Before I dive into the “why,” let's talk about the “what.” Content marketing is nothing new, but it's being used more frequently and effectively than ever before. Put simply, it is a subtle form of marketing your brand, product, or service through content… like social media posts, videos, or blog. Great content informs, educates, or entertains.
…and, ultimately, it gets readers or viewers to take an action.
But as time goes on, content marketing is getting more competitive. You have to work harder, and be that much more prolific with your content to get the same attention that you used to get with old-fashioned article marketing and a once-a-month blog post.
Nowadays, your content needs to be smarter, more directed, and well, simply more. Many of my clients were skeptical about content at first, but now recognize the value of putting out top quality information to build their prospect lists and businesses. Of course, if you're questioning the importance of content, I've compiled a list of 9 reasons you should be investing in this essential marketing approach.
1. Helps Your Search Engine Ranking
Although it is harder than it used to be to rank your site on search engines, and your numerical page rank is less important than in the past, you still want to be ranked high and to be indexed by the major search engines like Google in order for your audience to find you. To get ranked, to get searched, to get noticed, you must have content.
According to Hubspot, 1 in 10 blog posts are compounding, meaning organic search increases their traffic over time.
2. Keeps Your Audience Engaged
If you want your audience to come to your website or blog, you're going to have to have something for them to do. Content can be all sorts of things such as blog posts, articles, reports, books, games, surveys, videos, audio, infographics, and more. In short, your audience needs to consume content, otherwise what's the point of them visiting your website?
The right kind of content can entertain and involve your audience to the point that they want to come back more often. If your content asks questions and provides a means by which they can respond, you're going to be winning the content game. You want your audience to be engaged with you as it helps them be more responsive to your calls to action.
3. Informs Your Audience
Content can be used as a means by which to inform your audience about various issues and solutions within the niche. Writing informative post, articles or creating informative videos will be a large percentage of the type of content you create for your audience.
4. Educates Your Audience
Content is one of the ways in which you can educate your audience about the issues of your niche. That education, in the form of blog posts, articles, white papers and more, can help your audience understand the problems they face and the solutions you provide.
5. Inspires Your Audience
A really valuable component of content and one that is super important is inspiration. Content can inspire your audience to act. That action means that they're answering your CTAs, using your solutions, and getting results.
6. Builds Loyalty with Your Audience
People buy from those that they know, like and trust. Creating regular content can help your audience feel as if they know you. And once your audience feels as if they know you, they'll start being more loyal – which makes it that much easier to promote your next product to them.
7. Helps You Establish Authority
When people believe that you're the one with the answers within your niche, they're going to seek you out for more. The more content you produce that is factual and well-crafted, the more your audience will see you as an authority figure on the topic. And the more they see you as an authority, the more they're going to want to be associated with you.
According to a 2013 report from Nielsen, 53 percent of consumers reported that they were somewhat or much more likely to buy a new product when they learned about it through a piece of content they found online.
9. Content Is Valuable
Outside of the services and products you're promoting, content is a very valuable addition to your audience's day. You want them to walk away from the content feeling as if they got something very important from you.
10. Content Lives a Long Time
The content you publish today will pay off far into the future. If you create good quality content, you'll be able to benefit from it for years to come. In fact, a study conducted by Kapost and Eloqua found that content marketing ROI outweighed the ROI of paid search (which is really only a temporary fix) by more than three times.
No matter how you slice it, content will always be important when it comes to getting the word out about your business, your products and services, and your offerings.