The status of content marketing has changed. No longer is it a question of “should I add content marketing to my marketing strategy” but a matter of “when.” And the answer is now. To appreciate why, you need to understand how content marketing is changing the game.
As a modern business, content marketing is necessary for you to survive in an increasingly competitive market. It is what will put you ahead of the competition and bring in business, leveraging you up to the next level.
Content marketing can often be seen by businesses as an afterthought and a single tactic. Yet it is important to remember that it is so much more than this. Content marketing can have a huge impact on your company and there is a variety of types of marketing that fall under this remit. It is used everywhere from your blog to your product pages, in the information on your website, your newsletters, whitepapers and infographics.
What is the point of content marketing?
The purpose and intent of content marketing is simple – to attract people and generate new customers through the persuasive powers of your content. The majority of your customers are, after all, already online and it is down to you to use the power of words to entice them in. Content marketing is designed with the intent of attracting and retaining new customers. The ultimate aim is to encourage them to make sales or perform an action that you want them to do.
How content marketing is changing the game compared to traditional
There are many differences between content marketing and more traditional marketing efforts and it is important to recognise this to understand why content marketing is so important.
Traditional marketing methods include the likes of adverts in magazines and newspapers, on radio and TV, as well as flyers handed out in the street or through your letterbox. With traditional marketing, you aren’t given the option to choose to see it or to have it tailored towards what you are searching for. It is simply there whether you like it or not. This is where traditional marketing methods are interruptive, whereas content marketing is permissive.
In short – content marketing offers freedom, allowing consumers to source the content when they feel like it, rather than it just being shown to them. Traditional marketing methods might not be seen by the right people at the right time, which means they can be very hit and miss.
Content marketing can be tailored to the user
With traditional marketing methods, you could only tailor your content to an extent. For example, if you are trying to advertise car deals, then you might choose a page advert in Top Gear magazine. However, if the person is not searching for a car at that exact time, or perhaps they are looking for a certain type of car, this advert might not interest them.
On the other hand, if you enticed them in through a carefully tailored social media advert as part of a content marketing strategy, this is a different story. You can tailor your online ads to be shown to those of a certain age bracket who like a specific type of car. This will have a much better success rate. What’s more, a study conducted by Smart HQ found that 73% of consumers preferred businesses that tailored their content to offer personalised experiences.
Through online content methods, you can be much more specific in who you tailor your content to and ensure it is seen by a smaller audience pool but who are more likely to convert. The result? You reduce your spend while improving your ROI.
Reduced lead time
With a traditional ad such as a poster or a printed ad in a magazine, if it points towards a website or a phone number, chances are the person might not be in the right place to action it. It could be that they don’t have the internet or didn’t write down the web address and forgot it later on.
With content marketing, the user is immediately at the point they need to be. Whether they are reading a blog post with a link to the product they are reading about, or if they click on a social media ad. The process is effortless and doesn’t require them to manually input anything. This means it has a much higher rate of conversion.
Digital content is up-to-the-minute
Traditional marketing methods have to be created well ahead of time, particularly if they are going to print. Content marketing, on the other hand, can be made in real-time.
If an event happens then content marketers can write a blog post, put a tweet or Instagram post out and send a newsletter instantly. This means they can tap into real-time trends and what people are searching for.
Likewise, if something isn’t working then this can be tweaked to ensure it has the best results.
Online content is much easier to measure
One of the best things about content marketing is that it is easier to measure than traditional methods. With things such as affiliate links from blogs, social media links, newsletter clicks and infographic shares, these can all be monitored. And measuring your success is crucial to understand your most profitable avenues. For instance, companies with a blog are likely to produce 67% more leads per month than those without.
You can use tools such as Google Analytics to measure what people have been looking at and your affiliate account to see what links are being selected. You can easily see where sales are coming from and re-evaluate your marketing methods should they need it.
On the contrary, traditional methods have little to no way of tracking where they came from. For example, someone could have seen an advert in a newspaper for a cruise holiday, but forgotten about it. They suddenly remember a week later and purchase a cruise, yet there is no way of telling that they found out about the company through these marketing methods.
Content marketing is changing the game in so many ways and will only continue to do so as technology becomes more refined and targeted audiences even more specific. If you aren’t focusing on your content marketing methods then now is the time to do so and to get a strong strategy in place. You will soon see the fantastic results that it can bring in.