This month we're focusing on how IT firms in particular can benefit from great content marketing. Today, we're dealing with the justification aspect. Need to get buy-in from the powers-that-be? Hovering on the verges of starting your own online campaigns? Here's 8 great reasons to take the leap...
1. Added Transparency
When you publish and share content online, you have an opportunity to add a great deal of traceability to it's marketing benefit. Web analytics and URL tracking codes are freely available, which can help even the novice online marketer to see what's working, what's not, and where to place the majority of your efforts, in order to get better results.
2. It's Low Cost
Analytics might be free, but there's also never been a better time to engage highly-qualified and talented creative resource at low cost. The mobile workforce and the freelancer movement have brought businesses much closer to the skills they need, in order to get great content written, designed, recorded, or developed, without having to pay the "bench time" associated with full-time employment. What a great way to prove the concept, before taking those skills in-house.
3. The Benefits are Long-Lasting
Blogging is an important part of the content marketing mix. In addition to creating your own content, with the potential to generate referral traffic from social media and other sites, you're also creating many more opportunities to rank in search engines. The short-term effect is great, but those posts will be around for as long as your site stays up, and the compounding effect will do wonders for your traffic.
4. Every Asset Makes You More Discoverable
Good content marketing is supported and distributed by the crowd. Place social sharing and "email to a friend" buttons to your blog posts and premium content, and so long as you've created something worth sharing, that's exactly what people will do. Every link back adds to Google's perception of you as a trusted source of information, as well as a ton of referral traffic.
5. Great Content does the Grunt Work
Marketing automation allows for the whole lead nurturing process to be done by your content - a mix of email copy and premium assets such as white papers, eBooks and other downloadables. The net effect is that you needn't spend any of your valuable time guiding your prospects through the marketing funnel. The content does this for you, and sends you nothing but sales qualified leads - ready to just dot the i's and cross the t's.
6. Quality and Qualification
Positioning your posts, eBooks and other communications in the right way will not only ensure you attract the right profile of reader, but can also be a great qualifier in generating leads from those that offer the greatest potential to convert to clients later. Have experience in a particular industry? Crate personalised guides and articles for that specific audience, and you'll ensure a more targeted, filtered approach.
7. You Already Have Some
Every IT business creates content in some guise. Whether it's printed brochures and materials, presentations or tutorial videos, the likelihood is that you've a whole array of assets just itching to be repurposed for your online profiles and website. Take some time to compile a library of existing content, do a review to ensure timeliness, relevance and the absence of sensitive material, then think about ways to share. A video, for example, can easily be transcribed into one or more blog posts, and the audio extracted for use as a Podcast. Simple.
8. The Whole Team Can Play!
Companies don't create content, people do. That said, great campaigns don't attribute everything to one person. On the contrary, those businesses that allow their visitors and prospects to see the whole organisation contributing are those that most often make the stronger connection. This "sharing of the load" will also make your content creation more sustainable, and more consistent.
I hope that's sparked some desire to create. Which tip(s) will you implement in your business?