If you’re still wondering if Content Marketing is a good Marketing strategy for your business, here are 10 tangible business benefits of investing in producing branded content to boost your sales and develop your company’s brand notoriety:
1. You’re meeting today’s online customers’ expectations
50% of consumer time online is spent engaging with custom content. (Source: HubSpot)
Customers engage with content before and beyond all. Whether a blog post, an image, a video, or a news feed on social media. What that means for your brand is that you need to produce engaging content on a regular basis to meet the main points of interests of your customers.
Having a static set of descriptive pages on your website and posting promotional messages on social media won’t cut it anymore (and hasn’t for a while now). You have to do more, you have to engage in content marketing and produce useful and engagement content for your audience to find and interact with your company.
2. You’re there when customers are on their buyer’s journey to purchase your product or service
60% of people who have read an article or blog post about a product stated that it helped them make their purchasing decision. (Source: GfK / formerly Roper Public Affairs)
Customers looking for a product or service go to an average of 10 different content sources before making their decision. (Source: Google ZMOT Macro Study).
Customers go through phases when on the “path to a purchase”:
- Exploration (they’re not sure what they want)
- Consideration (they need information to decide on the right product or service to purchase)
- Evaluation (they need information to compare different vendors to choose the right one for them)
Producing and publishing content that helps your prospective customers answer their questions and educate them on your product or service, and also to some extent entertain them, will place your brand on the path of their search and selection process to make a purchase.
3. You’re building and developing long lasting subject matter authority
71% of all the clicks to a website on a Google search come from the first results page. (Source: Moz)
The rational goes as follows: the more you publish content on your website related to a specific topic that resonates with your target audience, the more search engines favor your content and rank it higher until you reach the first Google research page. Google then considers your site as an authority on this topic, and any content you produce related to this topic will naturally rank higher hence driving more organic traffic to your website.
The shelf life of this content and it’s SEO yield are infinite as long as your website is running. The Search Engine ranking value, once acquired could be challenged if you don’t keep up your thought leadership and produce relevant content on that topic on a regular basis.
By investing in Content Marketing you’re building content assets that you can leverage for decades. It’s a wiser investment than burning your Marketing budget in one shot ad campaigns.
4. You’re creating a strong and tangible emotional connection by helping your customers shop
70% of consumers prefer to get to know a company through original articles. (Source: ContentPlus)
90% of consumers find custom content useful, 78% believe the organizations behind the content are interested in building good relationships. (Source: McMurray/TMG)
Most people are tired or interruption Marketing and they ignore more and more promotional content as well as ads in general.
Be there with the right content on your website when they need you and you’ll develop trust.
Be there to entertain them with the right messages and curated content when they don’t need you, and you’ll develop loyalty.
5. You’re fueling most of your digital marketing initiatives
Useful, insightful, and informative content is the essential fuel to:
- Boost your SEO and Search Engine ranking to drive organic traffic
- Boost open rates and clickthrough rates in newsletter
- Boost your fan engagement on Social Media
- Boost your audience reach on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn through promoted Post
6. You’re giving your customers and leads a reason to follow you on Social Media
The production of interesting content is one of the three reasons why people follow a brand on Social Media. (source: The anatomy of Content Marketing by Axonn formerly Content Plus)
Brands that publish a mix of useful and entertaining content on social media are the ones that see the most engagement and brand loyalty. When your original and curated content align with your brand promise and the expectations of your audience, you can sprinkle the mix with promotional hooks and see real tangible ROI on Social Media.
7. You’re giving more opportunities to your sales people to follow up and educate customers
When your Content Marketing strategy has been defined by involving your Sales and Customer Service teams, you can be sure to produce content that answers your prospective customer’s main concerns and questions.
While most companies use Content Marketing for online lead nurturing and lead generation, there are huge benefits for your Sales Team to use the Marketing material that is produced for digital channels. Too often however, Sales and Marketing operate in silo and the sales people aren’t notified of content produced that could help them sell too.
Top performing sales people nurture their relationships with their customers and prospects. Nowadays they do it through digital and social media. Make sure they know about the content you’re producing so they can leverage it and close more deals. You’re likely to see more sales pick up for real human being doing sales, then jut through your digital channels.
8. You’re giving yourself the right ammunition for increasing sales through Marketing Automation
67% of B2B marketers say they see at least 10% increase in sales opportunities through lead nurturing, with 15% seeing opportunities increase by 30% or more. (Source: DemandGen “2014 Lead Nurturing Benchmark Study”)
By understanding your customer’s buying journey and producing the right content in the right format to support her all along the path to purchase, you’ll be creating opportunities to collect essential information for profiling your prospective customers.
With the right content you will maximize your chances of a sales lead filling in a form. But more important, depending on the content the lead is signing up for, whether to download an eBook or to participate in a Webinar, you will also know at what stage of their buying journey the prospect is.
9. You’re creating digital transformation within your organization
When done right, a Content Marketing should involve several departments within a company and breakdown functional silos to maximize bringing together knowledge about the customer and about the sales cycles. When gathering key players from Sales, Customer Service, Marketing, IT and HR to discuss how to communicate the company’s brand and support its mission through content, you’ll be creating a cross-functional task force that will develop a common understanding of digital marketing, social sales, digital content production, and technology requirements.
Beyond a great team building opportunity, you will energize and empower each team player buy providing a common customer centric canvas to create a content journey that will support building brand awareness, increase lead generation, and help the organization attract top talent through digital channels.
Digital won’t be just a concept anymore. It will become a tangible and synergistically built branding and sales engine to support the organizations growth goals through content.
10. If you’re perceived as being the top thought leader in your space you will be able to charge more
“Content marketing has a HUGE impact on pricing, and there is one main reason why: when people love you, they don’t date around. And no, your ‘unique’ industry doesn’t matter. I’ve seen it in all types of industries—B2B, B2C, products, services… It all works the same. Good content = great teaching = more trust from consumers = less quotes from the competition = higher prices and margins.” ~ Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion
Content Marketing is more than just a best practice to build brand awareness and increase sales. If done right, you’re also becoming a subject matter authority with a strong expertise, and positioning your organization as “best in class”. This is in return will give you permission to charge premium rates.