Are you hesitating to invest energy and money into content marketing? Well, consider this: no one ever won a game of Monopoly by cautiously navigating around the board without buying Pall Mall, Park Lane, or a station or two. As a business owner, you may be playing a delicate financial balancing game.
But, if you want to drive growth (and steal a march on your competitors) you need to invest in marketing – and that includes content marketing.
Standing out from your competition is harder than ever in today’s online marketplace. And that’s where content marketing really makes a difference: getting your business seen and then helping your audience on their journey along the sales funnel.
It is also one of the key marketing tactics that can deliver an impressive ROI. Some analysts go as far as saying that content marketing can return 3 x better results in terms of traffic and lead generation when compared with traditional advertising. “It must cost more then,” you say. Well no actually, it costs an average 62% less than advertising.
For most of us, that figure alone will be enough to kick-start a focus on content. But if you need more evidence, here are our top 17 reasons why you need to invest in content marketing in 2020.
The explosion of content marketing is in response to the change in the way consumers interact with brands online and ever-increasing expectations on digital experiences. You may already have an online presence, but that is no longer enough.
If your customers or visitors want to find out more about what you do but they can’t find the information they need on your site or blog, or you don’t post regularly to your social media pages, you’ll be put in the digital shade by competitors who have a strong content strategy.
Content marketing offers an impressive ROI
Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional advertising but can deliver three times more leads or traffic.
We’ve already mentioned this statistic but it’s a biggie, so it deserves a headline spot in this list. With that potential level of ROI, you can’t afford to ignore it.
Simple analytics are available from a range of content marketing tools like Buffer as well as from any native tools you use such as Facebook and Twitter. You can use these tools to identify if what you are doing is working. These give you data on things such as clicks and interaction to help you work out how your content marketing is supporting your business’ objectives.
If investing in content marketing is a tough-sell, give the budget holders proof it works. Here’s our handy guide on Content marketing analytics – what to measure to help.
- Content marketing is crucial for a solid sales funnel
You’d be right in thinking that content marketing will help to get your leads and customers to the top of your funnel. And done right, every piece of content you produce will help move customers from one stage of the buyer journey to the next.
Your content marketing funnel will have three stages:
Content is a powerful tool at every step of the customer journey, and your content marketing strategy needs to reflect that.
But don’t make the same mistake that lots of marketers make by throwing the kitchen sink at the ‘discovery’ stage and produce lots of educational content to capture the attention of people that are just becoming aware of your products or services. You also need to think about content for the other stages too to make sure that you are able to persuade readers to buy something. You don’t want a leaky funnel.
- Content marketing is far more than just blogging
You’ll do more than just blog. For example, you can create videos, infographics, lists, how-tos, reviews, whitepapers, webinars etc. And don’t forget speaking opportunities. Videos and visuals can be expensive, but don’t worry if your budget doesn’t stretch to this now. 58% of marketers say original written content is the most important type of content.
Most important is consistency – always post regularly.
- 74% of companies say content marketing is enhancing the quality of leads
Research from Curata shows that nearly three-quarters of businesses believe their content marketing is improving the quality as well as the number of leads. And we all know that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
- Content marketing improves your search rankings
We all want to rank as high as possible on search pages. Research by HubSpot tells us that brands with a blog have 434% more pages indexed by search engines than those that don’t. And that translates into 434% more opportunities to rank on page one in the organic search results.
If your content is crafted in a way that satisfies searcher intent (so it answers the question they initially asked) you’ll grow your domain authority. And that will bump you up the rankings. Ranking on the first page (or number one if you can) further strengthens the trust relationship between your audience and your brand. And that brings us back to our recurring theme – more sales.
- You could grow your traffic by 843% from a single blog post
If no one knows about your product or service, they can’t buy it. But content, whether it is a blog, tweet, newsletter or something else, gets your brand and brand message out there. Growth Badger explains how he got 843% more traffic from a single blog post using the ‘Double Survey Technique’.
- Content marketing gets potential customers to your website and keeps them there
A carefully considered content strategy will get new customers to your site. And crucially it will keep them there too as long as the information you’re providing meets their needs. The key here is always to remember that you’ll need to invest in developing relevant content that will keep your target audience on your site, not send them clicking back to one of your competitors.
With a content strategy, you can easily focus your efforts to reach a new target market. All you need is to invest in creating content that is tailored to answer core questions, needs or concerns.
By investing in the creation of something genuinely useful, you’ll gain trust and followers.
- Content marketing helps you learn more about your customers
Boosting your engagement rates, identifying which blog posts get the most views and comments, will give you valuable insight into who your customers are and what they want. You can use this to respond to their needs even more.
- It helps you reach new audiences, fast
65% of consumers discover a new brand or product through an influencer at least once a week.
If you want to target a new audience fast, you can use social media influencers as part of your content strategy. We’re not talking about the +1million follower influencers here, who charge a fortune for a mention. Instead, micro-influencers, often with just a couple of thousand engaged followers, can be a real game-changer. That’s because 40% of consumers have purchased something after seeing it on social media like Twitter or Instagram.
Like the rest of your content strategy, you can’t expect instant overnight results. But a carefully thought out plan, with carefully thought out influencers (engaged followers are the key here), can be the quickest way for you to develop brand awareness.
- You can position yourself as a trusted authority in your industry
Fake news, undeclared social media ads, rogue bots and followers all mean that trust in the integrity and authenticity of online content is being lost. Sharing authentic branded content can go a long way in instilling confidence in your audience that your brand is a trusted authority and go-to source. It’s a double whammy. Valuable, trusted content will also show your customers that you understand their specific needs and have solutions to their problems.
- Content marketing inspires customer advocacy and loyalty
In a world where we’re always being asked for something (mostly our cash), content marketing makes a refreshing change. You’re not asking for anything but just the opposite – you’re giving consumers something (valuable information) for nothing.
61% of consumers are influenced by custom content (which aims to nurture your existing customer relationships according to Dragon Search Marketing.
It’s one thing to win new customers. But it’s even better if you can retain the ones you have already. Brand loyalty is something all businesses want, and it’s something content marketing can help you to achieve.
A good content strategy does this by engaging with your customers, so they want to engage back. It may be funny, informative, or rewarding (giving discounts or invites to exclusive events). But it will always be building emotional contact between your brand and your customer.
- Content marketing is effective at brand storytelling
To create an emotional interaction, you want to tell your brand story. Content marketing effectively gives consumers more information about what makes your brand special / better / useful.
- Content can be repurposed to maximise ROI
60% of marketers reuse content 2-5 times. So for an initial investment of time or money in creating original content, you can extend the lifespan to get more bang for your buck.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the thought of all the content you need to create, stop. You can save money by repurposing your content and also invest a little time for a significant return on content curation.
With content curation as part of your content strategy, you can also make the best use of other people’s content by sharing it. It helps to reinforce your position as an expert in the field, and it builds on your efforts to be genuinely helpful to your potential customers. Read our top tips on how to curate content like a pro.
- Your competitors are doing it
You’ve got to be in content marketing to win it, and 86% of B2C marketers are. If you’re not, your potential customers will just be forming a long queue to visit your competitors.
The majority of other brands are actively sharing content. If you’re not doing the same, you can get left behind in the race.
There are 4.4 million new blog posts published every day, according to Worldometers. And, according to the Content Marketing Institute, 37% of B2C marketers plan to increase their content marketing budget. Your competitors are planning to get ahead – so you should too.
- Influential websites will help get your message out there
One of the great things about content marketing is that it can have a snowball effect – so you get exposure without doing (or spending) much. For example, if you produce evergreen content that is worth sharing, you’ll find that other influential websites will help you to get your message to a wider audience by linking back and sharing it on social media.
- Content marketing continues to deliver over a long period
Unlike an advertising campaign, content marketing is in it for the long-haul. As a case in point, here at Big Star Copywriting we still get loads of traffic from an article on our top 10 tips to become a successful copywriter published in The Guardian in 2013.
- You don’t have to have a big marketing team to do content marketing effectively
Larger businesses will often have different roles within the marketing team to focus on content marketing and content creation. But that’s not your only option.
If you or your team don’t have the time to invest in content marketing, you can outsource. Using a specialist copywriting agency (yes, like us) will probably cost less than you think. And copywriting experts can achieve much more in a limited time scale than you might be able to.
What are your content marketing plans this year? Let us know in the Comments below.
Editors note: This post was originally published in June 2019 but has been completely updated to provide the most useful content