6 Key Reasons Why Content Marketing Is Important for Every Business
This guide will help you understand why content marketing is important for your business and how it can help your business grow.
But first, it’s important to understand what content marketing is.
What’s Content Marketing?
In a nutshell, content marketing is helping consumers learn about your business, products, and services through written, visual (photos, graphics), and audio (music, podcasts, etc.) content.
Unfortunately, great content marketing is not just a matter of saying, “Hi! I’m here and I offer these products and services.”
Believe it or not, this is a common mistake most new business owners make. And you, as the consumer, would likely reply, “So what? There are 10 or 50 or 100 other businesses that do the same thing! Why would I want to do business with you?”
So what should you do instead? Ensure that your content marketing focuses more on helping potential customers solve their problems and meet their needs.
Why? Because our busy lives are filled with unmet needs and challenges we can’t solve by ourselves. And trustworthy sources that can help us solve our problems and get our needs met are worth their weight in gold!
Think of the plumber who fixed your plugged sink or broken water heater… or the mechanic who changes the oil in your car and checks that all your fluids are filled… or the hairdresser or barber that knows exactly how to cut and style your hair so you feel like a million dollars.
Why Content Marketing Is Important To Business Owners Like You
Content marketing is the core of an effective marketing plan. It supports nearly every other marketing strategy a business needs to thrive.
There are lots of reasons why content marketing is important for every business. But let’s just focus on six that are likely most important to you. Content marketing will help you:
1. Build A Great Reputation
Great content that solves problems helps businesses build trust and create goodwill with your target audience and other key business partners like vendors, suppliers, investors, and job applicants. In turn, trust and goodwill build your reputation. And everyone wants to do business with companies they know, like, and trust.
2. Attract Customers
The best way to attract people to your website is to provide them with the useful information they need. If you’re in business you’re selling something… a product or a service. Your website is a powerful tool that helps you introduce your business – and its products or services – and generate sales. It is the only piece of online real estate that you own. So whatever you create on your website is yours!
But here’s the deal… if you don’t know what your customers want and need, you’ll never be able to give it to them. And even if you do know what they want, you still have to figure out how to tell them about it. That’s where content marketing comes into play.
Content marketing helps you create valuable, relevant, and consistent content that solves customer problems and meets their needs. When done right, content marketing provides value to your customers and builds trust between you and them.
And when you build trust with your customers, you increase your chances of getting repeat business. Which means increased revenue. Which means more money for you.
3. Build Relationships
Relationships with customers, vendors, suppliers, investors, referral partners, employees, subcontractors, and job applicants are all crucial for the success of your business. And great content can help you strengthen those relationships.
Here’s how. As these individuals read your content, they begin to develop an opinion about your content that they also associate with your business. For example, if your content is lighthearted, funny, and entertaining, they will start to associate those qualities with your business. If your content is informative, in-depth, highly relevant, and knowledgeable, they will associate those qualities with your business.
When they see you as a thought leader within your industry (or a well-informed and reliable resource), you begin to develop rapport. And a good rapport is the foundation of every important business relationship.
4. Stand Out From The Competition
While 82% of companies report actively using content marketing, only about half of their marketing teams were using blogs and SEO according to Hubspot’s State of Marketing Report for 2021. Most respondents were using Social Media as their primary marketing channel.
You might be thinking, “Yeah, that makes sense. It’s a lot easier to create a social media post than it is to create a long-form blog article.” And, while that may be true, here’s something else that’s also true. Your social media posts have a very short lifespan and can be suppressed or removed by the platform on a whim. But your blog content continues to deliver results long after the content has been published.
Where you publish your content is only one of the ways to distinguish yourself from your competition. By using well-researched, well-thought-out, and well-designed content, you can make your content more informative, more engaging, and more relevant than your competitors’ content. And, by adding SEO to your marketing arsenal, you can reach more consumers by rising to the top of search results where most of the clicks occur.
5. Increase Sales
Consumers want to have confidence that they are making the best, informed buying decisions before spending their hard-earned money. So it’s unlikely that they will make a purchase on their first visit to your website.
Instead, they probably first learn about you by searching on Google or social media.
91% of online consumers use search engines to find information. (Pew Research Center)
57% of consumers use social media to learn about new products and services. (SproutSocial)
Then they typically visit your website to learn more about how you can help solve their problems and why you would be the right solution.
91% of social media users visit a company’s website or app after learning about them on social media. (SproutSocial)
Next, they check your online reviews to see what others are saying about you and how you handle negative feedback.
93% of consumers check online reviews before making a purchase. (Qualtrix)
By creating content that fulfills these needs, you leave a great impression and help consumers reach a decision to buy from you.
6. Increase Customer Retention
Once you’ve gone to all the effort of attracting and acquiring new customers, wouldn’t it be nice to have them stick around for a while? And this is another way that content marketing can help.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions), troubleshooting guides, videos or articles that walk them step-by-step through setting up or configuring a product, or how to prepare for an upcoming service all fall under the umbrella of content marketing.
These types of content help customers get even more value from their purchase and make them more likely to continue to use the product or service they have purchased from you.
Now that you understand why content marketing is important, let’s look at some examples.
What Are Examples of Content Marketing?
Content marketing includes everything from publishing white papers and ebooks to videos, infographics, podcasts, websites, and even apps. Here are just a few of the most common examples:
Websites also fall under the category of content marketing. Websites are a good place to include blog posts, case studies, FAQs (answers to customers’ Frequently Asked Questions), and other types of content that answer questions and fulfill consumer needs. The key is to write content that answers those questions and provides value to visitors.
These days we’re all familiar with blog articles. In fact, you probably subscribe to several blogs from leaders in your industry or the companies that provide the products and services you use. Think about the topics they cover in their articles that you could be using in your business like:
- Industry trends and updates
- Announcements about new products, services, and upcoming events
- Case studies
- How-To guides
- Tips and tricks
- Interviews with experts
- Product reviews
- Breaking news
- Charities and Activism
Notice how most of the content is focused on meeting consumers’ needs rather than trying to make a sale.
A white paper is an in-depth piece of written content that provides detailed information on a specific topic. White papers are often used to educate customers on a topic and provide valuable information that helps them decide whether or not to buy your product.
An ebook is similar to a white paper but usually focuses on providing step-by-step instructions for completing a task. Ebooks are useful when you’re trying to teach people how to do something.
An infographic is a visual representation of data that tells a story. Infographics are very popular because they are easy to share and consume. They can be used as standalone pieces of content or incorporated into other types of content like blogs and emails.
A video is another type of content that is becoming increasingly popular. Videos are especially effective at capturing attention and holding viewers’ interest. You can create videos to explain a concept, promote a product, entertain, or inform.
Apps are mobile applications that run on smartphones and tablets. They are a great way to add interactive elements to your site and engage with your audience.