Answers You Seek Regarding Content Marketing
It’s a question that has been around as long as the Sears catalog: Does content marketing work? If it really, truly worked, every business would devote a significant portion of its marketing and advertising budget to content marketing — instead of, say, Super Bowl ads or Sunday newspaper coupons. And good content writers would be in demand and appreciated for what they do.
The short answer is that content marketing does work and good content writers are in demand. The long answer, however, is a bit more complicated. In this heavily researched blog post, you’ll learn the complex truth about content marketing — so you can stop asking, “Does content marketing work?” and start asking, “How can content marketing work for me?”
Define Your Goals
Any marketing strategy is only successful if it accomplishes its goals. So, when you begin a content marketing campaign, you have to first decide what you hope to achieve. Some marketing firms have general goals for your business, such as generating a personal connection, enhanced visibility, and sustained credibility on the Internet. But Ray Access sees these as social media goals, not content marketing goals.
Ultimately, you want your efforts to pay off in more sales. That’s why you’re willing to invest in the expense of content marketing — which, by the way, costs less than most other marketing strategies. Most businesses want their content marketing to achieve the goals reflected in an article by GaggleAMP:
- Generate consistent content
- Market the content you produce
- Grow your website traffic
- Convert your new visitors into customers
Getting to Profitability
- Amazing quality in your content
- A marketing strategy
Quality has to do with both the proficiency of your writers and the purpose of the writing. Jim Yaghi believes that the purpose of content marketing is to educate, inform or entertain. Since you never know what may go viral, you have to first give people a reason to read your content.
Great Content Isn’t Enough
Does content marketing work? For you to answer that question, you have to fully commit to the effort, according to the Search Engine Journal. While creating good content is a start, you must realize you’re going to spend more time promoting than creating.
Indeed, Innovative Marketing Resources (IMR) asserts that great content is only part of the equation; you also need a sales process. Marketing has to lead to sales to be effective. In one terrific analogy, they compare gasoline to content: “Gas to a car is what content is to content marketing.” In other words, you need the car to get anywhere. Pouring gas over four tires and engine parts gets you nowhere, even if you add more gas.
Specific Targets Are Required to Triumph
Remember START. You must learn about the people you want to buy your products or services. As James Ellis has shared: “Whoever knows his audience best, wins.” You have to provide content that your audience wants. It has to be relevant to them in their lives. Even IMR directs content marketers to continue to ask questions about your customers to overcome their objections.
Instead of asking, “Does content marketing work,” the Freedompreneuer Business Academy asks, “What type of people are in the audience?” They see three different types of people:
- Freeloaders. There are many people who never pay for anything. They search the web to find answers to their issues so they can do it themselves. Provide them the information they seek, but never expect them to pay for your products or services.
- Try It Yourselfers. Most people fall into this category. They want your information so they can try it themselves. They soon realize they need what you offer, bite the bullet and buy from you. Since your content got them started, they remember you.
- Professional Businesspeople. These people are, surprisingly, quite rare. They value their time enough to know right away what they can and can’t do. They see the worth in buying what you have and don’t hesitate if it can help them reach their own goals.
Does Content Marketing Work?
To succeed at content marketing, you need quality content, but that’s just the place to start. Put that content in front of as many eyeballs as possible — and as many SMART eyeballs as possible. The Freedompreneuer Business Academy believes in spreading content-rich information through multiple channels and platforms, including:
- Blog posts
- Books and ebooks
- Free downloads
James Ellis points out that attraction content doesn’t convert, and conversion content doesn’t attract. You need both: content to attract traffic and then content that can convert that traffic. Ray Access creates blog posts that attract your audience and website content that converts your traffic.
Does content marketing work? It doesn’t matter whom you ask, the answer is yes. But you’ve got to work your strategy. Content marketing only begins with great content. You’ve got to target it, promote it and distribute it.