Content isn’t king. It’s the Kingdom. A recently released survey of the advertising industry has found that content marketing is well and truly here to stay. Over a third of marketers say they increased spending in 2018 compared to last year, with 53% noting they spent about the same, while only 8% said that they were spending less. Lots of organisations have been playing the game for years, but 2018 really does seem to be the year of the content.
If statistics aren’t really your thing, we’ve put together a couple of points as to why you really need to jump on the content train all the way to profit town. (Assuming you do it right, of course).
Content Marketing is the key to organic brand growth
As former Prime Minister Tony Abbott once (infamously) said, “No one — however smart, however well-educated, however, experienced — is the suppository of all wisdom,”. (I’m pretty sure he meant repository). As a business, you should be capitalising on that. Sure, everyone understands that you have a product. But do they actually understand the benefits of your product? Chances are that’s probably not the case. This is specialised information that your business can provide to them.
People are constantly asking questions and searching on Google, but if your only point of contact is a product’s information page, then you’re missing out – big time. A successful brand will have an ever-expanding web of interconnected content elements that all lead back to the central products of the company. Multiple points of contact ensure that you’re covering ‘all’ bases, and enhancing your search engine and social media rankings.
Creating relevant content via blog posts, podcasts, videos, and other content assets is a key way to make this happen. Of course, showing up is only the first step, but it’s essential if you want to reap the benefits of content marketing. Additionally, in order to be able to do things like answer questions, you must first have an engaged social media audience.
Establishing yourself as an authoritative source and Market Leader
A good example of content marketing is our articles on Typography; Colour Psychology, and Stock Imagery. We don’t sell typography, or Colours (Technically), but by creating content that isn’t a subversive sales pitch, you can set yourself out from the competition by establishing yourself as a trustworthy and capable purveyor of industry knowledge.
Think of it another way. Suppose you heard that X Business makes amazing cakes, and Y Business is not too bad either. You call up both, but when you speak to X, the business uses really vague, odd, or blatantly incorrect information (such as referring to the oven as a frying pan) but Y can tell you everything you need to know in order to place your order. Chances are, Y is going to win your business. So how does this translate online? Simple. If customers can see that you know your stuff, and have the content there to prove it, they’re going to place far more trust in your ability to deliver.
Write about topics relating to your business
If you run a plumbing business, it’s probably not the best idea to run a relationship column. (but now I think about it, there has got to be some good “pipe cleaning” joke in there). Generally speaking, however, stick to what you know. If you make cakes, talk about baking trends, tips, etc. If you’re a locksmith, talk about home security.
Create a regular content schedule and stick to it
All of this is useless however if you’re going prepared to commit. In 2016 marketing expert Joe Pulizzi proclaimed that “If you’re not ‘all in’ with your content marketing program, you should stop.” What he meant was that if you’re going to do content marketing, you need to commit to it, and do it right. The odd blog post here or there may be answering a question or talking about a product impartially, is not content marketing. (Well, it is, but only by broad definition).
Like all marketing strategies, its consistency is absolutely critical. Pick a schedule, and do your best to stick to it. It’s not the end of the world if you miss a week, but once you start to develop an audience, you don’t want to then betray that trust by throwing out content inconsistently.
So what are you waiting for? Go out and start creating content that’s relevant and interesting to your particular industry.