Should every digital marketing plan involve content marketing? The industry is brimming with alternatives – what makes content so special, and why bother?
Well, we can’t sit here and say that 100 per cent of digital strategies need content marketing, because every business is different – this is ultimately a question you’ll have to answer for yourself. However, we can confidently say that it’s a damn good idea across so many business types and marketing goals that, if it isn’t needed in 100 per cent of strategies, it’s close to it.
“Objection!” you yell. “The plaintiff has not presented any evidence.”
OK, OK, you caught us getting excited. Before we keep toot tooting the content marketing horn, let’s quickly look at some facts:
But back to our question – should content marketing be in every digital marketing strategy?
There are proven benefits to content marketing as a strategy. So again, should it be included in your digital marketing strategy, and if so, in what capacity?
Let’s explore some of the specific uses and benefits of content. You’ll see very quickly if it could be a helpful part of your next marketing campaign. We’ll discuss:
It’s impossible to pin down a specific cost figure for content marketing because it all depends. In addition to blog posts, content can include social media content, email marketing content, the production of whitepapers or e-books, video production and even user-generated content. And that’s not including the research or auditing that goes into creating a content strategy.
This might sound expensive, but it’s far more cost effective than other forms of marketing. In fact, Demand Metric found that content is 62 per cent cheaper than traditional marketing.
In our article “Content marketing saves money so you can spend it on … potatoes?” you’ll see a list of different specific ways content marketing saves money.
SPOILER ALERT: In a perfect storm where you spend just $10 a day for a year advertising your content through Facebook, you could reach up to 14 million people and convert 1 million of them.
Brand awareness and trust are at the core of turning content into engagement – and engagement is at the core of getting ROI from marketing.
How does content build awareness?
Content can reach your audience in so many places, and each of these places draws users into the top of your marketing funnel. The more people engage with and share your content, the more people will have heard of or talk about your brand.
How does content build trust?
Modern content marketing is about educating your audience – providing something to read or watch that is genuinely valuable. Every time you educate someone, you’re flexing those expertise muscles and showing that your brand knows its stuff. Over time, more people will encounter your brand and learn something from it, so when they are ready to convert, your name is already front of mind.
Content and SEO go hand in hand. The latter tunes a website to perform better in search and guides best practice in how to produce new pages, while the former is the pages – and then some.
So how does content boost SEO?
It creates crawlable content
The more content you have, the more Google can crawl. Many of Google’s ranking factors, like hyperlinks, keywords, content length, topic depth and content recency can all be influenced by posting regular, high-quality content.
Look at hyperlinks in particular: Google reads the anchor text of each link on a page and follows it through to the next one. This can help you build a network of internal links that encourages Google’s spiders to see and index more of your website. The spiders also read anchor text keywords and associate the following pages with those terms – adding to their individual SEO power.
It creates content for others to link to
Inbound linking is powerful. This is when other people link back to your content – it sends a signal to Google that your website is to be trusted as a valuable source, because someone else took the time to mention it. And as we know, authority on a topic is something Google is deeply interested in.
As we mentioned earlier, companies that use content marketing can generate more leads than those that don’t. For most companies, generating leads or gaining conversions is the surest way to achieve ROI from marketing investment. Content is perfectly placed to help with this.
Ways content can generate leads and convert users
Improving lead scoring with content can help you get a better return on your investment from both content creation and marketing automation. Here are 5 ways the right content can drive more effective lead scoring. https://t.co/StfdsnYeQ3 pic.twitter.com/L4tWXnTBzg— Castleford (@castlefordmedia) June 8, 2018
In Australia alone, eight in 10 people are on social media, according to a Sensis Social Media report. In New Zealand, Nielsen found that figure is nearly nine in 10. Social media marketing is a huge business, and you need to be active where your users hang out.
The core uses of content marketing – building trust and awareness, educating users, generating leads, etc. – all work on social media, and in turn social media is a great place to get your content in front of new users.
How does content help me meet my social media objectives?
According to the Buffer State of Social report, these are the top five social media marketing objectives. We’ve added how content can help each one!
So, should you add content marketing to every digital marketing strategy?
We certainly think so.