Most consumers on the internet know that almost everyone is trying to sell them something.
Picture this — You just opened a website, and you see a ton of advertisements, affiliate links, trackers, retargeting ads, and whatnot!
Watching a YouTube video? You see ads trying to lure you into webinars, courses, products, and subscriptions!
Scrolling through your social feed? You see sponsored content from companies telling how well their product or service could help you!
Amidst all this, consumer scepticism is growing.
Yet, at the same time, there is a raging war between marketers to produce the best ads. Ads that go beyond limits to grab attention.
For companies, it’s getting tough to differentiate themselves. And for consumers, it’s getting tougher to find the right products.
So the question is, how are the best companies solving this problem? What is it that they are doing differently?
The answer is content marketing.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a form of marketing focused on consistently creating, publishing, and distributing content relevant and valuable to your target audience.
The idea is to deliver value ( in advance) to your consumers.
How? By creating content that adds value to your consumers. Be it by answering their questions or by solving their problems.
The content doesn’t necessarily need to be text. It can take any form, be it YouTube videos, email newsletters, blog posts, social media posts, images, infographics, or podcasts.
When people consume your content and find it valuable, they trust you.
And if this happens consistently, you become an authority for your audience.
How does content marketing help?
Internet is a busy place. Most people come here either to find answers to their questions or for entertaining content. And annoying ads don’t help with either of these. The average click-through rate of a Facebook ad is 0.89% across all industries. For some industries, it is as low as 0.42%. And the average cost per acquisition for a Facebook ad is $19.68 across all industries.
What does this mean? First, consumers don’t like ads. Second, companies can burn a large amount of money in ads without satisfactory ROI.
That’s where content marketing shines out. It’s an effective technique to reach a bigger audience without spending a dime on ads.
Just create content that helps your potential audience, and your audience will come looking for it.
But how will you make a sale using content marketing?
Content marketing helps you increase the interactions. In marketing, it is said that it takes an average of 7 interactions before you can make a sale.
When people read your content, they are directly or indirectly interacting with your brand. More interactions mean more trust, and we all buy from brands we trust.
Once you’ve established trust, you can follow up.
Benefits of content marketing
Content marketing helps you:
- Build trust with your potential customers.
- Establish yourself as an industry/domain expert.
- Reach a bigger audience.
- Warm up your prospects.
- Build a brand.
All this, without constantly spamming people!
Drawbacks of content marketing
Here are some things you need to keep in check:
- It takes time and consistency. Getting quick results from content marketing is tough.
- You need to produce quality content. If your content is not high quality, it can get lost on the internet or the so-called ‘content ocean’.
- Creating random content will not work. You need to be very clear on your target audience or who you’re creating content for.
- If you plan to rank your content, you need to hire a digital marketer to keep the SEO in check.
If you take care of these things, your content marketing efforts will surely yield results.