One questions our clients always ask us prior to placing their orders is “how does content marketing produce inbound enquiries for businesses?”
This is the right question to ask, of course.
Clients are understandably keen to understand how the investment they make in our services will generate a profit.
Creating a steady flow of new enquiries from multiple sources must be the main marketing goal of any company.
Traditionally, this was done through outbound marketing which involves contacting other businesses directly using channels like telemarketing, email marketing campaigns, and appearances at trade shows.
Although these methods are still being used successfully by clients of our sister direct marketing department, inbound marketing has recently become more important to companies seeking new clients and new opportunities to sell.
But what is content marketing?
Content marketing (sometimes called inbound marketing) involves the production of online content like articles, blog posts, and videos as a means to drive sales.
It’s much more non-intrusive marketing strategy compared to more traditional but still successful direct marketing.
Inbound marketing pulls potential customers through the sales process with well-written articles, guides, blog posts, and case studies about the problems that potential customers are struggling with.
This content not only address the problems a client is facing but they also provide insight into how to overcome those issues.
In this article, we discuss:
- why content marketing is important,
- the growth of content marketing,
- the costs and benefits of content marketing, and
- how to make content marketing profitable for your company.
Why is content marketing important?
Content marketing is a way of guiding a client from initial awareness they might need your products and services to the point of decision.
Its goal is to ensure that your company is seen as many times on the customer’s buying journey so that, when a decision is pending, your company and its products and services will be shortlisted by the potential client for serious consideration.
It’s remarkably effective.
In Hubspot research, over 55% of marketers stated that content creation is their top inbound marketing priority.
There are many companies which create blog posts and articles to inform and engage with potential customers during their buying journey.
They include Slack, a team chat service for businesses.
Their high quality blog posts highlight unexpected ways their platform has been used by clients which led to extra sales being made or productivity benefits.
Content marketing is big.
Over 5 billion searches are made to Google daily, many of which are customers searching for information at different parts of their buying journey.
If your potential customers see and appreciate your content and they trust its accuracy, trust in your company begins to grow giving you the opportunity of making the sale.
If a potential customer is not at the point of decision yet, content marketing is used to promote email newsletters and social media profiles to readers.
Every new email subscriber or social media follower is your chance to be seen on a regular basis by future clients as they approach the point at which they’re ready to buy.
The growth of the content marketing industry
More and more money is invested by companies year and year in content marketing.
Companies and marketers see its value – 77% of internet users read blog posts regularly, according to TechJury.
These users searching for what they need rely on well-produced, trustworthy content to fix their problems.
Every business can use content marketing successfully no matter who your target audience is.
Many B2B businesses rely on content marketing to generate leads on items costing from just a few pounds up to a few million pounds. The decision making process in B2B selling is far more complicated and content marketing can be used to find new enquiries and by sales teams when addressing decision makers.
The power of content marketing for B2C businesses, particularly with SEO-optimised product descriptions and downloadables, makes it much easier for companies to compete with and on platforms like Amazon, eBay, etsy, and more.
Content also has a flexibility and a life cycle to it which other marketing approaches can’t compete with.
You can use or repurpose content in multiple ways – the white paper you create can be broken down into smaller, SEO-optimised blogs and articles for your website.
The blogs and articles can be condensed even more for use on social media or on 3rd party websites your audiences trust which then points people back to your website.
Unlike most other forms of marketing where the results stop when you stop spending, content marketing continues to generate leads months and years in the future because it has been indexed and ranked highly by Google.
The cost of inbound marketing
The growth of content marketing is directly correlated with the growth of inbound enquiries and the use of the internet by consumers and business decision makers to find the information they want.
Earlier, we mentioned the buying journey. Strategic IC reports that 25% of website visitors seeking information on products and services of interest are between 12 and 24 months away from making a decision.
Easy to find content will be seen for months and years to come by your target audience.
This longevity means that, according to ImpactBND, the effective cost per lead from inbound content marketing is £103 compared to £256 for leads generated by outbound marketing campaigns.
Making content marketing work for your company
The most profitable content marketing strategies are focused on the customer and why they need your products or services.
What problems do your products and services solve? Which opportunities do they open up which are not open to your future customers right now?
What pain does this situation cause them? Your content marketing must reflect that pain empathically and provide a solutions.
For example, revenue concerns are a serious issue in many business sectors.
Let’s say that you provide green energy but you want to target budget-driven business clients as well as clients who want to minimise their company’s impact on the environment.
The green message, although important, is not that one which your target budget-driven business clients are necessarily interested in.
They require content that which shows them how to reduce their expenditure on energy. This is what you need to demonstrate to them more than anything else.
Create easy to find, engaging content marketing reflecting the interests of your client and you will generate additional enquiries.
Once those enquiries are made, your sales team can take these prospects through the sales process.
How does content marketing produce inbound enquiries for your company
When we start working with a client, we immerse ourselves in their company, its products and services, and why clients need or want you sell.
Everything starts with the client. With that knowledge, we create the highest-quality, most Google-friendly content possible which connects with customers and which is easy for them to find.
We’d really appreciate the opportunity to speak with you.
Please call one of our account managers on 0330 010 8300 or click here to email us.