When a client comes to us with a marketing request, our first priority is to identify: Why?
Maybe sales are down. Why? They'd like rebrand. Why? They want a new website. Why? We're like a relentless toddler learning about a seemingly inane object for the first time — but a really professional toddler with a very specific end goal in mind: solving business problems with marketing solutions. We don't want to just provide marketing products willy nilly. We need purpose.
Content marketing isn't just a buzz term for the marketing department. When utilized properly, it can turn your creaky business into a well-oiled machine. From establishing your brand as a thought leader in your space, to solving operational issues and driving sales, content marketing establishes a solid foundation from which your business can grow.
To illustrate our point, consider the following three business problems solved with…you guessed it, content marketing.
1. Problem: no one knows who we are.
This is not a great place to be, unless you're a celebrity seeking anonymity. But for the majority of us, we want to be known and recognized! Give us the limelight!
With an abundance of information at the fingertips of your customers, it's important to differentiate yourself and an easy way to do this is to establish yourself as an expert within your field. Creating well-researched, relevant content in the form of blog posts, informative downloads, webinars, videos, etc., will solidify your place as a thought leader within your industry. This method of content marketing provides something useful to your leads and facilitates a steady flow of traffic to your website.
The great thing about evergreen content is you only need to create it once and it keeps working to bring people to your brand without you having to actively seek their attention. Contrast this with paid ad spend, where, once you stop feeding the platform with cash your marketing efforts stop. We know which strategy sounds better to us!
2. Problem: we need new business.
Can we get an “Amen!” here? Who doesn't want a bit of new business, especially the kind you don't need to actively track down? Implementing a content marketing strategy to assist in new business brings in leads passively, because others identify you as the solution to their needs and it proactively showcases your expertise.
Content marketing is your business development backbone. For many businesses, business development can be a challenge. Content marketing addresses operational inefficiencies around your biz dev process. When you conduct customer research to create your content strategy, you're able to narrow down exactly who you're looking to target with your marketing efforts.
Though it may sound counter intuitive, going niche and creating content for a specific few will allow you to put more time into finding the right clients. You can then serve those clients so well, they can't help but come back. With intentional communication going to the right individuals or organizations, you're able to stop pouring energy into the wrong audiences and focus on the people who matter most. Plus, we all know it's a lot easier to keep selling to your favorite clients than to keep searching for new ones!
3. Problem: our biz dev process is not working.
Guess what. You can track the return on your content marketing investments so you can continually improve your process! We recommend setting up Google Analytics the moment your website goes live. With this tool, you'll be able to track business insights data like, traffic and traffic sources, e-commerce data, buttons clicked, contact form submissions, and live chat submissions. Google Analytics is free and you should set it up straight away, because, PSA: you cannot retrospectively collect data.
Another recommendation for gathering data to improve your process is Google Tag Manager. The revolutionary act here, is that you can add as many tags as you'd like with only one piece of code (this is huge).
Having a clear content strategy also improves your business development processes by establishing a plan, and if you're anything like us, you thrive off your organized to do list. Following a strategy through to execution establishes a plan and provides you and your team with consistency. The right data and a proper plan increases efficiency within your teams and maximizes your marketing ROI.
Content marketing increases brand awareness, brings in new business, and provides valuable data to improve and refine your business development processes. It's a beautiful cycle.
Not convinced content marketing is right for you? We'll leave you with one, final consideration from Aberdeen on content marketing stats: “marketing’s contribution to revenue is more than 6x higher for content marketing leaders than followers.” Need we say more?
If you're ready to run a well-oiled machine, take the first step in developing a content strategy. Looking for a way to fund your content marketing execution? Read here for tips on how to find money within your business.