Many marketers struggle with the concept of content, even though it’s a word that gets thrown around a lot. Some also find it difficult to create quality content that has measurable, bottom-line value. But why is that?
Well, marketers often struggle in three areas when it comes to creating content:
- Defining what their audience actually considers to be quality content.
- Identifying the KPIs that measure the effectiveness of their content strategy.
- Syncing their content marketing strategy with their sales funnel.
The last point is so important that it’s worth repeating: Your content marketing strategy needs to be designed for your sales funnel!
The content marketing funnel is a strategy that involves creating highly targeted content around where a user is in the sales funnel, with the intention of moving them towards a purchase. It’s an approach to advertising that requires a deep understanding of your audience and their buying journey.
Fortunately, it’s also something you can learn. Here is everything you need to know about the value of a content marketing funnel & why it matters in 2021 more than ever.
Why Does Content Marketing Matter?
“Content” is a broad term, both in how it’s defined and the type of value it provides your company or brand. Creative ideas live in content, but its real, tangible value can often be a grey area. You may also be hesitant to put time and resources into creating content for your website because its contribution to your bottom line is difficult to measure.
The truth is that content marketing does add tangible value to your company’s bottom line when executed correctly, and you’ll be able to measure its exact impact through data points. The really great thing about content marketing is that it can help your business in plenty of ways, including:
Reason #1: Lead generation
This is what we’re all here for, right? Content marketing is one of the more organic ways to convert your site’s audience into leads, also known as prospective customers (or prospects for short).
But this is easier said than done. User privacy is a growing issue, so people are wary of being advertised to. With this increasing resistance towards traditional marketing messages, marketers have to get creative with how they capture a user’s attention.
Content marketing is the perfect way to do just that. In many cases, content marketing is not only the thing that initiates the consumer journey but also the vehicle that drives the consumer from awareness to purchase. This is done through the content marketing funnel, which we’ll discuss in a future article.
Reason #2: Brand awareness
Great content marketing can mean free advertising.
Word of mouth has always been a powerful tool for marketers, and in the age of social media, having quality content on your site will get people talking. If a user comes across your content and enjoys it, they may share the link on social media, which can put your brand in front of a new audience.
By grabbing people’s attention through relevant and quality content, you’re embedding your brand in the consciousness of your target audience. Users will begin to seek out your content regularly and recommend you to others, expanding the conversation surrounding your brand. This can make content marketing a dependable part of your brand awareness strategy.
Reason #3: SEO
There’s a common misconception that you have to choose between SEO and content marketing. In reality, they make a great team—SEO concerns the technical optimization of your site to improve your search ranking, while content marketing applies those same SEO concepts to the user attribution process.
SEO is the gasoline that powers the vehicle of content marketing, and your content strategy is the driver. As more people discuss and share your content, you’ll see more traffic—and Google will notice. If your content is optimized for search engines and your audience, you will see page rankings improve, especially for keywords and topics that you’re targeting.
Your content marketing strategy should include SEO essentials such as keywords, audience-specific topics, and linking opportunities. These essentials will help drive the right traffic to your website. By using SEO tactics to craft your content marketing strategy, you’ll magnify the impact of both strategies.
Reason #4: Understanding your audience
Content marketing helps you find and better understand your target audience.
You create buyer personas and ideal customer profiles around the types of people you envision being interested in your products or services. Analytics gives you insights into who is already visiting your website. You’ll want to gain a deeper understanding of your ideal customer and target them directly to maximize the impact of your content marketing strategy.
Proper analytics and tracking on each piece of content can give you valuable insights into your audience, including:
- Search terms they used to get to your page
- The type of device they used
- How long they stayed on a page
- Which topics generate more traffic
These insights will help you better understand your audience’s interests and tendencies. In doing so, you’ll attract your target customers more effectively.
The importance of content marketing in 2021 is greater than ever, as buyers become more empowered to drive their own buying decisions.
By keeping the 4 reasons above in mind, you’ll be able to make a no-brainer business case for the investment in content marketing. Consider these while building your content marketing funnel to ensure your content strategy makes a big impact for your brand.
In a future article, we’ll explore how you can develop your own killer content marketing funnel strategy.