In the age of Digital, content is king.
Content marketing has grown over the years to become one of the most important aspects of any digital marketing or SEO strategy. Your customers are out there every day on their phones or computers searching for relevant content. If you’re not providing it, chances are your competitors are.
Whatever the size of your company, if you want to reach your customers, you need content. But more than just having content, you must know how to utilize content marketing effectively to ensure it reaches your target audience.
Knowing exactly how content marketing can benefit your local business helps you understand its potential. But it also enables you to tailor your content marketing strategy to best work for your local business.
These 12 benefits of content marketing apply to almost any business. Read through and consider your customers and business goals. Then, decide which of these to prioritize as part of your content marketing strategy.
1. Improve brand awareness
The more content you create centered around your brand and industry, the more awareness people will have about your company. This builds slowly over time, but there’s no doubting that producing content helps you get noticed. There’s an old saying, “out of sight, out of mind.” If people aren’t regularly being reminded of your existence, they’ll assume you are closed or aren’t relevant anymore. If they even knew you existed in the first place.
2. Control your story
In the digital age, you want to be out in front of your customers, controlling the story around your brand. With a content marketing strategy in place, you decide what is being said about your brand and when. You can establish yourself as an authority in your industry, as someone that values your customers or any aspect of your business you wish to promote. Then, you reinforce and bolster this messaging with supporting content, helping to cement the image of your brand you want your customers to have.
3. Make deeper connections with your customers
The content you create stays out online for your customers to discover. Many platforms and methods of sharing your content provide an opportunity for your customers to engage with you in the form of comments, shares, etc. Some companies even go so far as to create their own forums or wiki pages to help customers share information while also becoming a go-to place for the latest developments within their industry. Remember, putting your content out in the wild is simply the first step in any digital marketing strategy. The true value comes as it develops and connects with your customers.
4. Establish yourself as an authority
The more quality content you share within your industry, the more you’ll be seen as an authority figure. More and more customers are valuing online authority. It’s not enough to simply provide a product or service. People have access to multiple options these days, and most will search for the best. You can use your content marketing strategy to show off your industry knowledge or your ability to match market trends. If you provide consistent, quality content, your target audience will see you as an authority over time.
5. Make yourself more trustworthy
In addition to the above, consistent content marketing helps your brand build trust with your audience. Just posting consistently lets your audience know you’re there and not going anywhere, which enables you to build trust. Then, sharing relevant, ongoing content helps you establish a belief that you are the expert or authority they’re looking for. Again, this allows the customers have trust in working with or purchasing from your local business.
6. Generate more referrals
When you create quality content that matters for your customers or industry, it will get shared. People love helpful and valuable content and will pass that information on to others if they feel it will benefit them. This can often snowball, with the content being pushed out to a much more expansive network than your original network of customers.
7. Improve your SEO
Content marketing goes hand in hand with an SEO marketing strategy. Research shows that business websites with blogs have 434% more pages indexed by search engines than those without blogs. The more content you create, the more opportunities you have to use keywords. Also, Google favors fresh content, so the more often you post, the more significant the boost you get to your rankings results.
8. More traffic that stays longer
The more content you publish in various places, the more opportunities you have to reach customers. This gives people many more avenues to your website or company. They might find you through a forum where someone has shared a helpful guide you published. Then, once they’re at your site, they have more reasons to stay longer, thanks to the useful content you’ve created.
9. More prospects
Many companies use their content as “lead magnets.” They create helpful ebooks, whitepapers, guides, and more that sit out on the internet collecting new leads for the business. These lead magnets must be well-researched and provide valuable information. But when done right, this form of content marketing can be an evergreen source of new leads for years to come.
10. Gives an opportunity for you to educate and guide
One of the reasons customers search online is to research a potential purchase or service hire. Customers want to ensure their next purchase is a good one. When you create valuable content within your industry, you can help guide their decision-making. You tell a story about why your product or service is the right choice for their needs. Even when you’re not pushing a direct sale, you can still help educate your customers, which will pay off in the long run.
11. Supports your social media marketing
You have a social media strategy, right? (If not, please check out our 101 guide here). You need content to fill in your posts. This will boost your engagement numbers and increase engagement with your brand. The more relevant and worthwhile your content, the more likely you’ll get shares, comments, etc. As you gain more traction with your followers, you’ll gain the attention of influencers and other essential connections within your industry.
12. Lower your marketing costs
An effective content marketing strategy can help lower your advertising costs. The more organic traffic you get, the less you need to spend on ad buys to push or promote your content. Also, the more leads you generate with lead magnets, the less you spend on lead development. Content marketing can often take time to build momentum. So, while you might not see the benefits immediately, if you stay consistent, you will see results over time.
Get started with content marketing today
Hopefully, these benefits have convinced you to nurture your content marketing strategy. These are really just the tip of the iceberg regarding how content marketing can benefit your local or small business.
We wanted to highlight the benefits that everyone can enjoy. But as you niche down into your specific industry, unique opportunities and wins are also available.