The “Why” of Content Marketing: Looking at Long-Term Gains

More Than Just Increased Traffic & Brand Recognition

If you’ve done any amount of digging into the best digital tactics (which I’ll assume you have, given that you’re reading a blog dedicated to the topic), you’ve no doubt come across the term content marketing enough times to make it lose meaning.

You get it: content is important, content is essential, content is king.

 

  • It gives your brand a boost in expertise, authority & trust
  • It can naturally lead users to your social channels or website, pushing higher levels of qualified traffic
  • It’s a great sales tool when trying to attract new clients

 

But let’s dig beneath the surface and talk about the longer-term gains that a good content strategy can help you realize.

Attention & Retention

Increased levels of brand trust and website traffic are usually a cause for celebration, but on the whole, they’re surface-level metrics.

For one thing, some of that increased trust and brand perception could be coming from people who aren’t your customers, but simply patrons of the web who found your content interesting and worth a share.

That’s not a bad thing – customer or not, organic shares of your branded content are always welcome – even if these folks don’t have any intention of doing business with you today.

Likewise, it’s a safe bet that not all of the traffic your content attracts to your site is a) qualified to convert or b) guaranteed to convert on the spot, if at all.

However, if we focus on the segment of users that find your content, enjoy it, and fit the criteria of a customer, that’s where we can dive a little deeper into the true benefits of King Content: increased retention and loyalty.

Quality Content for Long-Term Gains

Put yourself in the shoes of a customer. No need to get specific with examples, just paint a mental picture of the average patron in your industry.

Step 1: The Discovery

Whether it’s through a web search, scrolling through social feeds, or referral from a friend, you come across a funny, interesting, educational, or otherwise engaging piece of content that’s related to a subject in which you have an interest, be it personal or professional.

You’ve never heard of the brand that’s behind it, but it’s obviously of interest to you, so you take the time to engage.

Step 2: The Takeaway

It’s good. Really good. Maybe you laughed, maybe you learned, maybe you left with a new perspective on the topic, but whatever the outcome, the bottom line was this content was not a waste of your time.

You share it with a few friends or colleagues, confident it won’t be a waste of theirs, either.

Step 3: The Research

So, already feeling a generous amount of trust towards the folks who put this piece together, you check out the business and brand behind the idea.

You browse their site, read other content they’ve created, find out more about what they do, read some testimonials and get a real feel for who they are.

Step 4: The Beginnings of Loyalty

Thinking you’ll definitely be interested in digesting any future pieces they develop, you even hop on your most-used social channels, find their profiles, and start to follow them.

Maybe you don’t become a lead or make a purchase that day, but you come back, engage with more of their content, continue to share it with like-minded friends or colleagues, and start to develop a sense of loyalty towards the brand.

Step 5: The Planted Seeds

Now, when you have a need that this business can meet, you’ve already got them on your radar as an authoritative source on a subject you care about.

The fact is, the wheels were in motion from the moment you decided their content was worth your time.

You don’t need to scour the web for solutions: you’ve been following one on social for a month.

They’ve earned your trust, and now your business.

Today’s Content Could Lead to Tomorrow’s Conversions

Okay, I don’t literally mean tomorrow, but based on the example above, you can understand how quality content can start users down a path of loyalty that ultimately leads to their transformation into a fresh customer.

It’s also extremely powerful in creating brand ambassadors who share your content with other potential clients and customers.  

So when you think content marketing, think long-term gains. Think of the value that users will get out of reading, viewing or watching what you’ve developed, and whether or not they’re likely to share it with folks that fit your customer base.

Focus on ensuring they’re able to associate your brand with engaging content that does not waste their time.

Give your audience a reason to stay engaged with your brand online and reap the benefits of building long-term, loyal clients and ambassadors that promote your brand for you.

And that’s why content is King.

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