“Our customers don’t pay attention to content, so why should we pay for someone to create it for our business?”
Believe it or not, I heard this statement a few weeks ago from a company I interviewed. They didn’t believe content was worth focusing on as an element in their marketing mix.
Well, according to eMarketer, 73 percent of businesses rely on their own, branded content, and 41 percent leverage user-generated content and/ or reviews. Based on these statistics, content shouldn’t be an afterthought or something business can ignore — it’s an important piece of any company’s strategy.
For companies like the one I spoke with, more evidence might help educate them about the value of strategic content. If you need to convince someone about the value of content, here are three benefits of leveraging content in any company’s marketing mix.
Content Marketing Helps You Make a Personal Connection
Many businesses I talk to say they don’t need help with content. Why not? The reasons they give include:
- “We can just write something about ourselves and it will work” –
- “Our customers don’t really read much anyway”.
Wow. It’s funny to hear things like this.
Unless a business promotes itself solely via photos or perhaps through subliminal, mind-to-mind conversations, content makes a big difference.
Every day, we’re surrounded by content in the form of words, and different types of content, including forms of TV, radio, the Internet, or on the box of your favorite cereal.
Now, what if a company focused on building custom content for their specific customer market? It would make a big difference, yes?
According to research from the Custom Content Council:
- 68 percent of consumers like custom content because it’s tailored to their interests
- 55 percent said they would be more apt to buy another product from a company who provides them with custom content.
Content not important? I think not.
Content Marketing Helps Prospects Find Your Business
With all the ways for consumers to find your business online, one still stands out: search.
Usually, when a savvy buyer has a problem, they “Google it” to find a solution, right? So for a business looking to increase its rankings and become more visible to potential customers, quality search content is key.
So, how does a business go about making itself more visible through search content? Consider these suggestions:
- Creating and regularly updating a blog
- Writing articles for online trade publications
- Writing guest posts for established blogs
- Creating presentations that solve a problem and posting them on sites like SlideShare.net
- Publishing an email newsletter online through social sharing services
Content Marketing Closes the Deal
Content is important for visibility and building a connection with your prospects, but there’s another way you benefit: closing the deal. That’s right, as prospects go through each stage of the buying cycle, they need content that’s right for each stage. This includes the end stage, or “closing the deal.”
For instance, how would a prospect know your product or service is in their range or what other customers say about your business? These types of content will help convince prospects you’re the right one for them.
What kinds of content work would work for this?
- Look at writing case studies and white papers and posting them to your website in PDF form
- Add content available online and at in-person events such as seminars or conferences
- Create ROI calculators to show prospects their return on investment
- Create pricing guides highlighting your “sweet spot” offers
Content is everywhere, and learning how to effectively use it in your marketing mix will only benefit your business. So, don’t skimp on the content — use it, and use it wisely, before your competition beats you to it.
How are you using content marketing to grow your business? Leave me a comment below!
Photo credit: wiertz
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