Have you considered how content marketing can help you go to market? Maybe you’ve tried and didn’t get the results you expected. Or, possibly, it’s on a long list of things to do but you haven’t had time to make the commitment to a long-term strategy. Why not reconsider the benefits of content marketing and how it can help your business?
As the communications landscape becomes more fragmented and consumers search for truth, content marketing provides a rare opportunity for marketers – the chance to convert your marketing expense into a business asset. No other form of marketing or advertising can make this claim. Here are four benefits to help you start building long-term business assets and influence your current and future customers.
Content marketing is perfect for audience retention
Getting the attention of your intended audience is one thing; keeping their attention is an entirely different matter. Advertising has always laboured under the challenge of finding new ways to make people take notice. They’ve had big budgets and a lot of resources to create larger and louder campaigns to impress the increasingly fickle consumer. Not only has the general public become jaded to advertising techniques, at the same time they’ve become empowered to remain untapped by brand messages. It doesn’t take a lot of technical savvy to insulate themselves from advertising and marketing altogether.
This is where content marketing shines. The internet has brought democracy and choice for brands who want to court an audience. By providing a rich vein of original high-quality content, any company has the opportunity to influence people looking for information on a specific topic or area of expertise. The more reliable you are when commenting on a subject matter, the more likely you are considered a valuable resource by the people you’re trying to reach. Providing well-crafted written, audio or visual content on a consistent basis is the key that keeps them coming back. Here’s the best part: content marketing works for all sizes of business and any size budget.
Takeaway: It’s no longer enough to grab attention. Consumers want the ability to form their own opinions and they’ll reward anyone who makes an effort to impress them.
Brand loyalty is enhanced with content marketing
We’re experiencing an implosion of trust like we’ve never seen before. The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer report says the loss of confidence in information channels and sources has put us in a trust tsunami. Nearly two-thirds of the respondents to the Edelman research agreed the average person can no longer distinguish between good journalism and fake news. Not only that, we’ve grown suspicious of former trusted sources like government, clergy and media. We’ve become disillusioned with social media and the strangers we meet there. “People have retreated into self-curated information bubbles, where they read only that with which they agree, as if selecting their playlist for music,” states the Edelman report.
It’s good news for content marketers. The most trusted source of information in 2018 is experts. Technical experts and academic experts have the highest trust rankings at 63 per cent and 61 per cent respectively. With the general public seeking their own information, companies have the opportunity to fill the trust vacuum with credible information about their industry, their brand, and their products and services.
Takeaway: A company with good content will be rewarded with brand loyalty from consumers who are struggling to know what to think or whom to believe.
Content marketing helps with lead generation and inquiries
A major role of marketing has always been to provide a steady stream of leads for the sales department. The four ‘P’s of marketing – Price, Product, Promotion and Place – hold no sway over content marketing’s ability to capture a subscriber base of people who want to hear from you. Not only is it more cost-effective to market a list you build and manage yourself, but your subscribers have requested your information. They’re waiting to hear from you.
Content marketing enhances lead generation in a different way, too. It allows you to draw people into your sphere you didn’t even know existed. Marketers traditionally pursued a target audience – people they knew about and wanted to attract. But what about those in the target audience or a related audience you don’t know? Using distribution and amplification techniques, content marketers have the ability to find, attract and retain prospective customers in a very cost-effective way.
Takeaway: Content marketing is the perfect way to draw people into your sphere of influence, whether you know about them or not.
Direct sales and conversions improve with content marketing
If you want to get serious, a content marketing strategy is the best way to ensure your efforts will be rewarded in a measureable way. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 72 per cent of Australian marketers say a strategy was a contributing factor to the success of their content marketing activity. Forty-seven per cent said content marketing increased sales and 34 per cent said it reduced the cost of customer acquisition. Let that sink in for a moment. Content marketers are driving sales for their organization and a sizable number of them are doing it in a way that’s a lot more cost-effective than traditional sales.
But there’s another, often overlooked, part to this story. The content you create on behalf of your audience is capable of performing a lot of heavy lifting in your sales and marketing departments. Content you plan, create and publish today has the capability to drive interest in your business for weeks, months or years to come. It allows you to turn your marketing expense into a long-term business asset. No advertising campaign can claim the same.
Takeaway: When implemented under the guidance of a thoughtful strategy, content marketing can drive sales in the short- and long-term.
Content marketing isn’t easy. It’s not a quick fix to anything. By taking a strategic, long-term approach, content marketing allows brands to serve their target audience by providing the thing most craved by consumers: trusted information. When you commit to doing this consistently and with the best interests of your customers at the heart, your audience will reward you with brand loyalty. In turn, you’ll enjoy an increase in leads and even direct sales. I’ve seen it happen too many times to say differently.
If you’d like to find out more about how content marketing can help your business, the Lush team would love to speak with you. Get in touch!