Bill Gates popularised the phrase ‘content is king’ in 1996. Two decades on, and his words have never been truer. It may have since become a cliché, but the astute marketer knows that ‘content’ is far more than a buzzword.
It’s a vital part of any marketing strategy.
More and more businesses are becoming aware that their customers don’t want to be talked at or sold to. They want to relate to a brand on their terms, rather than just transacting with it. That’s what content marketing is all about. Connecting with people on a regular basis with information that’s useful, relevant and helpful – not only giving them a real reason to draw closer to your brand, but to trust in it.
It might sound soft, but the results are anything but.
There’s a plethora of hard facts and stats that tell us this approach works. But if you need a little convincing, here are just five of the best that prove it’s a tactic worth investing in.
1. 88% of companies use content marketing
Research by the Content Marketing Institute reveals that 88% of companies said they used content marketing in 2016 – with more intending to do so. Two years on, it’s probably more like nine out of 10 companies engaging this type of approach. It goes to show that most businesses today recognise the value of content marketing. But on the flipside, it also highlights the growing competition in the content arena. Now, content alone can’t guarantee first place in the race. It needs to be bolstered by insightful strategy to give it cut-through and set it apart. Typically, that means not only providing thoughtful guidance and advice, but actively helping your potential customers solve problems.
2. Content marketing delivers conversion rates six times higher than other methods
If we strip marketing back to its simplest form, it has one overriding purpose – to convert interest in your offering into sales. When you consider that content marketing achieves conversion rates up to six times higher than other forms of marketing, it becomes a no brainer. While content marketing may take more time and effort than some traditional forms of advertising, this statistic shows that it can literally pay off. It’s a sure sign to dial down the hard sell and offer your prospects some truly valuable content.
3. 61% of online consumers made a purchase after reading a blog
With well over half of consumers trusting blogs to inform their purchasing decisions, it’s easy to see why blogging has become one of the most popular forms of content marketing. Regular blogs or editorial pieces which provide useful information or advice help build trust with your audience. People not only learn to have faith in your knowledge and expertise as a business, but can see that it helps solve their problems. If your potential customers are thinking ‘Wow, those tips really helped me! Now there’s a brand I can trust’, you’re already more than halfway to a sale.
4. Content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing
Yet it generates three times as many leads. If you need one reason to justify the shift from traditional advertising to content marketing, this is it.
Depending on outbound marketing alone to generate leads is fast becoming an outmoded way of doing business. Time and time again, consumers tell us they don’t like being talked at. They don’t want you to tell them how good your product or service is, they want you to show them. And content marketing does exactly that. Rather than advertising your offering, great content shows how your product or service solves problems without selling anything to them. Get this right and you’ll see that this approach not only generates more leads, but more qualified ones at that. And while you’re at it, you’ll save on ad-spend as well.
5. ROI for content marketing can be four times higher than other forms of marketing or advertising
US food giant Kraft reported fourfold returns after focusing their marketing efforts on content in 2012. It serves as the perfect case study for the power of the content-led approach. Since investing in content marketing, Kraft not only quadrupled its returns but also reported greater engagement with their customers and an improvement in brand perception. And this is not the exception, it’s become the standard. Results like these are precisely why so many companies – big and small – have turned to content marketing. It gets results. Simple.
The big five – and that’s just the start
These are just five compelling reasons why companies worldwide are investing in content marketing, and you don’t have to look far to find many more. Done well, it can boost your brand profile, elevate you in a competitive marketplace, attract qualified leads and convert them into paying (and loyal) customers. With that in mind, the question becomes less about why you should invest in content marketing, and more about why wouldn’t you?
Silx is a new style digital agency that works with companies across the UAE and wider Gulf region to help them tell their story, reach their audiences, and create great conversations with their customers. For more information, call +971 4 427 3671, send an email to email@example.com, or click here.