By Hendrik Baird

Using content as a marketing tool is one of the most effective ways of engaging an audience. People are tired of advertising messages that only urge them to buy certain things. These days, everyone is looking for content that is valuable and that will contribute something to their lives. Content marketing is the answer and is becoming an important tool in the marketer’s arsenal. Here are seven benefits you and your audience will get from using content to market your business.

It engages your audience

When somebody has a need, they more often than not turn to the internet to seek the solution. They will type in a question in a search engine and look at the results that pop up, clicking on an article or video that they think will provide the answer they are looking for. Once they start engaging with the content, you have captured them and, if the information you have provided is valuable, they will come back again and again. They will do this because of the trust relationship that they are developing with you as an authority on the subject. This is how you capture their attention and keep it, by having great content that provides solutions to your target audience.

Familiarity breeds trust

When you have great content available, you start to build a relationship with your audience. You are providing answers to their questions and this leads to interaction with them. When you offer your expertise free of charge, the chances that your audience will start to trust you for advice and recommendations will skyrocket.

Your brand will start gaining a reputation as being reliable and trustworthy, especially if you continue to provide content that is both valuable and insightful. The more they return to you for answers, the more they will trust you. This will lead to them having a positive attitude towards your brand.

You will generate leads

When done consistently and if it is of a high quality, content has the ability to generate leads. When your target audience engages with your content and starts to trust you as the expert, the chances of them making a purchase from you in the future increases exponentially. You should ensure that there is a clear call-to-action within the content so that your sales team can follow up the leads that have been generated in this way.

Once a visitor has been guided to the landing page, the content they find there is free and useful. By including calls-to-action within the text, or at the bottom or side of the content, you are providing them the opportunity to click on it, provided of course they are delighted with what you have already given them. In this way, they may subscribe to your newsletter or visit you online shop, or book a call to find out more.

Your social media will flourish

Some businesses only seek to build massive followings on social media, without knowing what to do with the followers once they have them. Without content, having thousands of followers won’t mean a thing. It is through content marketing that you can take advantage of the power of social media, no matter how many followers you have. You will start getting serious traction on social media platforms when you are consistently producing and disseminating quality content. Soon your followers will start commenting on your posts and share them with their networks. 

Your SEO will benefit

Everyone wants their website to feature on the first page of search results, but few understand how valuable content is to achieve this. Search engines like Google rate quality content above all else and your website will stand head and shoulders above the rest when you are consistently posting excellent content. Content has the ability to boost your SEO, making you more visible online. This adds to the trust and authority that grows within your audience, making you the thought leader. You should therefore use your content to help you increase your rankings in search engines.

You become the authority

When your content is well-researched and is truthful, it will establish you as an authority in your field. Your target audience will start to trust you as a credible provider of information and this will increase your SEO and search engine rankings. When your audience starts to trust you, they will see you as an expert within your industry. Your job is to make sure that your content answers their questions and is so valuable that they will keep coming back for more.

You will save money

Content marketing has been proven to be the most cost-effective marketing strategy available today. Good content does not come for free, and you should make adequate budget allocations for its creation, but once you have it, you can get endless value from it. One way of doing so, is to purposefully repurpose your content. This means that your evergreen content can be used in a variety of ways, again and again, so as to get the maximum exposure. Compared to traditional marketing methods, such as advertising, content marketing will win every time when you look at the bottom line. And we’re not even mentioning how it will boost your profits in the long term.

Start creating content today

Now that you have some very good reasons to use content as a marketing method, the only way to find out how it will work for you is to start producing content. You are going to have to run a few tests to see which content works the best, using the content scoring method. This is done by tracking each piece of content to see how well it performs in generating and converting leads. Once you have an idea of which types of content works the best, you should concentrate your efforts in that direction.

Remember that content marketing is not a short-term solution, it will provide benefits for years to come. So start today and produce some great content. Your audience (and Google) will love you for it!

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