There is a lot of hype around Content Marketing, but also a lot of confusion about WHAT it is, WHY is it valuable and HOW to use it effectively. In today’s digital world, “Content is King and engagement is Queen”. The phrase content marketing is usually associated with blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube videos, but in actual fact, content marketing has been around far longer than the internet. As far back as the 1900s.
In 1900 a small French tire company named Michelin published a book called The Michelin Guide. The Michelin Guide provided valuable information for motorists while on the road, general tips on how to care for your tyres on long-distance trips, where to find restaurants and auto maintenance. Even though Michelin was a tire company, not one page in the 40-page guide was used to sell their products! Well, not directly, the aim of the guide was to encourage people to travel more, thus wearing out their tires and end up going to Michelin to buy more tires. In fact, the guide was such a success, that businesses that were listed in the guide had massive growth. An example of this is the coveted Michelin Star that restaurants and chefs all over the world strive to achieve to increase their stature.
Before we get into the benefits of content marketing for businesses, let us first define WHAT is content marketing. According to the Content Marketing Institute – ‘Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action’
In simpler terms, content marketing is about delivering, valuable, high-quality information that addresses your audience’s needs, pain points, and solves their pain point while also educating them.
So, now that we have defined content marketing, let’s explore the benefits of content marketing for businesses. The rise of the internet and changes in technology have shifted the balance of power to the customer, the customer now has an unlimited number of options! So how do you stand out?
You have to gain your customers’ trust! By demonstrating your expertise, sharing your knowledge, by solving your audiences’ everyday problems through relevant information. Content Marketing is one of the most effective ways to drive leads to virtually any business, the key is to be consistent in your sharing of content. Consistency is one of the many factors that determine growth and success, your content needs to have a unique and identifiable tone, style and pitch.
Let us take the example of Marcus Sheridan, content marketing guru, author and pool salesman. When his swimming pool company was hit hard by the recession, he decided to pursue content marketing.
“We embraced the power of content, and we established very quickly the most successful blog in the swimming pool industry. Essentially, all we did is we just answered every single question that we had ever received from a consumer, without filter. That’s what we did, and immediately, within six months, it was on top of the industry. The leads and the traffic and the sales started pouring in because of it.”
Today, his pool company website gets more traffic than any other pool company site in the world and he has now expanded his business to include social media coaching for other businesses.
Still, need convincing? Let’s consider this recent report on essential content marketing statistics for 2021:
- 95% of B2B Consumers say content helps them trust a business more
- 71% in the B2B industry also admitted to reviewing an organization’s blog during their buyer’s journey.
- 71% of B2B consumers reviewed a businesses blog before buying
- 61% of consumers have also bought something that is recommended by blogs that they read.
- The latest reports say content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing programs. On top of this, it generates 3x the leads.
- 50% of B2B marketers outsource at least one part of content marketing.
- 84% of marketers outsource content creation.
The more content you create and share with your audience, the more you establish yourself and position your brand as an authority in your industry. Trust always comes before a sale; people trust and hire experts!
Content Marketing is a sure way to build brand awareness, increase your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) because only people that have an interest in your industry are going to conduct a search that will result in them reading your content.
Do you need help with content creation for your business? Send us a direct message to start discussions.