Marketing is a big word. Sure, it’s only nine letters long, but what it represents is absolutely huge—so it’s no surprise that many business owners struggle to work out what they should do. The good news is, there is a (fairly) simple solution that covers a lot of the marketing bases in one go: content marketing.
Content marketing is perhaps one of the most vital tools a business can have, but it’s amazing how many SMEs still don’t utilise it to its full potential. You may have heard of the phrase ‘content is king’ before, but it really has never been more important than it is now. As more businesses latch on to the power of SEO, having relevant, valuable, well-written content on your site is more important than ever.
What is Content Marketing?
According to the Content Marketing Institute, the official definition of content marketing is:
‘A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.’
Wow, that’s a bit of a mouthful! But the basic principle is pretty simple—useful content should be at the core of your marketing. So much so that in 2019, 76% of marketing professionals took a strategic approach to managing their content. And the top goals of any content marketing strategy are usually the same. The content needs to:
- Improve the customer experience
- Generate and nurture business leads
- Support the organisation’s goals and criteria for success
In other words, your business needs to be producing insightful educational content that communicates well, encourages readers to buy from you, and showcases your solutions in the best light.
But How Does it All Work?
All of that sounds good, but how exactly can content do all of that? One of the ways content marketing works is by creating a connection at each stage of the customer journey, helping customers make informed decisions.
Awareness: That first moment a customer becomes aware of your brand, and starts to understand what you do.
Interest & Desire: Spark interest in readers and gives them answers to their questions, providing all the information they need to make a purchase.
Decision: Create trust in your brand so that the prospect chooses you to provide their solutions.
Loyalty: Once a prospect converts, everything about their customer experience should centre on achieving and keeping their loyalty.
Advocacy: Be the brand you want to rave about. Give your customers something to ROAR about!
Why is Content Marketing Important for Businesses?
There are a whole host of reasons that content marketing is an essential tool in any business’s marketing toolkit, especially in the modern age. And perhaps one of the most important is that traditional marketing methods just aren’t as effective as they used to be. You’ve probably noticed it yourself—when was the last time you saw a TV ad that was more than a non-sequitur, a joke and a company logo? It’s an expensive thing for businesses to do, and the more they try to be funny, the more the audience just cringes away. The story is the same, and maybe even worse in online marketing. Research has shown that 40% of internet users use an ad-blocker on at least some, if not all of their devices. And perhaps most damning of all, 84% of millennials (who are the largest group of consumers in the world at the moment) say they don’t like or trust traditional marketing.
This is where content marketing really comes into its own. The whole methodology behind content marketing is to start conversations and showcase a brand’s value in a practical way—rather than just stating the value and instructing customers to buy. A traditional advertisement tells customers what a company does and how they do it. But content marketing shares knowledge and actionable insights that help customers understand why they should take action. So if you want to appeal to modern consumers, content marketing is the modern way to reach them.
Then you have some of the more measurable, more ‘traditional’ (but still very important) benefits to content marketing. These include:
- You will have more on-site content, which gives your customers more reason to hang around on your site and listen to your message, and ultimately leads to higher conversion rates. The more a customer reads, the more likely they are to find the piece that ‘clicks’, and make that purchase.
- Content marketing also helps get you much higher visibility in Google searches. Every blog you write, video you publish or case study you create is another thing Google can index you for, and another thing Google can show in search results. The more pages you have indexed, the more likely you are to appear in search results. And the more you appear, the more likely you are to attract your target customer.
- Your website will gain a higher domain authority (one of the key measurements in SEO). Writing more, high-quality content increases the perceived expertise, authority, relevance and trust of your site. This leads to more inbound links, which improves domain authority. A higher domain authority is strongly linked to higher search rankings, so the more content you produce, the better your ranking will be.
- Improved brand reputation. When people read your content, they are subconsciously building an impression of your brand. So if they find your content helpful, informative, funny and relatable, that’s a positive association they’re building, and over time they will grow to trust you. So even if they don’t buy right away, when the time comes for them to purchase, they have this positive image in their mind.
- Content marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to market your business. It only really costs time, and it offers something even better—compounding returns. One of the things we always say is that your first few months of content marketing might not yield much, but if you stick with it then you’ll see the growth start. Keep at it for a year or two, and you could easily see a return that’s double, triple or even quadruple your investment.
At Lion Spirit Media, content marketing really is at the heart of everything we do. Not only does it provide so many important benefits for your business online, but we believe it’s the best way to communicate with your customers in your own, unique voice. But you have a business to run, so it’s our job to help you find that voice, and share it with the world!
Our content marketing strategy and support helps you create content that Resonates with people, gives you Opportunities to reach them, helps you Achieve great things and provides you with Resources to accelerate your success. In other words, it makes your business ROAR!
If you’d like to find out more about our content marketing services, you can read this case study from one of our happy customers, or get in touch to book your free, no-strings-attached consultation with one of our content experts. We can’t wait to hear from you!