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Why Does Content Marketing Matter So Much?

Content is king. That’s one high pedestal you need some serious justification to invest in. Take a look around you at the winning brands in your industry. Peek inside their websites and their social media profiles. There’s content: lots of it. And it’s selling the brand, their services and their reputation. It’s high quality, it’s relevant, and it works. Content marketing is inescapable if you want to thrive in the online world.

But why is this? Why is content marketing so vital and so critical?

1.      Your customer is a cynic: you need to build your brand through trust

Now trust doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, it’s an old cliché, but true: trust is hard to build, easy to lose.

Content marketing is incredibly powerful here. It builds trust, gradually, carefully, deepening it all the time. It’s absolutely central to your brand reputation on a deep and meaningful level.

This is particularly important when you consider how the average viewer responds to ads. They know you’re trying to sell them something and they don’t want to feel patronised or coerced in to that decision.

Content, on the other hand, meets their need. They can inform themselves and then make a decision on your product or service based solely on their own interpretation, understanding and commitment.

What’s more, it’s being delivered where they are. So if they are the Monday morning laptop coffee smoozers it’s there. If they are addicted to Facebook and will be found scrolling for their life, you’re there too.

It’s all about goodwill and doing things their way. That builds trust. That builds an incredibly powerful and loyal customer base.

2.      It’s the key to the conversion lock

Somewhere in your website set-up and analytics you should have some rather snazzy conversion statistics. These stats are super important. They don’t just tell you who visits your site but they tell you who buys and engages, and how.

The statistics we’ve got to prove this are pretty impressive. In fact, they’ll rock your socks off. For example, long-form landing pages (the meaty stuff) succeed in bringing about 220% more leads than their short-form counterparts. Get your audience to engage with your content on social media and you’ll up conversion by 161%. Simply increase your number of landing pages to 15 and you’ll see a 55% increase in leads compared to 10. After reading recommendations on a blog, 61% of online consumers went on to make a purchase.

Great content really works. It does this because it educates. It positions you as knowledgeable and an industry leader and authority. Consumers today want to make educated and informed purchasing decisions. You need to enable that and content marketing is the way.

Tip: To really get the good stuff you need optimised content. A clear defined CTA will also work wonders.

3.      Content is SEO’s best friend

Yep, you know SEO is the way to go if you want a visible web presence. However, this alchemist’s mix of art and science is a little bewildering to the lay person.

The single easiest way to increase your natural SEO is to build up your site’s content with useful relevant stuff. Yes, keyword analysis is cool and it’ll make things even better. But simply writing stuff your audience needs and wants is an easy way of getting SEO boosted without too much effort or knowledge. It happens naturally, and search engines love that.

What’s more if you have lots of awesome content that keeps readers on your site bouncing from one post to the next, they spend longer on your site. Google loves that. You see, they are doing their own analysis which affects your SEO rankings. If your users sit tight on your site, that boosts your rankings.

4.      It’s pretty cost-effective and easy to organise

There are a plethora of different marketing weapons in the arsenal. They all offer different ROI, but they also all cost different amounts. Content is relatively low cost and can be scaled. That means that it’s something that can be ticking away in the background, and pounded when you can.

However, we know people don’t have the time, or sometimes the skill, to generate great content regularly. That’s why we’re here! Over time, particularly longer term, you should see great ROI on investment in new fresh decent content.

5.      It’s the relationship maker

Fresh content is like wining and dining your customers on a regular basis without the effort. It builds impressive relationships with your customers. This isn’t just about building your branding and boosting your reputation (which are valuable too).

It’s about smoothly keeping the fires burning for the existing customers. We cannot stress this enough: you need to keep your existing customers loved. Why? Because they are the ones that pay, big style, long term. According one study the vast majority of SMEs find that half of their revenue comes from repeat customers. What’s more, they cost a fraction of what it costs a new lead to convert them to making a purchase.

Content strengthens the relationship with existing customers without too much hard work and pennies from you. Even better, these very customers are the brand advocates of the future.

6.      It helps you win the race

It’s a competitive world, and no slackers are allowed. If you want the edge on your competition then you need to offer value to your customer beyond your product or service. Content is by far the easiest way to do this.

Content can be educational, inspiring, entertaining or anything else you think your brand lovers want. It engages with them and truly helps you stand out from the rest of the crowd. In a noisy marketplace, that’s essential.

It’s also about differentiation. Your customers could go anywhere. Whatever you offer, chances are someone offers something similar – even if we all know it’s not as good.

Enter content stage right. As a business, content marketing allows you to set yourself apart and differentiate in clearly visible ways from your competitors. It really can be the difference between a prospect choosing you or choosing someone else.

7.      Content takes different forms and so works throughout the sales funnel

Content is not just the words on your web page and the blog posts you remember to post every few months. There are a myriad of points along the sales funnel when you need to communicate and engage with your leads.

This means that content is valuable from the advertorial level, down through education and information, tip-toeing through email communications, case studies and service solutions. Content marketing is needed throughout the customer’s journey.

You also can’t escape the fact that in pretty much every digital marketing strategy, content is the scaffolding. From the scanty but powerful wording of a PPC campaign to an eBook homepage hook, content really is king.

There is no doubting that content marketing really, really, matters. Understand why and you harness its power.

Chris Brown is chief copywriter at The Content Ninja. With a focus on SEO strategy paired with powerful writing, The Content Ninja does content marketing differently.

Image source Flickr

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