Increasingly, brands are waning from the use of traditional advertising and taking advantage of the effectiveness and benefits of content marketing.

But what exactly is content marketing?

Content marketing is an approach to create and to share quality content to promote ideas, to educate and engage your target audience, and to encourage them to build a relationship with you. Anything from blog posts, social media posts, online videos, infographics, and much, much more are used as a means for content marketing. As well, it has become more apparent that content marketing provides a more meaningful connection with your audience, which can eventually lead to customer loyalty and sales.

So you have great content, but how do you know that you are reaching your target audience and generating leads?

1. Matching specific content to specific target audience

When you produce content for your brand, you need to remember to make it specific enough for your target audience. Think about who it is for, what solution does it offer, and how it will be packaged. Some ways you can present your content to your audience are: articles, how-to guides, online videos, white papers, webinars, and podcasts. It will result in your readers feeling more connected to what you have to say and to your brand.

Aspire, inform, and educate your readers to gain their interest and loyalty. Instead of being overly promotional about your brand, it is best to be useful, helpful, and original. The right content can move a lead further down the sales funnel and turn them into a client.

2. Don’t forget your call-to-action

A call-to-action is an essential part of content marketing. It allows for your readers to become engaged with your brand. It may involve them leaving a comment on blog posts, sharing your content via social media platforms, signing up for a newsletter to receive more information about your brand’s ongoing efforts and accomplishments, etc.

3. Collect leads’ information

After you build awareness and loyalty with your audience, it may lead to their active buying stage. With an intent to buy a product or service, they will seek out more direct information about the company and what they offer so they can find a solution. It may be as simple as having them provide their email to receive a proposal or more in-depth information, providing an email or phone number in order to speak with a representative, etc.

To bring this article around full circle, here are 13 statistics from a great article on 24 stats about the importance of content marketing, where we curated the best stats to prove content marketing generates leads:

1. Eighty percent of business decision-makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. (Source)
2. Seventy percent say content marketing makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company. (Source)
3. Sixty percent of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content on its site. (Source)
3. Ninety percent of consumers find custom content useful, and 78 percent believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them. (Source)
4. More than 90 percent of CMOs think custom content has a positive effect on audience attitudes, strengthening the bond with consumers. (Source)
5. According to 37 percent of marketing managers, the most important channel for engaging customers is content-led websites. (Source)
6. Seventy percent of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads. (Source)
7. Thirty-seven percent visit content marketing websites at least once a month. (Source)
8. Sixty-eight percent are likely to spend time reading content from a brand they are interested in. (Source)
9. Sixty percent are more likely to be on the lookout for products when looking at content marketing. (Source)
10. Content marketing costs less than traditional, outbound marketing. Statistics show that content marketing costs 62 percent less per lead than outbound marketing. (Source)
11. Thirty-seven percent of marketers say blogs are the most valuable content type for marketing. (Source)
12. Per dollar, content marketing produces roughly three times as many leads. (Source)
13. After 36 months, content marketing has generated 31 leads per $1,000 spent, more than three times as many as than the nine leads for paid search. (Source)