1. Actions speak louder than words
While it’s often a good idea to sing your brand’s praises, talk is cheap. In business, as in life, what really counts is showing your customers how cool/ interesting/ethical/committed/relevant you are.
Your content is the best evidence of your expertise. Nobody knows your brand, product or even market better than you do and content marketing is a great way to position your brand exactly as you want.
Content marketing is an opportunity to consistently deliver on your brand promise using a variety of online tools and platforms. At the same time you effectively satisfy both the needs and interests of your customers.
2. Google loves content
There was a time when good SEO amounted to interspersing web copy with strategic keywords and using the right meta tags (not to mention dirty habits like link buying and spamming other sites’ comment sections).
But as search engines become ever more sophisticated (with Google at the lead with 67% market share), good SEO but mediocre content just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Google bots now distinguish between concept and keywords as they scour billions of web pages to determine your site’s ranking. They also analyse how real people are sharing your content – a great indication that it is in fact relevant.
As Contently magazine says in their great article on SEO, the first, second, third, fourth and fifth most important key to SEO is this: original, engaging stories always win.
Bottom line? The more original and ‘real’ the content on your site, the better your ranking. And let’s be honest, who even looks past the first three Google entries?
3. Cheaper by the dozen
Content marketing is said to cost 62% less than traditional marketing. And yet studies have shown it generates approximately three times as many leads.
Traditional (above the line) advertising is infamous for its price tag. It costs thousands to flight a 30-second TV ad just once, or publish a double page spread in a magazine (not counting production costs). In the online space you can share that same ad on an almost endless number of channels for no extra cost. And that’s even before other people have started sharing it on their own channels if it’s sticky enough.
4. Far from the madding crowd
Tens of millions of pieces of web content are being produced and uploaded every day. Having a website and merely being on social media simply isn’t enough to differentiate your brand from everybody else.
Your brand’s competitive edge is closely linked to its ability to stand out from the crowd. And what’s the best way to do this in a very crowded room? By producing bespoke, targeted content that sets it apart and engages people in an informative, inspiring and entertaining way.
5. Sharing is caring
A sharing audience is an engaged one. And with engagement being the raison d’ être of digital marketing, ensuring that your content is shareable should be a key consideration in your strategy.
Content that doesn’t get shared may as well not exist. There’s a simple litmus test for this: Think of the most interesting thing you saw or heard about a brand in the past week? Share this post if the source was somebody in your online network who shared it online!
People share content that speaks to how they want to be perceived online (again, think of yourself). So it pays to ensure your brand is putting out content that reflects your values and thus speaks directly to your target audience.
Increasingly consumers are more likely to trust personal referrals and recommendations by their online contacts, rather than advertising. Your content being shared, talked about and recommended will, in the long run, do more for your brand than any number of billboards, magazine spreads or television commercials.
And don’t forget about the Google bots, who love it when people share your content (see point 2)!