Still debating whether or not to invest in content marketing? Before you write it off your list, remember that it is an integral part of online marketing, and it can ensure very high return on investment if done in the right way.
“Content marketing differs from other types of marketing in many ways. Therefore, it has to be understood from the right perspective. Traditional marketing is all about taking a loud and direct approach to advertise and sell products or services to prospective customers or clients. It highlights the qualitative elements and benefits of using the products or services”, says William Raltson, Senior Marketing Specialist at the Chicago SEO Company.
Content marketing, on the other hand, takes a restrained approach in selling products or services as it does not pitch products or services for sale. It appeals more to the intellect and wisdom of prospective customers. In this approach there is no direct talk about selling products or services. The focus is on communicating with the audience in order to share relevant and valuable information about products and services that could build trust and help them to take well informed decisions when buying.
Although indirectly related to revenues, content marketing is immensely powerful, and has the capability of delivering proven results in driving sales and saving costs. It helps in building brand, sustaining the authoritativeness of the brands. Through the magic of content marketing, brands can stay relevant in the industry. There are many other benefits too.
Enjoying high return on investment (ROI)
Attracting quality traffic to websites is the fundamental objective for online marketing and the purpose for investing in it. Among several SEO techniques, content marketing ranks very high in achieving quick return on investment. How impressive content marketing can be is better understood from the experience of PTC, a software development company. The company heavily banked on content marketing when launching their new design software Creo. Since it was a new concept, customers had to be educated first and then convinced about its usefulness. Then only they would be driven to buy the software.
This was the prelude to actual marketing but would considerably influence customers’ decisions. They created a micro site to showcase their vision and share valuable information about the product. They were highly successful in attaining their goals of creating awareness and driving initial sales. The result was stupendous — the number of visitors to the website crossed the 100,000 mark in just a month! And the best part is that the growth continued as more than 70% new visitors are recorded every month.
- The reason for success of the content marketing project can be attributed to the following factors:
Content was developed by focusing on specific marketing objective. Marketing messages need not always be new but can be derived from existing messages that are appropriate. This can save time in content development.
- Content marketing strategy was not a standalone venture but aligned with the overall marketing initiatives.
Saving marketing costs by utilizing the Social media
By adhering to the cardinal rule that content marketing is part of the overall online marketing campaign launched with the help of a SEO company, you can effectively use it to augment your social media dominance. Marketers are increasingly using the various social media platforms to make their business grow. And the biggest attraction is not only the reach that they achieve, but also the lure of much less spending on social media marketing campaigns. A case in point is the Cisco product launch campaign that became an eye opener for online marketers.
The company had been using social media for its marketing campaigns since 2008, but was not much convinced about the business potential that it offered. It seemed that something was lacking. Then came a time when Cisco was launching a new router. It was decided that the product launch would be different from the traditional method of assembling people from all corners of the world at one place to witness the launch. It was decided that the launch would be made by using the platform of social media only. And the results were was amazing!
The company could save nothing less than $100,000 in the product launch campaign that was presented to the audience by reaching out to them through social media instead of asking them to assemble at one place. The launch was beamed on big screens at online venues that the company had set up. The event was also viewed on the personal devices on network engineers who could experiment live with the use of the router.
Augmenting SEO efforts
Content marketing and SEO go hand in hand and can be entrusted to a SEO agency that handles the online marketing campaign. Although these are separate activities, these are very well integrated with each other like Siamese twins. Separating one from another could risk their existence and reduce the overall effectiveness of online marketing.
But when used in collaboration, it can have striking effects that can augment the online marketing initiatives. The limitations in reach of SEO are more than made up by fusing it with content marketing. SEO is just too technical and provides a narrow technological platform that has to be appropriately used for generating impressive and high impacting marketing campaign. This is achieved by utilizing the powers of content marketing which is presented on the SEO platform.
SEO without content marketing simply does not cut ice for the following reasons:
- Content is an integral part of SEO which is the soul of its existence. Content in the form of infographics, videos, podcasts, web pages, blog posts and eBooks breathe life into SEO.
- SEO is driven by keywords that are built into the content. Content carry keywords without which SEO would have no meaning.
- The framework of SEO is structured on back links that can only be generated through content. Only through content marketing can the aspect of back links be successfully implemented.
- Content marketing relies on better user experience that is derived from the technical optimization abilities of SEO. There cannot be meaningful existence of either SEO or content marketing if treated in isolation.
- The success of SEO depends on rapid indexing of contents by search engines. Fresh content is required to achieve it. And this can only happen when SEO is supported by suitable content marketing.
Creating attraction through content
Efficient marketing depends on drawing the attention of prospective customers by using proper content rather than creating impressions. The customer gets engaged to the content, feels excited about it as it provokes the mind, and it generates a sense of compelling need that drives towards the product or service that the content is promoting. That is when a sale is likely to happen.
Content marketing captures the attention of customers in the most authentic way. It then moves forward to answer the questions raised by customers, and helps them solve problems that they are facing. It generates a lot of trust and confidence that translates into mutual respect that creates a bonding. Customers are truly educated in the process, and they find enough reasons to choose the products or services that are on offer. Content marketing inspires customers not only to buy products and services, but also to spread the good word about it that has a long term effect in enhancing sales.
How rewarding content marketing can be will be understood from the case of SunGard, a Cloud technology company and its innovative campaign. The content they developed was meant for educating IT professionals about their product SunGard Cloud to create awareness about it. And the end result was reflected in download rates being increased by 300%, email open rate was increased by 5.7% and more than twenty leads were generated.
Encouraging customers to take action
Content is king and this is the reality of online marketing today. The digital marketing revolution that was ushered in the new millennium brought to the fore once again the age old concept of content marketing. The first venture in content marketing dates back to 1895 when a customer magazine was launched by John Deere. Named, The Furrow, it remains the first documentary evidence of content marketing.
The same strategy was later followed by a recipe book that was distributed free in 1904. Although the concept has its roots in history, the coinage of the term content marketing happened only in the twenty first century when the concept was re-introduced. It is time to focus on consumer attention and direct the marketing initiatives towards it. Following the consumers’ likes and dislikes, it is time to ride the wave of content marketing to engage consumers closely and encourage them to take action. Around 70% business enterprises in America believe in the power of content marketing, and are ready to spend on it to grow their business. In fact, companies are now spending 25% of their marketing budget on content marketing.
With so much of established data about cost saving and improved business achieved through content marketing, it is never too late to join it. It is high time that you join the band of successful business enterprises that have unearthed the immense potential of quality content, and made good use of it to take their business to new heights.
Jon is a marketing director at Chicago SEO Services. When not playing with his pet and rooting for the Bears, he loves taking on adventures in the Digital World and helping others explore the digital valley. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.