The bygone days of a majority of the nation listening to a radio broadcast or tuning into the nightly news are over. Now we have a thousand and one ways of finding information at the click of a button. Not only has the medium of communication changed, but also the way consumers respond to marketing. People are exposed to so many traditional marketing messages per day that they have actually developed a form of “attention immunity” and have stopped responding to them. If businesses want to succeed, they must find a new way to reach customers, and content marketing provides the perfect answer: fulfilling the need to search for information, versus the search for products.
If you think content marketing takes too much time or money, or is too complicated, read the reasons why it’s worth the investment below and think again.
Consumers have more trust in marketing from brands they are familiar with. This doesn’t mean your marketing efforts will be fruitless if you are a new business or in need of a refresh; it just means you will need a different strategy to get noticed. Content marketing is all about creating a credible relationship with your customer, and a blog can be a great way to introduce your business to consumers in a way that addresses their needs and answers their questions. Think about your target audience – you don’t want a ‘one and done’ sale, you ideally want to create loyalty and access their network of friends. To do this, you must let them know why they should buy your products and services.
Consumers don’t want to be sold to; they want to be provided with a solution to fit their needs. Traditional marketing focuses on the call-to-action and sale, while content marketing utilizes “The Golden Rule” of treating people like people and not a revenue stream. Although the goal is ultimately to increase traffic and sales, content focuses on providing useful information to the consumer. Because consumers are not bombarded with a sales pitch, they feel more comfortable engaging with your business, and in turn, forming a discussion that can not only make your future content more relevant, but engage more consumers in the process.
If word of mouth travels a mile a minute, engaging online content travels ten. Traditional marketing doesn’t usually travel well; you may reach your intended audience, but not far beyond that. On the other hand, social media has no boundaries, so you might even reach audiences you didn’t know existed. By creating content that resonates and builds rapport with viewers, you can grow your network tenfold when they share it with their friends and colleagues, who share it with their friends and colleagues, and so on. This provides you with a globetrotting reach that might cost tens of thousands of dollars through traditional media.
Every business strives for the benefits above, but most don’t have millions of dollars to spend on their marketing efforts. The good news is that online marketing has sophisticated analytics and progressively accurate tools to measure results, making it easier to adjust your marketing to fit user needs than traditional media.
Still need more convincing about how your investment in content can go a lot further than other marketing methods? According to a study done on content marketing ROI by Kapost and ELOQUA, content generates three times more leads per dollar than traditional media. Not only that, in the long run it also generates 31 leads for every $1,000 spent, versus nine from paid searches, and the cost is 31% lower for a mid-sized business than paid search marketing.
While content marketing is a great way to make a lasting impression on consumers, it is important to understand that it is not an advertising campaign, but a long-term effort to actually become the media and earn an audience versus renting one, which requires the investment of time and money. The benefit is that once you’ve built an audience through content marketing, you own it and it continues to grow and generate greater results. Unlike traditional marketing, you no longer have to continue paying for more and more advertising placement. Let SMG put our energy into creating content that is valuable and useful to your consumers, making a lasting impact on your business.