Content Marketing has been a buzzword since businesses took to the social media platforms of the world. But what is the hype actually about?
How can content marketing add value to a business and attract consumers?
-And is there actually such a thing as return on investment from of all of this producing and publishing of content?
What is Content Marketing?
In its essence, content marketing consists of creating relevant content related to one’s products or services, and attracting the desired potential customers to e.g. your social media pages, websites or similar. By content, we’re talking blog posts, news, reviews, articles, videos, e-books, whitepapers - anything that will provide value to your potential customer, and thus, connect that potential customer further to your brand or product. Delivering valuable information to potential customers, attracting these to your site and ultimately leading these potential customers closer towards a purchase decision is – like any other marketing effort – ultimately the end goal of content marketing.
Perhaps even without thinking about it, content marketing has become a stable in everyday lives and in its various forms, consumers are subjected to it daily through social media, news outlets, blogs, and from many other sources.
Unlike traditional marketing, the content does not focus on sales and enticing people to make a purchase, but rather, the focus is to create value for potential customer as well as existing ones.
Great examples of this are fashion retailers talking about style advice, supermarkets talking about the benefits of organic greens, and yes! –even digital agencies blogging about why you should do content marketing.
Why should my business consider Content Marketing?
Your customers know what they want.
Today’s individualistic, modern consumer doesn’t need television ads to tell them what to buy; they are perfectly capable of figuring that out for themselves.
Hence, consumers today look for information to educate and advise them in making their purchase decision.
Online shopping is booming, and the power of digital has radically changed how modern consumers seek information and make purchases today. By providing valuable content that doesn’t directly focus on selling products or services, businesses have the opportunity to offer potential customers interesting content that can attract, guide, and assist them in making a purchase decision. That is of course, the right purchase decision.
One benefit of producing valuable content other than attracting potential new customers and creating loyalty and retention with existing ones, is the fact that search engines loves content.
Through your published content, you will be able to show up in new kinds of search results that your content matches.
A search engine optimization setup that is aligned with your online content can greatly improve your visitors and the amount of attention that your digital outlets will gain, with great sales potential to follow.
So, what’s my return on investment?
One of the obvious questions of all this ‘soft selling’ as some would put it, is of course how this effort, time, and manpower gives back a return on investment. An understandable question, that many marketing departments worldwide struggle to explain.
Measuring ROI on content marketing requires patience and a different perspective from the traditional one of a direct, quantifiable (in terms of direct revenue) thought of ROI.
Patience is key, as relationships of trust and loyalty with brands takes time to build – just like friendships.
Content marketing aims to create these relationships by establishing the author – that is the company – in an expert role to be trusted by consumers. One benefit of content is its lifetime value – the right content can live on for years online and be re-issued when relevant.
Content marketing is measured through a variety of metrics.
‘Reach’ or ‘impressions’ specifies the number of people that have seen your content. This number can continue to increase over long periods of time as your content lives on, on the internet, even after its immediate purpose is done. With the power of digital and a structured setup, it’s possible to view not only how many have seen your content, but also how many who has clicked on your content and converted onto your site.
The exact value of potential customers converting from e.g. a social media or an e-mail and onto your website can be hard to measure, -but in terms of brand exposure and awareness, it’s a very cost-efficient way of spreading your message, compared to traditional ads in TV or magazines. Content marketing also carries the benefit of the digital world; you can customize your content distribution to target exact target groups based on a long line of optimization possibilities - an option where traditional media falls short.
Real ROI on content marketing is a tough one. Instead the traditional sales – cost = profit model, we look to other metrics in order to define content marketing ROI.
Metrics such as reach, likes, comments, sharing, conversions, leads generated, subscribers, followers, etcetera, are all indicators of how well your content performs, and as a result how much attention and awareness your brand is getting.
Some content comes with an offer that can make a business a direct monetary gain, like a discount, offer to buy a product directly etc., -but the real value of content is like that of traditional advertising; brand awareness, building trust with consumers, making sure your name is out there - but, in a much more targeted yet subtle way compared to traditional market channels such as print advertising or TV.
In short, looking at costs per advertisement and target group consumers reached, content marketing has the ability to outperform traditional media, by applying highly precise segmentation options and brand awareness building, attracting consumers into the sales funnel. All that at a very competitive cost compared to traditional media, while simultaneously contributing to long-term branding efforts. What’s not to like?
-Want to know more about what a content marketing strategy can do for your company’s digital presence and performance?
Send us a message by clicking here and put “Content Marketing” in the top of your inquiry - we’d love to hear from you and tell you more!
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