Whether your business is small or large, whether your brand is known or unknown, in our experience, content marketing CAN deliver results but it does require a commitment. In part one of my series on Content Marketing, here are 10 good reasons why you should consider content marketing (and how to guarantee ROI):
Many companies struggle with the whole idea content marketing. “What type of content should we produce?” “Who is going to produce it?” “How do we prove an ROI?” are common questions.
But why should you even consider writing content to attract your ideal customer?
#1. People don’t want to be advertised to, they want content
Advertising has changed since digital arrived and then changed even more since social media arrived. People don’t want to be advertised to any more. Ad blocking is on the rise, people aren’t interested in being pushed a message, rather in having a conversation. And content can be a first step in engaging people and starting that conversation.
#2. Your social media needs content
You need content for your social media channels. You cannot push sales messages all the time, people won’t engage and algorithms nowadays mean that even if you pay, people may not engage if they think they are being sold to. Creating good targeted content gives you fodder for your social media channels.
#3. It can help raise brand awareness
If one of your business objectives is to raise brand awareness then content is a fantastic way of doing this. If you can create targeted content that people hopefully will share then your brand can get in front of more people. One social share can be worth 30-50 further sets of eyes on your brand.
You might find How to Achieve Brand Consistency for Your Business useful
#4. It can establish you as a thought leader
Writing good content that helps your target audience, particularly around the area of expertise that your brand offers establishes your company as knowing what they are talking about. If you are in a service business, then people rely on other signals of quality because they can’t physically touch your service, so a well-written or produced piece of content gives them an idea on the quality of the service behind the content.
#5. It builds trust
Building brand trust online is critical and content is a really good way of building that trust. People enjoy your content, and if you produce it consistently, they start to trust you more and more.Click To Tweet
You might enjoy reading part 2 15 Proven Steps for Ensuring Content Marketing ROI and part 3 The Most Useful Content Marketing Metrics to Help Measure ROI
#6. It showcases your brand
You can use content to showcase what your brand or company is all about. For example, you could create a series of question and answer pieces based on typical customer questions, that showcase how your product or service is solving the problems raised in their questions.
#7. It can bring prospects to you
If you are helping to solve a problem that your target customer has, or if you write a piece of content that engages their emotions then you are in a good position to bring prospects to your business or brand.
At Mykidstime, we have found that 5 things work for content and we think this holds true whether you are writing for parents or not:
- it elicits an emotional response. Such as The Last Time Poem which has had over 850,000 pageviews since we published it.
- it makes them curious or taps into FOMO, things like 20 Things to Tell Your Daughter (what are the 20 things? Have I told them to my daughter?)
- it solves a problem. So content like Tips from Parents on Getting Rid of Head Lice perform well, because they are solving a common problem that parents face.
- it adds value to their lives, so maybe it saves them time or makes them a better person, like 15 Clever Laundry Hacks to Help Save Time
- it amuses them. Like 30 Reasons to Know You’re Mum to a First Communion Child
#8. It can generate a database for you
You can use content to entice people to give you their precious email address for your database. If you do this wisely by
a) giving them something useful (again, helping to build that brand trust)
b) nurturing them with some more useful emails
c) segmenting your mailings to continue to offer value
then you will be able to maximise the opportunity that the email gives you. After all, you don’t own the social platforms but you do own your mailing list.
You might find How to Create a Simple Sales Funnel and How to Create a Freebie for Parents to Capture Email useful
#9. It can help drive business objectives
Content works to drive business objectives.
Say you run an online store selling toys and you want to get people onto your website, then create content that you can distribute on your social media to bring parents to your store.
Know what your conversion rate is (so for every 100 visits we get x enquiries, y sales) and use targeted content to drive leads to your website to drive sales.
#10. Good content stands out in the noise
There’s so much content out there and so much on social media. But when you work hard on the quality, the visuals, the design, the branding, the value within the content, it will stand out. After all, you notice good content yourself, why not your target customer. (And every time you see a great piece of content think how can we do something like that, how can we adapt that for our business or brand).
5 Steps to Guarantee ROI from Content
So those are the reasons why you should consider content marketing. But it still requires an investment from your brand or business to produce content regularly. So how do you guarantee ROI from doing content marketing? Here is a 5 step process to help you really get a return on the investment of time to produce content:
1. Decide on the objective(s) of the content
What is the key objective of the content? What do you hope to achieve from it? What is the main action you would like people to take if they liked or enjoyed your content?
Some typical objectives are
- brand awareness – we want people to share this as much as possible and for it to reach as many people in our target customer audience as possible
- community engagement – we want people to enjoy this, comment, tag a friend, share it with their friends and family, feel warm about our brand
- traffic generation – we want to drive traffic to our website
- lead generation – we want to generate leads that we can nurture and sell to.
2. Know your target audience
Knowing your customer avatars inside out is critical to the success of your content. You have to know their pain points, their interests, what life stage they are at, where they are in their customer lifecycle with you.
Targeted content works because it talks to the pain points, the interests, the life stage, how and when they are interacting with you.
And the more targeted your content is, the more likely it is to deliver an ROI.
3. Set your metrics
So you have decided the key objective(s) of your content, how are you going to measure whether people took action or that the content achieved those things? Spend some time writing down the important metrics that you need to measure.
For example, if brand awareness is the key objective of a particular piece of content then you might use these metrics:
- Reach – total impressions, total reach.
- Shares – retweets, shares, forwards.
- Pageviews if it is hosted on your website.
- Direct traffic, because brand recall is a part of what makes up brand awareness, and people coming direct to you means they remembered you.
Then make sure your calls to action are included on the content for the objective(s) you want to achieve. So if brand awareness is your goal, then be sure you have social share buttons that work correctly to drive out the content, and don’t forget to ask people to share if they like your content.
4. Test as soon as you publish
As soon as you publish, test those calls to action to make sure that they work. There’s nothing worse than realising a few weeks later that the time so far was wasted because people couldn’t do what you expected them to.
So test everything and make sure that you know how to track those key metrics.
5. Have a distribution plan
Too often businesses create content then sit back and say phew, well that’s great that got published. You need to have a distribution plan to get that content out. So which channels do you have at your disposal and which ones are relevant to this content:
- your email list
- your own social platforms
- paid social
- social groups e.g. Facebook and LinkedIn
- messenger apps
- suppliers who might like to share it with their customers
- influencers you work with and have a relationship with.
Over to you now. What’s your experience with content marketing and how have you worked to guarantee ROI from your content marketing? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.