Today, most companies employ some level of content marketing into their overall marketing strategy. More specifically, creating, publishing, and distributing content has become the norm – something that most companies do, and most customers expect.
However, there is a lot more to content marketing than just creating a blog post and sharing it on social media. Here are content types most often associated with content marketing:
- Blogs / Articles
- How-to guides
- Case studies
- Infographics & photos
At this point you may be thinking, this is a lot of work, and it is. There is no doubt that creating quality content is very time consuming, but the benefits can be profound.
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Content Marketing Benefits
Many successful founders and entrepreneurs attribute content marketing to their early success, so what makes content marketing so valuable?
We all know that competing with large, established companies is difficult because of their brand name and large marketing budgets. However, content marketing is a great equalizer. Irrespective of how new or small your business is, if you produce useful and engaging content, you will attract an audience. It may take a little while, but great content marketing will separate you from the crowd.
Another important benefit of content marketing is the low barrier for entry – all you need is a computer and a simple website to put content marketing into action.
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Other Content Marketing Benefits:
- Lasting value (compared to temporary campaigns such as Ads)
- Promotes and demonstrates thought leadership
- Knowledge sharing encourages collaboration and strengthens partnerships
- Inexpensive to start
- Enhanced brand awareness
- Builds trust and brand loyalty
With all these benefits, it is no surprise that many companies use content marketing as a vital ingredient of their growth strategy.
Content Marketing Challenges
Content Marking is not perfect, so it’s important to point out some challenges. If you scratch below the surface, most successful content marketing strategies are complicated and time-consuming. In other words, it takes a lot of planning, labor, time, and a few missteps along the way to get it right.
Let’s address a big misstep that many companies make. The type of content your audience desires is not always obvious, so you must have a deep understanding of your customer’s wants, needs, and pain points. Without it, you can’t produce the content they will find valuable and engaging.
Another challenge is calculating content marketing’s value/contribution to each sale. For example, providing valuable information to consumers may lead to a direct sale, but it often doesn’t. Therefore, content marketing will usually plant a seed (for a future purchase) but not push the deal (or sale) over the line.
Other Content Marketing Challenges:
- Writing quality content takes time
- You may not see tangible results right away. It often takes months (not weeks)
- Scaling content marketing is difficult because it usually means hiring more people
- Saturation (There is no shortage of content on the internet. How is your content different?)
- Pay-to-Play trend
Related: Pay-to-Play Trend in Social Media (Is it a bad thing?)
To realize the benefits of content marketing, you need to make content marketing a priority for your business. There are no shortcuts; to be successful, you need to put in the work.
Nevertheless, the upside of content marketing can be huge because it has the potential to transform your lead generation efforts, and draw a great deal of attention to your business for years to come.
Related: Content Marketing – should you focus on Quality or Quantity?