:
- Social Media
- How to guides
- Interactive tools
Content gives the opportunity to share the expertise of the brand and share the experiences other customers have had.
Show me an example of Content Marketing?
You’re reading it! This blog is an example of content marketing.
For another example, say you’re a retailer and you have noticed there is a dip in customer footfall coming into your shop, you still need to continue to grow your client base.
You can start by writing a blog or get a blog written for you where you create content that is focused on a few keywords that your audience is searching for such as:
- Local information
- Industry changes
- Improvements to local infrastructure
- Things to do on the weekend
Over time, these articles will rank in search engine results and more people will stumble across your work. The higher quality content will keep your readers coming back for more week after week as they continue to seek your expertise.
As your readers continue to return, they will develop their trust for your brand, learn from your knowledge and become a customer. This would further lead to customers recommending your business.
A fantastic example of great retail information from retail blog Insider Trends that focuses on the retail industry with up and coming events, pop-ups and industry trends in Berlin, London and New York.
By creating high-quality content, there is a great chance that your content would then get picked up by journalists and other influential publications that would share and feature your content.
The examples given above are just a couple of effective ways to drive more inbound leads to your business.
Now that you understand what content marketing is and have seen some examples, let’s get into the details.
Why your business needs content marketing?
- Building Trust
As mentioned earlier, when you create high-quality content that is useful and relevant, your customers will consume more of your content and share it with their friends and social networks.
Remember, people trust and hire experts to solve problems. By positioning your brand as industry experts, you will demonstrate to your audience that your brand is the leading authority.
- Brand Awareness
Does your target audience already know about your business? Probably not. Content marketing is a quick and easy way to change that. When done correctly, content marketing will organically increase traffic to your website, increase the number of backlinks and it will continue to demonstrate your expertise.
A good example could be creating content that highlights what is happening in your local area, such as food festivals, street markets. This type of content will help potential tenants and home buyers get a better understanding and get more familiar with an area before moving or making a purchase. Videos can also be a great way to capture events and engage with the local community through interviews.
- Organic Search Results
Search engines like Google are always crawling websites to find content that answers the questions users are looking for. By creating high-quality content that answers these questions, your content will rank higher on the search results pages.
Every website should aim to have their website on the first page of Google. When was the last time you found yourself searching on page five of the search results?
By creating content that is up to date, informative and relevant, it will rank well in the search engine results.
When was the last time you updated the content on your website?
- More Business Leads
Content marketing helps the unfamiliar become familiar with your brand. It enables consumers to make better-informed decisions. No two customers are the same, so it is important to have the right content marketing in place to help them make the right choice.
If a customer see’s an item they like to buy listed with multiple different companies, what will make the customer chose to approach one retailer over the other? The customer may have a preferred retailer or they may decide to run a few other searches on Google to find out more about the company before they make a purchase.
If your customer continues to see your competitor in their results, they would read the content your competitor has put out and will start to build confidence in your competition rather than your brand.
Take a guess as to who’s going to be getting the enquiry from the customer? By being in the search results your customer is looking for, your brand will instantly stand out from your competitors which equals more leads.
Remember, the content you create doesn’t have to sit on your own website. It can be published on other websites such as community forums where it can gain more visibility and appeal to a different audience.
- Attracting The Right Customer
Getting lots of website traffic and leads is great, but ideally, you’d want leads that are in a position to make a decision and buy. Having lots of leads that are not ready to commit will be wasting your sales team’s time.As mentioned earlier, content marketing is a great way to show off your brands expertise and the beauty of it is that the ones consuming the content are those that have a genuine interest in the brand or the content you are putting out.
When you run a paid campaign, you may get clients that view the ad, get intrigued enough to click through and complete the call-to-action. Your sales team will then receive a lead that may or may not want to be contacted.
With content marketing, clients would have either searched for your brand or found your site via search results page and have an interest in the topic your content is covering. Leads would be of higher quality meaning your sales team would have to spend less time, energy and money on lower quality leads.
Content marketing is a proven way for inbound marketing.
- Lead Nurturing
There are three main stages involved in the buyer’s journey (some sites would say there’s more, but we like to keep it simple): awareness, consideration and decision. The following example will take you through Steve’s buyer journey and how the customer travels through the sales funnel.
Using Content Marketing To Nurture Leads
Awareness: Steve has recently found out his partner likes a particular brand of watches and wants to purchase a watch for his partners birthday. After a quick Google, Steve has come across your detailed article about the particular watch.
Steve diligently reads the article and gets all the facts regarding the watch and the brand of watch. Steve also notices that your company is offering strap adjustments and a free 5-year warranty for every watch purchased during this months promotion. Steve starts to build trust with your brand as he learns more about your expertise and completes the form to find out more information.
Consideration: Steve understands that he needs to act fast to get the 5-year free warranty at the end of the month along with his partners birthday. Steve continues to find out more information from your website reading customer reviews and testimonials about your outstanding customer service, attention to detail and product knowledge. After reading the testimonials from your customers, Steve does not have any doubts about your expertise.
Decision: Steve is now entering the decision stage to make the purchase with your brand. Intrigued by your expertise, pricing and he clicks on your offer for free 5-years warranty. Congratulations, you have just added another happy customer to your books!
Content marketing helped Steve find your business, qualify him as a lead and close the deal as your content has convinced Steve to make the right choice in trusting your company to make his purchase from.
- Social Media
Being an expert in your field, you have knowledge that most people don’t know. It is important to share updates on your industry across social media. If your content solves a problem or answers the question people are looking for.
Social media can additionally position your brand as thought leader/expert. Social media platforms have fantastic search features built in that will help new clients find your content and it is one of best ways for your content to reach new consumers.
Creating useful content is one thing, but if you can create content that people want to share then you’ll be one step ahead of your competitors. Remember, the more people exposed to your content the better and the more exposure will equal higher social signals from the search engines.
- Returning Customers
Once you start producing informative and high-quality content that readers enjoy, you become a trusted source. Depending on how frequently you publish new content will determine how often people are coming back to your site.
Ensure that your followers know how often or when you are going to publish next. Will it be daily, every other day, weekly or fortnightly? Once your followers know when you are going to be publishing next, they will look out for your content.
It is a good idea to start thinking about how you are going to engage with your followers.Aim to create an active community around your content.
- Building Brand Authority
As mentioned earlier, you should aim to build your brands authority and this should be reflected in the quality of the content you create.
Is your target audience getting the right answers to their questions? If you don’t know, ask your audience what kind of content they would like to see more of. Maybe you could hold a Facebook Live Q&A session where the audience asks the expert for advice. Over time, your audience will continue to see your brand as the industry authority.
There are many different ways to deliver the content and most content can then be repurposed across different platforms for example if you created a YouTube video, you can turn the audio into a Podcast or take snippets from the video and turn them into gifs.
One of the criteria’s search engines use to rank websites is backlinks. Backlinks are when websites link content to another website. Here is Moz’s definition of backlinks:
Backlinks are especially valuable for SEO because they represent a “vote of confidence” from one site for another.
In essence, backlinks to your website are a signal to search engines that others vouch for your content. If many sites link to the same webpage or website, search engines can infer that content is worth linking to, and therefore also worth surfacing on a SERP. So, earning these backlinks can have a positive effect on a site’s ranking position or search visibility.
By creating high-authoritative content that websites want to link to you can quickly multiple your audience following.
To summarise, why do content marketing? Because it works!
The list of reasons to do content marketing for your business goes on and on. A quick Google will produce thousands of articles as to why content marketing is necessary for your business.
There are many different tactics to winning the search engine results, some temporary, some ethical/unethical and some that will have no impact at all.
Content marketing is one of the most cost-effective and organic methods of driving more traffic, leads and sales to a business. By investing in content marketing now, you will be rewarded for years to come.
Speak to one of the team today to find out how Big Outreach can help your business thrive online.