What is content and why it matters so much for your brand?
We are sure that you already heard a bunch of times how content is the king and how you should focus your online marketing on content. It is obviously not a new idea in the marketing world, and its importance is something people are aware of. In the past few years, it’s becoming more important than ever because it is the number one tool for engaging users and encouraging them to buy products or services. Content is more than just for filling up your web pages and social media. Your content serves for building confidence among your customers, and it helps create brand awareness and driving traffic to your website. From there to conversion is just one click.
So, why is content essential and how to use it in your marketing strategy?
Why is content important?
Content marketing for many years was a great way to set your brand apart from your competitors, but it has now become a necessity for any serious brand. It is something that distinguished great brands from the average ones, something that connects with the consumers. Creating new, persistent and useful content for your audience is a necessary practice today in any business industry. Unfortunately, many companies don’t give enough time and resources toward content marketing, because they don’t find it as a relevant channel to communicate and engage with its audience.
In doing so, they often fall short in their marketing goals. For brands that create meaningful and exciting content, the benefits are enormous – both internal and external. The power of content marketing is easily explained in its ability to cover all 4Ps of marketing. At first glance, it may not seem that way but content talks about your product, it puts a price on it (through ROI), it places your product on the market and finally directly promotes it. But, what does content marketing present? Content marketing consists of creating and distributing relevant content with the aim of engaging users and encouraging them to buy products or services. However, as more brands are realizing the power of content, they are rushing to create more content and organic content reach is failing.
That is why it’s no longer enough just to have engaging content, brands need to invest in a paid advertisement of the content to reach the wider target group. What does it all mean? Well, promoted content is the activity of publishing content with the goal of promoting that content with paid distribution channels. That can include PPC campaigns, paid social media posts, sponsored placements, and any other type of paid promotions.
Paid advertisement of the content (or promoted content) is a great way to increase the relevance and visibility of the published content, but the paid ads need to be within the content marketing strategy and general online marketing goals of the brand. Promoted content is a quick and effective way to grow your audience and bring in new leads and eventually sales. Instead, only when brands are focused on creating unique, high-quality and personalized content that is, most importantly, useful and exciting for your specific audience, the power of content is visible. That can happen via text, video, images, infographics, blog posts, webinars or whatever your (and your audience’s) preferred content medium is.
If you give your current and potential customers content that interests them, is useful to them, and at the same time entertains them, they will trust you and return to your online platforms daily.
To help you understand the importance of content for your business, we’ve put together 5 reasons why is content marketing important:
- Content encourages engagement
Good content, in any form, encourages users to engage with the brand whether they realize it or not. If the content is relevant and has high quality and value, users will stop what they are doing and “consume” the content, understand the brand message (and values they convey) and maybe engage deeper by sharing the content. A great and simple example that is encouraging engagement is with user-generated content. We can take brand Glossier, for example of a successful brand that is using this approach to boost its brand on Instagram. They often share their user’s posts and comments about the brand, and that is a great way to encourage engagement.
- Content adds value to your brand
The more value and brand messages you provide with your content, the easier it will be to build trust with your audience. For example, Acorns Investment is a popular investing app that has a blog called Grow from Acorns, and it’s one of the best content marketing examples for an effective blog. In their blog, they provide a bunch of valuable articles for their target audience – instead of focusing on talking how great their business is, they chose topics that provide value and are encouraging engagement.
- Content can improve your SEO
The importance of content becomes evident when we look at the role content plays in helping brands build their SEO (search engine optimization). And according to Tech Client, creating content is the most effective SEO technique – business sites that post consistent blog content have on average 434% more pages indexed by search engines than those that don’t publish at all. That’s enough of an invite to start blogging, right?
Just look at Buffer, a social media management app that first used guest blogging to start their growth (that strategy helped Buffer attract their first 100,000 users). Buffer concentrated on producing high quality and highly shareable content. And now? Buffer is a highly recognized and trusted brand, with almost 400.000 users, and around a million followers across multiple social media sites.
- Generate sales and leads with content
Content that is engaging, useful and has value for the audience has an enormous potential to generate new leads and increase sales. According to DemandMetric content marketing costs about 62% less than traditional marketing tactics, it generates about 3 times as many leads. Insisting on content marketing rather than on straightforward sales and product-oriented content gives consumers time and space to create a relationship with the brand. That way, consumers connect authentically with the brand and move from customer to brand advocate that gives you leverage on many levels.
- With content, you can build a relationship
If you still have doubts about whether content marketing is essential, we have the last reason to convince you. With the right content marketing strategy, you can build relationships with your customers, relationships that are long-lasting and worth more than just a click or two. We discussed how content is an integral part of trust-building and engaging with your audience that will help you grow your audience and reach new customers. But how to keep those who already purchased from you and make them your loyal customers? Because, according to Marketing Tech Blog, a loyal customer is worth, on average, up to 10x as much as their first purchase.
Content that provides value that gives emotions and tells a story for your audience will help increase brand loyalty by strengthening the relationships you already have. This will encourage repeat sales and help you establish powerful brand advocates. A brand that never stops with providing emotional and relevant content is Coca-Cola. For years Coca-Cola has been putting out innovative marketing campaigns that establish an emotional connection with its broad audience. One particular campaign incorporated something special – personalization. It’s the “Share a Coke” campaign that made people seek Coke bottles with their name on it, and they could grab one for a friend with his or her name on it. That was a great sales tactic to grab the attention of their audience and get them to make a purchase and establish an emotional connection with its consumers.
Coca-Cola continued the printed and social media campaigns with videos that showed friends getting together and sharing a Coke with their name on it. This strategy helps the brand go beyond just showing the value of the product to explaining how the product can bring people together.
How to create top (and not flop) content?
- Tell a story
One of the old fashion ways to keep your audience interested in your content is by telling a story and using real-life examples to explain your products or services. People are naturally attracted to stories; they have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Storytelling will provide more reactions than a simple text constituted of facts and statistics, for sure. Storytelling is one of the best methods for building a connection with your audience. When we incorporate stories into our content, we transform the information from dull and informational to inspiring and captivating.
By sharing stories, you show you care about solving real problems and helping your audience. A great example of storytelling is Microsoft with its blog named Stories, where they share human stories behind the brand and its technology.
- Follow trends – but not always?
Modern brands need to ensure that the content is creative, trendy, and edgy. Following the viral marketing trends is the first step for any brand to engage with real-time social media marketing. Sometimes, brands respond to viral trends in a way that gives even more relevance and publicity.
But, other times, their response to viral marketing trends has devastating consequences. The internet is filled with stories of brands who missed the idea of the trends, misunderstood messages and ended up in disaster. The same happened with recent #DollyPartonChallenge. What was all the fuss about? A country music legend Dolly Parton posted a collage of her four personas – one for each of the leading social media platforms: LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Tinder. LinkedIn was presented by smartly dressed, casual and fun on Facebook, artistic picture for Instagram and sexy for Tinder.
The post went viral very quickly, and everyone, from Miley Cyrus to The Tower of London was doing their versions. Various brands killed it while others didn’t understand the point. What can we learn from that?
Viral trends are not simple and easy as they may seem. Follow the trends but understand the idea of the trend, carefully plan the post and convey the brand message while knowing your audience.
- Plan your content
Last but not least, your content needs to be deeply integrated with your overall marketing strategy, and it needs to follow up with a concrete plan of publishing the content on various platforms. The first step to get there is to have a smart content marketing plan in place. Some of the essential elements of a great content strategy are: setting your mission and goal, knowing your audience, figuring out the best channels and strategic planning of publishing the content.
Those brands that do have a clear content strategy are most likely to see their content marketing efforts as successful.
If all of this seems like a lot to take in, don’t worry, we got you covered. In case you need help with setting up the right content strategy and gaining more engagement and sales, contact us.