There’s a reason content marketing is taking over the business world. Many of the leading marketing experts are saying that you should add it to your arsenal.
But is this true? Should everyone do content marketing, including you? Is it really that powerful? Read on to find out the truth about content marketing.
Why you should do content marketing
1) It helps create an emotional connection with the audience
Well done content marketing can connect you with your audience on an emotional and personal level. It creates a bond between the reader and the writer; Or in your case, between your customers and your brand. This emotional connection makes them want to keep coming back for more.
2) It creates a bond between fans
People usually bond over a certain common topic. So, your goal would be to make your content that topic. This will make your audience loyal to your brand.
3) Your content can go viral and give you tons of free publicity
Unless you have the advertising budget of Coca Cola, your ads will never get talked about. But producing viral content is within the reach of most every small and medium-sized business. People share and like things that are interesting and valuable. They like to pass around information, ideas, and cool stuff.
4) Your content can make you an authority in your field
If your content is constantly helpful and informative, customers will associate it with your brand. You can solve a problem that your customer has without even charging them for it. Just offer the solution in the form of free content. In return, the customer gets the impression that you know your stuff and is infinitely more likely to purchase products and services from you in the future.
Just remember that the audience likes to read important things that are true and reliable. So, thorough research is what your writer must do before writing the content.
Why you shouldn’t do content marketing
1) It requires a lot of hard work
When you read a well-crafted content marketing piece, it seems effortless. It just flows naturally, gets you to respect the author and answers some of your questions. But just because it’s easy to consume, do not assume it’s also easy to produce. It requires a lot of time, effort, and skill.
2) It takes a while before it starts working
When you place ads on Facebook or Google, you get instantaneous feedback. This isn’t the case with content marketing. You have to be willing to invest a lot of time and build up a content portfolio. Over the long run, it has the highest ROI of any type of marketing. In the short-term, however, it may seem like “it’s doing nothing”.
3) It’s not cheap and requires an upfront investment
Content marketing requires a lot of money to get rolling. In order to make it work, you need to hire skilled employees that can manage it. You’ll need prime writers, a team of researchers, SEO experts and more.
4) Some of your team members might fight it
Unfortunately, a lot of people are stuck in the last century. Consequentially, when they think about marketing, they think direct advertising. Some of the people on your team might resist the modern forms of marketing. A lot of them won’t be able to get relationship-driven marketing. Many of them are stuck in an outdated mindset.
It’s up to you to decide if it’s worth changing their minds. Though, if you hire an external marketing consultant, they might be more willing to listen.
Relationship-driven marketing is taking over
Direct marketing has always been very impersonal and alienating
Nowadays, direct marketing is considered downright annoying. Your customers and potential customers are sick and tired of ads. They are getting bombarded with direct advertising literally thousands of times, every single day.
Today’s human has even come to develop “ad-blindness”. This is where they completely tune out any and all forms of advertising. This is why billboard ads and TV commercials keep getting crazier and ever more attention seeking. Therefore, you have to come up with a clever poster or ad in order to attract attention at all.
Indirect marketing makes you trustworthy
The most traditional type of indirect marketing is word of mouth. Just imagine that one of your customers is a raving fan and keeps recommending your product to their friends. If you offered them an incentive to do this, then you are engaging in a form of indirect marketing.
But indirect marketing comes in many other forms. All of them have in common that they involve some form of trust or relationship. A pedestrian has no relationship to the billboard advertising a product, nor do they trust a random banner selling a service.
Let’s say, however, that they trust a certain expert on TV. This expert gives lots of good advice and information. And then, this expert recommends a service. Well, they trust this expert, so they’re quite likely to consider the service.
Indirect marketing includes native advertising, search marketing, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, email (drip) marketing and referral marketing. All of them involve giving value to a potential customer upfront – long before you pitch a product.
And that’s where content marketing does an amazing job – if you do it right. It might just be the type of indirect marketing you need to work on right now. Provide the right content, and people will develop trust in your brand. Selling your products becomes quite easy once you have a relationship. The same holds true with something like social media marketing.
But how do you decide if you should start working on content marketing or one of these other forms of indirect marketing? Deciding is easy if you have someone to ask. So feel free to ask our team at DemandZEN. We can provide help in deciding your indirect marketing strategy.
What about Content marketing vs. pay-per-click?
If you provide quality content that people find useful, they will read it. The problem is that this is a skill that takes a lot of time to develop. Initially, you invest quite a bit in developing a craft with nothing to show for it. Sure, you will see a huge return in the future, but what about right now?
This is why paid advertising is still very popular. If you look at the return-on-investment as the only comparison factor, PPC is not a “clear winner”. Strategies based on indirect advertising bring much bigger returns per-dollar-invested. However, that’s only in the long-term.
Most businesses need sales today (not 2 years from now). This is where paid advertising comes in. The return is not as large, but the feedback is immediate. Even if you make a tiny profit when you sell products using paid ads, it’s still profit you’ve made today.
All of this is especially true with PPC advertising. But there’s a catch. It is precisely this immediacy and instant gratification that leads people astray. They forget to also invest in long-term strategies.
Ideally, you want a mix of both. And DemandZEN can help you come up with the right strategy. We can help you with each individual type of marketing. But we can also help you come up with an overall strategy and the correct combination.
You can count on our help to figure out the right combination of direct and indirect advertising. But also the right combination of short-term and long-term strategies. Feel free to contact us for help today.
Don’t worry, relax
Dealing with content marketing can be quite complex. There are probably a million questions in your head right now, but you don’t have to worry about it all. Remember, it is a long-term strategy that you will develop over time. And if you need help with content marketing, DemandZEN can always help, just ask.
Content marketing is not the only thing that becomes easier with our help. Get in touch with DemandZEN to improve your overall marketing and get the results you deserve. We will help you clear up the overwhelming confusion in your head and lead you down the right path. You can be sure your marketing strategy will bring improved results if you let our marketing experts help you.