Why is Good Content Marketing Still So Important in 2021?
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Content is king – this is the general opinion amongst digital marketers and it’s true. Content marketing is the best way to introduce your company and brand to the world.
With the right strategy, you can set yourself apart from the competition. For that, you need great content.
That is exactly what we will be discussing here – the what, why and how of content marketing.
Not so long ago, Hubspot’s State of Inbound report learnt that for more than half of marketers, content creation is a top priority.
These guys know that creating fresh and interesting content is able to give companies great benefits.
It was also found that content marketing accounts for almost 30% of business-to-business marketing (B2B marketing) budgets.
With that said, it is clear that content marketing isn’t going anywhere any time soon so if you’re looking to learn more about it, you’re in the right place.
Let’s get right into that what, why and how of content marketing straight away!
What Is Content Marketing and Its Importance?
Content marketing is not about you, your services/products or your brand. Not directly.
It is about your audience/customers and what they care about and want. Great content marketing is about how you can give your audience something that no one else can.
This lifts your brand up high above the competition and shows why no marketing strategy could be complete without a proper content marketing plan.
Content marketing can come in the form of educational articles, videos, webinars, e-books and just about any format you can think of.
Why Is Content Marketing Important?
If you have never thought about content marketing, you may be asking yourself ‘why is content important?’.
That is a valid question and when you’re working on a marketing strategy, one that must have a satisfactory answer, especially for content marketers.
People want to read content that is related to brands and they enjoy reading custom content. Content marketing can make consumers feel much closer to a company.
One thing you need to remember though is that consistency is key. Without consistent performance, even the best strategy is bound to fail.
There are many different reasons why content marketing plays an important role, and we’ll discuss them now.
Content Marketing That Builds Trust
Content marketing goes a very long way towards building a trusting relationship between you and your customers and audience.
You get the chance to interact with your potential customers and answer their burning questions.
By creating content of value without asking for anything in return, you gain the trust of your audience much faster and more deeply.
When your customers know they can trust you, they are more likely to support you and seek your advice and recommendations.
Put out fresh and captivating content consistently and your audience will see more of you, which improves your reputation.
Your content will always be associated with your company and brand, so always make sure that what you put out into the world is high quality and reflects your views and opinions.
Almost all consumers prefer getting to know a brand through content rather than advertisements and about 70% feel that companies that take the time to create new content put customers’ needs first.
Your content will influence the number of conversions that your content marketing strategy sees. A conversion is when you get a customer or your audience to respond to your call-to-action. This could be signing up for an email, buying a product or using your service, etc.
People will more likely react positively once they’ve seen your content. Provide them with consistent and quality content and they’ll feel like they’ve connected with you.
The content of marketing strategies needs to make create a connection between brands and customers.
This connection is what will drive them to go ahead and do what you want them to. Ideally, your content should always have a call-to-action and a good content strategy has a good approach to this figured out.
Don’t bombard your audience with your call-to-action. Sometimes, subtlety is the key to success.
For a more in-depth discussion, feel free to check out our Call To Action guide.
Improve Social Media Traction
Social media platforms play a big role in marketing and it is important to not neglect it as a tool. By adding social media content marketing into your strategy, you can greatly improve the success of your content marketing efforts.
To do that, you need brilliant content.
You want to do more than create content that will help increase your following. You need to create content that will trend – this is how you grow your audience.
With the right content, you can gain a lot of valuable traction on social media and can create a really positive experience for your potential customers.
Your content has to captivate your audience, which is why it’s very important to do research on who your target market is.
Brand awareness and brand impression are all about getting your audience right and then creating content marketing strategies that appeal to that audience.
Better Audience Retention
It’s really simple – with good content marketing, you’ll be able to get your audience to stick around for longer.
Your potential customers will have a better experience, think more of you and want to come back for more.
In the long run, you will be able to retain your audience and create a positive brand impression that will boost your reputation.
Of course, this means you need to have really killer content. We suggest you give our article ‘How To Be A Boss At Creative Content Creation’ a read. You’ll learn a lot about creating awesome content.
Enhance Your SEO Efforts
Your search engine optimisation will be improved if you can deliver consistent quality content.
What is content marketing if it won’t increase your SEO? Not very effective, that’s what.
Chances are that your marketing strategy has identified keywords and important phrases that you need to use to reach your audience.
With your marketing content, you can achieve that by working in these words and phrases in an organic and clever way.
Better SEO means more visibility and a greater chance that your potential customers will become more aware of you.
Content marketing is really good for generating leads. Your customers see your great content and they are more interested in supporting your brand.
Call-to-actions also play a big role in lead generation, as you may have deduced from our earlier discussion.
Generating leads is made easier by giving your audience useful and free information. In this kind of content, you can place your call-to-action wherever you want.
The main point is to entertain, inform and delight your audience so they want to follow through on your CTA. This results in lead generation that is much higher than it would be without great content.
When your audience realises that you are giving them valuable content consistently, they will see you as an authority in your industry.
You wouldn’t be sharing so much great content if you didn’t know what you were talking about, right?
And, with more content out there, your SEO is improved, which means you’re ranking higher in search results.
This boosts your authority as well.
Make sure the quality of your content is faultless and that you aren’t spewing nonsense. Back up your claims with statistics, if possible. Don’t say something if you can’t prove it.
How Does Content Marketing Help?
We have discussed why content marketing is an important tool in your marketing arsenal. Now, let’s see how content can help your brand and company.
Your content is able to give your customers an idea of who and what is behind the brand. If you create your content correctly, they will see your human side as well as your expertise in your industry.
The kind of content that you create and share must be authoritative but not condescending or too ‘fancy’.
Create content that your audience feels a connection with and sees the value of, and a bond is created. Sure, it is a digital connection, but it’s a connection nonetheless.
Good bonds with your customers will give a great advantage over your competition. This is one of the main reasons why content marketing is important.
We’ve mentioned brand awareness earlier and we’ll go into it again because content marketing content really helps with this part of your strategy.
Content is really your best bet when it comes to improving brand awareness and reaching a wider audience.
While word of mouth marketing is great, it is not as applicable to digital marketing. You can still achieve it, but not by using the same old methods.
Content marketing takes your brand and puts it in front of potential customers in a way that doesn’t feel forced.
You’ll find that video content is especially good for brand awareness. It can describe your services or products precisely while entertaining your customers.
Brand awareness does take time to become as noticeable, so be patient and determined and you’ll reap the rewards.
The focus of content marketing is on your customers and with good planning, they will become more educated on what your brand is all about.
Your content is there to answer questions so make sure that once your audience leaves your page(s), they are well-informed.
Giving information about your company can be done in many ways. You can share all kinds of content that are related to your brand as well as your industry.
The more value you offer, the more educated your audience becomes. This is a win-win situation as your customers will know exactly why they want to support you.
You must aim to create content that will never be irrelevant or ‘old’. Evergreen content will not lose its usefulness to your audience no matter how much time goes by. The aim is for your content marketing strategy to still be effective weeks or months from now.
If you get it right, it could still be relevant and valuable years later. (But this isn’t something you should obsess with when working out your content marketing strategy – as long as it’s valuable for a few months at least)
This can be a little tricky to get used to – you have to keep in mind that customers will see this content years from now.
If you address your audience’s problems and difficulties, chances are you’ll create content that will be evergreen.
Granted, some content is time-sensitive and not meant to be relevant forever, but try to make most of your content evergreen.
In general, content that gives knowledge and shares information tend to be evergreen. A bonus benefit of this kind of content is that you can re-post it, drawing attention to it again at a later time.
To get more traffic to your website and pages, you need links littered all over the internet. One way to do this is to give other websites reasons to want to link to your content.
Create great content that others want to be associated with and they’ll link to your site. This is a super way to increase your brand awareness, authority and popularity all at once.
It will require some refinement on your part but create enough high-quality content and you’re already on your way to getting more links to your pages.
Content marketing is about much more than letting customers know you’ve got a great product or service. People need to know that their opinions and experiences matter.
Cheap advertising gimmicks are something that will never work again. Probably.
By creating awesome content that resonates on a personal level with your audience, you show them they are important.
Show your customers that they are important and they will love you for it. Why is content marketing important? Because you want to grow beyond what traditional marketing can achieve.
That is also why traditional marketing strategies are not as effective anymore. Digital marketing is a more engaging and flexible way to reach your audience.
Make the most of it and don’t be shy to learn something new every day – it is how you grow.
How To Make The Most of Content Marketing
Now that you know about the benefits of content marketing, let’s explore a few ways that you can get the most out of this marketing strategy.
Naturally, a lot of planning goes into a content marketing strategy. Without good plans, you won’t be able to reap the benefits we’ve discussed here.
Here’s what you need to plan when you start building your strategy:
Content Marketing Goals
Firstly, you need to know exactly what you’re trying to achieve with your content. When you know, you can focus on everything related and important and let go of what doesn’t matter. You won’t get hung up or waste time on anything that won’t be to your advantage.
For example, you may need to drive traffic to your website. In that case, create content that will achieve this goal.
If you’re looking to increase brand awareness and brand authority, your approach to your content will be different.
For the best results, you need to have a good understanding of your target audience. You need to know what they love, what they hate and what makes them tick.
That way, you can cater your content to answer their questions, motivate them to support you and more.
Invest all the time you need to get to know your audience and don’t neglect this step of your content marketing strategy.
We mentioned that you need to get to know your audience to help you determine the goals of your content marketing.
How can you do that? Well, there are a few ways you can go about getting to know your audience.
You can start off by putting yourself in the shoes of your customers. Try and clearly identify their needs and problems related to your industry. Be very specific. Will your audience appreciate fast service or will they care more about 24-hour customer support?
Do they have special needs? Are they parents with hormonal teenagers? Or are they just starting a family? Is your target audience concerned with value or aesthetic? Would they rather buy a product that is going to last long or one that looks attractive?
These are the types of questions that will help you get an idea of the audience you need to cater your content to.
Another way to identify your audience is to take a look at your current customers. What do they all have in common? Consider the broad and narrow similarities between your customers.
Also, we recommend that you take a look at your competition. See what their websites offer, what they do on social media and examine their best-selling services or products.
This will give you an indication of your target audience and their behaviour. Looking at your competition also gives you an opportunity to find ways to stand out from the crowd.
When you have a good idea of who your target audience is, you can go to the next step – building personas.
Personas are much more detailed and in-depth descriptions of your audience. You will use a magnifying glass to look at the audience you’ve already defined.
When building personas, you will start to understand your audience on a deeper level. As a result, you will be able to create content that really speaks to them.
Personas are more than a list of characteristics – they are a look at the humans behind statistics and analytics.
When you use personas your content marketing will be a lot more precise and accurate. For example, it is much easier to create content for ‘30-year-old men who like to golf and enjoy energy drinks’ than it is for ‘men who play golf’.
Key Performance Indicators in Content Marketing
This goes well with your identifying your goals. Once you know what you are working towards, you can go into more detail.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are unique to every business.
They help you ensure that you’re meeting your goals and need to be measured regularly. You can examine your KPIs every six months or so or even every three months.
There are many KPIs that will help you know if you’re on the right track. You may have to keep an eye on your social media content performances, for example. To do so, you’ll measure your shares, likes, follows and clicks on your accounts.
Your website’s ranking and the effectiveness of your call to actions can also be considered to determine your goal achievement.
Brand awareness and reach should also be measured to know whether or not your content marketing strategy is working.
Of course, your budget should also be monitored so you don’t land yourself into hot water.
Take time when determining your KPIs – they’ll keep you very busy in the future.
Evaluate Your Position
If you’re already actively sharing content and working on a content marketing strategy, you may have to evaluate your current position.
Existing blogs and other content should be analysed so you can determine how well it is performing. You need to know how successful what you’ve put out there has been.
When determining your success, you should do an audit. It will help you understand what your content is doing. (Be sure to look at our Instagram audit guide)
You will take note of all the possible gaps in your content and also compare what you have with what your competition has.
Audits can take a while to do properly so don’t rush it.
Find the Best Channels for Your Content Marketing
You’ve defined your audience, your goals and your KPIs. So what’s next? Identifying the best channels to share your content on.
When you did your audience research you may already have determined where they spend their time online. If not, you can do analytics and surveys to find out just what your audience does when they’re online.
You need to be there where your audience is or your entire content marketing strategy will fall flat.
The best networks for your industry needs to be identified so you can make the most of them. We suggest that you focus on finding the best channels rather than trying to use all of them at once.
You’ll be spending a lot of time on content that might very well not get noticed at all. You can use blogs, social media sites, email marketing, pay-per-click marketing and more.
Determine Your Content Types
When you have worked out where you’ll be sharing your content, you can go on and start planning the type of content you want to create.
Planning this will go a long way to ensuring that what you give your audience is valuable and engaging. It is vital for a good content marketing strategy.
It is likely that you will end up using a mix of different kinds of content. You might use videos, blogs, how-to-lists, images and maybe even user-generated content.
If you’re interested in showing your industry authority, statistics and informative content will work well to achieve that goal.
Note that visuals are very important in content marketing so always make sure that you’re greeting visually pleasing content.
Resources for Content Marketing
After determining what kind of content you will put out and where you’ll share it, you need to establish how you’ll do it. You also have to plan whether or not you’ll use tools.
Will you share your blogs on WordPress or another popular blogging site? Will you use free stock images or purchase your images from Getty Images? Or, will you have photographers who will take professional shots?
Be sure to read our Best Free Image Creation Tools guide if you need help on finding quality photos for your content.
For your content, you can hire freelancers to create fresh content or you can hire in-house staff.
The tools and resources you will use are influenced by your unique situation. The size of your team and company will also play a role in your resource list.
You can use scheduling tools, analytics, Google Docs, editorial software and SEO tools, for example.
As you can see, your resources are very mixed but also very important. For smooth content marketing strategy implementation, you need good resources.
Some Interesting Stats On Content Marketing
To give an idea of just how great content can make a positive difference in the success rate of your content marketing strategy, we’ve gathered some data.
Below you’ll see how this kind of marketing can show results that reflect actual success.
Of course, you may have a slightly different experience but chances are you’ll still see the same kind of results eventually.
- More than 60% of United States online consumers decided to make a purchase after reading recommendations in a blog. (Source: Content Marketing Institute)
- Video content can help create higher Return On Investment and greatly increase conversions. That’s according to 72% of companies that took part in a survey. (Source: CrazyEgg)
- Average site conversion rates can be doubled with content marketing efforts. (Source: Hubspot)
- You can expect conversion rates of roughly 6 times higher than with any other digital marketing strategies. (Source: ABG Essentials)
- About 74% of companies that took part in a survey felt that content marketing boosted their marketing leads in both quality and quantity. (Source: Curata)
From this, we can clearly see that this kind of marketing is a superb way to get your brand noticed and growing in popularity.
Naturally, it will take a lot of hard work before your content marketing efforts pay off and you may have to wait months to see the first real and solid results. But it will happen.
As we always say, be consistent and ensure that you are creating quality content. When you do, you will find that the rest falls into place.
We have provided you with some really valuable information about content marketing. You have the definition of content marketing and know what the benefits of content marketing are.
Not sure if you know exactly how to create great content for marketing? Head over to our article that shows you the way – 8 Content Marketing Examples.
But if you feel that you need a little more inspiration, you should head over to SocialPlanner’s blog.
Digital marketers need to juggle their time carefully to avoid burnout. With that said, you can benefit from using a social media planner such as SocialPlanner. It offers an easy-to-use interface and many additional features. Plus, it’s very affordable.