Every day — and even every single minute and second — today’s consumers turn to the internet with questions. In fact, according to estimates, internet search giant Google alone handles 99,000 online queries each second, which amounts to 8.5 billion searches a day and 2 trillion searches a year.
As a brand, of course, when consumers ask questions, you want to be there to provide the answers. Doing so can bring a range of benefits, including increased consumer awareness of your brand and its offerings, added trust among consumers — and hopefully even more conversions into paying customers. And one of the most powerful tactics your brand can employ to achieve all the above: content marketing.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is the creation and distribution of written and visual digital assets with the goal of engaging online consumers and drawing targeted leads to your business or organization. The content can come in a range of forms, such as blog articles, videos, infographics, e-books, emails and podcasts. It can also be distributed via an array of channels, such as websites, email newsletters, social media platforms and other online forums. To reach its peak effectiveness, content marketing should be performed purposefully and strategically, with the materials produced tailored to be of high relevance and value to a clearly defined audience of consumers that the brand employing the tactic is looking to attract.
Why is content marketing important?
For brands, content marketing can offer substantial benefits — and in many cases, the assets produced by content marketers go beyond delivering one-and-done effectiveness to continue producing additional value over time. Some of the ways content marketing can bring benefits for a brand include:
- Increasing brand awareness among a targeted group of consumers with a higher-than-average likelihood of conversion
- Reaching new prospects and moving them along the path to conversion
- Elevating search engine rankings for consumer queries related to your brand and its offerings, thereby increasing organic traffic on your brand’s website
- Educating consumers about your brand’s products and services, along with how they can solve their problems and meet their needs
- Adding value for existing customers by teaching them how to properly use your brand’s offerings and/or gain more enjoyment out of them
- Building long-term relationships with customers that can drive brand loyalty
- Communicating your brand values to consumers, helping you establish consumer connections and elevate brand loyalty
- Telling your brand story in a way that resonates with consumers
- Establishing your brand as a knowledgeable authority in your industry and niche, thereby elevating brand trust among consumers
- Supporting a brand-centered sense of community among your followers and supporters
Types of content marketing
While discussions of content marketing are most often centered around blogs and blog articles, a broad range of other assets can be effectively employed in a brand’s content marketing campaigns. Some of the most commonly used types of content marketing include:
Including informative content about your brand’s products and services on your website can serve to not only educate potential customers about them, but also help your site rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Blogs and blog articles offer brands the opportunity to cover a broad range of topics related to their offerings, and in the process both highlight their expertise on the subject matter and elevate their search rankings.
According to YouGove, more than 70% of consumers report that they’d prefer to learn about a product or service via watching a video than via reading. Video marketing has also been shown to significantly boost consumer engagement, social shares and conversions.
Whitepapers and e-books
Long-form content like whitepapers and e-books enables brands to provide readers with in-depth analysis of topics that are important to their specific industry and segment. It can also serve as a great opportunity to showcase a brand’s insights and expertise on the subject matter.
Serving as in-depth testimonials, case studies offer brands a chance to spotlight positive experiences customers have had with their products and services. These assets can effectively demonstrate how a brand’s offerings have solved problems for other consumers and, in the process, help build brand trust among prospects.
On Spotify and Apple Podcasts alone, an estimated 60 million-plus consumers tune in to podcasts each month. In addition to enabling brands to add another form of media to their marketing mix, these audio shows offer a high level of messaging control by allowing those who produce them to choose what topics they want to cover, which guests they’ll invite, how often new episodes will debut and more.
By displaying content, concepts and other data in a visually appealing and easy-to-digest graphic format, infographics can help convey complex information without overwhelming or boring the audience. And once created, infographics can be used in a range of ways — for example, as stand-alone assets for such communications as social media posts, or to enhance other materials such as whitepapers, e-books and slideshow presentations.
Social media posts
Roughly 70% of Americans are on social media, offering brands the opportunity to reach consumers in a venue where they enjoy spending their time and are often looking to make connections. And by sharing content on their social media accounts, brands can form stronger relationships with their followers, reach new audiences, and engage directly with consumers via an avenue that fosters engagement and sharing.
With an average return of over $35 for every $1 spent, email marketing is a frontrunner among marketing tactics when it comes to ROI. And by collecting email addresses from their customers and including them on their email marketing sends, brands can maintain direct communications with existing customers — and foster added brand loyalty while encouraging repeat business.
Using content marketing effectively
Content marketing offers a great way for brands to attract and educate consumers by telling compelling stories and sharing valuable information and insights. And when done well, employing using “soft sell” tactics rather than the “hard sell” approach that can often turn consumers off, content marketing can ingratiate consumers. It can also make them feel that a brand is actually serving them rather than blatantly serving them with a sales pitch.
Further, when employed strategically to specifically target consumers at different stages of the marketing funnel, content marketing can serve to move prospects along the path to purchase and increase conversions. To gain a better understanding of what types of content to use in your brand’s content-marketing efforts, check out the Brandon blog article “Choosing the Right Type of Content for Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel.”
Need help creating quality content? Brandon is here to help
Could your brand use the help of a team of marketing professionals to create content that catches consumers’ attention and builds more leads, trust and loyalty for your brand? At The Brandon Agency, our team of certified brand strategists and data-driven experts can create a range of content types to boost your content-marketing efforts — from blog articles, e-books and whitepapers to videos, podcasts, infographics, quizzes, webinars and more.
Further, TBA’s fully integrated marketing firm can cover the entire spectrum of your brand’s marketing needs, including content creation, SEO, social media, email marketing, e-commerce, digital marketing, media, creative, analytics, public relations, brand strategy, web design and more. To get started with help ranging from a content-marketing consultation to a comprehensive strategy tailored to boost the performance of all of your marketing campaigns, contact us today.