Content is at the heart of every brand. There was a time when most of the content generated by a company was in the form of Ads. And agencies used to launch a campaign and be done with it. With online consumption of content increasing, customers do research and gain significant knowledge about your products, services and also about your competitors much before your sales team reaches them. Thus it has become increasingly important to offer valuable content and gain thought leadership in the minds of your potential customers.
However content is of different types. Starting from the top of the content pyramid where you have e-Books and White Papers you can go to the bottom of the pyramid where you have Tweets and Social Media posts. The challenge is to tie all of them together cohesively so they work in unison to create that perfect integrated image of your brand. A strong Content Marketing Strategy therefore becomes imperative.
Consider these benefits of a strong Content Marketing Strategy:
1. Content Creates Value for Users
Unlike ads, content creates value for users. It gives users ways of using that content in their own life or work which ads are very poor at doing. Most of the users nowadays read the content online much before making a purchase decision. And online users are accustomed to ignoring traditional ads that surround content. They seek high value from the content because they are investing their valuable time reading it.
2. It is Highly Cost Effective
PPC campaigns are great at generating leads and so are paid social media ads. But the moment you stop investing in them, the leads flow stops too. Contrast this with a highly valuable blog, which may return much less leads, but its shelf life is far longer. It will continue to generate customer interest and leads long after it is written.
3. Can be tailored for the Buying Cycle
Different customers occupy different positions in your buying cycle. So they also need content that helps them move forward to the next step in the sales funnel. A well-crafted content strategy has the capacity to cater to all such needs by generating content that is relevant for each of the buying stages.
4. Content, and not Ads build Relations
A strong content strategy builds long term relations that go beyond immediate sales. Regular and valuable content elevates your brand to the level of a consultant from a mere position of a seller. Ads on the other hand have a short life and their ability to build long term relations is very weak.
5. Helps in SEO and Traffic Goals
A well-managed content strategy directly helps in building back links and is thus a great booster for meeting SEO goals. Bloggers and site owners always look for opportunities to link to valuable content. If your brand can provide that, you can easily piggyback on their reputation to build your own brand. This eventually helps in two ways. If the ranking improves you may benefit directly from search traffic. If not, the websites that link back to your content bring referral traffic and help you achieve your traffic goals.
6. It finetunes your business focus
This one may surprise you. But, the very act of thinking as to what kind of content needs to be produced, when to be produced and in what form, will create a backward integration that will take you to your marketing strategy and ultimately to your business goals. It helps plug missing gap you may have had in your business strategy because when you think of content strategy, you are very close to your customers and their needs.
It will not be an overstatement that a strong brand today is built on the foundation of a strong content marketing strategy. It inspires trust and confidence in your brand. A content marketing strategy is also a great tool to motivate your employees to become brand ambassadors and generate content that is valuable to end customers.