It seems like everyone is talking about content marketing. In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute, 75% of brands using interactive content plan to increase their content distribution in 2017. But if your mom taught you anything in middle school it was probably that, just because everyone else is doing something, it doesn’t mean you should too. We never recommend our clients jump on trends unless there’s a defensible reason behind those strategies. Before you join the content wave, we’re going to tell you why your business should invest in content marketing so you can make an informed decision. Spoiler alert: it’s a great investment.
1. Consumers are increasingly less trusting of paid marketing:
Social media has made it difficult for brands to hide their values, products, or services behind a sheen of marketing razzle-dazzle. People are constantly snapping and posting pictures, videos, sound bites, and reviews onto the internet via blog posts and social channels. And because paid advertisers would never shout their faults or weaknesses from the rooftop, most people believe customer-generated content is a more reliable source of honest information about a product. A good content marketing strategy builds from and mimics customer-generated material so the messaging you have in market matches the good feedback you’re receiving and addresses areas of opportunity your customers are pointing out.
2 . Content marketing augments your brand messaging:
Use your paid efforts as your thesis statement and content marketing as supporting proof. No matter how prevalent user content is, you still need paid advertising to control and build your foundational brand storyline. Use content marketing to augment and prove the validity of your paid efforts. Create a blog, link to outside content, and build your site as a trusted source of information. All these tools back up your paid efforts to give customers enough confidence in your brand claims to choose your company over the competition.
3. SEO and SEM still matter:
It may sound simple, but it’s worth noting: search engine optimization and marketing are still a big part of the brand awareness process at the top of the marketing funnel. This is especially true if you have a regional business that would benefit from local search discovery. There is no better way to ensure your website and company rank on your preferred search engine than by creating relevant, meaningful, and timely content. It takes search engines approximately three months to fully index and catalogue content updates, so publish content early and often to stay current.
4. Content starts a conversation with your customers:
Not everyone will like your brand. Some people will absolutely love it. Instead of fighting the inevitable bell curve of opinions, lean into your customers’ conversations using content marketing. Shy away from generic or vague content and opt for big, bold information that will inspire a response from your clients. Even negative feedback lets you know how you are performing and gives you a baseline from which to grow. There’s a reason they say all publicity is good publicity. While we aren’t advocating you take a “shock jock” approach to your content strategy, we do encourage you to create authentic, interesting material that will truly engage your audience.
5. Content is the most powerful tool in your marketing tool box:
Most importantly, your business needs content marketing because it helps you understand how your customers are searching for information and interpreting your brand values. You can test content to see what is most effective and learn from content that is not. As you fine tune the creation process, you’ll be able to plug and play content across a wide variety of marketing channels, letting you be more agile in the marketplace and adapt to your unique marketing needs.
Aside from all these benefits, content creation is just plain ole’ fun! Click here to learn about our creative team and how they can help you refresh your content strategy for 2017 today.