Businesses with an online presence that are still exclusively using traditional marketing strategies are increasingly aware of the ineffectiveness of such methods. The truth is traditional marketing is rapidly becoming outdated. Even when expertly handled, these anachronous methods are not increasing the bottom line as much as they used to.
Today’s multi-media marketing demands created the need for more creative and effective marketing strategies – and content marketing was born. Effectively utilised, content marketing can significantly shorten sales cycles and quickly establish industry credibility and authority. The many-layered approach available with content marketing and the potential for immediacy in branding can indirectly lead to higher sales.
Towards brand loyalty
Content marketing involves creating engaging, insightful, interesting, and informative written content aimed at fostering customer awareness and loyalty. By providing comprehensive information about a businesses services and products, content marketing establishes a relationship with existing clients and prospective customers that can continually and reliably be built upon. The flexibility of content marketing offers unique opportunities to engage and educate a brand’s audience.
This flexibility becomes apparent when the varied available venues are taken into consideration, which can include articles, blog entries, webinars, videos, eBooks, and similar materials that target consumer interest. Content marketing avoids the traditional hard sell, being designed to indirectly promote or sell a product. The goal is to establish a rapport between a company and its target audience. This is done by presenting relevant information in an interesting way that promotes the company as an established leader and expert in its particular field.
Although content marketing does not generate sales directly, it can help increase sales by driving more people to the company website and developing trust in the brand. The latter is tremendously important, as content marketing presents the elements of trust, reliability, and high quality in multiple formats that can convince consumers that they need a company’s services or products, without having it forced upon them. Purchase decisions are made based on this foundation of variably-presented trust concepts. With content marketing, people buy with the conviction that it is their own idea to do so.
Content marketing achieves sales by being highly informative and helpful, allowing the audience to gain various kinds of practical information that puts them at ease with the business, the products and the services. It creates a purchasing environment that entertains and enlightens, while establishing trust and transparency.
And what does the business get in return? One important takeaway is that due to content marketing’s valuable information, consumers who read it usually share it with their social network contacts. This sharing with family, friends and acquaintances establishes an immediate brand acceptance because it came from a trusted source. Traditional unsolicited advertising cannot accomplish the same intensity of info-sharing and immediate brand credibility.
As the sharing continues, people will visit the company website in search of additional engaging and informative content. Reassured by their shared association referral, they will browse and spend substantially more time on site than someone without that content marketing brand background. This word-of-net cycle repeats with more and more people being driven to the website.
Leading to a higher Search Engine rank
Driving people to the company website results in higher website traffic which will lead to a higher ranking for the company’s site in search engines like Google. This is one of the primary goals of content marketing and is known as Search Engine Optimisation. When the company website is ranked high in search engine results, people are more likely to select the site based on their web search. Content marketing works to increase website traffic, which converts to more sales.
Highly relevant, well-produced content is the key to higher rankings. Google continually updates how search algorithms rank relevant content on websites. Hummingbird, its latest search algorithm iteration, shifted the focus from searches that are keyword-based to more comprehensive semantic searches. This significant change will cause irrelevant, keyword-stuffed website content to fall lower in search rankings, allowing useful, relevant content to rank higher. Have you planned your 2014 content marketing strategy?