The marketplace we exist and survive in today is radically different from the one a decade ago. Gone are the days when store employees and salespeople were the experts and brands used to lavishly spend money towards attracting prospective consumers. Today we live in a buyer-driven market where consumers and buyers are already searching the internet for the unique proposition a brand has to offer. This is when you use content to subconsciously establish your brand in the consumer’s mindset. Content marketing not only creates a sense of loyalty but also increases the brand awareness, brand preference, and the brand’s overall reach.
The insightful and witty marketer responded to this consumer-driven, relationship-oriented, digital marketplace with a new tool: Content marketing. It is certainly not surprising that the PQ Media’s Global Content Marketing Forecast states that ‘Content marketing is the top priority for CMOs. 72% of global CMOs will be increasing their spend on content marketing compared to 39% for advertising.’ A recent survey capturing the thoughts of 150 brand marketers, carried out by Times Internet and DMA Asia, revealed that 57% of respondents believed that content marketing has replaced social media marketing as India’s most popular strategy over 2017-18.
Here are 8 reasons why business should consider content marketing as a powerful communication tool:
1. Content marketing portrays the brand’s leadership
As the brand’s useful and relevant content keeps circulating among the consumers, it develops the brand’s popularity in the sector. The theory of content marketing is only just being realized by many brands, as CMOs move toward new ways of thinking, less advertising and sales-based campaign spends, to a content marketing strategy focused on long-term, cost effective and engaging content.
2. An expert narrative of the brand wins half the battle
Consumers and end-users are increasingly using the internet for research before buying. They refer to experts and trust them to solve issues for them. If one can portray ones’ brand as an expert in its field with the help of quality, useful and well-timed content then one has successfully created an expert image of the brand in the consumer’s mindset. As a result, before the first sales interaction occurs, the content has already helped the brand win half the sales battle.
3. Content marketing delivers quality lead generation with higher conversions
Content marketing can convert more organic traffic into high quality sales leads in comparison to social media marketing. Great and relatable content will not only drive more viewers to a brand but also provide them an incentive to come back for more. Besides generating high quality leads content marketing also successfully converts a significant percentage of them into profit generating consumers. Research shows that brands with relatable, quality and consistent content marketing initiatives tend to enjoy six times more conversion rates compared to that of their competitors.
4. Content marketing results in search engine optimization (SEO)
When a brand’s content is relatable, informative and up to date with the current time, it ranks the content higher in the search results. Search engine algorithms undergo changes very often, but if the content is valuable and useful to the target audience, it will rank higher and longer in the search engines.
5. Content marketing generates a higher ROI
Content marketing will remain relevant for potentially many years compared to a very expensive paid advertising campaign that may only last a few weeks, days or even minutes. Content Marketing helps the brand to earn more media for itself because of the brand’s content being shared among millions of users who in turn can be converted into potential consumers.
6. Content marketing propels the social media reach
Social media marketing has seen a dip in its importance with the rise of content marketing in the early 2017. The reason is simple; social media marketing started to focus more on reach and effective outcomes than content. The content was same as traditional advertisements with blatant sales approach. It was neither relatable nor valuable for the consumer, hence drastically reducing consumer interaction.
7. Performance can be easily analyzed and track-able
Content marketing is never a one-off process. It requires constant analysis and adjustment. Because of all the easy-to-acquire metrics it is possible to quickly figure out what is working and what is not.
8. Content marketing reaps long term benefits
Marketers are often hesitant to use content marketing as a tool owing to the long time and consistent content that is required to permeate the brand into the market. But, content continues to generate traffic long after they’re published because content is information and information has no expiry date. No wonder some marketers prefer to call it ‘evergreen content’.
Content marketing is the current fad in the industry and rightly so. The man behind Coke's '2020' content marketing strategy, Jonathan Mildenhall says, "we are successful when people are talking about our brands in the right way."
About the Author
Nithya Krishnan, who leads the marketing function at Trend Micro India, is a senior marketer with experience in enterprise solution marketing in leading technology companies for over 15 years.