It’s a growing field. But many think of content as a field with a need for extensive resources that can’t fit into the plan of a lean startup or small business. While Google and Facebook have made content marketing fashionable, we do see a lot of people wondering if it is really worth the time. Does content marketing actually work? If you had just two seconds, the answer is a resounding YES! If you’re wondering, what the caveat is, we have a question- are you comparing apples to apples? It’s time to take stock of why content marketing works and how does it compare to traditional marketing.
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Does Content Marketing Actually Work? Yes and Here’s Why!
1. Inbound marketing Is in fact MUCH cheaper
Many marketers start thinking content will lead to unending resource consumption. But the fact is it’s actually cheaper. Content marketing is basically inbound marketing which is the polar opposite of traditional marketing. So, it is obvious that traditional marketers get a bit jittery about it. In a usual scenario you reach out to the customers and try to sell the item. With content marketing, you ensure the customer finds you and reaches out to you. It is a very subtle process that requires skills and a strong strategy. Before you ask, Hubspot’s state of inbound marketing, 2014 shows that the cost per lead scored through inbound efforts is two to three times lesser that of traditional outbound techniques.
[Tweet “Companies are 3x as likely to see higher ROI on inbound marketing than on outbound via @hubspot”]
Such leads may come from the authority blog posts or helpful forum discussions that establish you as an expert.
2. Content Marketing Helps Build Relationships
Content marketing helps in building long lasting relationships. When people read your content and interact with you through comments and social media, you build a bond with them. As a result, they develop a relationship with you. Even in the future, when they need the same service, they do remember you. This cannot be said about direct promotions. Even if the adverts are creative and well-made, consumers know that they are just adverts. These are less likely to help form a personal bond being so mass in their approach.
3. Content Marketing is a Long Term Game
You may not see immediate results like an advert featuring a celebrity. But what you should note is that the shelf life of that advert is also not very long and that they are very expensive. On the other hand if you build quality content for months, the value only just increases with time. You advert will not get you anything unless you pay some publication or the TV channels to play it repeatedly over a period of time. The ad stops the moment you stop paying. But even your old content will remain on the internet and keep introducing you to newer audiences in the coming years. You may even forget that you had written some blog post five years ago but if that was a good ‘evergreen‘ post it will still be getting regular readers and sending some of them to your other resources.
Before you dismiss content marketing, think about costs and returns on a comparable basis. Don’t just look at the speed of getting results but also longevity and lifetime investments. The results at times may not be immediately quantifiable but they are more likely to succeed and more importantly they serve you for a much longer duration at fraction of the cost. It’s time to get over your inhibitions and embrace content marketing because it really is the future of internet marketing. I’ll leave you with a quote that’s really been inspiring me personally:
[Tweet “Marketing was about making a myth & telling it. Now it’s telling a truth & sharing it.”]
(Original quote) Marketing used to be about making a myth and telling it. Now it’s about telling a trust and sharing it.~ Marc Mathieu, Global SVP Marketing, Unilever
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