Content is kingYet to be convinced by content marketing? Or maybe it’s a case of not being able to convince your firm’s decision makers that starting a blog is a good idea? Whatever your reasons are for ignoring content marketing, it’s never too late to get started.

We’d argue that there is success to be had for every firm within every industry – as long as you go about it the right way.

Without wishing to put you off before we’ve even got to where content marketing has an advantage over other marketing approaches, creating content that makes sense only to those with a knowledge of your firm or industry is not the way forward. If you adopt that strategy, how are you going to bring in new customers?

Instead, it’s about creating content that’s accessible yet insightful; humorous yet informative; timely yet evergreen. Finding that balance is no mean feat, but brands continue to try because content marketing serves a unique purpose – as highlighted by an article on the Business 2 Community website:

1. It serves to rectify your customers’ pain points

Content marketing should be concerned with providing your customers with answers to their questions, whether that be about your brand or product.

If you can successfully prove to customers that your website is a hub for interesting, informative and insightful content, you will be rewarded with loyalty and exposure.

It’s hard to make an argument that customers would be so obliging when presented with an email, for example.

However, if your content starts to read like a sales pitch that brand appreciation is unlikely to be so forthcoming – so make sure your content marketing efforts don’t turn into a vanity project.

2. Value for money

Before we launch into why content marketing is more cost effective than its contemporaries, it’s worth stressing that adopters shouldn’t expect immediate gain.

It takes a while to cement a positive reputation within any field – and content marketing is no different. It takes more than just one impressive article to make customers think you’re a brand to follow.

However, the good news is the initial legwork is relatively inexpensive: it doesn’t cost a penny to start a blog; writers have plenty of in-house resources and expertise to utilise; while social media sites are free to sign up to.

Even measuring and analysing the success of your efforts is budget-friendly, with post activity statistics often freely available – on top of the obvious engagement figures.

3. It provides a wealth of metrics

Speaking of measurability, few areas of marketing provide quite as many metrics as your content can. In fact, there are so many ways in which to measure the effectiveness of your campaign that you’ll need to prioritise the figures that are most valuable.

Once you’ve got these results in hand, you can start to hone your content so it has every chance of finding your customers – while being written in a way that will compel them to share/comment on your posts.

4. It encompasses the entire company

If you give your writer the license to go and seek ideas and expertise from other parts of the business, you’ll likely be rewarded with valuable, shareable content.

If you’re going to make a success of your content marketing campaign, you’ve got to ensure that content is not only informative but unique.

The characteristic of ‘unique’ might seem near impossible in an age where everybody is producing content, but it’s far from unattainable.

All businesses have their own unique stories to tell; whether that be in the form of how the business came to be, case studies, or its employees – all of which can be harnessed to create distinctive content.

5. It lives on in search

Most marketing communication is forgotten once the campaign has drawn to a close. However, the nature of content marketing – built around customers’ questions – means there is every chance your content will be rediscovered a long time after it was created.

As Heike Young of Business 2 Community puts it: “For instance, a year or even two years after you publish a blog post that answers a frequent customer question, it lives on in search and continues to help your customers and build your brand in their eyes — something a … banner ad can’t achieve.”

You’ve just got to make sure you’re creating the right type of content in the first place…

Ben Hollom

September 3, 2015