Content’s Still On the Rise: Why It’s Changing the Game for the Marketing World
You’ve heard it time and time again: Content is king. But why? What makes content a game changer in the marketing world?
Successful content marketing is tied to creating and distributing relevant, valuable thought leadership resources. Not only does high-quality content production continue to be a powerful way to attract and engage your target audience, but it also improves your organic search rankings and proves to prospects and customers that your brand knows what it’s doing. If content not only drives new business but also strengthens customer loyalty, then it deserves its crown. Read on for five ways that prove content is not only king, but is still on the rise:
1. It boosts the effectiveness of your SEO
At its very core, content is what consumers are searching for. And Google likes fresh content. Fresh content gets rapidly indexed and registers higher than older, low-value content. The more of it you have, the more likely a potential customer (or even qualified lead!) will find your business.
One fundamental component of SEO is keywords: researching what words competitors use, tying them into your marketing process, and tracking how you rank for them. But you use those keywords when you create content: in blogs, white papers, videos, even web page content. Likewise, meta tags are seen by consumers and search engines. Including relevant keywords within those meta descriptions helps search engines find your content and helps encourage searchers to click your link.
Use of keywords and meta descriptions allows SEO and content to work together to improve rankings. According to a study by eMarketer, 72 percent of marketers found the creation of relevant content the most effective way of improving SEO effectiveness.
2. It gets the right message in front of the right people
To create effective content, you need to start with a clear understanding of your audience. Once you understand who your customers are (your buyer personas), you can anticipate their needs. Once you know what they need, you’ll be able to create an editorial calendar that meets those needs and utilize more specific long-tail keywords, which in turn gets your message in front of the right people.
Then, you need to find out where your audience is. It’s critical to place your messages on the platforms and channels that create the most value. Once you place relevant content where your audience searches instead of interrupting them when they aren’t interested or able to act, your conversion rates will increase.
3. It lets consumers know your business understands their needs
The goal of content marketing isn’t to share brand information with your audience; it’s to drive specific outcomes. Any content that fails to achieve positive outcomes in moving visitors along the buyer’s journey or increasing sales isn’t working. More often than not, this is overlooked and organizations don’t get positive content marketing ROI.
No matter how much research you have conducted on your audience and no matter how much content you produce, you have to let your potential customers know that you understand their needs. Once you establish your customers’ specific preferences, you will be able to generate reliable and predictable results from your content. One of the most overlooked sources of content is your customer. Identify trends in the questions your customers are asking and feed them the content before they even realize they are asking for it. Your customers will appreciate it and this, in turn, will ensure that they return to you for more information in the future.
Keep in mind that Forrester Research has found that buyers could be up to 90 percent of the way through their buyer journey before they reach out to a vendor. Keeping them returning to you for more information will help you stay top of mind as they make their decision.
4. It gives you new ways to connect with potential customers.
On average, consumers utilize six devices, and nearly nine in ten consumers say they multitask and view multiple devices at once. The industry is continually changing, but one thing remains the same: the need for relevant, valuable content.
What has changed is that the way your potential customers are accessing content may not be what you expect. A part of staying in front of consumers is adapting to and adopting new forms of content. Video, infographics, podcasts — these are all more creative and engaging content marketing mediums to help you go beyond the norm. And consumers respond positively: 86 percent said they’d like access to some sort of visual or interactive content.
Likewise, new mobile channels — such as tablets and smart phones — are emerging so fast that it is believed mobile marketing will one day dominate the whole digital marketing scene. Don’t get left behind!
5. It showcases you as an innovative thought leader in your industry.
If you want to become successful, your business needs to influence where your industry is headed. If you aren’t able to influence your audience with thought leadership resources, you won’t be able to get people interested in your brand.
Even more importantly, without content, you won’t be able to get your team to buy into your vision, and your business will have a harder time standing out from the crowd. When you provide relevant content that actually helps someone answer a question or solve a problem, you are offering a distinct benefit. You’re giving them something valuable without asking for anything in return.
As a result, that prospect is far more likely to buy your product or service. Content marketing is effective because it helps you build that influence. It makes it easier to get prospects to do what you want them to do because it’s all about providing value. Without value, it’s much easier to tune someone out or not take them seriously.
The experienced marketer will understand that the need for content — and its impact on conversions, sales, and revenue — won’t be decreasing any time soon. Other than producing content, there are very few ways that can so effectively improve your overall marketing strategy while increasing your influence through thought leadership; content reigns supreme.