Content is king, and it won’t be dethroned anytime soon.
All trends point to content continuing to be the driving force for successful organic marketing campaigns now and forever, which means content marketing is more important than ever.
But why is having a content strategy for your business so important? And why are marketers now seeing the value of it even though content marketing has been around for over a decade?
The Undisputed, Critical Need for Great Content Marketing
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach that focuses on providing relevant, high-quality content to a targeted audience. The primary goal is to educate and provide value, but the ultimate goal is to guide a customer to a specific call to action.
Examples of content marketing formats: blog posts, email newsletters, e-books, webinars, podcasts, videos, articles, and any other kind of content that provides real value to users, rather than just promoting a brand without offering any substance.
Content marketing isn’t a brand-new concept that suddenly popped up within the last few years.
But it is a long-term strategy, which is why a lot of marketers didn’t pay too close attention when it first came onto the scene. Content marketing didn’t yield the immediate results they were looking for.
Their loss, because search engine optimization (SEO), which has a close relationship with content marketing, now drives 1,000% more traffic than organic social media.
People are quickly changing their minds about content marketing now that they’re seeing the numbers speak for themselves. 92% of marketers and businesses believe content is a valuable business asset worth investing in.
Here’s why they’re jumping on board:
- Consumer demands are making other advertising methods obsolete: The same old empty sales pitch isn’t winning over customers like it used to, and more and more people (42.7% of worldwide internet users) are using an adblocker to tune out the noise. Even when you do reach people who aren’t blocking ads, the average person sees between 6,500 and 11,000 ads per day, so good luck breaking through all that competition as consumers become more and more “ad blind.”
- Google raised the bar on content usefulness: Gone are the days when Google tolerated weak content stuffed to the max with keywords. SEO updates have been evolving over the last few years to favor the consumer, not the seller. Translation: if you don’t offer good content, you aren’t going to be ranking at the top of the search results page.
- Users have come to expect high-quality content: No more gimmicks – as Google raised its standards, so did consumers. People are looking for genuine authorities who can provide valuable information.
The truth is undeniable: Quality content has become the expected norm. It’s even driving the trends for SEO and Google Algorithms.
Marketers who refuse to see the light are going to be left behind in the dark.
3 Ways Content Marketing Is an Effective and Profitable Solution for Business Growth
If you’re wondering why content marketing is so important beyond simply looking at the consumer and SEO trends, it’s because the method breaks away from outdated marketing techniques that just don’t work anymore.
Here are some of the biggest advantages of content marketing:
1. You Can’t Beat the Upfront Costs and ROI
Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing while generating approximately three times as many leads.
It’s hard to argue with those numbers. Spend less, get more leads. Sounds like a win-win, right?
(There’s no trick here… it really is a win.)
But why is content marketing so effective?
- It targets people who were already looking for the information and/or solution you have to offer. You don’t have to pay to find them – they’ll find you.
- It presents you as a trustworthy authority figure, not a sleazy salesman. It’s a soft sell.
- A content marketing strategy relies on organic traffic by targeting free leads. The biggest upfront cost is time rather than money.
- The content you produce will have a long lifecycle and continue to bring in traffic well after it’s published. You’ll earn back your investment, and then some. In comparison, a traditional ad usually has a short life. Once it’s done, that’s it.
2. Content Marketing Will Survive Future Online Trend Shifts
SEO will continue to evolve. But if past trends are any indication of future changes, updates will continue to place value on quality, which means a good content strategy is already well positioned.
There was a time when all you had to do to achieve a high Google rank was stuff a keyword into an article as many times as possible, even if the content didn’t make sense. That strategy reached a point of absurdity.
Consumers weren’t getting the information they wanted, and trying to read those horrendous articles felt like your IQ points dropped with every sentence.
Thankfully, Google caught on. Now the practice of keyword-stuffing is a surefire way to get a penalty and plummet to the bottom of search results.
Consumers weren’t the only ones celebrating the abolishment of high-ranking, low-quality articles – content strategists who had been producing great content all along were finally rewarded for their hard work with top spots in search engine results.
The moral of the story is, high-quality content will always be useful for people who are searching for information on the internet.
This is good news, because content marketing is about as far from a “get rich quick” scheme as you can get. It takes a lot of time and planning, and the results aren’t going to come overnight. Content marketing is a long-term investment.
So it helps to know that investment will weather any major SEO changes and still continue to perform in the marketing lifecycle in the future.
3. Content Marketing Is Impossible to Fake
You either know your stuff… or you don’t.
And if you don’t, you aren’t going to make the cut.
Google is getting smarter and smarter about analyzing websites and content to evaluate their usefulness. “Fake it ‘til you make it” might have worked a few years ago, but not anymore.
This is good news for consumers but also for brands who genuinely have something to offer and are ready to put their money where their mouth is. The Edelman 2021 Trust Barometer revealed an all-time low in consumer trust in informational sources.
When customers lost confidence in politicians and the media in the middle of a public health crisis, they started turning to businesses instead for information. Trust in businesses is now at a global high.
What exactly does this mean?
Brands now find themselves in the curious position of being perceived as a source of relevant, trustworthy information. But that trust is still fragile, so it doesn’t take much to break it.
If you’re posting consistent, well-researched, high-quality content on a regular basis, you’re establishing yourself as an expert authority worth trusting. This is why quality content is important.
4. A Good Content Strategy Creates Brand Awareness
Content marketing is effective because it relies on organic search traffic, which is one of the best ways to foster brand awareness.
People are seeking your content because they have a question or problem that you can help solve. This creates an entirely different dynamic than if they’d connected with you through a cold call or social media ad. You didn’t just take their money – you gave them something they were looking for.
The more high-quality content you produce, the better your site will rank.
The better your SEO rankings, the higher your website will be on the search results page so more people can find you when they type in their queries.
The more traffic you bring in, the more Google recognizes you as a credible site.
Are you starting to see a pattern?
Over time, simply by writing great content that is useful for your audience, you’re now ranking higher and higher on Google and reaching more people. Your brand is becoming recognizable, and your business is growing.
And if you successfully start converting those new leads into one-time customers, who then become lifelong customers, you’re now also expanding your brand through word of mouth, people posting on social media, and other organic ways you probably wouldn’t have been able to tap into otherwise.
The Importance of Content Marketing in 2021 Can’t Be Overstated
There’s simply no denying it – content marketing has proven its worth time and time again, and it’s going to be the future of marketing.
It puts the customer’s direct needs in the center of a future-proof, data-driven strategy at a time when consumers are turning away from impersonal advertisements, pop-ups, and cold calls more than ever before.
The content industry is booming and projected to continue growing rapidly over the next few years, so if you’re not already on board with it, now is your chance.
Long live the king.
Interested in learning how to become a master content strategist? Sign up for my Practical Content Strategy & Marketing Course.