Content marketing is a powerhouse. For almost any brand in the world (and that includes your own personal brand), it is a cost-efficient brand awareness strategy with tons of peripheral benefits. Most notably it’s the only viable way to consistently and predictably increase your search rankings. But it also broadcasts your brand voice and helps customers see you as a thought leader in your industry.
There are all sorts of examples of content marketing—from the old school white paper to the info-packed infographic. Here are seven reasons you should launch your content marketing strategy:
1. It saves you money. Most people already realize that content marketing is a cost-efficient strategy. But some people view it as an add-on strategy—something to throw into the mix after all your traditional branding and advertising is taken care of. While this is a viable approach, especially if you’ve already had success in marketing traditionally, executing a content marketing strategy as a substitute can actively save you money every month.
For example, if you spend enough time on your content marketing strategy, you could completely do away with one of your previously underperforming ad strategies. If you spend $1,000 a month on traditional online advertising and aren’t seeing much traffic to your site, you can spend $500 on content and start building better results.
2. It forges personal connections to your brand. Too many execs view brand relationships as relationships between companies and people. While in theory that is correct, the stronger connection is one between two people. When people grow attached to brands, they aren’t becoming attached to a logo—they’re becoming attached to the people behind that logo.
When you or individuals within your company write in an aligned brand voice, they present a very personal experience for your readers. That’s going to help you tremendously in building and reinforcing the personal relationships necessary to improve your brand-consumer dynamic.
3. It weeds out uninterested buyers. Some salespeople spend so much time trying to force people through the sales funnel that they don’t take a moment to stop and think about the types of people they’re pushing through. In essence this is a problem of quantity versus quality. You might end up with thousands of potential visitors coming to your site, but are any of them truly interested in what you have to offer and who you are as a brand?
Content marketing serves as that filter, weeding out the uninterested buyers almost immediately. If you can make your content specific to your ideal customers’ needs, you’ll have an automated filtering system in place.
4. It improves employee morale. You might spend so much time thinking about the external benefits of content marketing that you forget about the internal ones. Content marketing is great for employee morale, especially if you occasionally use your blog to celebrate company accomplishments or other reasons to be proud of working there.
If you let all your employees routinely contribute to the blog as they see fit, you might also see a benefit there—while some employees may only view it as extra work, others will feel like a greater part of the team by participating.
5. It improves recruitment. Your blog isn’t just a sales tool for your customers; it’s also a scouting tool for potential new hires. And the benefits of the blog go beyond improving employee morale—namely, showing off that your business is a great place to work.
First, you’re establishing yourself as a thought leader in the industry. The most ambitious job candidates available will be seeking the companies that have the greatest reputation, and using content effectively will put you at the top of the list. Similarly, content will increase your rank in search engines, making your business one of the first to show up in any inbound candidate’s query.
6. It gives you a perfect testing ground. Once you’ve established a base audience for your blog, you can use it as a perfect testing ground for your company’s new ideas. With a dedicated readership, you can plug into your audience directly, never worrying about sample sizes or getting just the right demographics to survey.
Post a blog that contains your new idea—whether that’s an upcoming product, a potential change to a service or just a new theory in your industry—and see how people react. Is the reaction lukewarm or negative? If so you have time to make alterations before your new plan goes live.
7. It reduces your dependence. Companies in almost any industry are at least partially dependent on their contemporaries. They look to their competitors not for support but as an example of what they should be doing and to see what new information and ideas they can use for their own benefits.
By leading a content marketing campaign, you can reduce your need to look to others for new ideas. You can start coming up with more ideas of your own, and your competitors will start looking to you for advice instead, cementing your reputation in the industry.