Back in 1996, Bill Gates said: “Content is king.” Over 20 years later, his statement remains true. Without great content, you lessen your chance of generating leads and conversions. Period. Simply put, content marketing is an effective way to generate and nurture leads, as well as keep your brand relevant in today’s digital world.
Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as:
“A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience–and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
In other words, content marketing is telling your brand’s story after a prospect clicks on your website link. It’s a critical part of the marketing funnel in actualizing a personalized, customer-centric journey that creates lead-gen opportunities which convert to sales. By creating a targeted experience, you control what your audience does when they visit your website. Many marketers have embraced that content marketing is a relatively inexpensive, efficient way to attract and nurture leads. In fact, ninety-three percent of B2B marketers use content marketing.
Imagine your marketing department is running a strategic drip campaign that targets new prospects. You send it out to thousands of potential customers in your database and on social media, but you don’t get any leads. Even more disappointing, when you check Google Analytics for that week you’re running the campaign your bounce rate is through the roof.
The very real possibility is because your website content isn’t helping prospects move down the funnel. If your landing pages aren’t aesthetically pleasing, you’re not immediately getting your message across with what your company does or you don’t have enough fresh content, your audience may lose interest.
Simply put, educating your audience creates trust and credibility. Soft sells go a long way–forty-seven percent of buyers view at least three to five pieces of content before they contact a sales representative. And companies that blog have a whopping 434 percent more indexed pages than businesses without blogs, leading to better SEO. With these statistics, it’s no wonder that companies are increasing their focus on their content marketing efforts.
Fortunately, this is an easy fix: come up with a plan! We’ve outlined some steps below:
1) Be keenly aware of your audience persona
2) Research the types of content marketing that sell
3) Choose your content distribution channels
4) Map out your content plan
Real-time media monitoring and analysis tools assist your team in measuring your content marketing efforts by tracking how often your brand’s mentioned online and what your audience is saying. Knowing how your audience is reacting to your brand’s campaigns is key to refining your strategy over time. Your plan is vital as it touches upon multiple channels, including social listening, and incorporating crisis communications solutions should the need arise to mitigate a marketing or PR crisis.
Keeping on top of your content marketing efforts ensures you can remain adaptable to your industry’s environment, and with a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck, start generating leads and prove your marketing’s ROI.