As consumers continue to fast forward through commercials and turn a blind eye to traditional ads, content marketing is becoming a more effective way to engage consumers, strengthen those relationships, and create brand trust and awareness.
While the bottom line of an organization is always of the utmost importance, some in the C suite may have a hard time understanding the value of a blog post or white paper. While that is an obvious simplification of just some of the tactics marketers use, proving return on investment is often a difficult task.
Without a large research budget, relationships and brand awareness can be hard to quantify, but here are a few benefits to creating valuable content that may help you sell your content marketing strategies to your client, boss or maybe even yourself!
1) Developing Thought Leadership – By adding value to the conversation, rather than just posting content for content’s sake, brands and individuals can help position themselves as thought leaders in their industry, and keep their organizations top of mind. The Content Marketing Institute refers to a study that showed 80 percent of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement, and the longer forms of content (video, white papers, etc.) can help solidify the author’s role in more clarity than a one-time advertisement.
2) Longevity – While other traditional marketing channels may only provide limited impressions or exposure – think one 30-second ad – a video, infographic, podcast or mobile app can live on for months, if not years, and can be repurposed to be applicable for many channels. The ability for this content to serve in the long-term adds significant value over a traditional media buy.
3) Search Engine Optimization – While content creation should be focused on topics and needs that your target audience finds useful, it’s also a helpful tool for boosting SEO rankings. By creating frequent and compelling content, not only will consumers place more value in your content but search engines will as well, which can increase your traffic, leads and hopefully sales. Need some proof? A 2013 study published by Content+ showed that companies with active blogs get 97 percent more leads than companies that don’t actively blog.
4) Leveraging Your Social Assets – Sharing custom content has never been easier. Proliferation of social media and our general rate of connectivity means there are infinite ways to share content. Another Content+ study showed that interesting content is one of the top three reasons people follow brands on social media. So by sharing compelling content on social platforms, you’re able to open a two-way dialogue with customers that benefit both sides.
5) Building Trust Among Skeptical Audiences – Using valuable content to engage an increasingly skeptical consumer is the No. 1 reason to invest in content marketing, and it can be particularly helpful when trying to reach cynical Millennials, who are distrusting of more traditional forms of advertising. The annual Nielsen Global Trust Survey illustrated this clearly in its 2014 report, which showed that branded websites and editorial content continue to outrank traditional forms of advertising.
At NST we believe relationships matter, conversations are critical and that storytelling brings it all together – in fact, it’s in our mission statement. And we also believe that content marketing can blend all three of these elements into a solution that helps our clients achieve their business goals. While producing customized content can seem overwhelming, even small steps can create large rewards.