Why Content Marketing is your Best Long-term Marketing strategy

Most traditional marketing strategies are based on short-term gains.  You might send out a direct mail piece that converts a small number of recipients, but most of those pieces are thrown in the trash.  You’ve spent potentially thousands of dollars on a campaign, but within a week or two of the send, the calls will trickle down and you’ll finally receive no more leads from that campaign. 

Same thing with a billboard.  After a few weeks of early excitement, you’ll notice the calls slowing down.  This is due to Billboard Blindness, where the locals have seen the ad over and over.  Soon, you’ll need to design a new message and start the process over again.

This strategy isn’t inherently flawed, and you may see a reasonable return on your marketing dollars.  But if you want to succeed long term with your business, you’ll want to implement a strategy that has a little more staying power.  Inbound techniques such as SEO are good at producing some results, but for my company and the others we work with, there’s no better strategy than content marketing.

Let me tell you why.

Content Marketing influences every other form of online marketing:

  • Content builds your brand, and your authority in the marketplace, making you the expert.
  • It enhances the value of your landing pages.
  • It helps you build trust with your audience, and turn casual visitors in to warm leads.
  • It encourages more email sign-ups, which can then be turned in to a mailing list for a newsletter.
  • Content helps your SEO efforts by providing more “real estate” on the web.  This increases your domain authority, and earns more inbound links.

In addition to all those influences, great content has a bunch of other positive effects:

  • It brings in tons of new traffic.  If you’re producing content for your own site, or doing guest posting on other company’s sites, visitors are much more likely to find you  You can also link blog posts to other parts of your site, so visitors stay on your site longer to consume more of your content.
  • You become the “go-to” authority in your marketplace.  This is a key benefit of content marketing, and one that can’t be overlooked.  When you create great content, WITHOUT asking for the sale, customers are much more likely to see you as a trusted authority, and want to turn to you when they’re actually ready to purchase.
  • Deep, helpful content enhances your reputation in the market.  Similar to the previous point, reputation is everything in business.  People want to work with the most reputable company in the market.  If you have more, and better, content than your competitors, your have a higher perceived reputation.
  • It has a big effect on conversions on your site.  An excellent content experience gently nudges your customer toward purchasing from you.  You’ll want to be careful with this, but there are ways so steer your customers to purchase from YOU when the time is right for them.
  • It’s an asset that builds in value, instead of a “rented” ad on TV, billboards, etc.  Truly great content keeps its value over time.  Content can be syndicated to create other great content (making it an awesome in-house asset), or updated over time while keeping the core message and ranking of the original piece.  If you’re playing the long game, you’ll want to invest in content.

Great content is evergreen

While news and trendy content come and go with the whims of the day, awesome content remains fresh and timeless.  When you create content for your site, strive to find that frequency where the content is interesting and catches people’s attention, but will also withstand the test of time.  A great place to start is timeless human struggles, or universal principles that affect people regardless of current pop fads.  You might discuss the emotions people feel that lead them to use your product, or what they may experience if they don’t use your product.  Because great content can be updated for the times, there’s every reason to invest long-term.

All great content is permanent real estate

Once you own a URL where that content lives, no one can come and take it away from you.  That great blog article or instagram post can be (will be!) bookmarked and saved forever.  Bookmarking itself is a major ranking factor, so if you can create “bookmark-able” content, you’re well on your way to a major ranking advantage.  Each new piece of content can be indexed by Google and will remain there for the long run.

It’s the way to truly create Compounding Returns

As a business owner, you’re making 1000 decisions a day about the allocation of resources.  That’s sort of your main job right?  If you allocate them well, you’ll grow and succeed.  If you don’t allocate them well, you’ll fail.  Simple as that.  The sweetest returns we can create over the long term are compounding returns that exponentiate as they grow.  Content is permanent, so you’ll never lose the original “principle” you’ve invested.  But over time, you’ll watch as new content has a synergistic effect to boost the other content you’ve already created.  This comes in the form of increased rankings, word of mouth distribution of your content, being seen as a leader in your field, etc.  Want to see truly compounding returns in your business.  Invest in marketing, and more specifically Content.

Content delivery may change, but it will always be valuable and required

Content is (mostly) about words.  Yes there’s plenty of video and image sharing now as forms of valuable content, but they still have words attached to them, making meaning and providing context.  Humans communicate with words, and rarely do customers buy without reading about your stuff, going over your site, and checking out your content.

Yes, content is a long-term strategy, and it will take a few months after implementation before you start seeing amazing results.  But the sooner you jump in, those short months will pass and you’ll notice a marked improvement in rankings, growth in your email list, shorter sales pipelines, more trust from your customers, and increased sales.  When you begin to see that, you’ll be delighted that you made the wise investment in content.  And it only grows from there.