Top 10 Reasons Why You Need a Content Marketing Strategy

Posted on April 7th 2013

Top 10 Reasons Why You Need a Content Marketing Strategy

- By Ryan Northover

content marketing strategy1. Trust in Advertising is Terrible

A recent report from market research giant Nielsen shows consumer trust in traditional media advertising has plummeted. Users don’t like, nor trust the sales messages 

The survey found whopping 90% of OECD consumers said they trusted brand recommendations from friends or users they trusted online, while only 10% said they trusted messages from display advertising.

Content Marketing represents a form of word-of-mouth marketing, whereby users consumer, engage and share your useful brand content. A strong content marketing strategy hits closer to the 90% trust level than any paid banner ad at the other end of the consumer trust scale.

2. Content Marketing Delivers Quality Lead Generation 

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half,” said John Wanamaker. This problem may be solved with content marketing.

In fact, Content marketing can convert 30% more organic traffic into high quality sales leads (source: MarketingSherpa). Great content marketing will attract potentially high value customers, and these customers will come back for more.

This compares to more traditional advertising methods, where media planners will buy an audience assuming that an ad message will be received by a target audience, and this also assumes the paid message will compel users to act.

Content Marketing delivers on the strategy of ‘narrowcasting’ where brands focus on a smaller, core group of potential, high quality consumers.

3. Content Marketing Fulfils a Desire for More Information

Back in 2010, when about 1/3 of consumers had Smartphones, users searched on average of 5.3 sources of information before making a purchase decision. By the start of 2012, when over half of consumers owned a smartphone, that figure had doubled to 10.4 sources of information.

User behaviour and technology is changing, consumers will now search out for information about your industry, before asking a real person or consulting other media.

Marketers must rise to this challenge and build great content systems that engage, inspire, educate and inform users who seek.

4. Content Marketing Improves SEO

Content Marketing will help you kill it on the SEO front, as search engines get smarter at delivering the right information to users, content marketing needs to be at the centre of any SEO strategy.

Google for instance now heavily weights social sharing and link buzz, the more engaging and shareable your content is, the better your SEO rankings. Google will also heavily favour content it feels is relevant to its users, so your content has to be excellent.

5. Content Marketing Will Position Your Brand as a Leader

Producing great, useful, authentic content will position your brand as a leader in your category, pushing brand uplift and vital word-of-mouth recommendations 

The theory of content marketing is only just being realised by many brands, as CMOs move toward new ways of thinking, less advertising and sales based campaign spends, to more long term, cost effective and engaging content marketing focused strategy.

Act now and start building your content platforms, inventory and engagement streams. Content Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint, it’s a long game and it will require many months of planning and strategic development.

6. Content Marketing Will Influence Consumer Decision Making 

Content marketing can influence purchase intent and decision-making. Consumers are on average 70% of the way through the sales funnel before engaging directly with a brand.

Content marketing allows you to influence decision makers well before they have made up their minds.

For example, a Roper Public Affairs study found 80% of business decision makers prefer to access company information via a series of articles over advertisements. 70% of decision makers said content marketing made them feel closer to the brand, and 60% said content marketing helped them make better purchasing decisions.

7. Content Marketing Will Feed Your Native Advertising

Great content has to find a way to its target audience. One way content can be distributed is to seed content using paid advertising products called native advertising.

This form of advertising is fast becoming the default replacement for untrustworthy banner advertising.

Native advertising is placed in a newsfeed on social media or relevant partner websites as a suggested post.

Good native advertising takes advantage of strong content marketing materials that are engaging, authentic, inspiring and educational and align with your audiences values and interests. These native ads drive your audience to your content marketing inventory and beyond.

8. Content Marketing Delivers Strong ROI

Because good content will last a long time, your investment in content marketing will remain relevant for potentially many years. This is compared to a very expensive paid advertising campaign that may only last a few weeks, days or even minutes. Moreover, great content marketing will also earn you significant ‘earned media’ whereby users and other media outlets may talk about and share your content to millions more users, potentially producing millions of dollars in free brand exposure.

Also, studies have shown that per dollar, content marketing produces 3 times more leads than SEM and costs 30% less. Source: Kapost & ELOQUA

9. Social Media Feeds On Your Content Marketing

Content forms the basis of your social media strategy, without great content, your social media platforms are worthless and people will not follow or engage with your brand on Twitter, Facebook or any other social network. Content marketing materials should always be produced with social sharing and engagement in mind and social media user behaviour should influence your content streams and strategy.

Content Marketing using social media will also deliver on user generated content, linked to positive word-of-mouth sentiment, earned media and fan/advocate community building. The rise of the hashtag as a tool to index and contextualise conversations around brands presents limitless opportunities for brands to hold engaging conversations and emotional moments with customers. 

10. Consumers Will Love You 

Great Content marketing is useful for the target audience, it aims to help, inform, inspire and entertain- Content marketing is never a sales pitch or highly disruptive.

The key is to produce great content to help your target audience achieve their goals and desires and to connect brand to individual in a meaningful, memorable way. 

Content Marketing thought leader Jay Baer calls this ‘Youtility’ – that is always placing the customer first, even if it means referring your customer to competitors or businesses that have nothing to do with your industry.

Helping your current and potential customers first, and not even thinking of selling, will build trust, word-of-mouth and deliver high quality, long term customers, advocates and super fans.

Beyond the customer first aspect, content marketing promises to turn brands into publishers, entertainers and informers.

Through Content Marketing brands like Coca-Cola and Proctor & Gamble hope to “own a disproportionate share of popular culture” through big content ideas.

The man behind Coke’s '2020' content marketing strategy, Jonathan Mildenhall says, “we are successful when people are talking about our brands in the right way.”

This post first appeared on Hatchd's ChookFeed blog here

Ryan Northover on Twitter & Google+ 

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RyanNorthover

Ryan Northover

Ryan Northover is a digital marketer and consultant, specialising in social media, content marketing, social media ads and native advertising. 

Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryannorthover, connect with him on LinkedIn

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Comments

joewozny
Posted on April 11th 2013 at 9:33PM

Ryan,

Agree with most of what you wrote.  Thank you for the good read.  

Having a content management plan also helps in ways unexpected. I know of a recent company whose content plan ... and more importantly the content they created ... really helped them in a reputation crisis. The content assisted with creating an engaged community and good information that assisted with their defence.

I can't quite agree with you that people hate advertising and that's why you need a content management plan. Pay per click advertising is very effective in driving revenue and awareness. If it was hated that much then it may not exist.  I'd suggest companies need to keep their eye on earned, owned and paid media. Advertising will assist with building both owned and earned media.  The content created from the content plan will build earned media.  Measuring a return across all type of content let's a company know where to invest their $ for content activities.

Thanks again,

Joe Wozny
Author of The Digital Dollar; Sustainable Strategies for Online Success
www.thedigitaldollar.com

aspilialleli
Posted on April 18th 2013 at 1:38AM

Thanks for sharing this, Ryan. 

I think this would also be helpful to those who are currently performing social media management tasks. Considering how helpful social media to businesses nowadays, I think it's just right for us to consider proper content marketing strategies as we are sharing what we created through social networking sites. It's your business' reputation that matters and content would help you boost it up. 

Content, still, is the KING!

lindaedwards
Posted on July 18th 2013 at 7:21AM

Thanks for sharing this post. Content marketing is very important to increase potential leads. It is an important way to drive more traffic. There are two good things to get leads with content marketing:

* Create helpful content that attracts an audience

*Convert traffic into leads

First, you have be sure that your content is actually helpful and answers all the customer questions. It’s too easy to publish content that attempts to back-door customers into buying from you. You can call this “insidious attempts at self-promotion.

 

Here I want to introduce with an amazing Marketing tool of ColibriTool. At this moment I am trying it's a free trial period. It includes all the necessary features you need. Colibri gives you insights into how to get more traffic and customers from search engines and other sources incl. social media and content sites. It not only tracks your keywords position in search engines but provides you with the information about search volume, keyword opportunities and competitors. I highly recommend this amazing tool for all. You can find it here>> http://colibritool.com/