3 Reasons Every Company Should ABSOLUTELY Embrace Content Marketing
GUEST AUTHOR: Jordan Behan is the creator of the Lean Marketing Playbook for SaaS (software as a service), at his company Narrate Creative - a program that helps early-stage software companies create and launch marketing campaigns that work.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the practice of sharing information in order to earn trust and attract new business. It’s an all-encompassing term that can refer to any information that a brand shares in order to earn the attention of an audience.
Content examples include blogs, videos, articles, informational downloads, infographics, podcasts, e-books, quizzes, checklists, webinars - Materials which offer education and value while exhibiting your company's expertise.
For businesses, content marketing can be a huge help, for educating prospective customers about the value of a product or service and help to teach them pathways to success. This article is a good example — we are using content to teach you the importance of a specific skill.
Here are three reasons why businesses should embrace content marketing.
1. EARN TRUST, COMMUNICATE EXPERTISE
Content Marketing Will Position Your Company As The Experts
You’re probably already familiar with the idea of a customer journey. It starts with awareness when a prospect first learns about a specific product or solution. Then they move to the consideration step when they are actively shopping for specific solutions. Lastly, they come to the stage when they are ready to make a buying decision.
Content marketing can help your prospective customers along this journey, moving from one stage to the next.
Great content can first get the attention of your prospects, by highlighting a problem they experience and proposing a solution for it.
It can also offer detail as to the specific solutions available and even help buyers commit. By sharing valuable information with a specific audience, your business can earn trust and become known as experts in a specific domain.
Not that I intend to sound like a broken record but look no further than this article for a good example of this. This blog post is designed to put the spotlight on content marketing as a solution to your marketing problem.
Often businesses will get caught up worrying about how to differentiate their product or service. Content can help with this — by working harder to educate and help your customers achieve success, you are differentiating yourself.
Worry less about the details of your specific product and focus more on the value of your solution, which includes your willingness to offer instruction and guidance.
2. "FREE" TRAFFIC
Content Marketing Can Lure Organic Website Visitors
First, a caveat: nothing is free.
The rest of this section will talk about how content can help you gain a favorable position in search engines and begin to get traffic from search engine optimization (SEO). To do that, your content has to be great.
Great content requires work and expertise and those are rarely free, even if you’re doing it all yourself. But now that we have that out of the way, here’s the good news — the content that you share today, when done well, can continue to bring you organic (non-paid) traffic over the long term.
We could dedicate an entire article (in fact, an entire volume of books) to this topic, so let’s keep it simple and stick to the basics for now.
If your goal is to position your brand as the industry experts on a specific topic, publishing high-value, comprehensive information on your website on the regular will help you achieve that. A lot of lip service gets paid to the various changes that the search engine algorithms make and how it affects search rankings. You can go deep into the weeds in an attempt to understand all of that programmatic stuff but let us save you some time. Most of those changes are designed to help the best content rank first in search results.
If you don’t have huge budgets for SEO consultants, here’s a bit of a shortcut.
Simply focus on providing valuable information and keep at it.
Stay on topic and always provide value.
If you always prioritize valuable, comprehensive information, eventually that content will bubble toward the top and begin to reward with visits from people finding you via the search engines.
3. FASTER SALES
Great Content Can Help Speed Up Your Sales Cycles
I hinted at this one already above, but it deserves its own section. Think back to what I said about the customer journey. When you are tasked with growing your business, you need to constantly be on the lookout for new business opportunities. New sales leads, new partnerships, new ways to get exposure for your business and its solutions.
Content can help with every stage of that customer journey.
A social media post or newsletter that points to a longer piece of high-value content might be the way that a prospect initially becomes aware of you. Indeed it might even be the way they first become aware of a problem they’re experiencing. Content can also help those same prospects begin to consider different solutions to problems they are experiencing and teach them the value of one solution over another.
Content can also help prospects make a final buying decision.
Let’s say for example that your business has a warm lead that you have been pursuing. They found you via social media and read one of your blog articles and reached out to learn more. Your salesperson shared some specific information about one of your products and piqued their interest even more, but they have yet to commit to becoming a customer.
A case study that demonstrates the specific ways that a customer just like them has achieved success with your product can help get them over the line. Content marketing got their attention initially, it helped to move them from awareness to consideration, and lastly, it dealt with one of their remaining sales objections (will this work for me?) in order to help you close the final sale.
Build Campaigns That Address All Stages Of The Customer Journey
Imagine how much easier it would be to make sales if all of your prospects were already reading your educational content and becoming more knowledgeable even before they meet with you. How much faster would your sales cycles be if you had content that could create that awareness, earn trust, and ultimately convince buyers to act?
If you want to learn more about how to build a complete marketing and sales funnel for your business, download my free 9 lean marketing tactics ebook. You’ll come across many mentions of software-as-service but the lessons apply to any business that has longer sales cycles, where a certain amount of comparison shopping and even sales calls are part of the sales process.
I’ll leave you with one final thought about content marketing. If you know your customers’ needs and you keep your content focused on that, then you’ve already handled the difficult part. Doing something, for example publishing useful content regularly, will always outperform a “do nothing” strategy. In other words, when in doubt, start.
Ready To Set Up An Effective Content Marketing Blog On Your WIX Website?
Check Out Our Blog Training Program in the Lovage Academy.