It seems like advertisements are everywhere nowadays.
Whether blocking us from watching a YouTube video, or disguising themselves as blog articles with titles like “The 11 Secrets to Be Better at X [#4 Will BLOW Your Mind]”, advertisements are becoming harder and harder to run away from.
In the midst of all of this negative advertising, businesses are left with an incredible opportunity to stop interrupting and start helping their customers.
Welcome to the world of content marketing.
Content marketing focuses on driving sales by giving your customers what they’re looking for while they’re actively searching for it.
Today, we’re going to talk about the top 13 benefits of content marketing to help you understand how valuable this marketing strategy can be for your business.
First, we’ll share the top 13 content marketing benefits. Then, we’ll delve into how you can get started with an effective content marketing strategy.
The top 13 reasons to invest in content marketing
1. Because Google likes content.
Yep, the Google gods are all about quality content.
Don’t believe me? Just head over to YouTube and look up any interview with Matt Cutts (the former head of webspam at Google). You’ll be hard pressed to find him to respond to a question about how to rank higher in Google with anything other than “write great content.”
Google is obsessed with providing their users with the search experiences that deliver what they’re looking for. Informative content is often the best way to provide that experience.
Ok, so Google likes content. Who cares?
Short answer: Everyone.
Image taken from SparkToro’s 2018 study
A 2018 study from SparkToro found that Google sends 10x more traffic to the average website than Facebook (and more than 10x for any other website).
In other words, content marketing dramatically boosts website traffic from your most effective traffic channel (organic search).
2. Content marketing drives more sales
Boosting website traffic is meaningless if it doesn’t result in more sales.
Don’t worry: content marketing helps with that too.
Most of your customers won’t be ready to buy from you the first time that they hear about your business. People go through a buying process before committing to a purchase. With smaller products (ex. a pack of gum), this buying process is very quick; with larger products (ex. a new car), this process takes much longer.
We’re going to take an image from our friends at HubSpot about the inbound marketing methodology to help demonstrate.
Before making a purchase, people realize that they have a problem that needs solving (awareness). They take time to research and better understand their problem (consideration). Then, they make a decision on which solution is best for them (decision).
A fully constructed content marketing system helps your potential customers during all 3 of these stages by educating them on what they’re searching for.
Content marketing, therefore, helps you by:
- Bringing your potential customers 1 step closer to making a purchase.
- Building a relationship with your target audience to make them more likely to work with your business, instead of your competitors.
If that’s not enough, inbound leads (i.e. leads from online marketing) have a 14.6% conversion rate, while outbound leads (leads from cold calling, direct mail, etc.) have a 1.7% close rate.
3. …And helps put sales on autopilot
Cold sales outreach is hard as hell.
I know because that’s where 50% of my time went for my first three months of doing Junto full time.
As you may have guessed based on the number of responses, it didn’t go very well.
People are busy, and none of those people were searching for marketing services.
The result: a lot of disappointment. I ended up wasting a lot of time and money on campaigns that failed to drive any ROI for Junto.
Around March 2017, we stopped doing cold outreach entirely. Instead, we decided to focus on digital marketing, with the majority of our efforts being put towards content marketing.
Today, potential partners reach out to us when they’re ready to work with us. We have a conversation about their goals, identify the right approach to help them grow, and see if we’re the right team for them to partner with. In some cases we are; in other cases we aren’t. Either way, we help each of those potential partners to find the right solution to help them grow.
Content marketing helps transition sales from forcing a customer to buy your product to being a valuable resource that is there when your customers are ready to buy from you.
4. Content marketing lets you control the conversation
It’s no secret that selling a product becomes much easier when your customer is looking for what you sell.
Let’s say you sell high-end sofas. Someone on the hunt for a $300 sofa isn’t going to be easy to sell to. By the time they walk into your store, they’ve already made up their mind about what type of sofa they need.
However, what if you could talk to that person while they were researching sofas? What if you could talk to them about the importance of paying a premium for quality before they made up their mind about how much they were going to spend?
Controlling the conversation while your most likely customers are educating themselves is invaluable. The same holds true for everything from car insurance to business software.
So why not write about these conversation points? Why not control the conversation when your customers are deciding what they need? Chances are your competitors are beating you to the punch and stealing your best potential customers.
5. It’s way less annoying than traditional marketing
Nobody likes being interrupted in the middle of their day by people trying to sell them something.
40% of internet users already use ad blockers, and that number isn’t going to decrease over time.
Sure, banner ads can be a good way to showcase your brand. But spending money on TV commercials and other forms of advertising that interrupt your customers doesn’t sound like the best way to win them over.
Content marketing, on the other hand, enables you to build customer relationships by putting your brand in front of your customers in a way that helps them.
6. Content marketing amplifies your brand awareness
Let’s say you run an investment firm and decide to write an informative article that ranks 1st on Google for “how to invest in stocks.”
40,000+ people search for that exact phrase on Google every month. You’ve now put your brand in front of 480,000 potential customers every year.
And that’s just for the exact phrase “how to invest in stocks.” There are an additional 40,000 people who search for the exact phrase “how to buy stocks” every month on top of that, not to mention the other close variants. At least 1 million people search for this theme every year.
7. …And the credibility of your brand
So your investing article now appears in front of 1+ million potential customers every year. Out of that number, ~25% of people will click on your article.
Assuming you put time into making the article helpful to your readers, 250,000 people will now view your brand as a thought leader and credible information source every year. Many of those people will go on to become your customers over time or tell a friend about your website and turn their friend into a customer.
8. Content marketing provides compounding ROI
Let’s assume you decide to write a second article about the best dividend stocks.
Over time, you rank 1st on Google for “best dividend stocks,” which is searched for 22,000 times every month. You’ve now put your brand in front of an additional 260,000 people every year, which results in an additional 65,000 qualified website visitors every year.
Now your website went from 250,000 annual visitors to 300,000.
Each additional article has the potential to significantly increase your qualified website visitors each month. To add to this, other websites link to helpful information sources. Each of these links helps to drive more qualified website visitors to the article that is linked to, as well as the other pages on your site.
9. Content marketing grows your social media following
Each potential customer that finds valuable content on your site becomes a potential advocate for your brand.
Many of these readers will follow you on Facebook or Twitter so they can stay up to date on future articles that you write. Many of these readers will also share your articles with their friends and family on social media, which helps to exponentially grow your following over time.
10. Content marketing drives more visibility to your product pages
Content marketing, directly and indirectly, drives significantly more people to your product pages.
Assuming you write articles that relate to what you sell, many of those readers will go on to visit your product pages after reading your articles (especially if your articles link out to those product pages).
When you write kickass blog content, other websites link back to that content.
Search engines look at each new backlink as a testimonial that your article is a useful resource. And each page that your article links to is seen as a more helpful resource as well.
So that blog article that links to your product page sends a little love to your product page each time that someone links to that article.
The more love that you send to your product pages, the more likely you are to rank 1st on Google when your customers are ready to buy from you. For example, if your home insurance page gets enough links from your blog, it can start to rank for “home insurance services.”
11. Content marketing makes life WAY easier for your customer service team
Does your customer service team answer the same questions every day?
Whether it’s how to reset your password or how to use your product, take the time to write an informative answer to those questions. Compile those into a blog post or series of blog posts that your customer service team can share when they do get those regular questions.
Many customers will even find these answers through an online search instead of reaching out to your customer service team, to begin with.
12. …as well as your sales team
Now reach out to your sales team and ask them which questions they get on a daily basis. Write useful content about these common sales questions/concerns that prospects ask.
Now hand those articles to your sales team. Ask them to enhance these articles based on what they see driving the best results for your team.
Congratulations. Your website just became your new best salesperson (and it works for you 24/7).
13. Content marketing scales your retargeting audience
One of the most effective marketing strategies for e-commerce companies is to set up display ads of their products to those who visit their product pages, yet leave the site before purchasing a product.
Ok, call me a hypocrite for adding this point after bashing TV ads. However, finding people who express interest in one of your products and reminding them about those products does provide value.
Content marketers can take the same approach.
Let’s say you write an article about the top 5 questions to ask before buying a new mattress. Those who take the time to read the article are very likely to buy a new mattress in the upcoming months. So why not set up display ads of some of your top mattresses for those readers?
So how do you get started with content marketing?
Ask yourself the following question: do I have the time to learn content marketing and take a DIY approach, or does it make more sense to partner with a team that does this every day?
Why should your team invest in content marketing?
- Because Google likes content
- Content marketing drives more sales
- …and helps put sales on autopilot
- Content marketing lets you control the conversation
- It’s way less annoying than traditional marketing
- Content marketing amplifies your brand awareness
- …and the credibility of your brand
- Content marketing provides compounding ROI
- Content marketing grows your social media following
- Content marketing drives more visibility to your product pages
- Content marketing makes like WAY easier for your customer service team
- …as well as your sales team
- Content marketing scales your retargeting audience
Put simply, there’s no better long-term marketing investment than content marketing. It’s the marketing service that provides compounding ROI, without pissing off your customers.
This post originally appeared on https://junto.digital/blog/content-marketing-benefits/