Content marketing is one of the most effective tactics available to the savvy online marketer. There are solid economic reasons for this. For example, dollar for dollar, content typically provides triple the returns of paid search.
However, it’s not just a matter of budget; content marketing offers a far wider range of benefits. Some of them are concrete and immediate, other more intangible, but all of them are extremely valuable.
1) Brand-Building Power
Becoming known as a source of high-quality, useful content is an excellent way of building a strong brand. By developing a reputation for expertise in your niche, you also establish a sense of trustworthiness among potential customers. This is an essential first rung on the sales ladder, as your non-commercial content lends credibility to your more overt sales material.
2) Generate Repeat Traffic
Publishing new content on a regular basis keeps visitors returning to see what’s new. You can boost this effect by building an email list and announcing new content either as it’s published or in a regular round-up. A healthy email list can provide traffic on demand, and strong content is the best way of approaching this.
3) Capitalize on Social Media
Great content also gives you a credible way of being active on social media. A reputation for publishing excellent content will gain your social accounts a loyal following. This opens up plenty of marketing opportunities without appearing to be too obviously sales-driven.
4) Boost Organic Search Traffic
Google loves solid, useful content. It also loves fresh material and regularly updated sites. Maintain a steady flow of quality content and organic traffic will follow almost by default.
5) Acquire Powerful Backlinks
When you publish great content, you’ll gain natural links that no pure-play e-commerce site could hope to build. Although many marketers see links as primarily a building block for SEO, powerful links from trusted sources are a valuable source of traffic and exposure in their own right.
6) Start Conversations
Allowing comments on your content opens up conversations with your customers. This makes good branding and commercial sense by increasing engagement levels. Just as important, it’s also a priceless way of gaining feedback and insight into what your customers are really looking for.
7) Highly Qualified Leads
Useful content which provides answers pulls readers in toward your site, rather than you go looking for them through advertising or other outbound methods. This means the leads you gain through content are among the most engaged and qualified you could hope for.
The visitor has stumbled across your brand, and you’ve solved their problem or provided the information they were looking for. This is an excellent start to any customer relationship.
8) Cumulative Process
With paid search, your campaign lasts only as long as your budget. This isn’t the case with content marketing. Invest in a piece of content now, and it could still be generating traffic for months or years to come. What’s more, the results of a sustained content campaign can grow exponentially, as each new piece builds on foundations previously laid down.
9) The Power of Sharing
Great content is also widely shared, allowing you to reach new customers for no extra expense. Even better, new prospects who discover your brand through sharing are highly engaged from the beginning. No recommendation is as powerful as that from a trusted friend or family member, and content marketing lets you tap into this viral advocacy effect.
10) Cost-Effective and Low Barrier to Entry
You might not be able to match the promotional budgets of the biggest online brands, but with content marketing, a little goes a very long way. When you put the right content in front of the right seed audience, you can gain wide exposure for very little cost.
And although the best results from content marketing come through a sustained campaign, it’s easy and inexpensive to take a trial run and test the technique’s worth for your own business.
There’s no shortage of promotion methods available to inventive and experienced digital marketers. However, all these benefits show that content should be a major part of any well-rounded campaign. Is your business taking full advantage of content marketing’s power?