5 Benefits of Content Marketing You Haven't Thought Of Yet
Why is content marketing important?
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 has become the era of digital the fact remains, there continues to be many benefits of content marketing. Surprisingly, many marketers have not implemented a clear strategy for it and some even resist, thinking it's just a fad. After 284 years of leveraging the benefits of content creation and marketing it is safe to say it is here to stay. In fact, 39% of today's marketing budgets are spent on content marketing, which produces 27 million pieces of content every day.
If you're already sophisticated in your approach to it you probably have an effective performance strategy but here are five benefits of content marketing that you may not have considered yet:
1. Content Marketing can turn customers and prospects into advocates
Engaged customers and prospects generally 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 marketing strategy? Maybe you are just getting started in your content plan and are looking for ideas. If you find value out of this topic there is a good chance you will post this on your 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.
2. Content Marketing connects the dots between marketing and sales
Sales and marketing alignment can feel as easy as aligning Republicans and Democrats. But, it doesn't have to be this way. In many orginizations 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 a evolved business environment where a Smarketing (Sales + Marketing) approach helps support the buyer throughout the buyers 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 buyers journey and the persona's that influence each stage. Once you have collaborated and agreed on the stages you can start developing smart 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.
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 if this is a place they will want to dedicate their livelihood to.
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 and 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 it's not a quick fix. It is going to take time and a strong commitment to see the benefits of content marketing. 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 than if you deployed an exclusive SEM strategy. It may be tempting to get the quick fix of a windfall of PPC leads but once your program is over the leads are over and you are stuck in the same position you were in prior to the PPC campaign. Alternatively, your optimized content will continue to compound, which is really where the ROI kicks in.