You’ve probably already heard that some of the benefits of content marketing include generating brand awareness and driving more conversions – but those benefits apply to virtually any marketing channel.
Yet companies with strong content marketing strategies have a truly unfair advantage over their competitors that leverage marketing strategies other than content marketing.
In this post, we’ll discuss the key benefits unique to content marketing that make it one of the few marketing efforts that produces outsized returns so that your brand is prepared to dominate in 2024.
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Quickly Build Trust And Credibility Through High Quality Brand Awareness
You can build brand awareness through various marketing channels, like display ads and paid social ads. However, not all interactions with your brand are equally impactful.
Passively seeing your brand name in an ad isn’t a very deep interaction with your brand and, therefore, only minimally impactful in building the customer relationship.
Content marketing also generates brand awareness, but it creates a much deeper interaction as the audience actively consumes your content and becomes acquainted with your brand’s values, voice, and perspectives. It also allows your brand to demonstrate its expertise within the industry while simultaneously providing value by answering their questions.
This expedites the trust-building process, and as a result, a single interaction with a piece of content from your brand can usually generate the same level of trust as tens or even hundreds of ad impressions.
Content marketing interactions (reading a blog post, watching a video, etc.) are also much more memorable than an ad impression, meaning that even if the audience isn’t ready to buy yet (most people at the brand awareness level aren’t), you’ll be the first brand to come to mind when they do need to purchase the type of product or service you offer.
Build An Engaged Audience
An audience is a group of people who consistently interact with your brand. So to build an audience, you need to have something for them to interact with.
High-quality content creates a mutually beneficial engagement opportunity by providing value through entertainment (like a humorous social media video) or education (like a tutorial-style video or blog post).
The value created through your content motivates potential customers to continue interacting with your brand, and over time (assuming they find your content valuable), they’ll become loyal followers.
Once you’ve built a loyal audience, you can sell them any relevant products or services they need. This is why brands like Fenty, Rare Beauty, and even Mint Mobile are worth multiple millions of dollars.
While the products from these brands are likely of comparable quality to many other competitors, each is backed by an influencer (Rihanna, Selena Gomez, and Ryan Reynolds) with an audience of trusted followers. Therefore, when these brands launched, they immediately had a distribution network that made it easy to quickly clear tens of millions of dollars in revenue.
By creating a successful content strategy that cultivates a loyal audience, your brand can enjoy similar success.
Cost-Effective Long Term Strategy
You may have heard that content marketing is “free,” yet that statement is somewhat misleading as it does cost resources (time and/or money) to create great content.
The good news is that once you’ve created a piece of valuable content, you can earn organic website traffic (free traffic) through social media platforms, SEO (search engine optimization), and even organic shares or referrals.
In addition, if you create evergreen content, it will continue to attract audiences for weeks, months, or even years after you’ve created it.
So unlike ads, which stop producing leads when you turn them off, relevant content will continue to generate an ROI long after it’s initially published. Even if the content declines over time, you can still update, repurpose, or repost it to continue seeing returns.
The ROI of each piece of content also compounds over time because the cost of producing each piece of content will remain relatively stable (unless you choose to invest more in your content creation strategy), yet your audience size will grow.
So even if you produce content for $100 today and 100 people see it at a 1% conversion rate, you’d make one sale. Yet as your audience grows to 1,000 people, it will still only cost you $100 to create that piece of content, yet you’ll receive ten sales for the same investment.
This makes content marketing arguably one of the most scalable marketing channels available. Unlike ads, where you pay per impression or click, content gives you an unfair advantage because your costs remain constant while the audience you reach compounds.
Improve The ROI Of Other Marketing Efforts
Content marketing is not only a profitable long-term inbound marketing strategy in its own right, but it also improves the profitability of other marketing channels.
First, you can analyze your most effective content marketing campaigns to identify the topics and messaging that resonate best with your audience and then design your ad campaigns based on those insights. By starting with data from your content marketing strategy, your first ad campaign is more likely to be more successful than if you were to create the first ad campaign based purely on guesswork.
In addition, most ads that just have a CTA to schedule a demo have poor conversion rates if the targeted audience has never heard of your brand or only vaguely knows what you offer. Instead, if you run ads to a piece of content (such as a free template, checklist, guide, or webinar), they’re much more likely to convert as it’s a lower ask.
Once they’ve consumed that content and understand the value of your brand, they’re much more likely to convert into customers. You can also capture their email address in exchange for a piece of content, which ultimately reduces retargeting costs as you can simply send them remarketing emails rather than running retargeting ads.
Inbound leads from content marketing also generally move through the sales funnel faster as the content has already built the trust required to generate a conversion. This significantly reduces the average customer acquisition cost as you’ll likely be able to convert them with fewer impressions.
Finally, if you want to appear in the search engine results pages for keywords your ideal audience searches, you must create content that answers those queries. Otherwise, there’s no incentive for search engines to rank your website. Therefore, content marketing is a critical investment if you plan to create an SEO strategy.
Referrals are very impactful as the referred business essentially inherits the credibility of the person making the referral.
This means that your brand bypasses the time and investment required to establish credibility, and you’ll close the sale faster.
Content marketing helps increase referrals because the resources you create keep your brand top of mind among people who may provide referrals.
Though direct referrals (e.g., someone providing a direct product or service recommendation) are rather rare, as it can be annoying to have a friend or colleague constantly telling you to purchase different products or services. While it is certainly appreciated when done sparingly, direct referrals require an investment from the receiving person.
Yet people do frequently share content with their networks as a blog or social media post can provide high value for the receiver (assuming it’s good content), yet consuming it requires no investment.
By publishing content, you create more opportunities for people to share and interact with your brand.
Improve Customer Retention And LTV
Content marketing helps you build an audience, and once you have an engaged audience, you can very easily retain them as customers as it keeps your brand top of mind and provides an opportunity for you to continue educating them on how to more effectively use your products or services.
If your customers understand how to use your products or services effectively to solve their pain points, they’re more likely to remain customers for the long term.
In addition, once you have your customer’s attention, you can continue selling more products or services without incurring additional customer acquisition costs.
So, while traditional marketing strategies help you earn a sale, content marketing enables you to earn a follower who will continue to pay you money for years to come.
Build Industry Authority
The content marketing benefits we’ve discussed until now have mainly revolved around your target audience, though publishing insightful content can also help your brand build credibility among peers in your industry.
There are plenty of benefits to being viewed as a leader by the broader industry.
First, recruiting will be easier as top talent actively seeks out market leaders. As a result, you’ll spend less on recruiting fees, and you may also be able to negotiate lower salaries, as top talent tends to prioritize career opportunities over salary.
Another benefit of building industry authority is that your executives will have more opportunities to speak at conferences, appear as podcast guests, and participate in other exclusive events that can further build credibility and create valuable interactions with potential customers.
Reduce Customer Support And Sales Team’s Investments
If a customer comes onto a sales call with only a vague understanding of your product or service, they’ll have more follow-up questions, which means sales calls will be longer and reps will have to spend more time answering follow-up questions over email.
In contrast, if prospects have been reading your content for a while, they’ll have fewer questions on the sales call, and they’ll also have fewer follow-up questions. As a result, your sales reps can close deals faster and help more customers in less time.
Inbound leads from content marketing also tend to be higher quality as these customers know what you offer and how it solves their pain points before getting on the demo.
Once prospects become customers, content marketing resources can also help them be more successful with your product or service. This reduces cancellations, and your customer support reps won’t have to spend as much time answering the same repetitive questions. As a result, you can reduce support wait times, which helps your brand deliver a better customer experience.
Better Understand Your Audience
Content marketing helps you understand what topics and pain points resonate with your audience, which can help you improve your product or service to solve those pain points more effectively.
For example, if you notice that most of your customers first viewed a blog post about improving customer retention before purchasing your product, you can create more content around the topic of customer retention and better optimize the product itself to solve customer retention challenges.
Content marketing also transforms your messaging from one way promotion to a two sided conversation where the audience can give you more direction on what your brand could do to provide more value.
For example, this Tweet from the CMO of Ahrefs (an SEO product) is a great way to better understand customer sentiment around the industry, identify customer pain points, and ultimately create more relevant content and improve the product to solve customer pain points.
You can also get immediate feedback on features to quickly improve them for your entire customer base. For example, Tim posted about this new product feature from Ahrefs:
Then, the commenters immediately gave feedback:
Creates A Value-First Relationship
Placing an ad with a call-to-action to schedule a demo in front of a potential customer doesn’t provide them with any value. Sure, they might receive value from your product if they purchase it and it solves their pain point, but if they don’t realize how it solves their pain point, your ad will just be noise that’s in the way of content they want to consume.
In contrast, offering valuable content that helps them solve their pain point, or at least some aspect of their pain point, without asking for anything in return creates an excellent first impression of your brand.
When you provide value, customers look to you as an industry authority, and it creates goodwill that often turns into sales, referrals, and other benefits that lead to more sales.
How To Start Reaping The Benefits Of Content Marketing
Content marketing is a long-term play and you probably won’t see an immediate ROI from your efforts. However, if you consistently create useful content and give it enough time to compound, you’ll likely find that content marketing is your most profitable marketing channel.
If you want help building your content marketing strategy, we have plenty of resources for free here on the Copyblogger blog, or you can join the Copyblogger Academy to get one on one help from the Copyblogger team. You’ll also have access to exclusive courses on content marketing, SEO, and other marketing strategies. Best of all, you’ll be able to meet other people dedicated to improving their content marketing skills.
Alternatively, if you want a done-for-you content marketing service, consider reaching out to the marketing experts behind the Copyblogger brand, the Digital Commerce Partners. They can create and execute a content marketing plan that helps you profitably earn new customers. You can learn more about the DCP’s content marketing services or contact them today.