The famous complaint from Henry Ford was that “half of my advertising is wasted—I just don’t know which half”. Ford’s comment was made in the heyday of newspaper publishing, when huge readerships provided a strong mass-market advertising platform, and yet he wasn’t happy. He wasn’t convinced he was getting good value from his ads.
All the smart cookies are using content marketing to drive awareness, enquiries and sales. But what is it?
This type of marketing has become popular because it pulls relevant targets and prospects towards a business or brand, often at a fraction of the cost associated with typical push (paid) marketing. It’s different to those historically common and expensive forms of marketing such as ads, direct mail, events or sponsorship as it doesn’t rely 100% on accessing an expensive intermediary (typically a publisher). Brands own the content they create. Content made for marketing is regarded as being an investment that pays back for a long time. And because of this, marketing with content is regarded as relatively low-cost.
Nothing in this life is free
My view the fact is good content packs a double whammy:
- As described above, it pulls when people find useful content via search.
- But it can also push leads and enquiries via careful (gulp) paid placement.
Either way, the objective for content marketing is to produce material that in some way helps consumers or buyers find answers to their questions about a service or solution. Content could be factual, humorous, controversial, written or stunningly visual. A combination is good! Do it right and the people that you want to serve will find you, trust you and, when the time is right, buy from you.
Content marketing is cost-free, right?Content marketing purists may freak at the idea of paying to promote content, but for me it’s a no-brainer. In reality, content marketing is not free. It takes time to craft the right content for your audience. Time costs money. And if I’ve made an investment in quality content then I’m happy to leverage it in any way that will achieve my objective, including paying to access certain channels.
Does content marketing provide a good return?
Using content as a marketing tool isn’t a new idea. But universal business internet use has catapulted its importance up the marketing heirarchy.
While we never assume marketing solutions before we know our clients well, the content marketing approach is core of how BuzzedUp works with clients. We’ve found that, over time, it delivers a strong return for many sectors and markets.
How is that? It's because content is ‘a gift that keep giving’. You write it once and promote the hell out of it many times. And this is its key difference to pure paid ad campaigns that—while often extremely effective during their duration—immediately stop having an impact when they're over.
Fine, but what does Google say about it?
How many times have you heard the phrase ‘Content is King’? There’s a reason for that. Good content is Google's most important search ranking factor.
Funnily enough the second most important ranking factor is inbound links. How do you get those? By producing valuable content of course! Material so authoritative and helpful that people will link to it.
Ranking: what matters most?The Periodic Table of SEO Ranking Factors (used with permission) neatly summarises the major contributing elements to good ranking, and does it with good humour. And yes, targeted content and quality inbound links are important.
Content is the key Inbound Marketing building block
An Inbound Marketing Certified Professional here at BuzzedUp is fully equipped with all the tools to deliver a profitable inbound marketing programme for your business. Contact Mick Dickinson to get the ball rolling.