Is Content Marketing Worth the Investment?

Is Content Marketing Worth the Investment?

Is content marketing worth it?

This question has been vexing marketing professionals concerned by a lack of progress from traditional methods of advertising and promotion.

Though brands and services can seldom go wrong with an innovative concept or catchy slogan, the digital economy demands more from businesses than keystone ideas and Hollywood-style rhetoric to ensure success. Information is the new currency. And to survive, businesses must both consume and provide it – which is where content marketing comes into the picture.

What Is Content Marketing?

Rather than making a direct pitch to the consumer – “Our product or service is great. Buy it!” – content marketing takes an indirect approach. It provides information, advice, and/or entertainment, which are of direct interest or relevance to the consumer, while being in some way connected to the product or service that you’re trying to sell.

what is content marketing?

(Image source: staticflickr.com)

In this way, the content simultaneously satisfies a need that the consumer has, while creating a positive association in their mind with the people – that’s you – who’ve just satisfied this need. This association may then be used to keep them interested in returning to your website – and more likely to respond favourably to any direct or indirect offers you make with your products and services.

So, it’s more like – “We know a lot about X / Here’s how you can Y / Isn’t Z groovy? Oh, and by the way – there’s this great product/service of ours, which can help you with that.” You are setting yourself up as the expert in your field, which will instil trust and confidence in anyone looking for the type of service you offer.

A Different Kind of Promotion

It may seem counterintuitive, but it’s an approach which businesses have had to adopt for a public who’ve grown wise and weary after generations of hard sell. And with the new powers granted to consumers by digital communications and the internet, buyers are now better able to seek out the goods and services they want for themselves – and more inclined to tune into those media outlets most likely to enable them to accomplish this task.

Digital content marketing tools – graphic

(Image source: staticflickr.com)

Content Marketing exists to fulfil this need. And because of the diversity of outlets and technologies available to potential consumers, it assumes a number of forms.

  • Blogs: Helpful and informative articles – like this one – on topics relevant to your industry or market niche.
  • Cartoons & Graphics: Emphasising or illustrating relevant points or issues.
  • Emails: Messages to your subscription list members, enabling an ongoing conversation, with targeted calls to action (CTAs) at the end of each instalment.
  • Generators & Calculators: Do-it-yourself online tools for consumers to gain instant access to useful information on various topics.
  • Infographics: Annotated pictures explaining products, processes, theories, or techniques.
  • Mobile Apps & Software: Downloads of apps and tools designed to address specific problems or issues.
  • Podcasts: Audio files that allow consumers to listen to news, articles, tutorials, or entertainment, at their own leisure.
  • Quizzes, Polls, & Questionnaires: A chance to gauge opinions, and to gain feedback and interaction from your customers and followers.
  • Social Media: Marketing, thought leadership, conversation, and commentary on the social platforms most favoured by your customer base.
  • Videos: Tutorials, product and process demonstrations, breaking news, behind the scenes at your company etc. Videos are a great way to humanise your brand.
  • Webinars: Online forums to impart knowledge to consumers, and interact with them through discussion and questioning.

With all these mediums available to you, content marketing can be worth the investment simply in terms of increasing the methods you can use in reaching out to existing or potential customers.

This isn’t to say that you need to become a jack-of-all-trades, but content marketing in the digital era does require organisations to be flexible and engage the public in many ways – usually simultaneously. The trick is to determine which modes of expression are most appropriate to your message, skill set, resources, and target audience.

Does Content Marketing Work?

A new kind of economy, consumer, and modes of expression are all well and good. However, is content marketing worth it in terms of the time and effort required to put out and sustain all these varied lines of communication? Does it produce results?

The good news is that it does – on many levels.

For the tech-literate and increasingly discerning customer, content marketing streams provide the knowledge and insight necessary to inform buying decisions, and to assess trends and conditions in the marketplace. With access to the right kinds of content, it’s possible for consumers to discover products and services of which they were previously unaware – and to build relationships with those organisations whose content resonates with them.

For the enterprise – a well-crafted content marketing strategy has the potential to increase your customer base, brand recognition, and global presence.

Magnet attracting people

(Image source: staticflickr.com)

Search engines like Bing or Google empower the consumer to seek out the goods and services they want, based on the keywords they type in. Those keywords relate directly to the text which appears in your content, and, if you use them wisely, they can propel your brand name to the top of the search engine rankings.

Appearing in the first couple of pages of a search listing translates to greater exposure, brand lift, and the possibility of greatly increased numbers of leads, prospects, and conversions. And the more strategic and high-quality content you put out on a regular basis, the greater your chances are of cementing your position as a top-ranked organisation or brand.

Word-of-mouth on how great your company is will be reflected in the number of shares, likes, and links from other websites that you can attract via effective content marketing. A favourable response to your brand on social media can keep the conversation about your goods or services going for weeks, months, or even years, while web referrals from individuals or other organisations can establish your company as a market leader, expert authority, and a trusted and reliable set of hands.

And with the “make or break” authority now being exercised by an educated buying public – content marketing channels enable businesses to create and maintain cordial and lasting relationships with their existing and potential clients. Enhanced customer service channels, help lines, knowledge bases, technical support, tutorials, and documentation – all these can improve the customer experience, and foster a sense of loyalty and trust for the organisation that makes them available.

Is Content Marketing Cost-effective?

Possibly the most significant benchmark for establishing whether content marketing is worth it to your organisation resides in the return-on-investment (ROI) you get from your endeavours.

Peacock with social media logo feathers

(Image source: staticflickr.com)

Though your initial investment – in the technology, talent, time, and other resources needed to produce the content – may be considerable, it’s likely to be far less than what you’d have to spend on a one-way advertising campaign. And, as we’ve seen, the potential for generating multiple benefits from a single, consistent content marketing strategy can easily outweigh the transitory gains to be had from a dedicated promotion.

And there’s statistical evidence to back this up.

Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional methods of promotion (outbound marketing), yet it can generate over three times as many leads. And CampaignMonitor estimates that for every $1 spent on email campaigns – one of the simplest content marketing channels to implement – there’s a return on the investment of $38. Which certainly represents value for money.

It’s also worth noting that 88% of business to business (B2B) marketers use a content marketing strategy of some kind. And if 73% of major corporations across the globe have a dedicated content marketing manager and/or department, there must be something in it.

  • The opportunity to extend your reach and increase your brand awareness through a diverse set of communications channels.
  • Increased prestige through search engine and social media recognition.
  • Improved relations with customers and stakeholders, through engagement and interaction. The chance to spend less on your marketing campaigns, while enjoying greater benefits and returns than those from traditional advertising.

Is content marketing worth the investment? It certainly looks that way.

If you’d like to get started on your content marketing journey – or change its direction for the better – markITwrite is here to help. Contact us today.

SaveSave

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.