10 Reasons to Use Content Marketing in 2016
Content marketing is the lifeblood of most online businesses, and should be at the heart of online promotional activities whether you’re a small business or a large international brand.
There are many good reasons for using content marketing and in a moment we’re going to explore ten of these reasons. But first let’s take a look at what kind things fall under the remit of content marketing:
- Blog posts and guest blog posts
- Online articles
- Social posts
- How to Guides
- Visual and multimedia content
- Case studies
The purpose of content marketing is to generate interest in your brand, increase its exposure and portray it in the best possible light. Or, from another perspective, “content is anything that adds value to the reader’s life,” to quote Google’s Avinash Kaushik.
So if that is its purpose, why should you be doing it next year?
You can use content to build a picture of your brand
When people first encounter your brand, they have no opinion of it, and no reason to stick around. By creating a body of useful, high quality content which projects your brand story, you can really flesh out the online image of your business and give people a reason to choose you over your competitors.
Well-informed content will build trust
If you start 2016 with a solid content marketing campaign then by the end of the year you should have built up a significant amount of trust and credibility for your brand.
Simply put, if you only use ads and relatively thin content to promote your brand online, it will lack depth and will not interest consumers. On the other hand, if you give them useful information that they are actively seeking – and do so in a consistent and compelling tone of voice – they will come to trust your brand and actively seek you out.
Content marketing will enable you to win ‘micro-moments’
If you’ve not heard of micro-moments yet then consider yourself excused as they’re super new. They’re also something you need to become familiar with. According to Google, micro-moments are, “Want to know moments. Want to go moments. Want to do moments. Want-to-buy moments. They’re all micro-moments, and they’re the new battleground for brands.”
The proliferation of smartphones means that consumer behaviour is quickly changing. People are asking search engines questions the moment they have a thought about something they need to buy, a place they’d like to visit or a service their curious about.
Google says that 62% of smartphone users say they are more likely to take immediate action towards solving an unexpected problem or new task because they have a smartphone.
Content marketing enables you to pre-emptively answer those questions and position your brand as the solution that they’re looking for.
Ads are becoming less effective
With the growing popularity and use of ad-blockers to consumers, coupled with the large amount of advertising on the web, online display advertising is becoming less effective.
In fact, a recent blog at hubspot revealed that average click-through rates are just 0.06%. Ad blocking meanwhile grew by 41% globally over the past year. As of 2015 there were an estimated 198 million users actively blocking ads. 33% of web users found display ads ‘completely intolerable’.
In light of these statistics, rather than pumping money into ineffective advertising, it makes more sense to invest in content marketing, which will provide users with extra value and foster a positive perception of your brand.
Statistics suggest that branded content is more effective than magazine advertising
According to BitQuirky, 72% of marketers think that branded content is more effective than magazine advertisements. Again, this comes down to what provides value to customer – while an advert says ‘look at me, look what I have to sell’, content marketing says ‘look at what value I can offer you’.
Content marketing will help you build brand awareness in 2016
A 2015 survey by Wyzowl found that 73% of marketers believe that content marketing creates improved brand awareness. It does this by providing content that people actually want to look at, content which is more likely to be read, shared and acted upon than upfront advertising and promotional materials.
If you create high-quality useful content, people will want to share it because of the information it contains, and your brand will be the frame that holds that content and travels with it.
Content shows that you have something to say
In any given niche there are at least dozens – if not hundreds – of companies competing for the same customers as you. Mark yours out as different by expressing what makes your brand special via content such as blogs and social posts.
Facebook is rolling out Instant Articles…
Earlier this year, social media giant Facebook launched a new way for content publishers to reach web users accessing the social network through an iPhone. ‘Instant Articles’ represents a new integration of article-length content into Facebook. Interactive articles with text and video can be created from within Facebook, and most importantly, they’ll load instantaneously from within the app without lengthy loading times.
This content integration makes it easier for you to reach out to potential customers via social media, in an arena where it can also be shared with others at the click of a button. According to Facebook, beta testing is currently underway for Android phones, so Instant Articles look like they could become a powerful way of connecting with consumers in 2016.
… and so is Google
Never one to miss out on what its competitors are doing for long, Google is also getting on board with the idea of decreasing article-load times on smartphones, and is set to launch a similar service within its search platform next year.
The Accelerated Mobile Pages Project already has interest from ‘thousands of publishers’ and will see article-load times decreased through the use of lightweight webpages. All signs currently suggest that such pages will carry the same weight as standard pages.
This and other developments signal the fact that people are consuming ever-increasing amounts of content via their mobile devices, and businesses that are aware of this can capitalise in the year ahead and beyond.
Informative, high quality content is good for SEO
The final word also goes to Google because let’s face it, it’s the biggest search engine on the planet and you should care a lot about what it thinks.
While Google is famously secretive about the inner workings of its search algorithms for obvious reasons, you can usually work out what it favours based on the advice it gives to webmasters at large.
In that vein, the most current advice on its Webmaster support pages should be quite illuminating:
“The key to creating a great website is to create the best possible experience for your audience with original and high quality content… Make sure your site is useful and informative… more valuable and useful than other sites… credible… high quality and engaging… Remember, it’s about creating high quality content and providing a good experience for your audience.”
If you require any advice or assistance with any aspect of your content marketing as you get ready for the year ahead, don’t hesitate to get in touch with C4B Media on 01763 877110.