Why content is important in digital marketing
Why content is important in digital marketing
When it comes to digital marketing, few things are more important than content. With changes in the way that Google and other search engines rank your domain, content is the leading method of gaining traction in the online marketplace. Businesses that do not generate blogs, articles, podcasts, videos and infographics put themselves at a significant disadvantage.
The reason that content is so crucial for digital marketing all comes back to the needs of users. Google doesn't say that businesses need to create content because that's what it wants as a company; it's because that's what customers want. Search engines only direct their customers to content-rich sites because their analysis tells them that this is what its users want. As far as the search giants are concerned, it's just providing the best service possible for customers.
Let's imagine for a moment that the situation was different. Suppose, for instance, that the thing that people valued was “SEO content” where content creators spammed the same keywords over and over again on a web page. If that were what was valuable, Google and other search engines would forward users to those pages, and ignore all of the informative blogs and videos on the internet. Cut-and-paste jobs would be the most powerful way to boost your rank in search results.
Of course, as this example shows, that would be absurd. There's no value in keyword stuffing, and search engines know this. They want to forward people to genuine, original, and authoritative content which adds value. That's what their users like the most, and that's what these search engines try to give them.
It's not all about SEO, though. For businesses, content marketing is vital for other reasons too. Let's take a look at how and why.
Reason #1: It Establishes you as an authority
A nice byproduct of content marketing for SEO is that it helps to establish you as an authority in the marketplace. Customers know that if they have a question related to your industry or product, they can come to you for an answer. You become a kind of unofficial library of information that people can rifle through and get competent answers.
Becoming an authority comes with all kinds of benefits. The first is the fact that companies with perceived expertise have better brands. If people know that you're the expert in a particular matter, then they're much more likely to pay more to use your products or services. You can start charging a premium.
The second reason is SEO-related. Brands that build authoritative content are more likely to receive inbound links from other trustworthy sites. Large news organisations or popular blogs may link to you as a reference for their readers, especially if you provide original information. The more information that your site contains, the better off you'll be.
Reason #2: You can share content on social media
While SEO is vital to help you rank better in search, the centre of gravity on the internet is shifting towards social media. Many of your customers experience the internet almost entirely through social media platforms. Search is no longer a feature of their web experience.
Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Tumblr all allow you to post your content in one way or another.
• LinkedIn enables you to post entire articles and suggest your content to other users of the platform
• Instagram allows you to upload a series of photos and tag them with people or branded hashtags, linking to your product page
• Snapchat lets you display “snackable” short-form content with your users
• Pinterest is another form of visual marketing which works similarly to Instagram. The platform allows you to use your images as product showcases with links so customers can make purchases
By advertising on a wide variety of social media channels, you can boost traffic to your website via alternative means. The better your engagement on social media, the higher your traffic will be, independent of any effect that your content has on SEO and organic page rankings.
Reason #3: It helps persuade your audience to take action
Your content doesn't need to be passive: you can use it to get readers to take action. Many of the most successful firms in the world deliberately insert calls-to-action in their content, imploring their readers to take the next step in their relationship.
The most common way of doing this is to include a concluding remark at the end of a post letting the reader know that you can help them resolve their problem. Suppose, for instance, that you offer e-learning and you've written a post about the complexities of using english vocabulary. You might conclude the blog with the following:
“If you think that your English could be improved, download our app today.”
The readers will then be directed to the App Store to purchase your app.
Reason #4: It creates gratitude and informs your audience
As somebody who deals with the products in your industry daily, you understand them inside out. It would be incorrect, however, to make the same assumption of your customers. Most of them are probably not aware of how your products work or even of the extent of your catalogue. A blog can help resolve this by demonstrating the depth and breadth of your products and services.
Insurance companies face this problem all the time. Not only are their products dry, but they're also complicated too. For this reason, many insurers have fallen in love with content. It's an opportunity for them to explain their products in a way that regular people can understand.
Not all succeed, of course, but you can appreciate the appeal. Customers who understand insurance products are more likely to want to buy them.
You can take this principle and apply it to your own business. By explaining the value that you create in a way that is easy to understand, you immediately give your customers a reason to buy from you.