1. Because Google likes content.
Don’t believe me? Just head over to YouTube and look up any interview with Matt Cutts (the former head of webspam at Google). You’ll be hard pressed to find him to respond to a question about how to rank higher in Google with anything other than “write great content.”
Google is obsessed with providing their users with the search experiences that deliver what they’re looking for. Informative content is often the best way to provide that experience.
2. Content marketing drives more sales
Boosting website traffic is meaningless if it doesn’t result in more sales.
Don’t worry: content marketing helps with that too.
Most of your customers won’t be ready to buy from you the first time that they hear about your business. People go through a buying process before committing to a purchase. With smaller products (ex. a pack of gum), this buying process is very quick; with larger products (ex. a new car), this process takes much longer.
Before making a purchase, people realize that they have a problem that needs solving (awareness). They take time to research and better understand their problem (consideration). Then, they make a decision on which solution is best for them (decision).
A fully constructed content marketing system helps your potential customers during all 3 of these stages by educating them on what they’re searching for.
Content marketing, therefore, helps you by:
- Bringing your potential customers 1 step closer to making a purchase.
- Building a relationship with your target audience to make them more likely to work with your business, instead of your competitors.
If that’s not enough, inbound leads (i.e. leads from online marketing) have a 14.6% conversion rate, while outbound leads (leads from cold calling, direct mail, etc.) have a 1.7% close rate.
3. …And helps put sales on autopilot
Cold sales outreach is hard as hell.
As you may have guessed based on the number of responses, it didn’t go very well.
People are busy, and none of those people were searching for marketing services.
Today, potential partners reach out to us when they’re ready to work with us. We have a conversation about their goals, identify the right approach to help them grow, and see if we’re the right team for them to partner with. In some cases we are; in other cases we aren’t. Either way, we help each of those potential partners to find the right solution to help them grow.
Content marketing helps transition sales from forcing a customer to buy your product to being a valuable resource that is there when your customers are ready to buy from you
4. Content marketing lets you control the conversation
It’s no secret that selling a product becomes much easier when your customer is looking for what you sell.
Let’s say you sell high-end sofas. Someone on the hunt for a $300 sofa isn’t going to be easy to sell to. By the time they walk into your store, they’ve already made up their mind about what type of sofa they need.
However, what if you could talk to that person while they were researching sofas? What if you could talk to them about the importance of paying a premium for quality before they made up their mind about how much they were going to spend?
Controlling the conversation while your most likely customers are educating themselves is invaluable. The same holds true for everything from car insurance to business software.
So why not write about these conversation points? Why not control the conversation when your customers are deciding what they need? Chances are your competitors are beating you to the punch and stealing your best potential customers.
5. It’s way less annoying than traditional marketing
Nobody likes being interrupted in the middle of their day by people trying to sell them something.
40% of internet users already use ad blockers, and that number isn’t going to decrease over time.
Sure, banner ads can be a good way to showcase your brand. But spending money on TV commercials and other forms of advertising that interrupt your customers doesn’t sound like the best way to win them over.
Content marketing, on the other hand, enables you to build customer relationships by putting your brand in front of your customers in a way that helps them. Click to Tweet this.
6. Content marketing amplifies your brand awareness
Let’s say you run an investment firm and decide to write an informative article that ranks 1st on Google for “how to invest in stocks.”
40,000+ people search for that exact phrase on Google every month. You’ve now put your brand in front of 480,000 potential customers every year.
And that’s just for the exact phrase “how to invest in stocks.” There are an additional 40,000 people who search for the exact phrase “how to buy stocks” every month on top of that, not to mention the other close variants. At least 1 million people search for this theme every year.
7. …And the credibility of your brand
So your investing article now appears in front of 1+ million potential customers every year. Out of that number, ~25% of people will click on your article.
Assuming you put time into making the article helpful to your readers, 250,000 people will now view your brand as a thought leader and credible information source every year. Many of those people will go on to become your customers over time or tell a friend about your website and turn their friend into a customer.
8. Content marketing provides compounding ROI
Let’s assume you decide to write a second article about the best dividend stocks.
Over time, you rank 1st on Google for “best dividend stocks,” which is searched for 22,000 times every month. You’ve now put your brand in front of an additional 260,000 people every year, which results in an additional 65,000 qualified website visitors every year.
Now your website went from 250,000 annual visitors to 300,000.
Each additional article has the potential to significantly increase your qualified website visitors each month. To add to this, other websites link to helpful information sources. Each of these links helps to drive more qualified website visitors to the article that is linked to, as well as the other pages on your site.
9. Content marketing grows your social media following
Each potential customer that finds valuable content on your site becomes a potential advocate for your brand.
Many of these readers will follow you on Facebook or Twitter so they can stay up to date on future articles that you write. Many of these readers will also share your articles with their friends and family on social media, which helps to exponentially grow your following over time.
10. Content marketing drives more visibility to your product pages
Content marketing, directly and indirectly, drives significantly more people to your product pages.
Assuming you write articles that relate to what you sell, many of those readers will go on to visit your product pages after reading your articles (especially if your articles link out to those product pages).
When you write kickass blog content, other websites link back to that content.
Search engines look at each new backlink as a testimonial that your article is a useful resource. And each page that your article links to is seen as a more helpful resource as well.
So that blog article that links to your product page sends a little love to your product page each time that someone links to that article.
The more love that you send to your product pages, the more likely you are to rank 1st on Google when your customers are ready to buy from you. For example, if your home insurance page gets enough links from your blog, it can start to rank for “home insurance services.” Click to Tweet this.
Still not sold? See how we helped a camera backpack company to rank 7th on Google for “camera backpacks” right before the holidays in this e-commerce SEO case study.
11. Content marketing makes life WAY easier for your customer service team
Does your customer service team answer the same questions every day?
Whether it’s how to reset your password or how to use your product, take the time to write an informative answer to those questions. Compile those into a blog post or series of blog posts that your customer service team can share when they do get those regular questions.
Many customers will even find these answers through an online search instead of reaching out to your customer service team, to begin with.
12. …as well as your sales team
Now reach out to your sales team and ask them which questions they get on a daily basis. Write useful content about these common sales questions/concerns that prospects ask.
Now hand those articles to your sales team. Ask them to enhance these articles based on what they see driving the best results for your team.
Congratulations. Your website just became your new best salesperson (and it works for you 24/7).
13. Content marketing scales your retargeting audience
One of the most effective marketing strategies for e-commerce companies is to set up display ads of their products to those who visit their product pages, yet leave the site before purchasing a product.
Ok, call me a hypocrite for adding this point after bashing TV ads. However, finding people who express interest in one of your products and reminding them about those products does provide value.
Content marketers can take the same approach.