The role of content marketing in 2016

If you’ve tuned in to any sort of marketing publication over recent years you may have heard the term content marketing branded around. Years ago, this didn’t exist yet now it’s safe to say that this is one of the core tactics of any successful marketing plan.

You only have to look at Jonathan Disegi and some of the campaigns he has devised to see how content marketing is growing. Some have suggested that it’s now one of the most important elements of marketing and can paint a business in a whole new light.

How content marketing portrays businesses differently

For years we have been used to marketing strategies that have focused on the hard sell. In other words, companies haven’t held back with their marketing – their aim is to sell a product to a consumer, there’s no disguise whatsoever.

Content marketing differs enormously. While it’s certainly not deceptive, the aim isn’t to immediately push a product straight in the face of a consumer.

Instead, it’s all about building long-term relationships that will hopefully result in a sale later down the line. Companies are now more bothered about showing what they know to the consumer and highlighting that they are experts in their field.

To do the above, they’ll focus on all sorts of content that will initially draw the consumer in at the top of the sales funnel. If a company can help someone determine exactly what type of product they want, the philosophy is that the same consumer is more likely to stick with the brand and trust them to buy the product when they get to that stage.

The search engine benefits

We’ve already spoken a lot about consumers finding a brand during the research stage of the buying process – and this is where search engines come into the equation.

Content marketing is the holy grail of search engines. Without it, the chances of ranking highly for competitive search terms are slim to say the least. This useful content will be rewarded highly in the likes of Google – for the simple reason that they favor high-quality guides, which also happen to generate backlinks (a core part of their algorithm).

If we hone in on the backlink factor again, attempting to get other websites to link to a brand new product is difficult and most of the time will require some degree of ad spend. Obtaining backlinks for useful content on the other hand is much easier and will give you that same push up the search engines.

Considering that search engines provide free traffic for potentially hundreds of thousands of visitors per month depending on your industry, all should now becoming clear on the importance of this form of marketing.

Content marketing matters to your customers

Let’s conclude with a quick summary on content marketing and just why this is crucial to your customers.

Consumer views have moved on immensely over the last decade or so. Information is now crucial and if a company can provide this, they are going to be seen as a much better prospect by their customers. If, on the other hand, they are merely slapping the hard-sell in front of them on every occasion, it’s much more likely to result in the loss of a sale.

That’s why content marketing matters.

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