At face value, content might seem like the stuffing in a toy. It gives substance to something bigger (a.k.a your brand) and is nice to have, but at the end of the day it’s optional. You don’t need a room full of teddy bears to get through the day, but it would be a great conversation starter. And that’s why content marketing is important.
Content marketing is creating and publishing content on your website that brings value to your target audience. Your content gets people interested in your brand and eager to learn more. It’s a great way to bring people into the top of your sales funnel and provide a path all the way through it. Content is proving to be a major force in the marketing world because of its four unique attributes. Let’s take a look at them!
Builds Brand Awareness
You’ve probably heard the marketing phrase “Find people where they are.” It means that instead of trying to draw people to your marketing efforts, you should implement those efforts where everyone spends their time. People spend most of their day online looking for information. If you can position your content the right way, you can be their go to resource even if they weren’t searching for you specifically.
Here’s an example of how that could work in real life. You’re a financial advisor with your own firm and you frequently post blogs on your website. (Compliance-approved blogs, of course!) Someone searches “retirement planning” in Google, and your article comes up. When they click on it, they not only find the answer to their question but also discover you can guide them to a long-term solution. Boom: brand awareness!
Content marketing helps you drive organic traffic to your website and target users based on their search queries. It’s an easy way to guide people into your sales funnel so your other marketing techniques can convert them into clients. This process is so effective that businesses that use content marketing convert an average of six times more leads than those without.
In addition to pulling in a whole new audience, your content marketing can also act as a platform for people to interact with your business.
Content done right is highly engaging for users because it’s designed to speak directly to their needs and interests. You can use insights about your target audience to inform topics, formats and even the placement of content. When you know your ideal user, it’s easy to address their pain points in a format they’re eager to consume, such as:
- A blog to discuss common issues your clients face and how to solve them.
- A video to break down a complex topic and make a personal connection with viewers.
- An infographic to give a quick overview of specific services.
This variety of formats means you can pick what best suits your needs and goals, as well as tailor it to your users. It’s also smart to combine different content formats to make a more engaging piece overall. If you have a lengthy blog that people might stop reading, consider adding a video halfway through to recap what they’ve learned.
By combining formats and offering information, content creates its third unique attribute: value.
Every business strives to provide valuable services to their clients. Content marketing is a way to do this even before someone decides to work with you. By offering “free” value, people can develop trust with your brand and will feel inclined to return the favor. You scratch their back, they want to scratch yours—that’s psychology.
With this in mind, every piece of content in your marketing strategy should bring some type of value to users. This might be educational blogs, entertaining videos or informative social posts. Whatever it is, users should be able to walk away feeling like they’ve gained something from interacting with your brand.
Establishing these elements of value helps people see your brand as an authority in your industry. It proves you know your stuff, are dedicated to helping clients and don’t make empty promises. Valuable content shows you can deliver something worth the cost of your services and that’s what sells people on your business.
We saved the best for last. The crowning achievement of content marketing is that it continuously drives leads to your website. When a nurture series is over, you’re no longer engaging those contacts. Not so with content. It lives on your website long-term and is always capturing users looking for the keywords it addresses, sometimes even years after publication.
It’s like setting part of your marketing strategy on autopilot. Optimize the blog, put it on your site and then let it do the work for you. You can focus on other efforts that directly target warm leads or prospects in your pipeline while your blog or YouTube channel keep funneling more people to your website.
How to Get the Most from Your Content Marketing
Just because it’s driving leads doesn’t mean it’s converting clients, though. Your content brings people in the door, then your website has to sell. That’s why it’s so important to have an effective sales funnel established on your website. You can create content tailored to different stages in the buyer’s journey and add CTAs, gated content or internal links that will keep them moving closer to conversion.
The StoryBrand funnel works particularly well because it positions users as the hero of the story. You can empathize with their situation, inform them about different options and position yourself as the guide that will bring them to a solution. Your content can support each of these steps while reflecting the StoryBrand principles.
As a marketing agency, these four attributes of content marketing are things we always strive to achieve for our clients. We love finding clever ways to use content in our clients’ marketing strategies because we know the value it can bring. If you’re interested in how content marketing can help grow your brand, schedule a call with us today!