Do you know why Michelin stars are distributed to fancy restaurants and what they have to do with the tire brand of the same name? This is not a coincidence, but an example of very good content marketing.
Yes, tire manufacturer In 1900 Michelin began publishing a small red book called ‘Restaurants and Hotels’, which was intended to increase the demand for cars and, at the same time, to increase the demand for tires. The book was distributed free of charge and included information useful to motorists, such as maps, instructions on car repair, tire replacement, and a list of service stations, restaurants and hotels across the United States.
The Red Book soon became a concept and the stars given to the restaurants play a significant role today.
Content marketing is therefore nothing new, but let’s go through why it is more efficient today than ever before.
A model example of content marketing where your company’s marketing can no longer be turned off
To fully understand the power of content marketing, I will give you an example of successful content marketing. The company of the example is us.
Every month, our site attracts a five-figure number of visitors completely organically from Google. So, it is completely free. What makes this great is that we will not be able to turn off our marketing unless we shut down our site or Google shuts down. That is the biggest difference between paid advertising and content marketing. Paid advertising allows visitors to be brought to the page when they pay for it. If you stop campaigning, there will be no visitors. So, advertising is nowhere near scaling like content marketing.
Paid advertising and content marketing can be compared as follows. Paid advertising is a snare and content marketing is online fishing. If you want to get fish at the dinner table today, you should snack. It requires you to do something actively, and you cannot catch the fish if the snare is not in your hand. With content marketing, you lower the net (or even hundreds of nets) into the waters and only catch the fish later. With the snare, you can never scale your fishing in the same way you lower hundreds of nets into the water.
Of course, keep in mind that paid advertising, for example on Facebook, is an overwhelming way to create a new need for your customers, which is difficult to do with content marketing alone. Thus, channels and modes of operation are never mutually exclusive, but mutually supportive. However, content marketing can be considered the backbone of everything, because paid advertising always redirects to some content.
How can a company reach a position where its marketing can no longer be turned off?
The answer is simply strategic and goal-oriented content marketing. For us, it means that we have published two blog posts a week for five years. Now there are more than 500 blog posts. However, with traffic alone, nothing is done yet, and visitors need to be refined into leads. You can read in this blog post about how we use marketing automation to support content marketing to translate a lot of ready-to-buy leads from our large number of visitors.
Content marketing cannot be turned off, which makes it the most powerful form of marketing.
In content marketing, the most important thing is to start it. Of course, it is also important to create buyer personas a good content strategy and defined marketing content objectives. But the very number one position is to do it yourself. When you start now, in a year’s time there will easily be 50 more blogs on your site. Still, not just anyone can produce content marketing because the quality of the text plays a critical role in the functionality of content marketing. Each sentence should convince the reader that they should continue reading. If this does not happen, the text will be wasted in practice.
The following figure shows how to start outlining the text input angle. The purchase decision of the buyers on the left is guided by different drivers. At its simplest, one wants to save money, another wants time, and a third wants ease. In reality, drivers are much more concrete, which is why it is worth digging them out through customer interviews.
Why does content marketing work?
Change in the purchasing process
Let’s start with how the purchasing process has changed and how it has contributed to increasing the effectiveness of content marketing. Before the internet and search engines, a customer did not have very many ways to get information about the product they wanted. The seller of the product was often the only one who could tell more about the product.
With search engines, the situation has changed. Information about products, services and problems can be easily and quickly found. This has led to a trend where people are looking for information before they even contact the seller. They “Google” their problem or the names of the products they are looking for and quickly find a great deal of information on the topic they want.
This has changed the buying behavior dramatically. According to research, even in B2B marketing, the share of marketing has largely taken over the share of sales, with up to 70-80 percent of consumers looking for information about products online before even contacting the seller.
Another factor that increases the effectiveness and timeliness of content marketing is the so-called “ad fatigue”. We see so many marketing messages every day that we have subconsciously learned to block them. So we do not notice the ads. Depending on the method of calculation, we are exposed to about 5,000 ads every day. So the competition for people’s attention is fierce.
That is why companies have moved from large-scale outbound marketing to inbound marketing.
The number of marketing channels and the advertising shown in them has exploded. For example, when you log in to Facebook, every moment about 1.500 updates compete to appear in your news feed.
In content marketing, you do not interrupt people the same way as in traditional marketing, but instead you help them, and you are found when the information is sought.
Content marketing scales drastically when a lot of quality content is created for your site according to your content strategy. Individual content is like small vendors or customer service representatives answering your customers’ questions no matter the time of day. When these small vendors and customer service representatives are in place, you will start getting more and more visitors to your site as well as constantly modifying them into more ready-to-buy leads.
How does content marketing work?
Bring your content to the right people
Social media has come to stay and almost everyone uses it in some form on a daily basis. When you produce good content, test and find out where your dream customers are spending their time and make sure they see your content. This is called content promotion and is a very effective way to get more readers to your content.
Get found when they are looking for you
Another important part of content marketing is Search Engine Optimization. If your site is not effectively found on Google, the effectiveness of your content marketing campaign will be diluted. Thus, make sure your site is in the throes of search engine optimization so that content created to help your customers is found in high search results.
Carelessly implemented SEO is the most common reason why many content marketing campaigns fail. If you do not consider search engines in your content, you will lose very valuable organic search engine traffic. When people search for information and products on Google, they are closer to making a purchase decision than when they see an ad on TV, for example. So Google brings very valuable traffic to your pages.
Keep your marketing up-to-date
If your content only talks about your business and praises how great your products are, you can be sure that your customers will not be interested in you. If, on the other hand, you produce really useful information in many different formats (video, text, images, podcasts) and solve your customers’ everyday problems, you can be sure that you will be remembered. And when the time comes to buy, you are at least one of the options considered.
Content marketing is a long-term job that requires a strategy and a content calendar. You also need to know your customers really accurately.
- What problems keep them awake at night?
- What motivates them?
- How can you help them?
Effective content marketing requires perseverance and consistently excellent content creation. The results do not come immediately. In many cases, the work does not begin to bear fruit until months later. When the work is done carefully, good content marketing will steadily increase your results for a long time.
If you are more interested in the topic, I recommend reading Marcus Sheridan’s – The Saleslion blog and his free e-book on the topic. Marcus has a great way to describe content marketing in easy-to-understand terms.
If you have any questions about content marketing and how it could help your business, please contact us or comment on the article.