Chances are you’ve probably heard marketers throw around the phrase “content is king”.
While the phrase has joined ‘big data’ in the pantheon of overused marketing idioms, it remains true. Content marketing, defined by the Content Marketing Institute as “a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience”, can be one of the most cost-effective (and highest ROI) marketing tactics for startups. Content marketing tactics like blogs, white papers, newsletters, case studies, webinars, videos, amongst many others, are all great ways to ensure your startup has a consistent supply of inbound leads.
If you’ve been reluctant to dive into content marketing, here are 4 of the key benefits of content marketing that might change your mind:
- Educated Customers Educating your customers and prospects should be a key goal of your marketing and sales strategies, and marketing content is one of the best ways to do it. Providing your customers and prospects with the key information and tools they need to make decisions helps build trust and credibility. Content marketing is especially well suited to B2B, as tactics can be closely tailored to each stage of the traditionally longer buying processes of B2B businesses. For example, you may write a blog post to catch a prospect’s attention by highlighting an issue important to them, publish a white paper to help them learn more about their options and the range of available solutions, and then produce a case study to highlight the quantitative benefits of your product or service.
- A Framework for Decision Making I came across one of the best pieces of content marketing I’ve ever seen during a search for a marketing automation vendor. New to the subject, I was looking for a set of criteria to evaluate each solution on the market, and came across the Marketing Automation Buyer’s Kit from Marketo. The kit outlined different areas required for success with marketing automation tools (each listed criteria was, of course, subtly skewed towards Marketo) and helped me tailor my search. In the end Marketo was top of mind and was the first meeting I set up to learn more about marketing automation. Ultimately, great content can help establish selection criteria and a framework for decision making that favours your product or service over a competitor.
- Subject Matter Leadership Perhaps the chief benefit of content marketing is that content can be the best way to demonstrate to your customers and prospects that you are the best at what you do. Sharing key insights and identifying ways to relieve customer pain points is the best way to paint yourself and your company as thought leaders and ensure success.
- SEO It’s well documented that keeping your website fresh is a best practice for SEO, and a content marketing strategy will do just that. Content marketing also encourages active content sharing, which can help link building efforts. As Rand Fiskin of SEOmoz has said, “delivering an exceptional experience and building a true web brand are now essential to long-term SEO success.” Content marketing is the key.
Don’t forget that social media plays a key role in ensuring your marketing content reaches the people you need it to reach. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can use different types of content marketing to sustainably generate inbound leads, feel free to contact me via email or over the phone.