How A Content Marketing Strategy Drives Your Bottom Line
Can't get content marketing buy-in? Columnist Kerry Jones gives you a roadmap for explaining the long-term benefits of an on- and off-site content strategy.
Your CEO doesn’t care about the number of tweets a blog post gets or how many times a white paper is downloaded. Instead, the higher-ups in your organization want to hear how content marketing makes or saves money for the business.
By communicating the bottom-line benefits, you’ll have an easier time getting internal buy-in on your content strategy. A recent infographic by Fractl (my employer) looked at content marketing’s potential impact on the bottom line. I’ve pulled out some of the most compelling points to illustrate the big-picture benefits of a content marketing strategy.
The Benefits Of On-Site Content
On-site content attracts prospects and brings them closer to your brand. As the backbone of your digital presence, on-site content drives traffic, increases search rankings, builds trust, increases return visits and warms leads.
By consistently publishing valuable, authoritative content on your blog, you can create a powerful engine for audience building and lead generation.
A company blog offers several bottom-line benefits:
- Improve search rankings. Because 88 percent of consumers conduct searches to research products and companies, it’s essential to appear in your target customers’ search results. Establish a consistent blogging schedule to provide search engines with fresh content to crawl on your site, which is an important factor for increasing your search rankings.
- Gain organic traffic. By creating blog content around the long-tail keywords your target audience is searching for, you’ll see an uptick in organic traffic.
- Convert visitors to leads. Beyond its ability to drive traffic and improve SEO, blogging is a main lead source for some brands – KISSmetrics generated an incredible 5,057 leads from blogging in just one month. For tips on optimizing your blog for lead generation, check out this resource: How To Create A “Lead-Generation Pipeline” With Your Blog.
With these benefits, it’s hardly surprising that marketers who prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to see a positive ROI.
By publishing in-depth content such as white papers, e-books, case studies and webinars, you can provide deeper insights into your audience’s problems and challenges.
Long-form content features multiple bottom-line benefits:
- Grow Your Email List. Requiring users to opt in with their email to access long-form content can help you grow your email subscribers. Because this type of content is often perceived as more valuable, visitors are willing to give their email address or other identifying information in exchange for it.
- Create Warm Leads. Cox Media generated 2,000 leads from a downloadable “Small Business Success Kit” composed of multiple assets, including an eBook, a white paper and case studies.
- Close Leads. You can then nurture these contacts through email marketing or by passing them along to your sales team. Demandbase closed $1 million in new business from a campaign that included high-value content such as a white paper and a webinar.
The Benefits Of Off-Site Content
For brands without a lot of recognition, off-site content is especially effective for getting in front of new audiences. Publishing a range of high-quality content on a variety of sites is like sprinkling breadcrumbs around the web that lead back to your site.
Off-site content initiatives should be clearly tied to a goal, such as increasing awareness or driving conversion events. The type of content you create and where you place it will depend on your goal.
In the past, the only way to reach a massive audience at once was through expensive traditional advertising campaigns. Getting your content published on high-authority sites is a relatively inexpensive, highly targeted way to expose your brand to a massive audience.
Software startup Groove has reached more than a million people through off-site content initiatives on authoritative blogs.
Maximize your content’s potential reach:
- Choose content topics with wide appeal. Be sure the topic relates to your industry; however, it does not need to be directly about your brand.
- Make your content visually appealing.
- Get your content featured on sites with large audiences.
In addition to building awareness, off-site content can lead interested readers back to your site and pull them further down the sales funnel. The difference between this type of campaign and an awareness campaign is you’ll be targeting potential customers further down the funnel.
Content topics should be directly tied to your industry or brand and placed on a site that your core demographic reads.
Here’s a top-level look at how this works:
- Publish content on a site your target audience reads.
- Include a relevant call to action that links back to your site.
- Present a conversion opportunity on your site, such as downloadable long-form content.
Through the above approach, BuzzStream broke its record for new user signups (disclosure: BuzzStream was a Fractl client).
Using a mix of awareness and conversion-focused off-site content, you can increase traffic, improve SEO, drive conversion events, increase brand awareness and grow revenue.
In order for you to maximize the bottom-line benefits of an on- and off-site content strategy, your content needs to provide a value-added link between your customers’ needs and your business goals. Consistently produce content that strikes this balance, and you’ll be well positioned to reap the full benefits.