Once upon a time, marketing and advertising professionals spent big bucks creating eye-catching magazine ads and memorable TV commercials.
Sometimes, these advertising efforts worked. Sometimes, they didn’t, and most of the time, they were really, really expensive.
Marketers these days are a lot smarter and a lot less poor, because their marketing dollars go further.
That’s because the savviest advertising and marketing professionals have embraced content marketing, which has an ROI that far outpaces most traditional forms of advertising.
Converts to this marketing method believe in it so much, they’re willing to devote most of their marketing time and dollars to it.
That’s money that they could be spending on big TV ads or large newspaper spreads, but they’re not. That’s how important content marketing is to them.
That fact alone probably gets your attention, and it should.
To help you make a more fully informed decision about content marketing, we’ve put together this post so that you get a more in-depth answer to the question:
Why is content marketing important?
In it, you’ll find the following information:
- What Is Content Marketing?
- Some Important Content Marketing Stats
- Types of Content Marketing Materials
- 3 reasons why you need content marketing
Want to learn more? Then, let’s dive right in!
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the act of creating content, like blogs, newsletters, podcasts, and more, in order to promote a business.
It differs from other more traditional types of marketing in that it is mostly informational in nature.
Basically, what this means is that while sales may eventually take place as a result of content marketing, they take place because the customer has a relationship with the business owner.
This is true even if the relationship is “just” the relationship that the customer has with the business owner via that business’s blog, podcast, or what have you.
However, despite this slow warm-up approach to advertising and marketing, a full 58% of marketing professionals say that their original content is the most important content they create.
And another 81% of them say that it is their goal to increase the use of original content in their marketing plans.
The content marketers who are most effective create content that aligns with the buyer’s journey. This refers to the buying cycle.
It looks like this:
Awareness > Interest > Trial > Buy > Loyalty.
In this new model of marketing, it is as, if not more important, to market to your customers after they buy from you.
This is important for two reasons:
- You want to develop a relationship with customers that encourages them to buy from you again.
- 84% of customers take action – that is they buy a new product, refer a friend, or sign up for a new course – based on the recommendation of people they know.
The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, says that 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers.
If you create content that reinforces your customer at the loyalty stage, then it’s likely you’ll have a customer for a very long time.
Some Important Content Marketing Stats
So, just why is content marketing important? The following statistics should help you answer that question.
70% of people think that companies that provide good content for their customers care about getting to know them, and over 60% of these consumers are influenced by custom content.
Nearly 80% of consumers want to get to know a company and its products through articles, blogs, and other content rather than ads.
These three stats alone imply that consumers want to buy from companies that care about them as people. Most consumers want relationships with the companies they do business with.
It seems that marketers who use content marketing as a strategy agree with these consumers.
A full 72% of marketers who use branded content think it’s more effective than traditional marketing and advertising methods.
That being said, your content marketing efforts will only gain traction if you are consistent.
The content marketers who have the most success are the content marketers who are most consistent about putting out content.
Finally, content marketing brings a lot of bang for the buck.
It costs over 60% less than traditional marketing, and yet, it produces three times the amount of leads. Conversion rates are higher, too, by six times as much.
Types of Content Marketing Materials
Content marketing is a catch-all phrase that includes a number of different content types. Each type of content has its advantages.
Some of the most well-known types of content marketing include:
- Blog posts and other written materials – These are articles that you post on your company’s blog. They should deal with topics that are relevant to your industry and your business. They should also be topics that would be of interest and helpful to your customers.
- eBooks – eBooks are another popular content marketing item that you can use to attract more clients. If you don’t have time to create an eBook from scratch, you can use some of your best blog posts as a foundation for your eBooks.
- Webinars – Webinars are live instructional videos that allow audiences to ask questions in real-time. Often they are informational in nature, though many marketers also monetize them, too.
- Email newsletters – There is a marketing adage, which says: “The money is in the list”. If you have a solid email list, then you have a solid customer base. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should try to sell something to your customers in every email. You can update them about projects, highlight your best customers in an email, or provide some helpful information to them just because.
- Podcasts – Podcasts are a great way to bring a radio-type show to your clients. These types of content are ideal for those who want to listen to helpful or uplifting information on their way to work or whenever they have some free time. What’s more, if you write a lot of helpful blog posts, you don’t even have to come up with original content for your podcast. You can repurpose your blog content and turn it into content for your podcast.
- Social media posts – Your social media posts allow you to interact with your customers in real-time. They allow you to have conversations with people, provide answers to common questions, and share company news.
- Video – Some people don’t like to read long blog posts, but they will watch videos that cover the same content. Savvy marketers use videos to record important industry events or to teach clients how to use their products or services. As with the podcast, video creators can use the content from popular blog posts to create relevant video content, too.
3 Reasons Why You Need Content Marketing
1. Content marketing attracts and builds trust with visitors
Business relationships are all about trust and consistency. When you create a solid content marketing schedule, you’ll not only attract visitors to your site, but you’ll also establish trust with them.
If you say that you’re going to publish a blog post on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and then you do that, your customers will come to expect that.
They’ll also trust you to do what you say you’re going to do because you’ve promised them that you’d post three times a week and then you followed through on that promise.
Therefore, it isn’t too big of a stretch for them to believe that you’ll follow through on other matters as well.
You should also additionally consider the fact that if you produce quality content, your customers will start associating your quality content with your brand. That builds trust as well.
Related to this is the issue of authority. Your content gives you an opportunity to establish yourself as an authority in your industry.
If your readers rely on the information you publish, because it provides them with top-notch industry information, you won’t have to worry about them looking someplace else for the information.
They’ll come to you.
If they come to you repeatedly for quality information, it is also likely that they’ll eventually come to you for products or services when the time comes.
2. It produces more leads for your business
As has already been mentioned, most marketers find that content marketing is an effective way to develop more leads.
Leads are the lifeblood of most businesses. They can’t exist without them. Without leads, a company runs out of people to sell their goods and services.
The stats back this up, too:
81% of marketers who spend a lot of time writing content show a positive return on investment when they dedicate themselves to creating content.
Basically, if you spend more of your time creating blogs and other content, the more successful you’ll be.
Finally, it is critical to point out that the web has changed people’s attitudes about marketing forever.
The old model of advertising relied on disrupting the customer. Television or radio commercials are good examples of this.
Nowadays, the consumer decides which products interest them. They go out and look for those products when they search the web.
This new trend has created a need for content marketing as a phase of inbound marketing.
Approaching marketing from this standpoint means that the leads you get from your content marketing efforts will most likely be more warm leads.
That is to say that you have a better chance of selling something to your customers if your content is aligned with what they’re already looking for.
3. It costs less than other types of advertising
Nearly 90% of marketers use their social media platforms to promote their content. There are a couple of reasons for that.
- These sites are free. For businesses that have only small budgets to work with, social media can be the great equalizer. This is particularly true if a company also happens to produce excellent, shareable content.
- Once you get these potential customers interested in you via your social media efforts, you can then entice them to join your mailing list.
Once they’re on your list, you’re in a position to reach out to them more regularly and in a more personal way via your email newsletters.
What Is Content Marketing: Final Thoughts
Content marketing allows you to connect with your current and future customers in a very real way.
Most content marketing professionals find that they are able to build solid relationships with their clientele through their content.
This, in turn, creates brand loyalty and a host of future customers, who will buy from them again and again.
What’s more, content marketing costs less than most types of advertising, and content marketing forms, like social media, are free.
This allows smaller businesses with tighter budgets to compete with other larger, more established businesses in the same industries.
If your budget is lacking, then content marketing may just be the marketing solution you need to create effective marketing campaigns for a fraction of the cost.
Finally, by adopting this type of marketing, you’ll save yourself time and effort. The best content marketers build their content around what their customers already want.
In other words, if these would-be customers find you via your content, then chances are good that they are looking for the type of products or services that you sell.
As such, selling to them will be easier than it would be if you tried to sell to someone who isn’t in the market at all for your goods and services.