Leverage these Benefits of Content Marketing to Drive Growth
Believe it or not, content marketing has been around since 1732 when Benjamin Franklin published the Poor Richard's Almanack in order to promote his printing business. While the times have changed and the printing business is much more digital, the fact remains, there continues to be many benefits of content marketing. Surprisingly, many marketers have not implemented a clear content marketing strategy and some even resist this as just a fad.
After 284 years of leveraging the benefits of content marketing it is safe to say content marketing is here to stay. In fact, according to Hubspot, 39% of today's marketing budgets are spent on content marketing, which produces 27 million pieces of content every day. If you already take a sophisticated approach to content marketing you probably have an effective performance strategy, but here are 5 benefits of content marketing that you might not have considered yet:
1. Content marketing can turn customers and prospects into advocates
Engaged customers and prospects are more likely to become active brand loyalists. If you can connect the dots between content and the business impact for your customers and prospects, you have a winning formula. Think about how you found this blog post. Were you looking for the "benefits of content marketing"? Are you trying to implement a more effective content marketing strategy? Maybe you are just getting started in your content marketing plan and are looking for ideas. When content consumers find value there is a good chance they will post/share on their social networks or email it to a co-worker. It may seem like a small gesture, but this type of endorsement will help to grow your base of brand advocates. Watch how some of our customer advocates are leveraging the value of the BrightEdge platform to capitalize on content strategies that make a positive business impact:
2. Content marketing can connect the dots between marketing and sales
Sales and Marketing alignment can sometimes feel as hard as aligning Republicans and Democrats, but it doesn't have to be this way. In many organizations Marketing is responsible for generating leads and Sales is responsible for closing deals. The implication of this mindset on your content strategy is that your content ends up producing the dreaded "low-quality lead". We are all in an evolved business environment where a Smarketing (Sales + Marketing) approach helps support the buyer throughout the buyer's journey. One effective way to align your content strategy with the buyer's journey is to work with your sales and customer success teams to determine the different stages of the buyer's journey and the personas that influence each stage. Once you have collaborated and agreed on the stages you can start developing the content that relates to each stage of the journey. Now, instead of hearing about "low quality leads" you can start discussing how to convert the prospects through a seamless path from prospect --> opportunity --> customer --> upsell and renewals --> references. Once you have valuable content for each stage you can start mapping the content throughout the sales process. This will not only help your sales team sell more efficiently without having to painstakingly search for relevant content, but it will ensure your marketing message is aligned to the needs of the customer. If you're looking for a more prescriptive guide to how to establish this connection, make sure to read our white paper on how to Execute an Integrated Campaign Successfully.
3. Content marketing builds on your core vision and drives a productive working culture
Your content is a reflection of how your company positions itself within the market. The employees are the driver of this position - in short, they are the ones to get stuff done. If your content is aligned to the corporate messaging and the corporate messaging is aligned to the efforts of your employees, it becomes difficult to be disjointed. Additionally, whether you realize it or not, your future employees are reviewing your content and making an informed decision about whether they want to dedicate their time to your company.
4. Content marketing can be leveraged to build your own personal brand and professional portfolio
You may have heard the term "Thought Leadership" and wondered how you can position your unique perspective into becoming an established thought leader. Think about your perspective as the engine and content marketing as the car. If you have an engine without a car you aren't going to go very far. You need the engine (your perspectives) to power your car (content) in order to drive your company and personal brand forward. Taking this approach will not only help you in real-time to generate results, but it will expand your networking reach. When you combine the performance of the results with a connected network it is easy to see how your own personal career interests quickly becomes one of the default benefits of content marketing. See how the DataCube can help understand the demand and performance of your content. This is a great way to test the market demand for the type of thought leadership you are looking to provide.
5. Content marketing is cheaper than traditional marketing channels
SEO and content marketing go hand-in-hand. In order to generate significant organic traffic you will need effective content that is optimized to find your buyer. It is important to understand that content marketing is not a quick fix. It is going to take time and a strong commitment to all the benefits of content marketing and creating SEO reports. One piece of killer content is not going to be the game changer, but if you can find the striking distance keywords and develop relevant content you will be in a much better position on ROI then if you exclusively deployed an SEM strategy. It may be tempting to get the quick fix of a windfall of paid media, but once your program is over, the leads are over. Alternatively, your optimized content establishes content equity that will continue to compound to drive business results. Check out your opportunities in organic with this free Search ROI Opportunity calculator. There are many more benefits to content marketing, and at times it may feel overwhelming. However, the benefits are increasingly obvious. If your interest is piqued, check out this webinar to get some helpful tips on how to balance this strategy and make a positive business impact.