The Importance of Content Marketing

Why Content Marketing Is What You Need For Your Business

Once upon a time, marketers would move from door to door marketing products. Gone are those days. The sophisticated 21st century buyer has found a 21st century solution to his challenges, the internet.

Since potential buyers are increasingly turning to the internet for information, there is an equivalent increase in demand for relevant, quality, highly engaging and up-to-date content. This is where content marketing comes in.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is a content-based approach to marketing where the marketer focusses on generating relevant and valuable content, and consistently distributing it through various online channels. This content is packaged to meet the information needs of a certain predefined target audience.

It makes use of keywords, links and search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques to generate high quality yet simple and easy to read content that will be well understood by the target audience.

The type of online marketing notwithstanding, content will be very important. Potential customers want valuable information that will provide them solutions to their pressing needs. When they get that from your site, you have earned yourself a loyal customer base.  

The purpose of content marketing

The main aim of content marketing is to increase traffic to a business’ website which is expected to translate in increased sales. That is so important because every business aims at making good profits so as to continue operations into the foreseeable future.

Other equally tangible purposes include:

  • Attracting and retaining loyal customers i.e. to expand customer base.
  • Betters the reputation of a business.
  • To increase online engagement with customers.
  • To improve brand awareness, preference and foster credibility.
  • To enable the business reach many people at a lower cost.
  • To generate leads.

Traditional marketing vs content marketing

If you have some marketing background you must have come across the buying cycle. It goes like this:

  1. Awareness of need. Customers become aware of a lack but they are not certain of the solution.
  2. Research. The customer looks around for the different options available to meet their need.
  3. Analysis/ consideration. The customers weighs and compares the products from different providers using parameters like quality, price, relevance to the need etc.
  4. Purchase. The customer settles on a product and proceeds to buy it.

The buying cycle will enable us understand a significant difference between traditional and content marketing, which is a modern marketing technique. By the end of it you will realize why your business needs content marketing to survive the modernity wave.

Traditional marketing specialized in the last two stages, consideration and purchase. Without much regard to the specific needs of the customer, companies would produce products and push it to customers to purchase.

That doesn’t work anymore. We are now dealing with a more aware customer who wants to control the buying process.

In fact, research has shown that over 80% of customers will conduct an online research about any product before actually making a purchase. 

It’s clear the modern day customer exhausts the first two critical processes before coming to the last two which were emphasized by the traditional marketer.

Thusly, content marketing is what works well. It furnishes customer with the relevant information they need to know about a product, and before you know it they have placed an order.

Apart from that, content marketing also makes your product stand out. The online marketing is flooded with people spreading information and trying to get their product sold. It’s very possible to be overshadowed by the masses. However, producing quality and relevant content distinguishes you from the crowd and makes your product popular.

Unless you are winding up a business, content marketing is the way to go.

What constitutes good content?

I have been telling you of the importance of producing good content as a marketing strategy, so it will be unfair to conclude without showing you how a good one looks like.

A contrast might help. Have you ever endured through an article? A boring, vague, irrelevant, outdated, poorly written and without a clear purpose. Well, that was a good example of what good content is not.

Good content fit for content marketing bears these features:

  • Interesting and highly engaging.
  • Up-to-date.
  • Valuable i.e. gives customers solutions to their problems.
  • Fit for the target audience.
  • Not overly sales oriented i.e. the call to action is not too obvious.