Many business owners in emerging markets downplay why content marketing is important, not knowing that it is a vital aspect of their business growth.
Did you know that 82% of marketers actively use content marketing strategies that are three times more efficient in lead generation than the best outbound marketing?
I blew your mind, right?
Imagine walking into a store for shopping only to find out that the goods are displayed in no particular order, and you get surprised at each turn.
As if that isn’t enough, you meet a robot at the cashier stand! – it’s a stretch, really, but here’s the point:
No one wants to go back to an unpredictable store where you don’t know what might happen next.
The fact that we can largely predict what’s around the corner gives us a sense of control that we don’t want to lose. We are humans, after all.
The marketing goal of any business owner is to make sales; entirely true.
Content marketing keeps telling us that you can’t just walk up to a person and ask them to buy from you; you have to make them happy first!
You have to give your audience enough space and make them feel in control of that purchasing decision.
It’s added work, but it gives a satisfactory result when done successfully.
This post aims to break down content marketing and its importance to your business.
Why is content marketing important?
Content marketing is crucial because it defines your brand, products, and services to your audience. It makes them completely aware of you and what you stand for.
It answers your audience’s questions before they are even asked, helps you build trust, develop relationships, improve conversions and generate leads.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing focuses on building a solid relationship with your target audience by consistently delivering high-quality content relevant to your audience.
Notice how I said ‘building’? Because content marketing is a continuous process that involves planning, creating, sharing, and reviewing contents across various digital platforms. These contents are in multiple forms, but regardless of what form of content it is, the main goal is to increase brand visibility, engagement, and definitely sales.
Content marketing is a continuous process that contributes to retaining new or by-chance customers while also maintaining relationships with existing clients.
Another definition of content marketing would be that it is a marketing process that realizes and acknowledges that most consumers are now capable of completely disregarding the noise of the marketing efforts they are being exposed to daily.
In other words, it is the art of communicating with your potential consumers without directly selling to them.
In content marketing, you leverage the audience’s interests and create a content strategy that aligns with their interests, preferences, and dispositions. This makes you create and curate unique contents that your consumers will find helpful and valuable.
Now, it’s not just about what they want but also what they need!
In contrast to other marketing methods, content marketing is a much better option because it shows that you care about your customers and their needs.
Types of content marketing.
Content marketing types vary, but they all provide value-added content that customers want to see rather than paid-for adverts they would rather not see.
The key to hacking the different content marketing types is to understand the benefits of the other techniques and decide which would be more effective for you.
Content marketing types.
Content marketing types are;
- Blog posts.
- Video/YouTube posts
- Social media posts
- Lead magnets
- Case studies
Even though most methods for content marketing have evolved over the years, the formula for great content has almost remained the same.
The key to getting people to buy your products include;
- Push on their pain point
- Agitate that pain point
- Solve the problem.
For example; “A quick guide to solving your blogging struggle
Hi, I am Ruth Adeyemi, an SEO and blogging coach. I am also the founder of SARMLife.
(PROBLEM) – Over the years, as a blogging coach, I have come across bloggers who struggled with monetizing their blog and getting it to rank on the first page of Google. Trying various methods and not getting the desired results will frustrate even the strongest of bloggers – (AGITATION).
I decided to launch a course to help bloggers struggling. In this course, you will get first-hand strategies that hundreds of bloggers and I have used to monetize our blogs successfully. (SOLUTION)
- A 1:1 FREE consultation.
- An online course on SEO for beginners.”
Notice how I’m not directly selling but communicating what I can do for a specific group of people.
This is an example of content that can be used for content marketing.
Either your contents are created internally, through a third party, or are user-generated; when you make contents for your content marketing, always follow these rules:
- Have a defined audience
- Be consistent always
- Have a strategic plan
- Create educational contents
- Don’t sell directly
- Identify a pain point
- Offer solutions
- Give quality contents
- Focus on the audience
Let’s look at two critical terms in your content marketing strategy.
Content mapping is the process of understanding your audience so well that you can then create content for each stage of their journey towards buying your product and services.
The fact is, very few people go straight from discovery to buying. Most of them go through a phase of discovering your website, thinking about your products, spending a few more months thinking, seeing retargeting Ads, and then buying.
The bottom line is that people take a lot of time to buy.
Content marketing goals and sales funnel
In creating an effective content marketing strategy, you must keep your goals clear. You are to ensure that you are building towards the goals you have set for the business with every content you put out. Your goals should not be isolated from your content.
You can probably start with long-term goals related to your overall brand vision before moving on to identifying your short-term goals that content marketing strategy can help accomplish.
Like I mentioned in the content mapping, no one wakes up in the morning and decides I will buy something today from this brand I met online.
Most of them go through a journey to purchase, and that journey is referred to as the buyer’s journey.
You must understand your buyer persona and their journey so that you can create content that is helpful to them. A content marketing funnel is more commonly known as a sales funnel, and it describes the different journeys a customer goes through before a purchase decision.
Your content can influence any decision this buyer is going to make.
Why content marketing is important.
Content marketing is important because:
- It is cost effective and productive.
- It helps to improve brand reputation.
- It advances your business through SEO.
- It educates and strengthens relationships with customers.
- You would generate more and better leads.
With everything shared so far, let’s look at these reasons in detail.
1. Content marketing is cost effective and productive.
Content marketing is not expensive! Many business owners avoid talk of marketing because they have this perception that it costs a lot of money which isn’t entirely true.
Content marketing is far less expensive than several forms of traditional marketing, and you must explore it. It is also productive even though it takes a while to see the results because content marketing is all about the long-term.
If you are a small business owner looking to grow and struggle with understanding why you must use content marketing instead of traditional marketing, then this is a valid reason. You can be sure of progress and productivity after a while.
Keep in mind that, unless you hire an agency, creating great content for marketing across various digital platforms takes time and effort.
In fact, Social Media Examiner reports that more than 81% of marketers experienced increased traffic by investing as little as 6 hours per week in their social media content.
An easy way out is to access the types of content marketing and compare them with your availability and experience (you don’t want to be inconsistent and naive). Select the content marketing type that your level of growth – as a brand and an individual – can take.
2. Content marketing helps to improve brand reputation
In today’s world, businesses must work to build trust and loyalty with their customers.
Content marketing helps with that, and by building trust, you help your business establish a positive brand reputation.
For instance, if a healthy drink vendor continually educates her customers on the dangers of spoilt drinks and how to identify them.
With time, her word would carry the truth to those who love her brand, and over time it would start to reflect on the brand’s reputation.
SOME STATISTICS FROM LYFE MARKETING;
“78% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads.”
‘70% believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them.”
Here’s a secret, when customers read or see your content, they start to develop an opinion of your brand, and this is why content marketing can either break a brand’s reputation or improve it.
3. Content marketing advances your business through SEO
SEO (search engine optimization) has proven to be a very effective tool in content marketing and, if utilized well, can help grow the business.
SEO is one of the pillars of content marketing; it is how search engines use your content to connect you to your next customer!
People, including buyers of your products and services, go online and use several keyword strings on search engines to look up topics of interest.
The businesses that have mastered getting to the top of search are the big winners in organic search. They’re bringing qualified traffic to their websites. So, one of the best ways to build organic traffic to your website is with great content!
SEO and Content marketing have created an incredible amount of change in the digital marketing world! You need to leverage these two digital marketing strategies to invest in keyword research, website design, content creation, and SEO writing.
Our blog post on SEO writing critically explained the content writing process that gives you optimized posts that can rank on Google’s first page!
4. Content marketing educates and strengthens relationships with customers.
If your content isn’t educating your customers, you are doing it all wrong. Gone are the days of mediocre marketing tactics; now, we focus on their pain point and try to make it easier.
Imagine a curious customer stumbling on your page and, after spending time with your contents, leaves with more questions?
Content marketing is the best way to engage any audience and provide what they need. You can also effectively create an avenue to build a relationship with them.
People would only consistently buy from a brand they trust. When we first started, we had to build trust with our clients using content marketing. You, too, can make your customers trust your brand through content marketing.
5. You would generate more and better leads.
Content marketing helps with generating leads. Behind every content you create is a huge demand from users for lead generation.
When you meet that need with your content marketing strategies, your users will trust you with anything you throw their way.
Likewise, different types of content will generate different numbers of leads for you. Additionally, calls-to-action (CTA) placed directly in your content can generate new leads for the business. The more content a customer is with your content, the more likely they will click your call-to-action and move onto your landing page.
It is essential to note that no content marketing is effective without a content strategy. So, before you hop on content marketing, make sure you get the strategy down.