Why content marketing is essential, not a 'nice to have'
Useful, quality content that resonates with your audience is integral to your marketing strategy, and essential to the success of your brand.
Here, we explore what content marketing is and what it encompasses, before detailing how it ties into a business’s overarching marketing strategy and the impact it has on visibility, brand perception and sales.
Back to basics: what is content marketing?
Whether in the form of blog posts and whitepapers or social media content and videos, content marketing involves creating engaging, genuinely useful information that meets user intent – it considers your customer pain points and helps solve them.
Content marketing is a collaborative effort on the part of writers, creative designers, SEO experts and marketing specialists to pull together campaigns and visually stunning content that pulls your audience in and educates them in the spaces they interact. And the spaces they interact with the most are of course subject to change, with The Drum recently reporting that the average person spends 100 minutes watching online video every day, and Statista reporting that Spotify is estimated to reach 32.5 million podcast listeners per month in the US. It’s not enough to create top-quality content – it has to be published and tailored to the platforms where your audiences reside, resulting in a considered and joined-up approach that meets the customer at their every touch point.
Let’s dive into some reasons why content marketing is essential.
Google E-A-Ts great content for breakfast
Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines explain the value of E-A-T, which stands for expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. Google looks at these three factors when assessing page quality and this contributes to your site’s performance. There are a number of different ways to address E-A-T, including writing well-crafted informative content, both on and off site, to signal your authority to Google. Put simply, your expert content is a key driver of your search engine ranking and positions you as a go-to source of information among your audience.
By writing high-quality content related to the terms your audience is searching for, your website will start to crop up in search results more and more frequently as you populate it with relevant content. Overall, your rankings will go up. And, all of these new visitors are potential buyers. So, in addition to increasing traffic, content marketing plays its part in increasing your sales too. If you’re not sure what direction your content marketing strategy needs to take, brand goals must be considered and a content audit is probably in order.
Customers seek authenticity
Consumers are fed up with in-your-face advertising and sales tactics. Instead, they’re attracted to authenticity, transparency, and friendliness in a brand – and that’s where good content marketing comes in. By offering new and exciting ways of connecting with potential customers (without being overly self-promotional), content marketing is a refreshing and effective alternative to traditional marketing in attracting, engaging and retaining audiences.
One brand that’s always been a frontrunner in doing this is Innocent. And, as Innocent’s social media manager Marcus Dean recently told the Social Minds podcast, “Being witty is good, but being relevant is better. When people see themselves in you, that creates trust”. We couldn’t agree more.
Evergreen content offers continued value and relevance
While some seasonal, topical content has its place in content strategy, you also need to ensure you’re producing evergreen pieces that offer value and relevance even years down the line (with the odd tweak or two, perhaps). Not only will this help to boost your organic site traffic and create shareable content that your target audience are more likely to share, it can also improve your brand authority and help to improve your website’s ranking. And, in an age where digital competition is at an all-time high, evergreen content is a marketing tool you simply can’t afford to overlook.
Email marketing is super versatile
Email has long been a stalwart component of content marketing for a number of reasons. Fast, simple and cost-effective, email marketing can be segmented and personalised to each recipient, making it more likely to resonate with your audience. Whether looking to boost customer retention and loyalty with an anniversary or birthday message, increase sales with a limited time offer, encourage completion of a purchase with an abandoned cart email or simply keep your customer tuned in to your brand with a regular newsletter, email marketing can achieve a multitude of goals, whatever the industry.
Content creates opportunities for deeper connection
According to the 2022 Sprout Social Index: Social Media Trends for the UK and Ireland, consumers increasingly support brands that share the same views as their own. A content marketing strategy that allows gaps for you to be responsive to current news provides opportunities for you to express your brand’s stance on current issues that affect your target audience.
In a similar vein, nearly half of Snapchatters agree that all brands should reflect representation and inclusion, and 35% said they are more likely to purchase products and services from brands they consider inclusive. So, don’t shy away from speaking up on issues that matter to your community within your content marketing – it could make a huge difference to your bottom line. Delve into our takeaways from the report.
By providing useful information and creating meaningful experiences joined up across every channel, great content marketing eventually results in brand loyalty and, ultimately, increased conversions.
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Written by Carrie Webb
A life-long lover of the written word, Carrie is your go-to for compelling content that resonates with your audience.