The global digital population as of January 2020 has reached 4.54 billion people.
Consumers are online and they’re looking for solutions to their problems.
Your competition is already taking advantage of this.
63% of B2C marketers are committed to content marketing.
91% of B2B marketers use content marketing to reach customers.
Here are 12 reasons why content marketing is important and why you should start paying more attention to it.
Let’s jump in…
Content marketing builds trust and relationships with consumers
95% of B2B buyers consider content as trustworthy say that it plays a role when evaluating a company.
81% of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from blogs.
The cornerstone of content marketing is providing informational and educational content that solves problems for your consumers.
There’s no better way to build trust and form a relationship with a consumer than to help them solve a problem.
Pairing this up with the fact that content marketing, when done right, solves people’s problems for free just creates a perfect setting for trust-building.
Selling is only a byproduct of content marketing.
Meaning, when you build trust and relationships with consumers, they will seek out your products, enter your funnels, and buy from you on their own.
Nothing is forced and all that happens organically.
Publishing content across multiple platforms further solidifies consumer trust in your brand.
If you want to know more, check out my article “11 Tips on How to Use Content Marketing to Build Trust and Relationships with Your Customers. “
Content marketing improves branding
We’re all used to branded advertisements on TV.
They’re flashy, but they solve none of our problems.
Traditional advertising worked fine for all these decades because no other kind of advertising existed.
But now that consumers are becoming increasingly numb to traditional advertising, content marketing offers a way to differentiate your brand from your competition.
With content marketing, brands are able to go two steps further from traditional advertising.
They’re able to target many smaller segments of their consumers and create more relevant content for them.
And they’re actually able to solve the problems of their consumers through content marketing, which is priceless.
Content marketing enables individuals and companies to adopt the “show, don’t tell” way of communicating with their consumers.
Content marketing lends itself so well to showcasing your expertise.
And consumers like experts.
Needless to say, great content increases brand awareness and inspires brand loyalty.
It could be argued that content marketing IS branding.
If you want to know more on how to use content marketing to build brands and increase brand awareness, check out my article on this topic.
Content marketing improves your authority and authenticity
86% of consumers prefer an authentic and honest brand personality on social networks. (Source: Smart Insights)
91% of consumers are prepared to reward brands for their authenticity.
Positioning your personal brand or your company as an authority within a niche is so important.
Because content marketing revolves around connecting consumers to solutions to their problems, it builds authority like no other form of marketing.
People instinctively connect merit-based authority with authenticity.
Relevant content doesn’t force any outcome.
In other words, it doesn’t force sales.
You simply publish it and let consumers interact with it organically.
Not forcing any money exchange with your content makes people feel safer and more relaxed around your brand since they don’t feel like they’re being preyed upon.
This relaxed atmosphere breeds many positive consumer impressions about your brand, including authenticity.
Content marketing increases conversion rates
The average conversion rate for a blog is 19%.
Conversion rates are nearly 6x higher for content marketing adopters than non-adopters (2.9% vs 0.5%).
A competent piece of content is able to guide the consumer to the desired outcome by answering their questions and concerns.
Relevant content marketing speaks to a smaller segment of your audience, but it answers more of their questions and concerns.
In other words, vanilla ice cream doesn’t do well in the world where consumers want toasted coconut chocolate chip ice cream.
Naturally, when someone feels like the solution you’re providing is tailored to their specific problem, they convert a lot better to a customer or a lead.
Apart from relevance, content marketing can hit such high conversion rates because consumers spend more time with content than a traditional advertisement.
Think about it…
Consumers spend 30 seconds with an ad on TV that doesn’t really speak to anyone or solves any problems.
Meanwhile, when consumers search for answers to their problems and they stumble upon a branded piece of custom content, they stay with it for much longer.
This allows for trust to be established and relationships to form.
Naturally, conversion rates go through the roof.
Content marketing cuts costs
Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing.
Generally speaking, there are no guarantees in this world.
But if you’re equally skilled at creating content and creating and managing ad campaigns, your content is going to perform better.
Content marketing is a long-term game, however.
It could take months before you get eyeballs on your content.
Think of content marketing as an investment.
When you make an investment, you’re fine with having less money now so you can have more money down the road.
Another great quality of content marketing is the compounding effect.
As your domain grows in authority and your content raises up in the SERPs, you start getting exponential growth.
Which simply doesn’t happen with paid traffic.
So if you can survive the initial drought period, content marketing will start paying dividends and outperform paid traffic when it comes to bang for the buck.
So, how much does content marketing cost?
It costs as much as you can afford to spend.
Plus, you can always exchange your time for more content.
Facebook doesn’t accept time as currency for Facebook ads.
At least not yet…
Content marketing increases lead generation
The average content marketing rate for converting traffic to leads across industries is considered to be at 16%.
Marketers aren’t just leveraging content to generate sales.
Obviously, they leverage content marketing to generate leads as well.
Content marketing generates about 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing.
How does content marketing generate leads?
Well, with content marketing you can target specific segments of consumers with laser-like accuracy and create relevant content for them.
You can point your content marketing death star at any particular segment of your audience when you:
- Know your audience
- Choose your content distribution channels
- Have a content marketing strategy in place
- Create relevant content
When these four things come together, it’s virtually impossible not to start getting qualified leads from your content marketing efforts.
This process is not easy or fast, however.
But it’s well worth the effort.
Great content marketing improves SEO
Optimizing your content for humans is great and you should do it, but don’t neglect the search engines too.
If you’re starting from scratch and your brand has no built-in audience or online presence, your content has to be liked by search engines to get traffic.
Luckily, the search engines are being developed in a direction where they more and more value the substance over robotic optimization techniques.
This means that if you create great content, it should carry its own weight and more when it comes to SEO.
Obviously, this doesn’t happen overnight so patience is key.
But as the search engines start testing your content against consumers, it will go up in the SERPs if it’s relevant and it provides value.
Simply put, people stay with relevant content for much longer on average.
This increases ranking factors like dwell time, average session duration, bounce rate, etc.
Great content tends to carry a lot of authority for your domain as well in the form of backlinks.
Backlinks are considered the top ranking factor by some and at the very least in the top three spots by almost every SEO expert out there.
Your peers will link to your informational and value-driven content pieces.
You can almost count on that.
Besides, you can always do backlink outreach campaigns to spread the word about the content pieces you think are very linkable to.
Content marketing allows you to target any segment of your consumer base separately
Not every piece of content will be relevant to your entire consumer base at the same time.
In fact, it’s a bad idea to even attempt to create such a vanilla flavor type content.
Because when a single piece of content is supposed to target everyone, it usually ends up being relevant to no one.
Content marketing allows you to be much more strategic than that.
You can target an audience based on any criteria that’s relevant to your business.
Be it the good old top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, and bottom of the funnel breakdown, or some other criteria like geographical location, age, profession, etc.
Remember, the “potential” reach of your content doesn’t matter.
You could create a content piece that targets everyone on Earth and it would probably lead to zero leads and sales.
At the same notion, you could create a relevant, value-driven piece of content that targets 20 CEO’s within your niche, have one of them convert and bring immense value to your business.
Of course, I’m speaking in absolutes with these couple of examples.
There’s a lot more nuance with this.
And that’s the beauty of content marketing.
Content marketing brings great ROI
82% of marketers who blog see positive ROI from their inbound marketing.
Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13 times more likely to have a positive ROI.
Have you ever bought a product based on a recommendation from a blog article?
It happens all the time.
With such an abundance of content out there this process usually looks something like this:
- Consumer has a problem
- They search Google or Youtube for a solution
- A useful and informative piece of content pops up
- Content piece contains a solution to a problem in the form of a product plus a link to that product
- Consumer is influenced by the content and clicks on the link that leads them to the product
- Consumer purchases the product and the content creator earns a commission
What I described here is called affiliate marketing, but this works the same way if the content creator offers their own product instead of somebody else’s.
If you’re interested in checking out more content marketing ROI statistics, check out my article on this topic.
Let’s take a look at one concrete example of how content marketing brought positive ROI to a company.
Shipserv, the leading e-procurement platform for the marine industry, back in 2008 decided to give content marketing a chance.
They started with a small content marketing budget of $30,000 and invested it in revamping their website, created a blog, published white papers and created a LinkedIn group.
Just three months in, the company reported that they broke even on their initial investment.
The company reported these results:
- Website visitors increased by 59%
- Landing page conversions increased by 150%
- Opportunity conversions increased by 50%
- Sales-ready leads increased by 400%
- Increased brand awareness
Content marketing brings in organic traffic
You can always get paid traffic.
Just plug in your banking information, and Google, Facebook or any other source of traffic will send eyeballs to your content.
While paid traffic is awesome if you’ve optimized your offers to yield positive ROI, it’ll still cost you dearly.
Organic traffic virtually costs nothing in comparison.
Plus, organic traffic brings people who are searching for solutions to problems.
Not only that, but these people are in the very mindset of solving their problems at the moment they’re performing the search.
They’re actively looking for YOU.
You’re not bothering them with your ad while they’re watching a Youtube video, looking at pictures of their grandchildren on Facebook, or browsing an unrelated website.
In other words, content marketing is sending consumers with a high level of interest your way.
From there, it’s up to you if you pique their interest and they become a qualified lead or even make a purchase then and there.
Assuming your content ranks high in the SERPs and there’s a constant influx of new searches, this can happen over and over again.
That’s the beauty and power of content marketing married with organic search.
Content marketing can become a backbone of the rest of your digital marketing strategy
You can use the great content you produce for your content marketing efforts in so many ways other than just attracting organic traffic to your website.
Running an email marketing campaign?
Send your subscribers to your great content or use parts of that content in your email outreach.
Have multiple social media channels?
Repurpose the content you create by molding it into something you can publish on a particular platform.
For example, you can’t post an entire blog article on Twitter, but you can advertise it on Twitter or pull snippets from your content and then post them on Twitter.
Running paid traffic campaigns?
Send paid traffic content pieces that have a proven track record and positive ROI.
Leveraging AI chatbots for your customer service?
Have the bots link to your informative and educational content as answers to relevant customer questions.
And so on…
Great content has many use cases and long shelf life.
Content marketing can create a community around your brand
Let’s say you’re producing top-quality content within your niche on a regular basis.
After a while, more and more of your audience starts noticing that they can depend on you to deliver high-quality content on the topics they’re interested in regularly.
Returning visitors start feeling more relaxed on your website over time and they start leaving comments on your posts.
Over the years, a community of niche enthusiasts forms around your content.
When this happens, it leads to seismic shifts in brand awareness.
Notice I used the word ‘years,’ though.
Content marketing in and of itself is a multi-year long-term game, and community building can take even longer.
But most content marketers are in it for the long haul so why not nurture any and all benefits content marketing can produce, right?
Content marketing is a long-term marketing strategy that yields a significantly positive ROI.
It doesn’t matter if you’re building a personal brand or a company brand.
Content marketing can be used by anyone and on any platform where content is published.
Content marketing improves branding, builds trust, creates authority, increases leads and sales, improves SEO and brings organic traffic to your offers.
These are just a few of the reasons why content marketing is important and is taking over the digital marketing world.