A rise in the adoption of content marketing by businesses has been seen in recent years. Find out what this strategy is all about and why it’s important for businesses to have one.
As the world gets more and more technologically advanced, the effectiveness of traditional marketing wanes by the minute.
Businesses are now looking for better and more meaningful ways to capture more customers, gain their trust, engage them, and encourage them to make a purchase. One reliable way to achieve these is through content marketing.
Delivering personalized content on a regular basis has been shown to establish more brand awareness, increase sales, increase engagement, generate more leads, and increase revenue.
The adoption of content marketing as a business strategy also continues to rise. In fact, the percentage of businesses claiming to have actively used content marketing increased from 70% in 2020 to 82% in 2021, according to a report.
Video dominates the content marketing space— followed by blogs, and infographics. It has stayed on top as the #1 type of content for two years in a row.
So what is content marketing and how does it work?
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is defined as a marketing approach that focuses on consistently creating and distributing content that is valuable and relevant to a target audience to attract and retain them— and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Compared to traditional marketing, which usually involves just pitching products or services, content marketing focuses on providing useful content to prospects and customers to address their needs and solve their problems.
Know more in our comprehensive content marketing guide.
Why is Content Marketing Important for Your Business?
Content marketing is important because of the following reasons:
It’s an effective way to gain customers trust and build loyalty
Establishing trust is an essential step to building customer loyalty, but a business can only earn the trust of a customer if the latter finds value in the information the former provides.
Delivering quality content helps establish credibility. It fast-tracks the resolution of consumer issues, which encourages customers to make repeat business in the future, whenever a need arises.
Moreover, content also helps your brand come to life. When consumers read your content, they gain a better understanding of your business, your brand, and your values.
Through your content, they can form opinions and decide whether your brand aligns with their values.
When everything matches perfectly, this is where loyalty is gained. Repeat customers will then continue to rely on your brand and dismiss the alternatives offered by your competitors.
Over time, these loyal customers may even act as brand ambassadors— actively promoting your brand to their social circles, such as family and friends.
It helps you gain a deeper understanding of your target customers
Content marketing allows you to learn more about who you are marketing to. It’s a key strategy that helps you serve your customers better.
By tracking the most successful content, businesses can gain data and insights about their customers. They can collect these insights from the social media posts that gained more engagement rates, from the videos that people watch the most, and from the eBooks that people download the most, among others.
These customer insights help inform businesses about the consumers they are dealing with and who are likely to convert into customers. They help businesses craft more accurate customer personas, segment their buyers better, and provide a better customer experience through personalization.
It gives you an edge over your competitors
Another reason why content marketing is important is that your competitors are already doing it. Hence, to gain an edge over your competitors, you need to provide better quality content to differentiate yourself from others.
Content marketing is even said to play a more crucial role in the strategies of small businesses. It allows them to compete on an equal footing against large, established businesses. As mentioned above, content helps you better showcase what your brand represents and what values you promote.
When consumers find that your brand matches their needs, preferences, and interests, it makes it easy for them to trust you over other businesses that offer the same product or service as you do.
It supports all other elements of your digital marketing strategy
Content marketing should not be considered as a separate component in a strategy. It is rather a vital part of all forms of marketing— email marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), press and public relations, online ads, and inbound marketing, among others.
Your content marketing strategy will play a crucial role in the success of your emails, your social media posts, and your SEO performance.
Without a proper content marketing strategy, your brand would come across as inconsistent. This makes it harder for consumers to gain a better understanding of your brand.
It gives a significant Return on Investment (ROI)
Content marketing is not only cost-effective, but it also gives high ROIs. According to a report, organizations that have a content strategy in place are said to achieve 27.1% higher win rates and 18.1% higher quota attainment rates than those without a content strategy.
Moreover, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing while generating 3x as many leads. The cost of acquiring a customer through content is also around 15% less than through paid channels.
It helps you adapt to changing consumer standards
The changes in the business environment directly affect how consumers behave and what they expect businesses to do.
The pandemic, for example, led to an increase in online activity and a decrease in in-store visits. It also changed what types of products consumers buy— more purchases in essential goods and entertainment and fewer purchases in beauty and cosmetics.
These changing consumer standards make it hard for businesses to predict what customers like and how to respond accordingly.
Content marketing addresses all these challenges by giving you data and insights about your target customers’ interests and preferences. The fast and real-time data provided by tools that track your content performance allows you to make quick decisions and change the way you approach your customers.
In business, responding to what your customers say they want lets you win the race. If you continue to provide relevant and valuable information to customers, it lets you establish authority in your field— which sets you apart from the competition despite changing consumer standards.
It helps you capture more leads and convert them into customers
Sending out videos, blogs, infographics, and other types of content into the market is an effective way to attract potential customers.
These customers are always looking for information— your content will then serve as the bridge that connects you and your customers. Once they read and consume your content, they will get naturally curious about who provides such valuable information.
They may then sign up for a newsletter, download a lead magnet you have provided on your website, or even make a purchase right away.
Your entire content marketing strategy should be designed to attract more leads. During the buyer’s journey, personalized content should be sent out to leads along the way, depending on the stage of the journey they are in.
Content will encourage leads to take the desired action such as checking more information, browsing the company website, checking a product in detail, and, ultimately, buying the said product.
After making a purchase, the business should now treat the said lead as a customer. And the challenge has now evolved into making them stay. With your content, you can keep them coming back to you and make repeat purchases.
This helps your business stay afloat. Businesses should prioritize this strategy as it costs less than acquiring new customers— it’s 16x more expensive to get a new customer than to cultivate the loyalty of an existing customer.
Content marketing continues to stay relevant in the business world. More and more businesses see the need to maintain a content marketing strategy to capture new customers and establish meaningful relationships with existing ones.
Video stays as the #1 type of content that companies send out to their target audience, followed by blogs, then infographics.
While there are many benefits to traditional marketing, content marketing has proven to be better in terms of cost and performance. Content marketing goes beyond just pitching products and services, they focus on solving real customer issues and problems.
Content marketing is important for any business. A good content marketing strategy helps businesses do the following:
- Establish brand awareness in the market
- Earn customer trust and loyalty
- Develop long-term relationships with customers
- Gain a deeper understanding of their customers to serve them better
- Distinguish themselves from their competitors
- Increase sales revenue
- Adapt to changing consumer standards
- Improve other aspects of the business
Need help with your content marketing strategy? Partner with our experts at Eight Media now. Get started with a free 15-minute consultation here.