5 Reasons Why Amazing Content Will Deliver Big for Your Business
by Brennan Walker, on March 19, 2016
Content is king. We hear it every day. Some will disagree but they’re mistaken. Content is king.
When done well, it can be an incredibly powerful tool for business. Amazing content is a lead generating machine, it can improve your search rankings, and it has the potential to establish your business as a thought leader.
While every business has different goals or definitions of success, publishing is something that can help almost anyone. The challenge is getting the right content, to the right audience, at the right time.
Most of the content detractors out there don’t actually hate content… they’re just bad at it. If you want to see the true power of inbound through publishing, check out this article by Neil Patel that highlights 8 companies who are absolutely crushing it.
That’s always the question. Why is content king? Why is it so important? And why will it deliver for your business in ways you won’t even believe?
1) Content Marketing is Consumer Focused
Content marketing falls under a larger umbrella category called inbound marketing. Unlike traditional marketing, which focuses on pushing your brand out in front of customers, inbound is about letting customers come to you.
When you pump a television commercial out to millions of people, you are effectively force-feeding them your brand or message. There’s a good chance that a lot of those people want nothing at all to do with your ad, yet they have no choice but to watch. This is inherently inefficient.
Great content is about publishing media that people love! This was, they are engaging with your brand because they want to, not because they have to. In fact, the best content marketing… shouldn’t even really feel like marketing at all.
2) Content Helps Align Marketing and Sales
Marketing and sales go hand in hand. But if that’s the case, why do so many businesses look at them as two separate entities? Disunity amongst these two very important aspects of your business can result in slow, painful, mutual failure.
The fundamental issue is embedded in the structure of sales and marketing goals.
Marketers are often focused on the long-term while sales teams are often more focused on the short-term. Neither is better or worse, it’s just the way organizations balance long term strategic views with delivering immediate top line results.
Content marketing helps align the two functional teams.The most successful sales and marketing teams view their customers in terms of the buyer's journey, or purchase cycle. Customers typically move through the purchase cycle in three steps: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision.
Great content helps to target specific customers at specific stages of the buyers' journey.
In an aligned organization, marketing and sales work together to fully understand their customers and nurture them through the purchase cycle. Good content enables customers to insert themselves into the buyer's journey at the precise point they want to, while allowing marketing and sales teams to understand exactly where the customer is in the purchase cycle.
3) Your Buyers Are Changing, So Should Your Marketing
In 2001, less than half of Americans had access to the Internet. In 2011 around 70% had Internet access. Today that statistic has climbed to nearly 90% (World Bank).
This rapid and drastic change in society has transformed consumer buying behavior.
We’ve transitioned from a world of information scarcity to a world of information abundance. Instead of desperately seeking information, customers are now completely inundated with it.
The result is an important paradigm shift for marketers. In many ways, the position of power has transitioned from suppliers to buyers. Therefore, we now live in a world where consumers’ attention is spread impossibly thin thanks to a surplus of information that is more than just easily accessible—it's being shoved down their throats.
So how has this resulted in more power for buyers?
Thanks to search engines, blogs, review websites, consumer reports, and all the endless resources that businesses and individual publishers have created, customers have access to whatever information they want, whenever they want it. It's painfully easy to seek out, and it's always readily available. We live in an era of the most informed consumer the world has ever seen.
The significance? Customers have already traveled most of the way through the buyer’s journey long before they ever reach the vendor. One way to take advantage of this is for marketers to produce remarkable content that their buyers actually want. Then use that content to nurture leads and convert them into customers.
A great content strategy will stand out in a sea of endless information. Use it to your advantage and capitalize on those leads that others are failing to capture, or to pull them away from your competition before they complete their purchase cycle.
4) Amazing Content is Contagious
Consumers love to share things they perceive to be valuable. Generally, advertisements and deals are not the riveting pieces of content that people jump at the opportunity to share. This is why creating content that is intriguing, relevant, inspired, funny, timely, etc. for your audience is so important. A great piece of content is infectious. It can go viral.
Creating great content revolves around your audience's interests. Zero in on what they want to consume, and then produce it. Make it easily sharable so they can pass it on. Then monitor what type of content is being shared, and to which platforms. Use this information to enhance your overall strategy and deliver real value to your prospects and customers.
At the end of the day, determining what value really is, and delivering it at the right stage of the buyer's journey, is the real challenge. Knowing what to produce, and when to produce it is how content marketers create true shareability. Among other things, identifying what pieces of content work best revolves around combining analysis from your online data and social signals. Utilizing these data points will get you on your way toward understanding what resonates with your follower base.
The internet has made it easy for us to connect, but it has also led to an incredible amount of content and information being created. Find that perfect value-adding piece, and cut through the noise. Your content will get promoted by your audience, which will expand your reach, influence, and hopefully, conversions.
5) Content Endures, and Can Be Repurposed
Great content marketing doesn’t just go away.
Sure, maybe after that initial burst on social media, or that push in your weekly newsletter, the clicks and conversions level out. But that doesn’t mean they seize altogether.
If you produce something with real, long-standing value, you're likely to see it converting for months.
Many things that you publish can also be repurposed as “new” pieces of content. That e-Book titled “6 SEO Hacks for Fledgling Startups” could be re-written as a blog post. Then, later, turn it into a slideshow and post it on a landing page.
Your content is dynamic. At the end of the day, customers don’t really care how it’s presented, they just want the information. Every time it’s framed in a new medium is a new opportunity to promote.
As long as you are nailing down an important concept at the beginning, your content will be an effective conversion tool for quite some time. Content already carries a lower average cost per conversion than traditional marketing strategies. Repurpose, retool, and reuse your content, and that ratio will continue to drop even lower.
Though all companies have different target markets and goals, the ones that are separating themselves from the pack are the ones that are able to deliver valuable content, on a consistent basis, to the correct target market.
There’s been a shift in how society consumes information. Marketers have to understand that they can no longer buy people’s attention. Become a trusted advisor and prove to your target market that you have valuable information to offer.
Be ready for your customers as they move through their respective journeys, and hit them with engaging, meaningful content. Earn their attention and you will successfully nurture those leads into buyers!