Why is content marketing the way to go for business marketing

Why is content marketing the way to go for business marketing

More than 70 per cent of the consumers prefer to know about a company, its products and services through an article or blog, instead of traditional marketing and advertising. If that doesn’t say enough about why content marketing works and its effectiveness, we don’t know what will. 

Of course blogs and articles are not the only tools of content marketing that companies have been leveraging. Tools like videos, social media engagement and many others are gaining popularity. Here are 20 points that explain why content marketing is the way ahead and why content marketing works the best when it comes to marketing and advertising: 

  1. Limitless scope

One of the most legitimate answers to ‘why content marketing works’ is that there is no limit to what a brand can do with content. The trends of content marketing keep evolving and there is content in almost all marketing and advertising tools of today. 

It is estimated that by the year 2022, more than 80 per cent of the consumer internet traffic will consist of videos. This is almost 15 times higher than what it was 5 years ago. Almost 90 per cent of consumers believe that an engaging product video helps them make better decisions about a product. 

The scope of growth in content is limitless. Emerging technologies like voice recognition or visual simulation are also enabling and facilitating this growth of content consumption and generation. 

  1. Growing mobile audience

With the penetration of smartphones and the internet, the global audiences that access content through various channels on their mobile devices are growing rapidly. 

According to Statista, mobile phones are responsible for generating half of the global website traffic on the internet. 

As per Hootsuite, a social media management platform, more than 3.26 billion users access social media on mobile devices regularly. Every year, this number is estimated to grow and increase by 10%. 

With this, content consumption has also increased. Most consumers spend more than one-fourth of their day online. This is just one straight explanation as to why content marketing works in today’s scenario. 

  1. Quality of content

Think about this for a minute. Every other day, a new brand joins some social media platform to generate new content. Whether it is an individual making videos for his/her YouTube channel, or a brand promoting its products on Instagram by following the trending Hashtags, the supply of content is unlimited. 

However, when it comes to demand, it becomes static after a point of time. After all, even though we keep on consuming content of one form or the other throughout the day, there is a limit to how much content can be consumed by individuals. 

This basically means that only two types of content can survive today, i.e., either timeless content, which transcends all barriers of relevance to time and relatability or the one that is trending at any particular time and is temporary in nature. This ensures that the quality of content keeps improving, answering the question ‘why content marketing works’ in today’s time. 

  1. Online searches

Online searches for anything means that people are looking for some kind of content. Let’s understand this with some numbers to paint a clear picture. 

Every day, there are more than 3.5 billion searches on Google search engine alone, which come from 40,000 search requests every second on an average. This means that since the time you started reading this paragraph, there have been more than 2,00,000 search queries on Google alone. 

It is almost self-explanatory after this as to why does content work. A great way to reach billions of people is to be a part of the search engine results every day. 

  1. Channels of distribution

The channels through which content can reach out to the audiences are increasing continuously. Just by maximizing the use of different channels, brands can resurface old content and generate new traffic. 

Many online publications like ‘The Atlantic’ are getting more than 50 per cent of traffic from content that they did not produce in a particular month. This means that historic content has a lot of compounding value. 

If a video or a particular campaign that was produced by a brand a few years ago is relevant even today or has become relevant due to some recent happenings in the global scenario, that content can still bring traffic to a website. The increased traffic can be directly converted into leads through better engagement. 

  1. Small brands and Big brands alike

Effective content marketing is not just limited to small and upcoming brands. In fact, content creation and content marketing are major components of the marketing mix strategy followed by major brands like Marriott, Coke, Four Seasons, etc. 

From every brand that has been successful and has created a special name for itself in the industry to every upcoming brand that aspires to be successful, everyone has consciously chosen to include content marketing in their brand marketing strategy. 

The following are some of the best examples of how big brands, despite their reputations, are channelising the power of content, answering the question ‘why content marketing works’ for every type of brand: 

The ‘Share a Coke’ campaign by Coca-Cola, video content by Marriott, and the Virtual Reality (VR) app created by the New York Times are classic timeless examples of content marketing and the way they reinvented the answer to the question of why content marketing works. 

  1. Loyal leads

As mentioned above, more customers prefer knowing about a new brand and product through blogs and articles instead of advertisements. 

Isn’t it true for most of us?

As humans, we are inclined to distrust advertisements because many of them can be misleading. But when it comes to blogs and articles, they are conversational in nature and facilitate a process of trust-building. 

Once a lead starts to trust the value of your product, that lead can provide for more returns than any other form of marketing. Word of mouth publicity, trust and loyalty are the most important factors for a brand. 

  1. The blogging revolution

Blogging is not just a hobby anymore! That’s right. 

Blogging is the new branding revolution. 

Among the global internet users, more than 60 per cent users enjoy reading blogs online. As much as it says about the audience that enjoys consumption of content through written or video blogs, the brands are equally interested in blog writing

More than 70% of brands and marketers consider blogging a necessary element of their inbound marketing strategy. In fact, it is not surprising that blogging is now one of the three top forms of media that form the part of the content marketing strategy. 

Not only are blogs helpful in decision making for customers, but they are also a channel for brands to understand customer feedback through direct engagement. In addition, brands can also use blogs to communicate the various uses and benefits of their products.  

  1. Storytelling advantages

According to headstream research, here is what happens when an audience starts to relate to your brand and its story: 

55 per cent- increased chances of buying the brand’s product in the near future

15 per cent- buy the product right away, and;

44 per cent- are inspired to share the story in their community

Brand stories make the brand unforgettable, create a tribe or community of people that associate themselves with the brand message and generates brand empathy, which is a new concept. 

No wonder more than 80 per cent people generally wish to engage with a brand through the stories it has to tell. 

Here is an amazing example of brand storytelling: 

Soulcycle, a high-end fitness brand is offering experiences through its stories to people, that help them cry, laugh, express, and find their soul. Here is what they have to say: 

It is only because of the relationship they have successfully built with customers through this story that they are able to position themselves and charge at a higher price. 

If you are still wondering ‘why content marketing works’, we hope this answers your question to some extent. For further clarity, keep reading!

  1. SERP Rankings

Content directly improves your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and helps you improve your rank in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). With every 100 per cent increase in the blogging rate of a brand, their traffic increases to almost 300 per cent. 

As per Hubspot, companies that produce more than 16 blogs in a month are likely to get 4.5 times the leads and 3.5 times the traffic organically as compared to those that blog less than 16 times a month. 

  1. Return on Investment

Every brand invests some money towards marketing with the expectation that it will provide returns based on lead generation, conversions, and sales. At the end of the day, it is the revenue that matters. 

Here are some data points about the ROI of content-based marketing that will help you understand why content marketing works best: 

  • As compared to all the other digital marketing expenses, content marketing provides brands with a 6 times higher conversion rate
  • 74 per cent of the companies found improved leads through content marketing, both in terms of quality and quantity
  • By putting more efforts into content marketing, inbound marketers are more likely to double their traffic conversion from website

These content marketing statistics are derived from various studies sourced from HubSpot, Content Marketing Institute and ABG Essentials. But they all talk about the same thing. There is a direct link between returns to a company and content marketing, answering the question about why content marketing works so well. 

  1. The length of the blog matters

Another reason as to why content marketing works is that as per Orbit media, the average length of a blog is 1050 words. Blogs that are listicles and start with the ‘How to’ headline garner more attention as they are considered to be more practical and useful. 

Despite that, Curata states that lengthy blog posts that explore the topic in-depth and cover wider details generate more leads. Not just that, but lengthier blog posts also get more shares and comments, leading to more engagement on every medium, including Facebook, Pinterest, and Google. 

If you have been posting short blog posts with the idea that your audience will prefer reading short and quick blogs, it might be time to rethink that!

  1. Podcasts are trending

As of April 2020, there are more than 10,00,000 podcasts out there on different platforms and more than 30 million podcast episodes in total. From cooking to comedy and lifestyle to fitness, podcasts are making a mark in every field. 

The best part, according to consumers of podcasts is that they can consume this particular type of content on the go. Listening to podcasts allows listeners to multi-task i.e., complete house chores, go for a walk, drive to the office or cook while listening to the podcast. 

Podcasts are also popularly referred to as the storytelling tool of the 21st century. It is highly likely that podcasts will soon start to impact the search engine rankings of a brand, also mentioned by Google recently.

If you wish to establish an extremely personal, candid and deep enriching relationship with your audience (prospective customers), make sure you make your voice heard through podcasts!

  1. Content marketing vs Paid advertising

It is understandable that not every company or brand can focus on content marketing by itself. This is why many brands invest and outsource their content marketing requirements. 

If you are wondering whether to invest in content marketing or allocate that budget to paid advertising instead, here is an interesting observation. Whether it is about links, shares, or lead generation, it has been proven that content marketing has a better efficiency rate as compared to paid advertising. 

This is not to say that paid advertising is useless. Even if you outsource your content requirements, you can save up to 62 per cent as compared to the amount you pay for paid advertising. 

This is nothing but a simple rationale that explains why content marketing works. 

  1. Email engagement on a rise

Content marketing has seeped down to the channels of email marketing to increase brand engagement. Almost 290 billion emails are exchanged on a daily basis. By 2023, email users globally are expected to grow and reach 4.3 billion. 

The application of email marketing in the B2B sector has also been growing significantly. More than 90 per cent of B2B marketers use email marketing to reach out to clients and disseminate useful information. 

When it comes to B2C marketing, more than 95 per cent of consumers check their email on a daily basis as per Hubspot and amongst them, almost 59 per cent of them have admitted that their purchase decisions are influenced by the marketing emails they receive in their inboxes. 

If you think email marketing is only for older generations, think again! More than 70 per cent millennials have admitted that they prefer content emails from brands. Here is a comprehensive guide to email marketing for beginners.

  1. Custom Content

Studies have shown that 82 per cent of the consumers have reported a positive outlook towards a company after reading the custom content generated by the brand. Not just that, but they also feel closer and connected to the brand. 

Custom content is the content that brands create to communicate with their existing customers to build affinity and empathy. It is targeted to an already existing audience for a brand in most cases. 

If you are still wondering why content marketing works well with custom content even though it only targets existing customers, let us understand this with an example: 

Uber communicates with its existing customers through illustrations that promote safe transportation and users are often found sharing messages they received from the Uber application during or after their ride. 

It helps existing customers make the best use of the existing brand value and bridges the communication gap between them and the brand. It creates visibility among the social circles of the existing customers, thus indirectly reaching out to a broader audience. 

Without a doubt, it also generates loyalty, which is something that every brand seeks, not just in terms of multiple purchases but in terms of sticking with the brand at all times as well. 

  1. Shifts power and responsibility

A very wise Spiderman quote goes “With great power comes great responsibility”. 

We have all heard that one in different places. 

Well, guess what? It holds true in the case of content marketing as well. It provides a very different perspective on the question of why content marketing works.

Useful content not only enables informed and aware selling, but also increases the knowledge of the customers. Indirectly, it makes them feel more enriched and powerful in the said domain. 

It changes the projection of a brand as someone powerful with all the knowledge and resources and shifts this power in the hands of the audience. The audience starts to feel like they share the authority on the subject now. This power enables them to make more responsible decisions. 

For instance, a dietician video blogging about the health benefits of natural remedies makes the audience more aware of the benefits of healthy living and a more aware audience is more likely to take responsibility by contacting the dietician for further information and consultation. 

Same is the case with an art therapist making people more aware and informed about mental wellness through art. 

  1. Branded content vs content brand

Instead of focusing on sending out branded content, companies are focusing on becoming a content brand today. This means that they are not sending out advertisements disguised as content but instead are genuinely focusing on improving the quality of content that reaches their audience. 

Here is a great example of a company that has successfully become a content brand: 

Mailchimp, in addition to offering email marketing and web page/landing page designing services, also offers unlimited resources to promote marketing in general. Their content makes the readers feel like they actually care about the marketing of every brand associated with them. 

  1. Social media marketing

The amount of money marketers spent on advertising on social media has increased to $89 billion in the previous years. With the growing number of users that use social media channels like Instagram and YouTube on their smartphones, this number is likely to increase by 8 per cent every year. 

A brand can impact its identity to a great extent by focusing on the social media content that it puts out there on different channels. Brands are targeting viral content, addressing social issues, and building connections through social media. 

  1. The future is video

Videos increase the purchase intent of viewers by 144 per cent. The one thing that has been positively impacted by the worldwide pandemic is the video content channel, whose consumption has significantly gone up in the previous years. 

It would not be wrong to say that these days, people are watching more and reading less. All the time that users spend online, it is estimated that they spend more than 90 per cent of it watching videos. 

Should you invest in content and content marketing?

Of course. All the points discussed above point every brand in one direction. The direction of content leading the way to brand success and recognition. 

In fact, now that you know why content marketing works, this should not even be a choice. Content marketing isn’t a code that you can crack through trial and error. It is a process that gains depth through customer research and consistent experimentation. 

Break the walls, bridge the gap between your customers and your brand by investing in the right content marketing services today. The world around you is being shaped by content. Don’t miss out by not investing in content marketing on time, now that you know why content marketing works. 

What makes content work?

Now that we have understood a comprehensive view of ‘why content marketing works’, let us move on to what kind of content works best with the audience. You need five things in place to make sure your content works in the manner that you desire: 

  • Content that doesn’t sell: Don’t sell. Content that directly sells is no different than paid advertising and reduces in value for customers. 
  • Content that has an objective: Without a clear objective and strategy, the brand wouldn’t know what to make out of their content marketing strategy.
  • Content that is consistent: Brands have to churn out content that keeps up with the latest trends and viral topics to continue and stay relevant. Content is not a one time job, bringing into picture many professional content writing agencies and writers. 
  • Content that has quality: SEO writing has churned out some low-quality content that aims only at rankings. It may get you to the first page of Google search results, but unless it is high-quality, informative and valuable to the readers, it will not grow into what a brand may desire. 
  • Content that is relatable: Even for brands that are trying to introduce a new concept/idea/product/service, it is vital to building a common ground of relatability through content first. 

Conclusion

The verdict is out on how and why content marketing works. It is not just us saying that, but also data, research, trends and consumer patterns. Content marketing doesn’t just sell products, but also information and engagement. In addition to being educative, it also carries an entertainment appeal and builds a personal connection with the audience. Whether it is fast, snackable content, or evergreen content meals, content marketing is the way ahead for every successful business. 

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Pooja Bhargava

Head of Operations at italics
Pooja is the head of operations at italics, a content marketing agency based in India. She manages content development and marketing for clients belonging to a wide range of industries. She is more than 8 years of experience in SEO content writing, copywriting, thought leadership and article writing. She is also a certified psychologist and an expert in analysing consumer behaviour to generate winning content

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