(Part 1 of 4-Part Blog Series)
Do you know that Google processes about 3.5 billion searches per day? That’s roughly about 40,000 searches per second, worldwide. These searches are not just by people who are looking for funny cat videos, pirated music, or the latest episode of their favorite TV series. In fact, 61% of them are by people who research about products online – ready to buy if they were presented with a compelling message, a persuasive call-to-action, or the exact information they’re looking for about a product.
This is the reason why content marketing is considered as one of the pillars of online marketing. We will tackle this first in our 4-part blog series because it is the strongest foundation on which the other three pillars – SEO, paid advertising, and social media engagement – stand, and none of these three can exist without it.
“Content is king!” is probably a cliché SME owners are already tired of reading in self-help guides to online marketing. Nonetheless, you know what they say, clichés are clichés for a reason – it is because they are actually true. The only way that people will stay on your website is if you have content. The only way they will find out about you on social media is through content. The only way they will know about your products in paid ads is through content. Lastly, the only way you can engage and nurture relationships with these people is through content.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing, according to the Content Marketing Institute is:
“A marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
This only means that for a website, an ad, or a social media profile to thrive, it has to provide valuable and relevant content consistently, with the aim of influencing a consumer’s perception of a product or a service. It is not a one-time, big time shot at winning but an ongoing process of creating and curating content that is integrated with an overall marketing campaign.
Unlike traditional marketing tactics like TV and radio ads, a content marketing strategy is not like a direct sales pitch of a product or service. It is used as a two-way communication vehicle between businesses and their target market. It is letting your audience learn about what you can offer through content that can educate, engage, and entertain them. In turn, content marketing also lets these people share what they know about your business and use this information to further improve your business.
Why does content marketing work?
According to a survey by Demand Metric, content marketing generates leads 3 times more than traditional marketing tactics, but costs 62% less. Because of this, according to Curata, it is revealed that a whopping 74.2% of companies use content marketing to generate leads. In another study by QuickSprout, it was discovered that for any keyword, Google’s top 10 websites have an average content length of 2000 keywords (and the higher these websites go on the results page, the more content each webpage has). Yes, content marketing actually works.
Now that we’ve established its efficacy, effectiveness, and efficiency, let’s find out why content works. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Content lets people feel something. Just look into the most viral videos and posts on your Facebook or Twitter feeds. The most viral stories and the most successful marketing campaigns are those that make people laugh, cry, or even angry. Remember the definition mentioned above? Content marketing is meant to entertain.
- It is all about relationships. People are social animals. We are wired to have social needs wherein we constantly long for a feeling of belongingness – a feeling that may be satisfied through social interactions and content which we can relate to or can at least empathise with. This, exactly, is what powerful content provides – an avenue for collaboration. The good thing about this is that if people like your content, people will spread it far and wide – without your even asking them to. As the definition goes, content marketing is meant to engage.
- It adds value to your business. A good content marketing strategy should leave your audience feeling as though they’ve learned something from visiting your website or from reading your posts on social media. It is not meant only to make a pitch for them to buy from your business but to build brand awareness that can help them make conscious purchase decisions in the long run. That’s how content marketing is meant to educate.
What are the challenges of content marketing?
Creating great content – how hard could that be? Contrary to popular belief, content marketing requires hard work. It may seem easy but it’s never that simple. Content marketing can’t give you overnight success and it can’t work as a quick and easy fix for your business.
Many people fail at implementing content marketing strategies because they fail to recognise and address the following challenges of content marketing:
- Content marketing is hard. You can easily create or curate content but creating powerful, engaging, and compelling content consistently on a regular basis isn’t easy. Let’s face it, there can be days when you run out of ideas, get writer’s block, or at times, just aren’t motivated enough.
- Your content doesn’t engage. You can’t just produce content and expect people to go and start buying from you instantly. You have to have content with the purpose of engaging your audience through conversations, debates even. Collaboration and interactions fuel relationships, and relationships fuel your content marketing strategy. The absence of a community that’s willing to talk about your business can make your campaign fail miserably.
- You don’t promote your content enough. For content to be talked about, it has to be seen by your audience first. Content marketing strategies fail because you don’t broadcast, advertise, or promote your content enough, which means it’s not reaching who it’s supposed to reach.
- You think SEO is dead. 40,000 searches per second or 3.5 billion a day – anyone thinking SEO is dead is probably crazy or just plain lazy to research the facts. This statistic is a pretty strong indication that SEO is thriving and is still too important to be ignored.
Don’t let these challenges stop you from maximising the potential of a great content marketing strategy for your business. Let NeoRanking help you by talking to us today. Let’s collaborate to bring you to the forefront of your industry through a powerful and integrated digital marketing strategy that will bring the highest ROI to your business.