What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is one of the most used marketing channels that was used by 70% of businesses in 2020. The investment in content marketing is increasing rapidly as more and more businesses are understanding the importance of content marketing.

What is content marketing and why it is important for your business? If you are new to content marketing and just starting out, this is the article that will answer most of your queries.

What is Content Marketing?

It is defined as a systematic process of planning, creating, publishing, distributing, sharing, and promoting content. And it is used to connect and reach your target audience, generate leads, and convert leads into sales.

It is one of the most popular forms of inbound marketing where you attract your audience by creating valuable content. And doesn’t just include text rather it includes all types of content including video, audio, images, PDF, graphics, etc.

Fanatics increased its organic traffic by 1,100% in as low as 6 months with content marketing. The number of ranking keywords increased by a whopping 230% and the content was featured on high authority websites like USA Today and MSN.

It published and promoted high-quality content that was well-planned to reach its target audience. These results were achieved with 50 content pieces only. Here is an example of a GIF that Fanatics created as part of its content campaign:

content marketing example

Since content marketing is such a powerful marketing channel, 91% of B2B marketers are using it while 86% of B2C marketers rate it a key marketing strategy.

Why is Content Marketing Important?

Among several other marketing channels and tactics, content marketing has its unique place due to its numerous benefits that make it a key. What makes it an important marketing channel?

Let’s figure out:

Generate Leads

One of the most important reasons why businesses use content marketing is that it is an effective technique for lead generation. As much as 79% of marketers use content marketing to generate more leads:

content marketing statistics

And 69% of marketers use content marketing to generate top of the funnel content (that is to generate leads):

content creation for funnel stages

According to HubSpot, generating leads is the top priority of marketers in 2020. Vital found similar results in a survey where 26% of marketers rated generating more leads as their top priority:

marketing priorities stats

Content marketing turns out to be the best way to overcome this challenge as it addresses the lead generation issue. The reason why 79% of marketers use it to generate leads is that it works exceptionally well. You create and publish quality content that your audience finds useful and connects with your company by opting into your squeeze page.

Increase Organic Traffic

Content drives organic traffic.

Blogging is one of the top three types of media used in content marketing that shows the importance of blogging. Businesses that blog get 55% more traffic than businesses that don’t blog:

companies that blog vs that don't blog stats

When you create a blog post, you target a specific keyword and try to rank for it in SERPs. That’s how content marketing is used to drive organic traffic throughout the funnel. According to SEMrush, 83% of marketers use organic traffic to measure content success:

content success measurement stats

Organic traffic is linked to the content you produce. If you don’t write and publish new content, search engine crawlers won’t find indexable content on your website. Similarly, if you write and publish new content on your blog (or website), you’ll have new content for search engine crawlers every time they visit your website – and will rank your website for relevant keywords.

Educate and Engage Target Audience

High quality content serves two main purposes. First, it educates your target audience by helping them solve its problems. Second, it engages your target audience and helps you build a community.

Zoho, for example, has a huge collection of helpful material for its customers that features hundreds of step-by-step guides:

zoho content marketing example

This shows content marketing isn’t just limited to the top and middle of the funnel, rather it is also used to engage your customers. You can use content to educate both visitors and customers. A step-by-step guide on your blog helps potential visitors in solving a problem (top of the funnel) while an actionable article featured in your customer portal that shows how to use a product feature engages customers (end of the funnel).

Similarly, you can create a forum where you can encourage user-generated content and build a community. A forum lets your customers share their views, ask questions, and answer queries based on their experience with your products.

This happens to be the best form of content you’ll ever create.

Improve Brand Reputation

Almost 57% of marketers use content marketing to improve brand reputation.

You don’t want your target audience to find none of your products when they’re searching for a relevant keyword in a search engine. Imagine you have been running a PPC campaign for a month promoting your brand and products. And when a potential buyer enters your brand name in the Google search bar, after seeing your ad, finds nothing.

Your brand image and reputation will be ruined in no time.

This is what makes content marketing such an important tactic. Even if you aren’t actively investing in it, you still can’t ignore it.

Why?

Because a whopping 81% of people use online search to find what they’re looking for including products and services.

ecommerce activity stats

This means your target audience will use a search engine at some point in time to find your product or service and you must be there. If you aren’t there, it will ruin your brand image.

It isn’t just limited to search engines rather your target audience expects you to be active on all the channels throughout the internet be it social media, forums, podcasts, magazines, and so on.

Ignoring content marketing will ruin your brand reputation no matter how much you are investing in other marketing channels.

Final Thoughts

Content marketing isn’t just important, rather it is the key to success. Creating and publishing quality content for your target audience will help you in attracting, converting, and retaining them. It is equally useful in converting your customers into repeat and loyal customers.

That’s what it is all about.

Featured Image: Pexels

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