Content marketing is a powerful strategy that boosts your online visibility, establishes you as an authority and delivers lasting value for visitors to your site. But is it worth your time? Before you pour your marketing budget into traditional ads, learn more about content marketing and the benefits that might make it worthwhile to pursue.
What Is Content Marketing?
As search engines became more refined in the mid to late 2000s, businesses began to switch up their marketing tactics. Content marketing focuses on creating and sharing valuable, relevant and consistent content to capture the interest of a target audience and drive sales. Monolithic enterprises and small businesses alike use content marketing to move up in search engine rankings, build trust and top-of-mind awareness among visitors, and save money by avoiding the cost of traditional advertising.
The Advantage of Quality Content
While the goal of marketing is to drive sales and loyalty, content marketing is unique in that it delivers value to visitors whether or not they choose to take action. Traditional pop-up or banner ads are not only costly, but often intrusive, offering little to no value or relevance. This type of spam can give your business a bad reputation. Content marketing avoids this pitfall by delivering what visitors want to see, when they want to see it, at a fraction of the cost of more intrusive marketing tactics.
What Goes into Content Marketing?
Like anything worth pursuing, content marketing takes planning and dedication. Depending on the type of content you produce, you’ll have to invest in content creation software, tools and equipment such as a quality video recorder. You can purchase pre-written articles and/or hire a team of copywriters to create engaging content. You may also need the services of a professional web designer, video editor or social media expert to make sure your content is professional.
Most importantly, you’ll have to invest time to plan and manage a targeted content strategy. Without a clearly defined goal, content marketing can be hit or miss and a waste of resources. Keep your content focused and organized. Below are some goals you can aim for:
Promote a new product or service
Gain new followers or subscribers
Increase brand awareness
Move up in search engine rankings
Drive sales of a particular product or service
Attract influencers who can help promote your business
The Many Types of Content Marketing
Quality content can take many forms, each with its advantages and costs:
Search engine optimization (SEO): By creating valuable, relevant and consistent content such as articles, blog posts or tutorials, you can stand out in search results.
Video marketing: One of the fastest growing forms of content, videos can help you establish your brand and boost awareness.
Social media marketing: Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram let you post engaging content and connect directly with your audience.
Public relations (PR): Effective PR campaigns can boost your reputation by addressing the issues people care about.
Paid search: While usually not as effective in the long-term as SEO marketing, paid search can help drive short-term sales.
Content strategy: The overall process of planning your content is crucial in avoiding costly mistakes down the road.
Should You Invest in Content Marketing?
The effectiveness of content marketing depends on your goal and the effort you put into it. When executed well, content marketing can deliver returns far beyond the initial investment.