What You Need to Know About Content Marketing to Get Started
Over the last decade, content marketing has revolutionized the way marketers have gone about reaching their audience.
The efficiency of inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing has created a huge shift in marketing budgets.
In 2017, Inbound marketing spend officially surpassed traditional (outbound) marketing spend.
This trend is only expected to increase in the future, as purchasing power is decentralized into the hands of the consumer even further, and marketing data becomes even more important and accurate.
55% of marketers say that inbound marketing is their top priority.
Whether or not you see the value in content marketing for your company or not, you cannot deny this statistic.
Basically, we could talk about content marketing stats until our heads spin, but what you need to take away is why content marketing is essential to your business, and how you can implement it to generate more leads and grow your brand recognition.
What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing is a form of inbound marketing designed to bring organic leads to your website, social channel, or blog through high quality content that engages with your audience and answers their questions.
Think of content marketing as a beacon for your audience. It pulses signals which attract your audience, by offering them what they need – value added, answers to their questions, and help solving their core problem which your product or service aims to solve.
For business owners who do not know how to find out what their audience is asking on Google, try out our new questions tool! Part of our brand new free content marketing tools suite!
What Are the Benefits of Content Marketing?
Content marketing comes with multiple benefits over traditional marketing. The main advantages of content marketing vs. traditional marketing are:
1. More Precise Insights Into Your Audience
In traditional marketing, you don’t get half as many insights into the efficiency of your marketing campaigns.
With analytics, you can see just about any statistic you could imagine from your audience. Content marketing allows you to gain insights like:
- Location Data
- Time on Site
- Most Visited Pages
- Where and When People Exit Your Site
- Where Traffic is Referred From
- And much, much more!
This massive amount of data allows you to integrate marketing campaigns easily, and develop content marketing KPIs, which can be used to measure content marketing ROI and guide your audience through the marketing funnel efficiently, turning traffic into leads, and leads into clients.
2. Lower Cost Per Acquisition
Over time, content marketing acts to acquire clients at a much lower average cost than traditional marketing.
This is especially true in the B2B client space, where cost per click (CPC) can be extremely high, and not very effective in terms of conversion rates.
3. Continually Builds Your Audience Over Time
Knowing how to create an effective content marketing campaign helps you to grow your audience much faster over time than traditional marketing.
In fact, the best companies that invest in content marketing often get 3.5 times more web traffic than their competition.
With 55% of marketers naming blogging as their #1 inbound marketing priority, it is no wonder why content marketing is becoming a NEED for businesses in 2019 and beyond.
Content marketing is equally important and effective in the B2B space as it is amongst consumers.
B2B companies that blogged 11+ times per month had more than 3x the traffic of those who blogged 0-1 times per month.
This works because content marketing allows business owners to continually grow their audiences and exposure at an exponential rate, rather than a static rate that is only related to the money you put into your paid campaigns.
Yes you should also invest in outbound campaigns, but that you should have the right mixture of inbound and outbound marketing efforts and budgeting.
4. Strengthens Your Brand and Community
One of the strengths of content marketing is that it helps you to develop a community out of your audience over time. While this may not be a tangible statistic that you can measure with precision, it is still essential to building an effective business and brand.
A great example of this is the way that social media content is trending in the last few years.
Content consumption on Facebook has more than doubled since 2015, and 74% of people say that they use Facebook for professional purposes.
59% of Americans believe that customer service which is handled through social media is more effective.
Not to mention the network effect. A positive story that helps people can be used to reach thousands of lives, changing the traffic of your website and the audience of your brand forever.
5. Improves Lead Generation
More leads. Can’t we say that we all want this for our business?
Content marketing offers a solution for business owners looking to generate more leads.
Think of all the time you spend watching how-to videos on YouTube, and you see an advertisement pop-up on your screen, talking about a new solution for something that can help your business.
While this targeting is done through outbound techniques, the people are clicking on your ad based on whether it services their needs or not. This means that you are always getting qualified leads through your content, whether it comes in one of the many forms of content used in content marketing, such as:
- White Paper
Knowing what your audience is looking for and where they are looking for it is key to operating an efficient content marketing campaign and developing the best content for your audience.
Once you have done that, you should be able to apply basic traditional marketing tactics to your content on the best social media platforms for content distribution. Content comes first, it is the engager of your audience, the primer for action. It needs to make your audience aware of your brand, what it does, how it helps them, and then make them act on this knowledge.
6. Distinguishes Your Brand from Competitors
How many brands out there offer similar products and services, and yet, when you think of them, they still are entirely different to you?
This can also be said about influencers on social media. If you think about it, your goal as a content marketer is to build a brand. Everything else comes as a result of this.
By building a brand that is unique and authoritative through high quality and unique content, you are distinguishing your brand from the competition and establishing it as a thought leader in your industry that people can depend on for accurate, timely, and insightful information.
This information that people in your audience are seeking comes in the form of:
- Comprehensive Guides
- How to Videos
- Helpful Internet Tools
- Distinct Value Added
Each one of these content types has one goal: solve user problems. People flock to where their problems are solved. It is a rule of business. Your content is the gateway to unlocking this relationship with your target market.
7. Establishes Your Brand as an Authority in Your Industry
The internet has a lot of noise. People do not want to be misinformed, and they want to be informed on time. They seek an authority of high quality information that they can trust, digest, and turn into meaningful and beneficial progress in their business or daily life.
When you utilize the power of content marketing to your advantage, you are empowering others through your content by providing them with solutions to their problems and advice for how to move forward.
Over time, if you consistently provide people with advice that helps them, they will become your biggest sales person. Your results in business speak for themselves. If you are able to solve problems better than your competitors and accurately convey to them how you do this through content marketing campaigns, over time your audience will flourish and grow all on its own.
8. Nurtures Leads Through the Sales Funnel
Rather than taking a brand new idea and shoving it down the throat of perspective leads right away, content marketing allows businesses to slowly walk their audience through the process of becoming a client seamlessly, without them ever knowing it.
Well, content marketing helps guide your audience through the various stages of the sales funnel:
First, it helps to inform the audience of your brand and mission.
Second, it helps to become more knowledgeable about the subject matter that your product or service is in.
Third, it keeps answering their additional questions that they did not even know they had.
Fourth, it helps them solve a problem they did not know they had, or they have recently discovered they had by offering them answers and solutions.
Fifth, it gives them the opportunity to learn more in the future, and the space to make their own decision regarding purchases.
Lastly, it sets up the the pins for further engagement. In other words, your content should leave your customer very wide open to be engaged with again. Because you have done the research and put the time in to make a great product, your audience should be very likely to return, and very likely to turn into a lead eventually.
How is Content Marketing Different from Traditional Marketing?
Content marketing is primarily different from traditional marketing in the way that it engages users. Content is typically an inbound marketing tactic, while traditional marketing methods focus on outbound marketing tactics.
In order to get a more complete understanding of the differences between inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing, we created this complete guide which has everything you need to know about the subject.
What is the Goal of Content Marketing?
The main goal of content marketing is to increase marketing efficiency and improve brand awareness in the industry.
On top of this, other goals of content marketing include:
- Improved Lead Generation
- Increased Conversion Rates
- Cultivating an Audience
- Solving the Problems of Your Users
- Educate Your Customer
- Build Brand Loyalty
- Boost Audience Engagement
- Nurturing Leads Through the Sales Cycle
Most of these goals make for some of the biggest challenges to marketers in 2018.
How Long Does it Take to See Results from Content Marketing?
A good content marketing campaign should have a considerable amount of planning before it is set up. For the most efficiency, you will want to combine elements of social media marketing, PPC ads, blog content, video content, and other value added opportunities.
Typically, for a content marketing campaign to begin seeing results, you will want to be sure to give it a solid 3 months in order to get enough data to understand and interpret the results.
Within this time frame, you will want to set goals, and monitor content marketing KPIs in order to make sure that your campaign is seeing the efficiency you are looking for and it is working towards progress in generating more leads and more visits.
Larger, more complex goals can take longer, usually for large content marketing campaigns, you will want to account for a 6 month period to gather data, try new things, and gauge efficiency and results.
Does Content Marketing Work for Small Businesses?
Yes. In fact, we started off this company with absolutely no website traffic whatsoever, and we have quickly grown to a few hundred monthly visitors on a consistent basis in just a few short months.
Every content marketing campaign starts somewhere. Just because you have a small business does not stop you from growing it through the power of content marketing.
While you may not have as high of a budget, and should likely try to do make as much of the content for your website as you can on your own, content is still vital to your business’ success.
If 70-80% of people are researching something online before purchasing, and you do not have any way of informing your potential audience of your existence and how you solve their problems, chances are you will not be as effective as possible when it comes to acquiring new leads.
How Can I Measure the Results of My Content Marketing Efforts?
In short, the best ways to measure content marketing campaign results are through:
- Analyzing web traffic
- Analyzing conversions and click through rates (CTR)
- Number of new leads
The answer to this question deserves a post all on its own. We made this comprehensive guide to content marketing KPIs that every marketer should pay attention to. To learn more about these content marketing goals, check out this guide!
There are many tools you can use to measure the return on investment of your content marketing campaigns, the main ones being:
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Social Media
This section also deserves its own post, so we created a guide to the best tools for measuring content marketing ROI here.
How Long Does Content Marketing Last?
To answer this question briefly, your content lasts as long as you set it up to last. Quick and low value pieces of content are not valued very highly by users or by search engines. If your goal is to make content that is effective without putting in the effort to make great content, you might want to consider working with a content marketing agency that produces content for you.
Surprisingly enough, content actually has a very long lasting effect on the internet if done right.
A study done by HubSpot revealed that of web content published, 1 in every 10 posts was considered to be a compounding blog post, which means that they will generate continued traffic over time.
Though only 10% of blog posts are compounding, they generate about 6x more traffic than other posts.
This is the basis behind Evergreen Content, which is web content that is continuously visited over time, rather than visited for a limited time by a specific audience.
In order to create evergreen content, you need to make very comprehensive and unique content, and you need to continually update it in order to make sure that you do not have inaccurate information on your site, and you remain a step ahead of the competition.
Is Content Marketing Right for My Business?
Put simply, it’s almost 2019. Content marketing is right for EVERY BUSINESS. Large, small, private, public, B2B or B2C, it doesn’t matter.
Content has now become the way that brands and audiences interact. If you are not actively working on an effective content marketing campaign for your business, you could be missing out big time on connecting with people who are looking for your product or service.
Content marketing for beginners can be a bit intimidating, and a bit daunting of a task to understand, but once you see the vision, you will understand that content marketing is a must have part of the modern digital marketing world.
For more information on content marketing and how to become a better content marketer, you should visit our content marketing blog, and sign up for our newsletter for weekly updates on what is going on in the marketing world, and what you need to know in order to be more efficient in your content marketing efforts.
Who Can I Work with to Produce High Quality Content for My Business
At PoofNewSales, we work with businesses to help them identify content gaps in their industry, build brand awareness, and develop high quality content for their businesses that help to establish them as thought leaders in their industry, and help generate more leads.
If you are interested in learning more about working with our content marketing experts, please contact us via phone or email. We will get back to you as soon as possible. Let’s grow together!