Content marketing is an investment in brand equity. Consider that a piece of content is a durable asset that helps to generate and sustain interest in your brand. This is because people enjoy content and buy from brands whose content they value.
Companies should maximize their content returns through fostering engaged and loyal customers throughout the marketing funnel. Beyond engagement, an effective content marketing program serves as a vehicle for brand exposure, impression, and differentiation instead of a one-time investment. By viewing content marketing through this lens, companies can frame their content as a complement to their branding.
Content Creates Brand Identity
Businesses can use content marketing to develop their brand identity with customers. In fact, with the buyers’ journey happening entirely online in many cases, content marketing may be the only way to develop your brand. For this reason, a digital marketing agency must have a good content program to reach its audience, demonstrate expertise, and differentiate itself from competitors.
People know brands use content marketing and they recognize it when they see it. Research from Clutch shows that most people recognize the most recent business content they consumed online as content marketing. Despite this awareness, content is still the best way to foster an affinity with your customers.
People want to engage with brands that recognize their concerns. As such, an effective content marketing strategy shares insight, discuss trends and positions your services in a way that forges relationships and sustains meaningful engagement with customers.
Make sure to use a branded voice, tone, and visual aesthetic that aligns with your audience, and beware that any inconsistencies can alienate people.
Content Drives Awareness
Quality content improves your SEO, and thus your brand’s visibility on search engines. Specifically, effective content marketing boosts your visibility in the search engine results pages (SERPs) and drives organic engagement with prospects at the top of the sales funnel.
According to Status Labs, 90% of people seek input through online reviews before buying from a business. The best way to maintain a strong position in SERPs is to produce worthwhile, quality content.
Effective content that makes it easy for readers to get value include:
- Blogs – a great way to boost SEO when done properly
- Infographics – engaging and sharable
- Email newsletters – great for staying top-of-mind
It’s also important to prioritize readability to hook your audience and pull them toward the next piece of content. To make content readable, it should be:
- Visually engaging
Top-performing content helps to generate valuable backlinks and a positive reputation in your industry. Meanwhile, prospects who get value from your content will visit your site to consume more.
Content Promotes Thought Leadership
People use content to evaluate which brands are experts in their field, so businesses should use content marketing to display their thought-leadership. Doing so helps to differentiate your brand to customers who are in the consideration and action stages of the sales funnel.
Research from Clutch shows that two-thirds of people (67%) consider content marketing useful and valuable. As prospects approach a purchase, they seek detailed information that proves your expertise and experience. Content of this type includes:
- Case studies
- Product descriptions
- Explanation/demonstration videos
People are seeking honest, comprehensive, and detailed content to help them make a well-informed decision. Providing this content is the best way to nudge consumers toward conversion.
Content Creates Trust with Customers
People prefer to buy from brands they trust. To earn your audience’s trust, produce transparent and valuable content that they’re happy to consume. Over half of content marketing consumers are more likely to revisit a company’s website to learn more about the company.
Great content guides people to a buying decision using a mix of information and entertainment to keep users engaged.
The most engaging content is:
Brands can nurture customers with engaging, transparent content to secure their interest as well as their trust. It is ultimately how brands build relationships with people in the digital era. A comprehensive content marketing strategy allows you to reach, engage, and secure the loyalty of your audience at every stage of the sales funnel.
Grayson Kemper is a Content Manager for Clutch, a platform designed to help businesses navigate the B2B purchasing process through content and data-driven research and insights.