As a marketer or business owner, you’ve probably come across the term content marketing while on lunch break with your buddies, or from one of the younger employees at the office, or while casually browsing the web. And you wonder why everybody is so hooked up on it. You’ve heard their reasons for why content marketing is so important, but you wonder if they apply to you.
And there could be many reasons for this. For example:
You’ve been in the business 20 years and you’ve been doing just fine without it.
You run a mom ‘n pop store and you wonder if your business would really benefit from content marketing.
You tried it before and it didn’t really yield any fruits.
You are yet to meet someone who could adequately define content marketing and why content marketing is important for your business.
You already do digital marketing and run a Facebook page—who needs content marketing?
You fear it might be expensive and difficult to implement, so why bother?
Your business operates in an area that allegedly doesn’t read, like Africa or anywhere else a millennial generation exists.
Times Are Changing Faster than You Realize
Creating a content marketing strategy and implementing it for the sake of business growth is no longer considered growth hacking or a fringe tactic.
B2C and B2B content marketing are now part of the mainstream; and this is so for one simple reason: they work.
Like a charm.
But before we look into that, let’s look at some of the reasons business owners and marketers put forward for not implementing content marketing into their operations.
One of the more common reasons why businesses feel they don’t need content marketing is that they have been doing just fine over the years without it.
Why change a winning strategy, right?
No matter what business you run, an increasing number of people are turning to search engines for preliminary research on products before making a purchase decision.
According to the United States B2C Ecommerce Country Report 2017, 82% of consumers do research on their buys before making a decision to purchase either online or in-store. Another study, published by Bazaarvoice, revealed that 82% of smartphone users consult their phones before deciding to make a purchase.
From all this, it’s pretty clear that unless you have a well-documented content strategy to educate target consumers about your products and your business, they are most likely bypassing your business to choose your competitors who do have a content marketing strategy in place.
And the size of your company should not be a hindrance either; many small businesses are able to punch above their weight through the diligent use of content marketing to generate leads and make sales.
And lastly, businesses that claim people don’t read anymore need to understand that this does not mean people are consuming less content.
While some may like reading text, others may prefer to consume their information via other formats like pictures, audio, or video. And you can supercharge your content marketing by transforming your written content into these other formats.
Content Marketing Places Your Customers at the Center of Your Marketing
Content marketing works because it takes the focus from your business and places it firmly on your customers and their needs. Your customers in turn reward the value you provide with loyalty and sales.
It is about giving—not selling.
Your influence and authority in the marketplace will grow in an authentic, organic way as more and more customers come to identify your voice with real solutions to their problems.
6 More Reasons Why Content Marketing is Important for Your Business
Builds Brand Awareness
Your business is just one out of many jostling for the attention of your target audience. And to make matters worse for you, the product or service you offer is not much different from those of your competitors. More often than not, the race to win the heart of your customer will come down to whom the customer trusts more to solve their problems. Customers will do business with those whom they view as experts and the best way to establish expertise is by creating and sharing authoritative content with the audience that matters to your business.
Amplifies Your SEO Efforts
Search engines are always trying to give their users the best and latest information to answer their queries. Content marketing takes advantage of this fact by providing thorough in-depth content that answers the burning questions in the industry. Over time when people ask these questions in search engines, your website will pop up as a credible resource—which will lead to more exposure and more business eventually.
Great for Lead Generation
A strong reason why content marketing works so well for business is that it allows complete strangers find you through your valuable and informative content. Sometimes these people are not even aware they have a problem and are in need of your services until they run across your well-crafted pieces. Once they land on your website, you can offer a more in-depth response to their needs in exchange for their email so that you have an opportunity to strengthen the relationship enough to make an offer.
Clearly Defines Your Audience and Fine Tunes Your Message
Your business cannot serve everybody—and you shouldn’t try to have it any other way. One of the best ways to ensure that you are marketing to the right people and leaving out the rest who are not beneficial for your business is by fine tuning your message to ensure it appeals to the right audience. Content marketing makes this easy by employing personas and other key research basics to better understand the people whom your business is trying to help. Another key benefit of this fine tuning is that it filters out lousy or unqualified leads that would have otherwise wasted your precious time and resources.
Perfect for Lead Nurturing
According to a 2017 study from Episerver, 92% of website visitors are not ready to make a purchase on the first visit to your website. Sad, yeah; but you can bypass this problem by shunting website visitors into a content funnel through which you can educate and nurture leads until they are ready to make a purchase from you. Typically, this funnel mimics some version of the buyer’s journey, requiring different forms of content for each stage leading up to the final purchase.
Strengthens Your Personal Brand
The more valuable, high-quality content you create, the more of an authority you will become in the eyes of your audience. In this manner, content marketing can do wonders for your personal brand, and also open doors which you may never have had access to otherwise.
Content marketing is not only important for your business, it’s crucial. It is time to turn away from the crowd that says otherwise if you truly want to make the internet work for you and your business. Many reasons outlining why content marketing is important have already been presented, but nothing beats experience—what are your thoughts on content marketing? Are you currently using it for your business? What has been your experience with it? Share your thoughts.