An average of 14,800 people searched for “What is Content Marketing?” every month in 2021, according to the State of Content Marketing (2022) report by Semrush. This was a 22% increase from the previous year.
In addition, in their 2022 State of Content Marketing report, HubSpot reported that 90% of businesses that use content marketing to increase sales, raise brand awareness, and generate leads, will continue investing in Content marketing. Another 66% plan to increase their content marketing budget this year.
What do these stats tell you?
The high number of monthly searches and increasing budgets for content marketing indicate that more businesses are planning to adopt this marketing channel in the near future – including your competition!
Now, you can sit back assuming this doesn’t affect you and watch as your competition gets light years ahead of you.
Alternatively, you can get in on this powerful marketing channel and start building your brand and attracting the right kind of customers – the kind of customers who buy from your business multiple times and spread word about you to their friends.
Not convinced yet? Below, I’ll share with you 8 reasons why you cannot afford to ignore content marketing in 2022. Before that, however, let’s understand what exactly content marketing means.
What is Content Marketing?
What is the first thing you do when you want to buy a product, visit a hotel, or subscribe to a service? If you’re like most people, you probably run to google to search for reviews, advantages, history, and other information you want to know about whatever you’re interested in.
Ever wondered where this information comes from?
In most cases, the information you consume is mostly from companies that sell those products. They create content to provide you with every tiny piece of information you need to help you make a purchase decision. That right there is what is known as content marketing.
The Oxford English Dictionary gives the best definition of what content marketing entails:
Why Does Your Business Need to Invest in Content Marketing?
A few years ago, creating a Facebook page and an Instagram account for your brand was a great way to build an online presence. In 2022, however, when every business has a social media account, that counts for little.
If you want your brand to stand out and attract potential customers, you have to go the extra mile and consistently create high-quality content in different formats. You’ll need to create SEO-optimized blog content, explainer videos, photos for your social media accounts, podcasts, webinars, you name it.
All this takes a lot of effort, so why do you need to do it? How does it benefit your business? Here are 10 reasons why content marketing is crucial for any business that wants to thrive in today’s world.
It Builds Brand Awareness
In the past, advertising was the best way to create brand awareness. Businesses spent tons of money buying ads on social media sites and spamming potential customers.
However, there is one problem with this approach. Consumers hate ads. Ads are intrusive and disrupt your audience’s browsing experience. As a result, consumers will do anything to avoid them.
Unlike ads, which involve pushing your message to people who might not care about your products or services, content marketing does the opposite. It attracts potential customers by serving them with the kind of content they are looking for.
Content marketing is non-spammy and allows you to bypass things like ad blockers, which can significantly reduce the effectiveness of your ads.
Here are some things you can do to build brand awareness through content marketing:
Develop searchable content: Optimizing your content for search engines makes it easier for new clients to find your business. Searchable content can be content aimed at addressing your audience’s issues and helping them solve their problems.
Post your content on third-party platforms: Post your content on sites and forums such as Quora and Reddit, where potential customers congregate. Subtly talk about your products without coming off as spammy. For example, if you sell bicycle spare parts, you can join a bikers forum and post content about how to repair bicycles at home. This is a great way to familiarize your brand with potential customers.
Diversify Your Content: By creating different kinds of content, such as videos, blog posts, and podcasts, you make your brand’s content easily accessible. The more people can easily access your content, the faster your brand awareness grows.
To build brand awareness, you should create content that positions your company at every stage of the buyer’s journey. This strategy keeps you on top of the customer’s mind and makes you the first choice when they’re ready to purchase.
It Helps you Attract and Build an Engaged Audience
Content marketing is a long-term marketing strategy that, when done correctly, continuously attracts customers to your business. And once you attract them, you can keep them coming back through valuable, engaging content.
Attracting and engaging your audience will involve creating strategic content that humanizes your brand and encourages your audience to keep in touch with you. Here are a few ideas on how you could do that.
Build a following: One way of creating a following is by generating fun and trendy content. Consumers love to see brands participating in viral activities. However, don’t just hop on any viral challenge. Choose one that will resonate with your audience, otherwise, you will look corny and needy.
Give your business a human face: Long texts, product pictures, and flyers are cool, but you can take it a step further. Host live videos of you talking about your business, post behind-the-scenes videos of how you run your business, and tutorials on how to use your product. This humanizes your brand and builds trust, leading to higher engagements.
Hold giveaways: Everyone loves freebies, and there is no better way to attract an audience and engage them than by running contests. Run targeted giveaways meant to appeal to customers who could potentially buy your products, not just anyone looking for free stuff.
Conduct surveys: Conducting online surveys lets you get your audience’s insights and feedback. Conducting simple polls like asking the customers to decide what packaging to use can make them feel appreciated. You will engage your audience, improve your services, and make your audience part of your decision-making process.
Be Creative: Post unique content that encourages your audience to take specific actions. These actions include asking them to comment, share your content, join your email list, or provide feedback.
When attracting and engaging your audience, try to avoid hard-sale messages that force them to make a purchase; this can quickly alienate your audience instead of building a relationship.
It helps you Build Trust with your Audience
Building trust with your audience is the surest way of increasing your revenue and growing your business. When customers visit your website, you need content that will make them feel you are running a legit business, and that you know what you’re talking about.
The best way to build trust with your audience is to identify their pain points and create content that offers solutions. Conducting surveys, keyword research, and keeping an eye on Q&A forums will help you identify the problems your customers are facing. You can then create content that addresses those problems.
Another technique you can use to build trust with your audience is to provide relevant content on your website and other marketing channels. Sharing content that doesn’t resonate with your target audience tells them that you don’t know what you are doing. If you run more than one business, create a dedicated website for each brand.
Remember, the aim of content marketing is to meet user intent. You must generate content that assists your audience to achieve their objectives. This is accomplished by anticipating what your audience is looking for and their expected action. Are they seeking information or do they want to buy something? Create content that will elicit the appropriate reaction from the users based on their goals.
Engaging your customers by creating content that addresses their needs and sharing their stories builds authenticity and trust and positions your customers to be your ambassadors.
It Helps You Generate More and Better Leads
When it comes to generating solid leads, nothing beats content marketing. It is the easiest and cheapest way to generate leads for any business. When done right, one piece of content has the power to generate leads for years continuously.
Picture this; a Facebook ad will only generate leads if you keep buying Ads. However, if your blog content makes it to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs), it will continuously generate leads for as long as it stays there. Without any extra effort or cost on your part.
Generating more leads with content marketing requires that you:-
Provide content that solves a problem
Deliver your content in the format your audience prefers
Provide consistent content at every stage of the buyers’ journey
Publish high-quality and educative content that adds value to the conversations
It Helps You Boost Conversions
According to a report compiled by Oberlo, close to 90% of consumers read reviews about products before making a purchase, and 79% trust the reviews they read. This research shows that customers want to learn as much as possible about a product before purchasing.
Content marketing allows you to educate and guide the customer and influence their buying decision from the moment they show their buying intent.
When a potential customer types a query on a search engine, they are essentially looking for content about your product. Instead of leaving it to others to provide this information, you can create your own content that gives you control over the narrative and allows you to subtly guide the customer towards purchase. This is a great way to boost your conversions.
Content marketing also lets you engage the prospective clients and guides them into giving you useful information like their name and email. Once they do that, you can further engage them by sending relevant follow-up emails. An engaged prospect is more likely to convert into a paying customer.
Another way content marketing can boost your conversions is by improving your brand recall. Creating content that addresses the user’s problems at every stage of their journey makes them familiar with your brand. This makes them more likely to buy from you when they’re ready.
It Improves The Effectiveness of Your SEO Strategy
Content is the foundation of a solid SEO strategy. Using the right keywords on your page titles, optimizing your metadata, and fixing all 404 errors won’t help you rank if you don’t have any content on your website.
Content marketing improves the effectiveness of your SEO strategy by:
Increasing your online presence: Content marketing increases your online visibility as you keep publishing and promoting your content through different channels. You can also use those channels to create backlinks to your website. These backlinks improve your website authority and help you rank higher on SERPs.
Providing your audience with Value: Valuable content increases your website retention rate, which in turn helps your website rank higher.
It Positions You as an Authority in Your Industry & Builds Your Brand
Imagine you want to build a million-dollar home. You can either have a well-known, accomplished architect design it for you or pick some random architect you’ve never heard of before. Which of the two would you pick?
For such a huge investment, you want your home to be designed by someone who knows what they are doing. You can’t risk it on someone unproven.
Your customers use a similar approach when making their purchase decisions. They don’t want to risk buying from just anyone. They will only buy from you if they are confident that you are well-versed in your industry and will deliver the exact results they are looking for.
The good thing is that you can use content marketing to show prospective customers that you’re an authority in your field. That you know what you’re talking about. Here are a couple of ways you can use content marketing to build authority and grow your brand:
Create high-quality content that outshines any other content on the same topic. Here, listicles and How-to articles will not cut it. Replace them with case studies and whitepapers that can be quoted and referenced by competitors.
Perform content audits and ensure your content is targeted to a specific buyer persona.
Employ all the best SEO strategies to ensure your content outperforms competitors.
Consistently create content that addresses users’ problems as they arise. Be aware of industry changes and trends and use them to your advantage.
Create content that ranks for all the keywords you are targeting. This strategy will ensure that no matter what combination of keywords your audience searches for, they will still find your content.
Be Original – When creating a content marketing strategy that will make you stand out, you must go an extra step and be as original as possible. You develop original content by drawing from your expertise and experience, commissioning high-level research, and focusing your attention on what matters.
Using the above-listed practices will help you create authoritative content that will make you stand above everyone and take your brand to a higher level.
Fuels Your Other Marketing Channels
The best way to fuel your other marketing channels with content marketing is by creating content that can be repurposed to be used on different channels.
For instance, after you’ve written a high-quality blog post, you can repurpose the blog post into a YouTube video. You can then share the key highlights of the blog post as a Twitter thread and convert the blog post into an infographic that you can share on Instagram.
It’s all the same content but repurposed for different marketing channels to give you a bigger reach.
What Are You Waiting For? Start Investing in Content Marketing Today!
Now that you understand all the significant reasons why you can’t ignore content marketing, it is time for you to invest in this channel and grow your business.
There are several ways to get started with content marketing depending on your goals and budget.
If you are on a tight budget, you can enroll in a free content marketing class and learn how to create your own content. There are several courses that can teach you the fundamentals of content marketing, including this free course offered by Google on Coursera.
Alternatively, you can put your content marketing on autopilot by outsourcing your creation to DroidContent. This allows you to focus on building amazing products, while we help you create the content to attract, engage, and convert prospects into paying customers. Click here to check out the approach we use to create amazing content for our clients.