You've heard it before and we'll say it again: to achieve success in today's competitive climate, you can't afford to ignore the power of content marketing. Your competitors have already climbed aboard the content train; in 2016, nearly 90 percent of B2B companies had already incorporated content into their marketing strategy — a number that has since only increased. If you're not already leveraging content in your inbound strategy, or not giving it the time and attention it deserves, then you're quickly becoming a relic.
Here's a few reasons why content (still) matters to successful businesses:
Content Helps Build Your Brand
Building a strong brand is increasingly difficult in today's over-saturated marketplace. So how do you find your voice amidst a sea of competition? The answer lies in creating compelling and consistent brand messaging across all touchpoints. With the advent of online shopping, today's buyers do more brand research and comparative analysis prior to making a purchase than ever before. It's important that your company's communication and resources capture the attention of your target audience by trading in the capital of the internet — valuable and engaging information. The best way to increase your brand equity and market share is to create content that both informs and nurtures personal connections with prospects, so that when they are ready to buy, you're top of mind.
Today's buyers want to be reminded of the humanity behind a business. They want to understand your company's unique goals and values and the reasons why you to do what you do. What's more, they want that effort to be reciprocated — for you to recognize and respond to their needs. The best way to ensure you're making valuable and authentic connections with prospects is by tailoring your content strategy to directly address their needs, desires and values.
Content Increases Quality Traffic to Your Site
The best way to ensure that your site exists on your audience's radar is to rank high in related search engine results. SEO is integral to marketing today and should work hand-in-hand with your content strategy. Creating content around frequently searched industry keywords and long-tail queries that your business can solve will increase your brand visibility and help pull interested leads into your funnel. Furthermore, providing a plethora of resources that address your prospect's questions and challenges at each stage of the buyer's journey is a great way to continue to nurture their trust and loyalty.
The companies that regularly produce valuable, insightful and relevant content become lead-generating machines that see greater ROI on their marketing efforts. In fact, native content leads to higher brand awareness than any other ad format alone.
Content Nurtures Stronger and Longer-Lasting Customer Relationships
The age of product-centric marketing is over. Businesses that succeed today know the value of adopting a customer-centric marketing credo and recognize that today's consumers have high expectations. Buyers are busy and overwhelmed with purchasing options; inundating them with offers that aren't relevant to their needs or current buyer's journey stage is a surefire way to lose traction and trust. Creating a comprehensive content marketing strategy will help you deliver meaningful content that resonates with your audience at every stage of their journey, from stranger to customer to brand evangelist.
Want to learn more about how content marketing factors into the inbound methodology and effects your ROI? Check out our e-book:
Meryl is a former New Breeder.
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