In this competitive B2B marketing landscape, businesses make substantial investments in building content marketing programs.
Why? Content marketing has been proven to deliver resounding success.
As one of the most effective methods of growing audience engagement, developing your brand presence, and driving sales, content marketing is a mission-critical growth method for most businesses.
Below, let's review content marketing -- the benefits of producing consistent, high-quality content, and how to measure success.
Why Content Marketing Is Important?
Content marketing is important because it answers your audience’s questions. With content marketing, you can build trust with your audience, improve conversions, connect with your customers, and generate leads. Additionally, in today's age, customers expect high-quality, consistent content from their favorite brands.
Consistent, high-quality, and engaging content impacts audience decision-making more than any other technique.
Consistency in brand messaging is one of the many factors that determine the growth and success of your business. Big brands know how to portray their brand consistently and at every customer touch point.
The same reasoning applies to content marketing, as well — your content needs to carry a unique and identifiable voice, style, and pitch across all distribution channels.
In fact, according to Forrester, a consistent customer experience helps build a trusted brand.
Additionally, a study by McKinsey & Company reveals consistency is the secret ingredient to making customers happy across their entire journey with your business.
Content consistency establishes your credibility, builds your trust, and strengthens your reputation.
So, we know the content you create has to be consistent. However, why is content marketing so beneficial in the first place? Here are the top benefits of content marketing:
Benefits of Content Marketing
1. Increase audience retention.
Great content is an important asset. It has the ability to create a positive experience for your potential customers and compel them to come back for more. It’s your ticket to capturing your audience’s attention and continually reinforcing a positive brand impression.
2. Better social media traction.
It’s one thing to increase your social media followers across channels, and it's quite another to create content that trends. If you’re one of those businesses that doesn't see much traction despite having a huge follower base, it’s time to use content marketing to your advantage. Quality content can help your business gain traction on social media.
Creating content helps your business build a relationship with your audience. You can answer their questions and interact with your customers. When you create value without taking anything in return, your audience is more likely to trust your advice and recommendations.
Ultimately, when your content shows up at the right place and the right time with the right audience, it'll improve your brand's reputation.The more quality content customers see, the more likely they are to have a positive association with your company.
4. Generate leads.
Content marketing can also generate leads. When your audience views with your content, they're more likely to be interested in purchasing from you in the future. Additionally, calls-to-action (CTA) placed directly in your content can generate new leads for your sales team.
So, how can content generate leads?
According to Lindsay Kolowich, the team manager of the HubSpot Academy Acquisition Content Team, "content is a great way to guide users to a landing page. Typically, you create content to provide visitors with useful, free information. You can include CTAs anywhere in your content — inline, bottom-of-post, in the hero, or even on the side panel. The more delighted a visitor is with your content, the more likely they are to click your call-to-action and move onto your landing page."
5. Improve conversions.
The content you post influences conversions. Customers are more likely to purchase from you once they've read your content. The high-quality, consistent content helps your audience connect with you and gives them information they need to make an educated purchasing decision.
Additionally, your content should always include a CTA and guide your reader on what they should do next.
6. Enhance SEO efforts.
The more consistent, high-quality content you produce, the better it'll be for your SEO efforts.
For example, your content should help your business become visible online and build trust and authority with your audience. With a developed content strategy, such as the pillar/cluster model, your content should help you rank higher in search engines.
7. Build authority.
Creating quality content will also help build your authority online. If your business is established as a credible place to get information, you're more likely to rank higher in search engines.
Plus, your customers are more inclined to trust you if they view you as an industry expert. Your content should demonstrate your expertise in your field and provide valuable answers to your audience's questions.
Overall, content marketing is important. But, how can you be successful at it?
You can assess the quality of your content. One particularly beneficial assessment of quality is content scoring.
As more businesses are increasing their content marketing budget, there’s never been a better time to incorporate content scoring metrics into your marketing campaign.
With the help of content scoring, theRed Hat marketing team improved their content marketing performance and offered great value to their audience.
What is content scoring?
Content scoring is the process of assessing and quantifying the true potential of content by tracking how individual content pieces perform in generating and converting leads.
As an innovative content marketing metric, content scoring helps marketers prioritize only the content assets that have a higher probability of generating and converting leads.
In addition to delivering a scientific method of assessment to writing, content scoring is a reliable and predictive method of evaluating the “engagement potential” of an individual piece of content before it's published.
The quality of your content is relative to your audience’s profile. With a better understanding of your audience’s needs, you can offer content with higher resonance. But improving your content is a gradual process, and you need to continually measure and analyze your audience’s responses to understand and improve on the elements that matter to them most.
How to Score Your Content
Writers and content creators often find it difficult to quantify what recipe works for their content and their audience. By scoring your content, you're able to objectify that process and use the same recipe repeatedly to create similarly successful content.
Here’s how to score your content:
Establish scoring criteria. To develop an effective content scoring system, you need to establish a foundation built on whichever engagement metric has the greatest impact on your content. For some, it may be page views, for others it could be shares on social media.
Create a campaign. Once you've identified which metric matters to you most, create a campaign and add the successful content that meets your metric threshold. For example, if you decide that 1,000 page views is high performing, include all the content assets that meet said criteria.
Monitor content performance. Measure how each new piece of content you create is performing. As certain content assets meet your success metric — 1,000 page views, for example — add them to the campaign. Continue adding content to build a small sample size of high-performing content. Use HubSpot Analytics to track the performance of this content.
Evaluate what works. Now that your high-performing content is segregated, you can further analyze what makes your content perform. Although it's difficult to quantify, you can discover patterns within your content that you can then replicate.
Rinse and repeat. Although these patterns are always changing, this manual process is an effective way to score your content and take action on your insights in the future.
This can be a tedious process, and it only scrapes the surface of a true content scoring system, but it's a thorough and important process to implement. For more effective and efficient results, you can use an automated tool like Atomic AI to help you score your content in more granular patterns.
Content scoring helps your brand set a benchmark for itself, moving you closer to understanding customer's buying stages and expectations. When you've established the content types that work for a specific customer segment, you can easily replicate your success over and over again.
Creating a content marketing strategy is one of the most important steps you can take for your marketing team. To do so, take an audit of your current content and figure out what works for your business. If you're starting from scratch, check out our ultimate guide on content marketing.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in November 2017 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published Jan 1, 2020 10:15:00 PM, updated April 21 2020