Imagine you’re getting ready to try out a new hobby. You’ve thrown caution to the literal wind and decide to take up hang gliding. You pull out your phone and look up “how to hang glide”.
A blog post and instructional video from an adventure company comes up. The information is helpful – the company clearly knows what they’re talking about.
At the bottom of the blog, you see a link: “Beginner hang gliding lesson” Click. Done.
You’ve just been converted by content marketing.
So, what exactly is content marketing?
Content marketing is a strategy in which brands develop and share blogs, articles, videos and podcasts related to their industry and product in order to attract, engage and retain an audience.
Content marketing is the new normal in our customer-centric environment – it generates leads, builds trust and encourages customer loyalty. It is an absolutely essential strategy for any brand looking to succeed in the online marketplace.
Why does your brand need to use content marketing?
- Your customers expect and value it. The results speak for themselves. The Content Marketing Institute reports you can expect 3x the number of leads, 6x higher conversion rates, and potentially a 7.8-fold boost in web traffic than with outbound marketing.
- Your competitors use it. 91% of B2B and 86% of B2C marketers use content marketing – which means your competitors are probably already pushing out content, building trust with customers, and establishing themselves as industry experts. You don’t want to be left in the dust.
- Your brand will learn more about its target audience. When you track what content your customers love and engage with most, you can segment more accurately, refine your buyer personas and improve your personalization efforts.
How do you do content marketing right?
- Engage your audience. Your content should not be stagnant. Track how people are responding to it – use the content to drive conversations, gain insights, and tailor future pieces.
- Create authentic content. Use conversations with customers to drive content. What FAQs do people have? What pain points can your brand solve? Generic content that doesn’t add value to the customer experience will fall flat every time.
- Avoid a sales pitch. Content marketing is not sales. Your content should be neutral, provide more information about your industry, company and employees, and cultivate conversations with potential customers.
Regardless of your brand’s industry, content marketing is a low-cost, high-value strategy you can implement to boost brand awareness, customer trust, better leads, and conversion rates.