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8 Ways Content Marketing Can Deliver Real Results

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By now you probably know what content marketing is. If not, here’s the short version: content marketing is a marketing strategy focused on creating and distributing valuable content to potential and existing customers. It can include everything from blog posts to videos, whitepapers to webinars; and can be distributed via email, published on a website, uploaded to a content management system, or posted on social media platforms.

Now that you know what content marketing is, the big question is: Why use it? You’re already using marketing to promote your business and attract customers. Why add content marketing to the mix?

If you can’t come up with a response, you’re not alone. Many businesses have launched content marketing campaigns without a clear answer to this question. They might have started content marketing because it was the latest trend, because everyone else was doing it or because they didn’t want to be left behind.

Those are not good reasons.

Let’s look at the real reasons you should incorporate content into your marketing strategy, and the results you’ll see if you do.

1. Content brings traffic to your site. Valuable content updated regularly can increase site traffic exponentially. According to content marketer Kapost, website traffic for companies that use content marketing is 7.8 times higher, and customer engagement, as measured by return visits to the site, increased 133% for companies after they started content marketing.

2. Content will generate leads. Not only do companies with active blogs (the most popular form of content marketing) get more leads, those leads cost less. According to a report by HubSpot, the average cost of an inbound lead is roughly one-third the cost of an outbound lead.

3. Content will increase sales. According to the Custom Content Council, 61% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company that delivers custom content. And according to Aberdeen Group, website conversion rates are nearly six times higher for sites that use content marketing than for those that don’t.

4. Content will make people feel better about your brand. According to TMG Custom Media, 78% of consumers believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships. And 64% of people say customer experience is more important than price in their choice of a brand (Gartner Group).

5. Content will boost your social media presence. Interesting content is one of the top 5 reasons people follow brands on social media. And if you have good content on social platforms, it’s going to get shared. In its most recent content-sharing study, Neilson and AOL found that 27 million pieces of content are shared every day, and that was in 2011.

6. Content helps with SEO. Google wants good content to rank well, and increasingly knows how to identify good content as opposed to pages that are stuffed with keywords but offer no real value to users. Google rewards your site for long clicks (when someone clicks through a search result and stays on the site for a significant amount of time, say, to read a blog post), as well as content that is original and recently updated.

7. Content can save you money. Good content marketing costs money, but content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing, and produces three times more leads per dollar. A HubSpot report found that marketers who emphasize blogging are 13 times more likely to have increased ROI year over year.

8. Content's value is cumulative. A traditional marketing or ad campaign loses its effectiveness as soon as it ends. Content marketing is about building long-term relationships with your customers. That means your content marketing efforts compound over time, forging real connections and creating more opportunities for sales.