So you’re interested in content marketing, but not totally sold yet?
Maybe you’ve seen your competitors dominate the SERPs overnight, or maybe you just started a company and aren’t sure where to start.
We can assure you that content marketing isn’t just a buzzword. It’s more than just pressing publish over and over again. It’s a strategic and fundamental part of growing your brand online.
OK, but why is it important? SEO-driven content marketing ensures that your brand doesn’t get lost in the noise. Content, when done right, can make you stand out from the over 1.5 billion websites online. At Agency 18, we’ve been able to increase traffic by 413% all through SEO-focused content marketing.
Still not convinced? Here are 10 of the biggest benefits of content marketing you can’t ignore.
1. It Puts Eyes On Your Business
Content marketing is one of the easiest ways to reach a large number of people. While banner ads can bring attention to your business, SEO-driven content marketing allows you to put your brand in front of a large audience in a way that is helpful to them.
But, how? Google loves content and Google will reward quality content by increasing your rankings. If you’re creating consistent, quality content that ranks, the more eyes are going to be on your business.
For example, say you create a blog on the best bedroom styling ideas with an infographic and video to accompany it. You can then promote that blog and shareable via social media, email marketing, Youtube and outreach. That one piece of content will speak to a multitude of audiences on all of your different platforms.
2. It Positions You as an Authority
Brand authority could be the reason someone decides to buy your product or not. You can start building your brand’s authority through content marketing. Ask yourself what questions your target audience has and why. Then, build content around it.
For example, if you’re in the career space, you’re likely going to want to position yourself as a thought leader and resource for your customer’s career-related questions. Indeed does a great job of this.
Right away they position themself as a “Career Guide.” This lets readers know what to expect when visiting their blog. They then break their content up into five prominent sections that contain important keywords in their space. From there, they create purposeful content around it.
When done correctly, content marketing can help you dominate your industry space. When a brand’s site architecture is smart and the information they’re delivering is done so efficiently, users are more likely to run to them for information and Google is more likely to reward content that is relevant to the brand and their audience.
3. It Builds Trust With Your Audience
When your customers have a question you want them to look to you. Content marketing can help you do that by creating content around common customer questions.
Let’s take a look at Mint’s blog. They do a great job of creating relevant, scannable content around common questions in the credit industry.
By using content marketing to create a wide variety of well-designed answer posts that really solve for the user’s needs, Mint is likely to be perceived as more competent overall.
With a line-up of easy to understand content that solves problems, users are likely to trust them to deliver their product or service just as effectively—especially compared to a competitor whose attempts to solve for those queries are sloppy or poorly designed.
4. It Educates Your Customers
If you have a confusing product or service, what better way to educate your potential customers than to create a blog about it? In the wise words of Francis Bacon, “knowledge is power.” To give your customers some of that knowledge is a huge value-add—or as we like to call it at Agency 18, a “coffee and cake” moment.
Content marketing is a way to meet people on a common level. Any opportunity you have to educate your customers on your topic or industry pushes them further and further down the buyer funnel.
I like to think of content marketing as walking your customers through the buyer’s journey. If you sell wedding dresses, you can bring awareness to your brand by first creating a top-funnel blog post around wedding trends in 2020. You can follow that blog up with an article on different wedding dress styles for every theme (linking to relevant dresses on your site).
And finally, you can meet your customers in the decision stage by creating a blog post on how to choose the perfect wedding dress. This lower-funnel topic provides your customer with the insight they need to make an educated purchasing decision.
Not only is this content educating existing customers, but new ones as well. And just like that, you have another happy customer.
5. It Drives Traffic to High-Value Pages
When conducting keyword research, you ideally want to target keywords that support the high-value product pages on your site—or as we like to call them at Agency 18 “money pages.”
These are the product pages on your site that bring in the big bucks. Content marketing can help you drive traffic to these pages.
For example, let’s say you’re a flower delivery company. If you create a blog post around the best flower arrangements for Mother’s Day and link to different products on your site, not only are you bringing awareness to these pages, but your customers are likely to visit those pages as well.
Linking to your money pages within relevant content is also a great way to tell search engines what your product pages are all about. Search engines view links as a good signal that your content was useful. It can also help boost your rankings if your anchor text is used correctly.
6. It Drives Conversions
Yes, content marketing can increase your traffic, but that traffic is going to mean a lot more to your business if it converts. Just creating one piece of evergreen content isn’t going to cut it. Consistently posting relevant content can drive way more conversions than any ad placement will.
Why? That content doesn’t go away. It lives on your website and it’s a lot more useful to the reader than a pop-up ad.
The more consistent you are, the more eyes are going to be on your business, the better you’re going to rank and the more conversions you’re going to see.
7. It Opens Channels of Communication
Once you publish a blog, you can then promote it on your plethora of social channels. As your post gains traction and people share your content online, you can then begin connecting with the readers that engaged with your post. This gives you the opportunity to have real conversations with your customers. It also allows you to take a peek into their minds and really understand who they are.
Take a look at the comments on your post. Were there additional questions? Positive feedback? You can use this information to shape your following content pieces.
If a piece of content you created raised questions, create a follow-up blog answering those questions. If you received a lot of praise for a recent article, consider following a similar content format going forward.
Content marketing creates a direct line of communication with your customers, through a variety of mediums. When your customers have a question, you’re there to answer it right away.
Content marketing also helps you control the conversation. Being able to educate your customer on your product or service before they make their purchasing decision is invaluable.
8. It’s Cost-Effective
If you’ve been throwing money at paid search and social media marketing, it’s time to switch up your strategy. According to Blockthrough’s 2020 PaigeFair Adblock report, over 763 million devices globally block ads. The days of pop-up ads and traditional marketing are over. Consumers want to feel a connection with a brand, and that’s where content marketing comes in.
The best thing about content marketing? It costs a lot less than paying for ad placements. In fact, content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing (while generating three times as many leads). So not only are you getting more bang for your buck, but you’re helping your customers and cultivating trust at the same time.
9. It Works for Every Industry
One of the best things about content marketing is how inclusive it is. Many assume content marketing will only work for big brands or lifestyle publications. However, that could not be further from the truth. No matter how uninteresting or complicated you think your product or company is, I promise you content marketing can help.
Just look at how we were able to grow a flower delivery service’s organic traffic by 200% in over 4 years.
By creating high-quality content that is interesting to users, we were able to generate more than 1150 referring domains to their site. We also created mid- and bottom-funnel content that the brand was able to rank for easily in order to drive traffic and conversions.
So whether you own a truck driving company or just started your own online cookie delivery service, content marketing is relevant for any industry and is critical in helping you stand out online.
10. It Provides Continuous ROI
My favorite thing about content marketing is the success you’ll see long-term. Just last year Hubspot found that marketers who prioritize content marketing efforts are 13 times more likely to see positive ROI.
Every piece of valuable content you publish has the potential to bring in hundreds of thousands of visitors every month.
Let’s say you write a blog post on different bed sizes. The keyword “bed sizes” has a monthly search volume of 100,000. If you secure the number one spot for that keyword and the SERP has little volatility, you can expect to see an additional thousands of people viewing your website month over month.
In addition to the increase in traffic you’ll see, you’ll also watch your backlink profile grow.
For example, check out this piece we created for Nextiva. By targeting the keyword “customer service statistics,” we were able to grow their backlink profile by 700+ links.
We were able to achieve this by identifying a high-value keyword with a high “link-to-view-ratio.” In other words, targeting a search term that people explicitly look to link to. Each of these links has the potential to drive more traffic to your site and those links will continue to stack up over time.
Content Marketing Drawbacks
Despite the content marketing benefits listed above, there are a few drawbacks you should consider.
- Upfront cost: Initially, content marketing can feel like a big expense — especially if you don’t have a team. Without a team, you’ll need to consider hiring a content marketing agency, or a skilled group of designers, copywriters, videographers and more.
- Longer-term spend: One of the biggest downfalls of content marketing is the time it can take to see results. Content marketing is a long game and it can sometimes take months to see the results you’re after.
- It can be time-consuming: In order to create a piece of quality content that ranks, you need to put in the work. That means really understanding your customer’s questions and needs. You’ll need to collect data, do research, get creative and strategic all while presenting your content in a way that is easily digestible.
Moral of the Story: Content Marketing is Effective
Content marketing is one of the strongest forms of digital marketing out there. From building trust with your audience online to providing continuous ROI, there are so many advantages to content marketing that cannot be ignored.
Like I said earlier, content marketing is more than pressing publish. You need to consistently create great content that works in tandem with a solid content marketing strategy. With a solid content marketing campaign, you’ll begin to build customer relationships and watch your site traffic and conversion rate grow.
Not sure where to start? Check out Agency 18’s website or subscribe to the Agency 18 blog for weekly insights on how to rank higher and grow your business.