Why Content Marketing Is Important
The internet is made of content – it’s all the stuff we search, click, download, share and enjoy. Content marketers are tasked with creating a range of media that stops the scroll and provides value to the user. With a dedicated and consistent content strategy, brands can attract and retain more customers and build brand value along the way.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the ongoing process of creating informative, exciting and entertaining digital content to answer your audience’s specific questions. The goal of content marketing is to introduce new users to your brand in a helpful manner and to engage your current followers. Successful content marketing balances promotion, awareness and information to stay top-of-mind and earn your audience’s trust.
Remember to identify your audience, examine their needs and use all the tools at your display. Content marketing includes blogs, social media, whitepapers and several other types of traditional and digital content to serve different users and different stages of the customer journey.
What is the goal of content marketing and why is it important? Learn from Freddy and Gill as they discuss some great examples of content marketing and how we leverage content to help our clients reach their goals.
How Content Marketing Drives Sales: A Full-funnel Approach
The key to effective content marketing is identifying where a piece of content fits in the sales funnel or customer journey. Is the topic top-of-funnel, or does the subject imply that the reader is already interested in a product or service? For some brands, there’s an opportunity to create content that interests past customers, just comparing new product features to older models or that explains software or service updates.
Be sure to write with a specific stage of the funnel in mind and create different content to cover the entire funnel.
Using our inbound marketing funnel as a framework, the Oneupweb team put together these content marketing examples for each part of the customer journey:
Step 1: The Awareness Stage
In the first stage of the customer journey, the user knows they have a problem and are looking to solve it, but they aren’t sure where to start. To Google they go! (Or to another search engine, but primarily Google.) Will they find your company’s content in top search results, or will your competitor catch their attention instead?
Addressing your customers’ most significant problems with search-optimized content is the best way to start top-of-funnel content marketing.
Try this exercise: Do a Google search for a simple problem you know many of your customers solved with your product or service. For example, if you provide consulting for mobile workforces, you might search “how to manage mobile devices for a large team.” Do you come up in the search results? If not, do you have an existing piece of content that could be updated to answer the query better?
Tailor content to meet users’ needs at this specific part of the sales funnel. Content marketing examples for the awareness stage:
- How-to guides
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
Step 2: The Evaluation Stage
Time to help prospective customers evaluate their options. Content marketing for the evaluation stage is about showcasing your differentiators. Content should explain what your products and services do and what makes them a better choice than the alternative.
In addition to SEO-focused content, this stage may involve content such as email newsletters sent to a list of leads. It could also include paid media campaigns with custom landing pages. Work all digital marketing channels with a well-rounded inbound marketing strategy!
Content marketing examples for the evaluation stage:
- Product-specific and service content
- Service and product pages
- Case studies
- Demos and samples
- Comparison charts
Step 3: The Purchase Stage
Great news – your content has made consumers aware of your brand, and they’ve learned why you’re a good fit to solve their problems.
Think about potential issues preventing your prospective consumers from purchasing. Here are some of the most common barriers to conversion your customers might far, plus one way to remove that barrier and seal the deal:
Price – It all comes down to dollars and cents. If users consistently drop off at this point in the customer journey, consider using remarketing campaigns offering coupons or discounts. Don’t be afraid to use on-site surveys to learn more about pricing concerns; always compare your pricing levels with your competitors.
Timing – Customers may not need your product or service right now, even if they will in the future. Stay in front of your customers with email drip campaigns that keep your brand top-of-mind, so they choose you when the time is right. Email marketing is a great way to stay in front of qualified prospects today, next week or even years later.
Information – They’re ready to buy … but they have one question! Offer ways for customers to get in touch and put your team in a position to answer questions quickly. Provide up-to-date contact information, links to additional resources or automated chat functionality to get customers the information they need to feel confident in their decision.
Creating and serving bottom-funnel content is often an important differentiator for brands – answer the questions and provide the context that sets you apart from competitors.
Content marketing examples for the purchase stage:
- Live demos
- Limited-time special offers
- Free trials
Content Marketing FAQs
Content marketing vs. inbound marketing: what’s the difference?
Both content marketing and inbound marketing deliver exciting, informative and valuable information to users. There’s plenty of overlap between the two strategies. The difference between the two lies in who you’re talking to:
- Inbound marketing is designed to reach specific customer personas.
- Content marketing is designed to appeal to a broader audience.
For example, a content marketer may create content (recipes, videos and a strong social media presence) that appeals to all bakery owners. Where an inbound marketing campaign may seek to specifically attract bakery managers looking for commercial-scale cookie-related content that addresses a specific problem, such as ingredient sourcing or packaging.
What is data-driven content marketing?
When people think of content, they think of videos, graphics, pictures and blogs. Because these things are all creative outputs, it’s easy to believe that content marketing is purely artistic. Data-driven content marketing relies heavily on analytics to track efforts and ensure that your content marketing efforts are productive. Data is collected to determine who has been consuming your content and then used to inform future actions. Finding out who your content is for will make it easier to provide the content they want.
Is content marketing worth it?
Trust us; content marketing is worth it. It can help you carve out a spot in the hearts and minds of consumers in ways traditional marketing like over-the-air advertising just can’t. By establishing yourself as a thought leader and expert, you can connect with customers on a deeper level than you could if you were only trying to sell products.
Content marketing is time-intensive and takes plenty of brainpower. Regarding content marketing, pros and cons lists don’t apply. There are a few cons, such as the time and creativity/skill it takes to make good content (which could be seen as a barrier to entry). But the pros of brand awareness, improved SEO and building your brand’s authority far outweigh any downsides.
Why is content marketing important for B2B?
Content marketing is an ideal way to showcase your B2B organization’s expertise, resources and professionalism. Especially for markets or industries with long sales cycles, having a high-quality content marketing strategy is crucial to establishing and maintaining brand awareness and authority.
How should I get started with content marketing?
There are many ways to set up a successful content marketing strategy for your brand. Here’s how we recommend getting organized:
- Identify your customer profile.
- Determine how much time your team can dedicate to content marketing.
- Make a list of known questions and problems of prospective customers.
- Do keyword research to see how customers are searching for solutions.
- Consider using a custom content marketing calendar.
Content Is King: Get Royally Good Help Creating It
Content marketing can be a big lift for any team. Tap into more than 20 years of experience and a fully integrated team of marketing professionals. We handle the research, the content creation and even implementation to elevate your brand. Reach out today or call (231) 922-9977 to start the conversation.