MAY 5, 2016
You’ve heard about the potential benefits of content marketing, but how much have you actually invested in a strategy? If the answer is “very little” or “zero,” you could be missing out on significant benefits. Content marketing isn’t a fad; if implemented properly, it has a demonstrably powerful potential return compared to the minimal up-front costs.
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Still, if you’re apprehensive about investing in a content marketing strategy, you’re not alone. Many business owners think that content marketing doesn’t work for their industry, but they’re mistaken. You may think that you’ll invest in a content marketing strategy “someday,” or you may be distracted by other priorities. But, the fact of the matter is, you have much to gain by investing in a content marketing strategy — and waiting any longer could actually be hurting you.
Consider these motivations:
1. Breadth of return
First, content marketing has a high ROI, partially because of how many different areas it influences. Consider the breadth of the return here; if you publish and syndicate your content in many places, you’ll see a return in the form of brand visibility, brand reputation, inbound traffic, customer engagement, customer retention and of course, conversions and customer acquisition.
Any one of these areas has the potential to make back all the money and time costs you’ve spent on the strategy. Together, they amplify your returns many times over. It’s an ideal way to maximize your marketing cost efficiency.
2. Benefits to other strategies
Content marketing doesn’t happen in a vacuum; it actively affects many of your other marketing strategies, which you may not already be participating in. For example, an ongoing content strategy will help drive more organic search traffic, increasing your company’s likelihood of showing up in search results for users from your key demographics.
A strategy can also provide syndication fuel for your social media marketing campaign, giving you valuable updates you can post for your followers — likewise, for your email marketing campaigns. You can even use your best content as a landing page, to drive more conversions in a paid advertising campaign.
3. Diversity of mediums
Today, there are dozens of options for mediums and distribution channels in a content-marketing campaign. If you don’t like writing articles, you can supplement your strategy with more visual content, like infographics, videos or visual tutorials.
If that doesn’t sound good, either, you can conduct video interviews, or use podcasts to get your brand out there. There are virtually no limits to what you can and can’t do in a content-marketing campaign; all that really matters is that you provide something valuable your followers and fans can consume.
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4. Competitive opportunities.
Content marketing is a competitive world, and it only gets more competitive by the day. Right now, your closest competitors may already be engaging in a content-marketing strategy, capitalizing on trending topics, events and opportunities that you’re missing out on by not being similarly involved.
If you start investing in content marketing soon, these opportunities will still be open, and you’ll get a leg up on any competitors straggling behind. The more time you invest in content marketing, the better competitive advantage you’ll have overall, so get in as early as possible to maximize your position.
5. Compounding returns
Speaking of getting in early, it’s important to realize that content marketing is a strategy that offers compounding returns. Rather than a marketing strategy that offers a strict return for your investment — the way paid advertising does — content marketing involves creating and maintaining fixed, semi-permanent assets.
Accordingly, your reputation and web “real estate” will increase gradually over time as you publish more content, and as these factors increase, the value of each piece you produce will increase, in turn. Combined with the recurring value of your previous pieces, the value of your content marketing strategy will grow exponentially — so the sooner you get involved, the faster you can see that growth.
6. Minimal loss potential
Content marketing demands an investment of time and money, but you can choose how, and how much, you invest. Generally, the more time, money and effort you put into a campaign, the better the payoffs you’ll realize. But if you’re just getting started, you can invest in only the basics to minimize your potential losses.
This isn’t an excuse to skimp on the quality of your work; only high-quality material will have a positive impact, but investing in only the basics should reduce your reluctance about getting involved in content marketing sooner rather than later.
There’s no rule that says you have to invest in a content-marketing strategy, and quite honestly, your business will probably survive without one. But, do you really want your business to only “survive,” rather than thrive? If your competitors are doing it, then they’re progressing faster than you.
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If your competitors aren’t doing it, then you have a major opportunity to become an industry influencer, setting your brand apart in your industry. By not investing in content marketing, you could be sacrificing enormous potential benefits for your brand. The longer you wait, the more you’ll stand to lose, so get involved as soon as possible to maximize your potential.