In this post we will discuss several benefits associated with content marketing and how you can use content marketing to grow your own business.
If you’re short on budget content marketing is one of the best types of marketing that you can do to drive leads and sales for your business.
Get big returns with content marketing
One of the biggest benefits of content marketing is that, even if outsourced, it still outperforms every other form of ROI driving activities you invest in from a cost perspective. Content when done right is better than spending advertising dollars on ads and also has the potential to drive leads for way longer. It’s inexpensive especially if you create the content yourself. But even when you have to rely on a writer to produce content for you, content marketing is still very affordable.
The only downside? Ads give immediate results. Content marketing takes time. It can take up to a year for content marketing efforts to bear fruits.
Not all bad news though. Here’s research from Vertical Measures that shows how much more effective content marketing is compared to traditional advertising.
Content marketing is also more effective at driving leads compared to traditional advertising methods. You get 3 times as many leads with content than with paid advertising.
This adds to increased number of social shares, getting new prospects and improved brand visibility.
While success with content marketing doesn’t entirely hinge around traffic, it’s however an important metric. If you’re a small business, content marketing should be top of your mind as it’s budget-friendly.
Email is another form of content marketing that lets you target others getting you some of the best possible ROI.
Promote products without appearing too promotional
I get it. You’re in the entire content marketing game to sell more.
Product led content is the name of the game here.
But the thing is: people don’t want to be sold to.
Anybody who reads your blog, or follows you on social media does so because they want to hear more and more from you regarding stuff that’s useful to them.
That need not always translate to product promos or deals.
People don’t follow you to hear you tooting your horn all the time. They don’t need a steady stream of product promotions from you. This is despite the fact that the products you offer provide solutions that help them. Because people aren’t always thinking of purchasing products. Some are not there yet.
Sometimes people are thinking of issues in and around a product. This too forms a core part of lead nurturing.
Content marketing gives you a great deal of value to offer to customers.
Monetate is a great example of a brand that achieved growth by providing value with content marketing.
The only strategy that Nonetate followed was to ask its team members to not talk about Monetate.
With the approach they took, they created articles on the most relevant and important things in the industry even at the cost of talking about their competitors.
Their traffic grew by 353% and 46% of the traffic came from referrals.
By taking away focus from Monetate and what it does and by genuinely trying to help readers Monetate was able to drive a great deal of brand success.
Yet another good example is Buffer’s open blog. Buffer is a tool built for social media automation.
They market themselves with their Open blog.
By being open and transparent about their business and struggles of a startup, they’re able to drive sales and revenue.
What they simply do is show what they do and tell you how you can do it too. This results in incredible value with each and every post they share.
Their blog is very eye-opening.
Their content marketing strategy is around stories people want to hear. With these stories they communicate compelling points around problems and difficulties and use the blog as a springboard to talk about solutions. They talk about specific problems and offer specific solutions which tie well to their core demographics
Content marketing also offers a channel to drive the link growth of your site.
Links and content are the twin pillars your site’s success sits on.
Here’s an example to learn from. NeilPatel.com’s success comes on the back of long-form content and the fact that he linked out to others with his content quite liberally.
He writes 8000 to 10000-word blog posts almost thrice a week and in all his posts make sure to link out to dozens of different relevant sites. As people picked on his links, he too got some of the love back with many linking back to NeilPatel.com. If you’re still unsure regarding what to write about using a feedback form to collect input from site visitors.
Nurture leads with content
When you write about something, there’s the twin benefit of the piece picking up social shares and also ranking for several different long-tail keywords.
Once you publish an article, it sends you traffic. You open a perennial traffic tap. Each social share gives it a new visitor and puts the content before who wouldn’t otherwise have had a chance with it. That gives opportunities for new email sign-ups.
This audience grows with you. Compared to paid advertising whose reach almost dries up after sometime when the campaign stops running this is gold as the recurring traffic keeps building up.
You need a strategy to make this happen and work by looking at what works best.
By nurturing leads, you make them stay longer with you and improve the time they stay with you as a customer.
To nurture your customers, creating content is the best strategy.
What kind of content?
- Review articles
- Side-by-side comparison articles like this
- Buyer’s guides such as this
- Listicles on a collection of tools.
And so on
Nurtured customers also tend to make more purchases than other types of customers.
With content marketing.
Content marketing can improve trust. As more and more people trust you, they not only share content but also get back to you once and again for more and more information..
As you create more content, the frequency with which people see your content increases and that improves brand recall and improves engagement.
Simply Business, a site that talks about insurance is a great example. Simply business also went beyond talking about their own products to turn their blog into a place where they talked about everything a small business person finds important. This way they transformed themselves into thought leaders.
Their whole team is involved in researching the needs of businesses and finding out what they need.
Their content marketing strategy revolves around their blog.
Here’s what they do on their blog
Simply put, Simply business publishes thousands of extremely good content on their blog.
This content isn’t simply what an insurance company would publish
Here are a few sample articles.
- Small Businesses: How to Get More Customers Through Your Doors
- Not Sure How To Price Your Lawn Care Jobs? We’ll Show You How
- How to Apply for SBA Disaster Loans Due to COVID-19.
- Undercover Cops Arrest 118 Unlicensed Florida Contractors
The articles are all well researched and could be thought of as end-to-end guides around a subject. It provides value to business owners.
The valuable information means people running different kinds of businesses flock to the site.
It goes seamlessly with other advice for startups.
To talk about so many different things might even be considered a bad strategy but that’s where their content marketing funnel comes to the front.
Here’s their lead generation strategy. Even though they write content that’s typically over 2000 words and covers a subject in great detail, there’s always something extra a business owner might find useful. That’s where their highly targeted lead magnets come to play.
At the end of each blog post, there’s a complete guide for the reader to download.
These are custom lead magnets that put their lead-generation into overdrive.
Clicking on which opens up this form.
To get the guide the lead provides email and basic details about the business that helps Simplybusiness qualify the said lead.
They get what they want and Simply business gets information around a relevant lead.
The leads who sign up in addition to the ebook also get information around business insurance.
They let no opportunity go to waste. All their blog posts have a call to action to the lead gen form.
Get more organic traffic
Organic search visibility is all about creating content and getting the content before the right people.
If you produce lots of content, you improve the probability of people seeing your content more and more.
With relevant quality content, your content ranks high on search engines.
Content marketing is the secret recipe behind many sites going to the top of Google’s first page.
One such brand is Whattoexpect.
It’s a small brand selling high-end gear. Its competitors are sites like Amazon. So how does the little guy compete?
The company created content that improves engagement among target prospects. A big part of their content marketing efforts revolves around producing and publishing informational content rather than targeting pure-bottom-of-the-funnel keywords. Also, look at the sheer presentation.
This is a great link building strategy as well.
Product comparison articles and reports make up the rest of the content that move people further along and get action from them.
The content is promoted organically and then through paid social channels like Instagram.
Turn yourself into an authority
You know the authority figures in your industry. You might know several of them. You know them because they put themselves out there to create lots of content.
Your mind immediately goes to them because they have authority websites they often leverage to create lots of content on all sub-topics around their core niche.
The customers are going to love your products. But, the value is established by what you bring to the table for them.
The more customers are going to return for the resources you create, the more they’re going to make a purchase.
You’re becoming a reliable authority by gaining their trust. It’s a marketing trend.
When ranking content we often speak of quality. What is it really? It’s the depth of the content and its freshness. Google looks at how often the content is updated with new information.
The podcast for ZipRecruiter is hosted by Shark Tank fame Daymond John featuring entrepreneurs and athletes from all over the world. The podcast is one of the most subscribed to podcasts in the world.
Their motivational episodes are just what readers of Ziprecruiter want from the blog.
The podcast isn’t entirely about job searches and career advice but that’s one big part of the blog.
They use the podcast as a platform to promote products or services.
How? By discussing subjects close to the brand but not entirely around it
Rip Curl calls itself the ultimate surfing company. They show this with their blog called the search.
The search is a list of the best waves and ideas around surfing lifestyle. There are great pictures and personal anecdotes from surfers.
The channel has 10000 YouTube subscribers and 2 million Facebook fans.
By matching content to the target audience they were able to grow their site.
Another example is Superdrug.
Superdrug in a bid to improve awareness around body image issues among women collaborated with 18 designers around the world.
Edit the photo of a model in photoshop to make it appear according to the beauty standards of their own country.
When they were done, the company published their results on Buzzfeed.
- What happened next was that the infographic caught the attention of most major networks. It went viral.
- The feature got internally covered on major news sites like the New York Times Business Insider and The Telegraph.
- This coverage meant additional sites that relied on these channels all talked about the article.
- Celebrity shares
- All in all the original study page got 1 million shares and 3 million page views.
When all was said and done their site generated more than 1000000 page views in 5 days.
Social media and SEO go hand in hand. There’s enough evidence to show that posts that get social media shares rank better on search engines. Social media shares are a good sign of engagement.
Whenever you create content, always think of how the end-user is going to benefit from the content. That helps you create useful content and rake up social media shares as well.
About the author:
George is a blogger and writer at Kamayo.