How do you feel when you are watching an interesting YouTube video and the video is interrupted by an ad? The ads can keep interrupting the video more than just the one time, potentially spoiling your viewing experience.
People generally don’t like to watch or pay attention to intrusive ads. It becomes even more prevalent in the wake of shrinking attention spans and the overall slump in the reach of social media channels. Emerging competition and loss of public trust maybe some of the reasons behind it. ROAS (return on ad spend) on Facebook advertising decreased from an index value of two in April 2018 to below 0.5 in the following months after the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
You may also lose your ROAS if your ads are not hitting the mark. So, marketers are always on the lookout for more sustainable options to ensure that their marketing efforts are paying off.
If you are seeing your ROI decreasing, divert a part of your marketing spend to content marketing and create authoritative, persuasive, and thought-provoking content that triggers an emotional response.
With the declining effectiveness of traditional marketing, marketers the world over are switching to content marketing.
Below you can see the definition of content marketing according to Content Marketing Institute, an online resource for everything related to content marketing.
Here are a few stats that will blow your mind.
Businesses have now woken up to the importance and effectiveness of content marketing. Here are a few benefits of content marketing every marketer should know.
Content marketing provides value, and it’s “not as annoying” compared to intrusive ads. Traditional advertising is losing steam and digital advertising is facing many challenges including attention span issues and people using ad blockers.
According to a 2016 Google survey, 600 million devices were using ad blocking software programs worldwide. This trend is likely to grow in the future. Content marketing provides a better and more sustainable alternative to digital ads. There is no need to divert all your marketing spend on ads when you can achieve better and long-term results by creating engaging content according to the interest of your target audience. People love to read blogs and watch YouTube videos related to the topics they find interesting.
There are many brands that are successfully pitching product information to educate their audience and to encourage them to purchase. There is a psychology behind what drives people to purchase and more and more companies are now using that to their advantage.
Whole Foods is a brand that offers healthy organic food, not necessarily a unique segment. They do content marketing through their community blog which shares delicious recipes along with stunning photos of ingredients and many other things that might be interesting for their audience such as tips to keep kids healthy and spotlights on new local vendors.
They take this educational value one step further to their brick-and-mortar stores where they put posters explaining things like seafood safety recommendations and the source and taste of a variety of mushrooms they offer.
Similarly, Stanford University uses an educational approach to capture the attention of their audience on Facebook, YouTube, and their customized app. They target people who are interested in higher education either for themselves or for their children. To create excitement, they share students’ work and experiences and allow their teachers to interact with their fans, answer their queries, and provide on-the-go resources for current and future students.
It is time-consuming to create educational content but it pays off in the long run because you build a navigable library of evergreen content which helps in raising brand awareness.
When someone offers valuable content for free, they create a sense of reciprocity and gratitude and their audience tries to pay it back by buying their products and services. It also creates brand affinity and trust which helps you to be on their mind. Ann Handley of the MarketingProfs fame, often quotes her friend, Tom Fishburne, “The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing”.
When we talk about human behavior, reciprocity triggers the sense of indebtedness in return for an unexpected favor, which brands use by providing free educational content that helps them solve a problem. Gratitude related reciprocal behaviors are an important element of relationship marketing and it affects performance outcomes.
While advertising online, you attract traffic by paying money for it. On the flip side, by creating custom content for different customer segments, you create fresh pieces of content that keep on engaging and bring the readers one step closer to the final stage in the sales funnel. These content pieces act like free online ads that aren’t intrusive and posted for a long time.
Content marketing is not fleeting and transactional as it aims to build long-term relationships. The essential element of content marketing is to keep a conversation going. Since the content we create addresses the queries and concerns of customers and includes popular and intent-based search terms, it becomes a rich, SEO-friendly extravaganza.
Since content is the foundation of organic search, it is the best way to drive traffic to your website. Content is also the number one priority for Google and anybody familiar with inbound marketing knows that you can’t win the game of SEO without a robust content marketing strategy.
Effective and helpful content helps your SEO in many ways. High-quality content excites your audience and helps you increase the click-through-rate (CTR) and average session duration. When you create useful content that adds value and provides answers to searchers’ questions, Google rewards you with higher rankings in the SERPs.
Courtesy: Stupid Simple SEO
High-quality content also attracts backlinks from high authority websites and thereby helps you to increase Google’s trust in your website. But to achieve this, your content should be intriguing, informational, inspirational, data-driven, exciting, and entertaining.
One of the best features of social media for marketers is that it allows users to share content. If your content is exciting, entertaining, and informational, people will love to share it and your business can get enormous publicity without spending any money on promotion.
Content marketing also allows you to multiply traffic by repurposing your content into different content formats. During content repurposing, we can convert a blog post into a video or a podcast. Similarly, an infographic can be converted into a blog post or a slide deck presentation resulting in the creation of various content pieces. These can be used at different content marketing platforms to exponentially boost traffic. For example, a blog, when converted into a slide deck presentation, can be uploaded on sites like SlideShare, Google Slides, Prezi, Powtoon, and Haiku Deck. A webinar can be converted into a blog post, a podcast, and a video and its key messages can be used as tweets and social media posts.
Targeted content is the holy grail of content marketing. If you want the content to be successful, make it personalized and try to speak to a specific person with a specific need. You should also keep in mind where the user is in the buyer’s journey. To create targeted content, you should have ample information about your audience.
Messaging is also an excellent way of creating targeted content, which helps you shepherd your audience through every step in their buyer’s journey. There can be various stages in a buyer’s journey such as:
Apart from that it also offers the following benefits:
A. Increases brand visibility
B. Helps build a long-term relationship with your audience
C. Strengthens trust and loyalty
D. Helps you position yourself as authority in your niche
E. Enables communication through social shares and comments
F. Pushes your prospect to move through the purchase decision faster
G. Provides value without any terms and conditions
So with all these benefits, content marketing turns your website into an authentic source of information related to your area of expertise. Engaging content will also make your audience flock to your website and help them make an informed decision. The content created for different stages of a buyer’s journey helps them move to the next stage in the sales funnel. It leads to word-of-mouth promotion apart from trust-building that sparks loyalty.