Content marketing is a great approach for engaging with your customers. It's a marketing process used to attract and retain consumers by consistently creating and curating content relevant to your industry or market. The aim is to provide the customer with information about why your product or service is good and that your business is credible, leaving the customer to decide if it is right for them- if the content is good enough, it will persuade them that it is!
Content marketing is tipped to continue to be one of the top marketing trends for 2016, not least by content marketing powerhouse Red Bull, who through a focus on extreme sports and action has turned its brand into more of a lifestyle category than an energy drink. Conversely Equinox's Q taps into the luxury gym network with a website full of recipes, tips, hotel room workouts and interviews with notable sportspeople.
Here are five reasons why content marketing is so effective.
1. Engagement throughout the customer journey
Our aim through marketing is to engage with the customer and influence their decision to purchase a product or service. Good content accelerates the purchasing process by providing richer information to customers, showcasing a company's expertise and evidencing how you can meet their needs. It also allows a business to stay connected to the customer and provide support before, during and after the purchase.
2. Building your brand
Content marketing builds on an organisations tone of voice. Content is personal to your company, and reflects the organisations culture, target market and customer base, which in turn builds brand loyalty. You can read our guide 5 ways to build a strong brand for more information on this. Content marketing allows companies to react in real time, provide increased transparency to customers and create a strong brand identity. It can make your brand an authority on your subject.
3. Increasing traffic to your website
Updating the site with frequent, relevant and high quality content will give the site a positive impact on search rankings. When content receives attention, links within the articles can drive the reader to other pages on the website, keeping the reader on your website for longer. Optimising the SEO and keyword research for each content piece will mean it has a higher chance of appearing in results and being shared by people, which also in turn allows a higher number of people to discover your site and bring traffic back to it.
4. Increasing customer retention and loyalty
All too often, focus on the customer ends once the purchase has been completed, and they drop off the radar. Content marketing continues the engagement with the customer, providing them with relevant updates and news. L'Oreal uses Makeup.com to keep their existing customers engaged, providing beauty tips and tutorials for using the latest makeup, without overtly pushing their own products. Content marketing is one of the best ways to reduce churn and improve customer retention.
5. Staying ahead of the competition
Most organisations are strapped for time and often marketing output tends to be reactive rather than proactive. Dedicating time to curating content and researching your industry will provide you with relevant and up to date market knowledge on current and upcoming trends, which can also be used to inform business decisions. It can also help you to get to know your demographic better and familiarise yourself with the changing needs of your customers, giving you a competitive advantage.
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