- May 7, 2013
- Posted by: Murali Sankar
- Category: Articles, Blog
1. Content is trusted more than advertising:
Advertising and marketing messages from businesses are not as trusted by consumers as they used to be. Over the years, there has been a steady decline of their credibility because of all the false promises and scams consumers encounter on a regular basis.
It used to be that only salespeople who sold face to face would educate the prospect on their product or service using presentations or other methods. Now, this strategy is being used in several channels and platforms. Content marketing has been taken to a whole new level.
2. Content marketing is cheaper than advertising:
At first glance, using content marketing to promote your business might seem expensive; however, it is much cheaper when compared to the cost of traditional mass media advertising and marketing. The cost of a sale and the cost to acquire a new customer are lower than it is in traditional advertising. The cost might be high when you are starting out, where content creation is expensive, but the long term costs are lower.
3. Higher conversion Rate:
Content marketing has a higher conversion rate over the long term. This is especially true with new customers, repeat purchases and long sales cycles. It is great for building long term customer relationships because it helps building trust by making the customer understand what exactly you are offering and how it would help them.
The consumer always welcomes more education as it helps make their lives easier. Educating the consumer always builds a special bond and makes them more loyal to you, the educator. This has an added advantage which is, educated prospects and customers are easier to deal with on average.
5. Consumers come to you instead of you searching for them:
This is one of the most important reasons for doing content marketing. This is also called inbound marketing where you are making your prospects and customers come to you instead of you searching and going after them. This makes it much easier, faster and cheaper to acquire new customers and increase sales.
6. Consumers are blocking out advertising:
People are beginning to block out advertising of all types. Some of the ways this is done are:
- Do not call lists
- Spam lists
- Widgets and apps for blocking ads
Other paid media like DVDs, streaming media where there are no ads
The best way to combat this is to become part of the content.
7. Better relationships:
You can create much better relationships with your prospects and customers using content marketing than most other forms of marketing. When you provide valuable, quality information that is relevant to your prospects/customers and helps them in any way, you can’t help but form a good relationship with them. This certainly beats traditional advertising and marketing.
8. High value:
Providing useful information that is valuable to the prospect would immediately put you in the high value category and set you apart from everyone else trying to sell to them. You become an expert and authority in your niche and that makes your products and services high value which makes it easy for you to price high.
9. Search engines and social media platforms want content:
Search engines are most people primary way of finding the information they are looking for. Social media platforms are where people spend most of their time (apart from content sites). These two platforms (both online and mobile) need a lot of high quality relevant content aimed at target audiences.
They are content driven and the sole purpose of these platforms is to provide the best user experience and relevant content to their users. Therefore, content marketing fits in perfectly when you talk about promoting on these platforms.
10. You become the expert and authority:
Content marketing is one of the best ways to make yourself the expert or authority in your niche. People are going to consider you an expert when you write about the issues in your industry, problems that are common and how to solve them, how to do certain things, events in your industry, questions your readers ask you, etc.
11. You can communicate your USP:
Having a clearly defined USP that differentiates you is very important for you to stand out in a crowded marketplace. Content marketing is one of the best ways to communicate your USP with your target market.
12. Track record or working well:
Content marketing has worked well for other brands for a very long time. However, it has been used in other ways that are different from how it is being right now. Like writing books, giving presentations, writing articles in magazines, writing columns, giving free seminars, talks, television appearances and other speaking engagements, etc.
13. Easy to measure:
Content marketing to a great extent depends on the platform you are using to promote the content. For example, social media channels like Facebook or twitter. However, just measuring the effectiveness of social media is not that easy. You would need to have something to promote through social media channels. On the whole, content marketing (with social media) is much easier to measure.
Content marketing is more scalable than other forms of promotion. As long as you have valuable content that is relevant to your audience, you can always find new channels to promote your content. You can also scale up your promotions to reach a bigger audience in ways that are not easy with other forms of marketing.
Once you have created the content for your business and your campaigns, it is easy to just reuse that content on other platforms and channels. This is a sort of leverage that in almost all cases gives the marketers a huge advantage in saved effort, time and cost.
16. Branding and creating a personality:
Building a brand using content is very effective and underutilized strategy. Building a brand is mostly about making sure that the consumer has consistent experiences when dealing with your business. However, marketing (promotion) does help out a lot when it comes to crafting your brand and making your brand well known. Content marketing can contribute a lot to branding without having to spend the same kind of time or money as in other methods to get similar results.
This is true whether you are a business or an individual wanting to craft your own unique brand or personality in your marketplace. It can also be done for individual products. It can be done using your communication and content that you put out.
17. Reliable in the face of change:
Content marketing is guaranteed to keep working not matter what changes are happening in the industry. The changes could be:
- Search engine algorithms are changed or tweaked
- New terms or use for social media platforms/channels
- Old platforms/channels die
- New platforms/channels emerge
- Features are removed or added
- Platforms/channels are merged or combined
- Old formats die out and new formats emerge
- New legislation or changes in existing laws that make marketing more difficult
When these changes take place, the little tricks that you use may not keep working. As far as specific techniques and methods go, what works today may not work tomorrow.
One thing that has always remained constant is the demand for high quality, relevant and useful content. No matter what changes, you can be certain that this will always be the case.
18. Helps you build your own audience and platform /channel:
When you are consistent at content marketing, over time, you would be able to build your own audience and channel/platform. You would have your own readership base or subscribers that frequent your own website, blog, page, channel or platform.
This would mean, you can directly communicate with your users without having to go through someone else. You would no longer be heavily dependent on other channels to keep your audience.
19. Can be used to accomplish several goals:
Content marketing can be use accomplish several goals such as:
- Traffic generation
- Lead generation
- Relationship building
- Building credibility and trust
- Generating referrals
- Generating repeat purchases
- Reactivate old customers
This makes content marketing extremely useful for any business in any industry at any stage in their marketing.
20. Can be used to target any audience:
Content marketing can be used on any type of audience. Your target audience can be consumers or business executives. They can be of any demographic (Age, location, income, race, occupation, gender, etc), psychographic or behavioral segmentation.
They could be in any market or industry and you could be selling any type of product or service to them.
21. Can be used in any part of the sales cycle:
Content marketing can be used anywhere in the sales cycle. It can be used either in the beginning to generate leads, to convert leads to customers, to make them buy again or to get them to upgrade, etc. It does not matter if it is early, middle or late in the sales cycle, the content and its use can be customized to suit the requirements at hand.
22. Keeps paying off for a long time:
This type of marketing pays off for a long time. You would only have to create the content once and promote it on different channels and it could keep bringing new leads and customers for a very long time provided the content remains relevant and useful. This is not possible with several other forms of marketing.
23. Can tap into other channels and platforms:
Content marketing allows you to tap into several other channels and platforms to acquire traffic, leads and customers. Since users are always interested in content, any channels that allows you to reach a userbase, allows you to acquire leads using content. You could also use the same content for campaigns across several platforms. Content marketing is a great way to effectively tap into new channels.
24. Future proof and new platform friendly:
Most platforms that are new or growing today require content (could be user generated content, content derived from user engagement, etc) to grow and therefore are content friendly. It is safe to assume that any platform that comes up new will also be content friendly and any investment you make in content marketing is going to be future proof.
25. Expected to be unbiased and neutral:
Content is expected to be neutral and unbiased while marketing and sales messages are not. Even if the business publishes content primarily for marketing and not educating or informing, this is the perception that most consumers have. People don’t want to be hit by marketing or sales messages but don’t mind a relevant pitch to a product or service inserted in a piece of useful content. Infact, in most cases, it would be welcome.
26. Helps them make the right choices and smarter decisions:
Consumers prefer something that helps them make the right choices and smarter informed decisions when buying products and services. Content marketing plays into that need perfectly. This need is something that you can always count on being there.
27. Being able to target who are about to buy:
People who are about to make a purchase do a lot of research before buying and are voracious information consumers. They research as much as they can about the products and services from whatever sources they can find online and try to make an informed decision. If you can provide valuable content that helps them during that phase, then they are going to develop a good relationship with you.
28. Faster to get time sensitive content to your audience:
If the message or content is something that is time sensitive, then taking the online route is the best possible solution. Print as a medium or platform is too slow and takes too much time. Making the message part of the content and giving it context (making it relevant to readers or adding your perspective) is going to be valuable to your audience.
29. Can be very specific and addresses gaps in market:
There are only so many publishers and media firms in the market providing information to fill consumer’s needs. As a business who works with a section of consumers directly you would have a very unique perspective on what their problems are and what information they would like to know. Most publishers and media houses are not tuned in to your specific sub niche’s requirements. This gives you the opportunity to tap into that gap.
30. Two way street that allows for user generated content and feedback:
Unlike in traditional advertising or marketing, content marketing is not a one way street, especially online. There are plenty of ways to get users involved in this and that is a huge benefit since engagement almost always increases conversion rate. Most social platforms today where content can be shared allow this.
31. Fits in perfectly with other online marketing activities:
There are other online marketing activities like SEO, linkbuilding and social media promotions that require heavy use of content. Therefore, content marketing fits in perfectly with these other activities.