Say what you want, but business is about making money. And the more the better, as just about every business owner will tell you.
So when looking at executing content marketing campaigns, you have to ask yourself: how is this going to translate into real money for me? That is, how is this going to drive revenue compared to other marketing tactics?
In this article we are going to tackle just that – looking at two types of content and how they drive revenue in different ways. And examine which is best for your business.
Thought leadership content
What is the value of a great brand? Almost priceless. It’s the reason people buy the product or service. They want that friendly feeling – that gut feeling – which tells them that this is a safe purchase, from a trustworthy seller.
One key way to boost your brand that ultimately drives revenue is thought leadership content. Think of it this way: Many companies offer similar products and services. So what sets them apart? While you will certainly talk about the differentiators in your promotional content, thought leadership can play a major role here as well. In fact, it will play a primary role – and without it you’re handing business to your competitors.
The history of thought leadership content goes all the way back to 1895 with John Deere tractors publishing newsletters full of useful information for farmers – their audience. Meanwhile today, HubSpot continually attracts business through its thought leadership articles, eBooks and other useful content. More than 100 years apart, both John Deere and HubSpot understood the key point of this kind of marketing – no promo.
Simply put, thought leadership (when done well) differentiates you from the competition by building a stronger, more loyal, more trusting relationship with customers – without the hard sell. This means creating content (which might include articles, infographics, how-to guides, whitepapers, videos, etc) about the much bigger issues – the issues your prospects and customers are facing. Your content will provide solutions to those problems.
By solving customer problems in your content, the implication – and it’s a strong one – is that your products or services also solve their problems – and that boosts sales. In addition, thought leadership nurtures leads which might otherwise have been lost. But it’s important in your thought leadership to avoid direct promotion, no matter how tempting it may be. It will, in the end, cheapen your brand.
How thought leadership content drives revenue
So this is about leading people to the purchase in a subtle but very effective way. When they can relate to the company selling the product, when they feel it’s trustworthy, when they feel a sense of loyalty to that company, they will think of your company when it comes time to purchase.
In that sense, you have not only built your brand, but you have nurtured leads in a very effective way, avoiding ‘shouting’ at your customer and instead engaging in meaningful communication.
You would be lost in a library without indexing. That’s part of what Google does – it indexes and ranks. Which helps you with your search. We won’t go into the ins-and-outs of how you rank highly, our focus here is how SEO-focused content drives revenue.
SEO is suited to those industries where there is a fairly steady volume of searching going on for specific products and services – or indirect searches that lead directly to your product if you are smart enough to craft good SEO content for it.
A great example is Grammarly which is a tool that aids with the writing process – correcting grammar, spelling, etc. Every day there are thousands of searches relating to grammar and spelling queries. And many such queries lead to – you guessed it – an article on the topic written by Grammarly, directly on the Grammarly website, where then of course the user can find a download link to start using the product.
How SEO content drives revenue
This type of content is very direct – pulling your customer in through highly-ranked content (ranked, that is, above your competitors who have either no SEO or less effective SEO), then sending them to a landing page or a place they can purchase your product or service. And revenue increases.
Which content is right for your company?
The answer to this question is that you need both. If your industry is high search, then you will lean more heavily on SEO but you’ll still need to build your brand and nurture leads through thought leadership. If your industry is low search, then you’ll have thought leadership front and centre, but still include some light SEO.
Working with a great agency means they can advise you on the optimum mix for your company and for your business goals. And create content that brings in revenue – both directly though SEO and indirectly through thought leadership.