Like many other organizations, your company is likely developing a digital marketing strategy that includes content. Content is the foundation of successful campaigns and should be used to form a comprehensive plan. Considering this, organizations need to consistently create material that entertains and informs audiences. Before diving in, it’s important to know how content fits into your overall strategy and what benefits you can expect to see.
Content Attracts New Audiences
Consumers are constantly bombarded with product advertisements and sales pitches – tactics that rarely produce meaningful results or qualified leads. Content marketing proposes a new and more effective method of reaching audiences. By providing informative and entertaining content, businesses can attract consumers without being overtly promotional.
Consider a retiree searching online for the latest investment strategies. She comes across a blog post from an asset management company that both answers her questions and provides solid advice. She might not be looking for management services today, but that single blog post raised brand awareness and provided value to a potential customer.
HubSpot suggests creating targeted content for first-time visitors. The most effective formats include blog posts, social media updates, podcasts, and infographics. Most importantly, content at this stage should provide value, facilitate awareness of a problem, and introduce your brand as a possible solution.
Content Generates Leads & Sales
Many organizations use their blog posts or articles to promote additional content that accelerates the sales process. Typically, an educational resource is offered in exchange for contact information. Marketers call this type of content a “Lead Magnet.” Your Lead Magnet could be in the form of a whitepaper, detailed article, eBook, guide, or case study. No matter the format, content at this stage should be interesting and relevant to your audience’s concerns.
(Caption: Lead Magnet from OptinMonster)
While identifying a lead is important, additional content should be created to close the sale and nurture the relationship. Typically, businesses will use e-mail marketing to send leads relevant content designed to convert.
Building a Loyal Customer Base
Content marketing shouldn’t end after a sale. Instead, create targeted content offers for customers that already know and appreciate your brand. Many businesses accomplish this by sending customers relevant blog posts or guides. The key lies in fostering the relationship and providing value.
At this stage, businesses have the perfect opportunity to turn customers into brand promoters and repeat buyers. In fact, the Content Marketing Institute recommends delighting your customers with further content to not only increase their experience but to gain referral traffic and brand engagement.
SEO Benefits of Content
Most consumers use search engines to perform product research and find answers. It’s crucial for businesses to meet consumer needs with quality content. Consistently publishing valuable content is also rewarded by Google’s algorithms. Pages should contain relevant keywords (without being spammy) and must be relevant to your searcher’s intent. Over time, your efforts will pay off with higher rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs).
If your organization relies on organic search traffic, the content will also help to develop backlinks. Links from quality sources build trust and can significantly improve rankings in SERPs. Keep in mind that quality backlinks are hard to come by. Only the highest-quality content achieves links, so consider using experienced writers and content creators with industry knowledge.
Thought Leadership & Industry Authority
We’re all naturally drawn to individuals, and organizations are considered authorities. In fact, consumers are more likely to purchase products and services from companies they trust. Your content is an excellent way to showcase your industry expertise and build brand awareness.
PR firm KemperLesnik provides a useful list of content that builds thought leadership.
Content creates and nurtures a relationship between your business and consumers. By developing thought leadership, you’re opening a dialogue with potential customers and building a brand reputation.
As you can see, content has many functions and produces substantial results. Without using any hard-selling techniques, your business can attract new prospects, build authority, and develop loyal customers. Most importantly, content marketing is a scalable and cost-effective practice that can help your organization meet business goals. If you struggle to find internal resources, nDash can connect you with experienced writers ready to create content for a variety of industries.
Editor’s note: This post is by nDash community member Jessica Turner. Jessica is a freelance writer and content marketer with a background in digital marketing in tech and politics. To learn more about Jessica, or to have her write for your brand, check out her nDash profile page.