Content marketing offers three hard to beat benefits over advertising and other marketing techniques: shelf life, web traffic, and stature building. We share three examples of how our clients are maximizing the content development ROI.
A lot of companies and professionals think content marketing is too expensive and hard to track for returns. Instead of creating web pages, blogs, articles, emails, fact sheets, case studies, etc. that present in words and images their unique or high-quality offerings, they buy advertising and booth space, trust referrals will keep coming, or spend time and money on membership organizations. These are all legit, but they no longer out pace content marketing, in most cases, when measured against the three benefits listed.
If you offer a unique product or service, investing in content marketing is a great method for growing business for overall less cost than most other forms of marketing for three key reasons.
Reason #1 – Long Shelf Life
Jay Baer nails the number one reason – “content marketing continues to pay dividends forever.”
Once you create a template, do the research, and take the time to write and design something and put it out digitally, it lasts forever. This is why parents warn their kids about what they post online. It can work both for good and bad. If you are marketing your business, it’s good. You can always update pieces, which creates another opportunity to connect with your audience.
A consultant wrote articles for an online news source for years. They shifted focus and stopped writing. However, the well-written and researched content comes up on the front page of every search for that person’s name associated with the reputable news source. It’s been six years, and they still get contacts through searches for topics written about as well as a positive result for those people “checking” them out online.
Reason #2 – Web Traffic
With very little effort, your content generates free web traffic. Think of every piece of content as at least a 3-in-1 proposition. Every case study, white paper, or article posts to your website, trade association magazine, LinkedIn, or Google +. You can Tweet off it. It’s the basis for a new landing page on your website. Make it the meat in your next email campaign.
Organic boosting of your website and company name through postings to social media channels, your own site, and other sites is invaluable. Unless your face or brand name alone drives sales, static advertising and sponsorships will not ensure your business continues to remain strong or grow.
A high-tech manufacturer and servicer of industrial computers offers hundreds of products with new lines and specials becoming available monthly. For every new product or promotion, the project manager writes up a rough description of the value propositions and other relevant details.
With that simple WORD document we apply writing, graphic design, and digital marketing skills to produce at least three web traffic boosting products: 1) white paper or case study, 2) email campaign, 3) website landing page.
Elements of each product can also serve as LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media postings.
The white paper or case study also contributes to the “body of work” and stature building for the company.
Reason #3 – Stature Building
Everything you create and disseminate that provides helpful, expert, educational information, i.e. valuable versus salsey, builds your stature. Smart people write articles, case studies, and white papers diligently each month for a year or so and then convert them to an E-Book. We use a simple, yet very cool, software called Flipbook. You then add author to your bio and post the book to your website as a free download for the cost of an email. If you are really smart, you put it on Amazon for a nominal charge.
A health care practice is investing in case studies accompanied by short videos to position themselves not only as a leader in their regional market but nationally as a strong voice for evolving health care policy. They identify their successes and then ask others to speak to how the company impacted their lives positively. Woven into the story are their own perspectives on the future of their industry.
There’s no more powerful way to market your company than through the glowing reviews of others. With the content development approach, a company can take those reviews and format them into products that never go stale and post into multiple venues from trade journals to YouTube.
Content Marketing Pays Long Term Dividends
- Contributes toward positioning you as a serious company/professional in a world full of voices
- Builds up your website juice, aka SEO (how those web crawlers find things)
- Provides something tangible to share with an existing or potential client (digital or print)