6 Ways Content Marketing Fuels Brand Growth
Content is the ultimate skeleton key for unlocking brand growth. In this article, we’ll show you six ways you can use a mix of content types across multiple channels to educate your audience, optimise the buyer’s journey, and generate leads.
Types of content marketing
Before we jump into how content can fuel brand growth, let’s quickly define what we mean by ‘content’.
Content is information in any format that informs, educates, assists or entertains your target audience. Content marketing involves using content to achieve various goals, especially attracting, engaging and converting prospects.
While content is often used in paid marketing strategies, it’s usually used to achieve organic goals like increasing site traffic, boosting visitor engagement, improving SEO, and generating leads.
|Top-of-funnel (Awareness)||Middle-of-funnel (Consideration)||Bottom-of-funnel (Conversion)|
|Social media posts||Useful resources||Free trials|
|Infographics||Tools and calculators||Special offers|
|Podcasts||Case studies||Product configurators|
|Tangential PR stories||Templates|
Now let’s look at six ways the content formats above can fuel brand growth.
1. Increase your share of voice
Before a prospect becomes a buyer, they’re a seeker. They seek answers, advice, comparisons and opinions. Well-crafted content delivers the information they crave in the most accessible, engaging formats. Content lets you tell your brand story and make a personal connection with your audience.
PPC and similar bottom-of-the-funnel tactics can provide clear results and ROI, but once your brand reaches a certain level of maturity, you’ll probably see diminishing returns. To push past the inflection point and increase your share of voice, you’ll need to stand out in the awareness stage of the marketing funnel. That means creating top-of-the-funnel content that adds value to your audience’s journey of discovery.
Research by Google showed that B2B buyers do 12 searches on average prior to visiting a specific brand’s site, and it’s the same story with consumers. 71% of searches are non-branded, generic terms. That means most people look for a product or an answer to a question, not for you. As such, your top-of-funnel content plays a crucial role in triggering and fuelling brand awareness.
2. Optimise every customer touchpoint
There are more touchpoints in the customer journey than ever before.
|Social media||Landing pages||Marketing emails|
|Online ads||Promotions||Online help centre|
|Digital content||Point-of-sale||Rewards and loyalty programmes|
Content can remove the friction from most customer touchpoints. For example, by:
- Helping prospects figure out what they need (e.g. blog posts, explainer videos)
- Showing that your product/service is worth it (e.g. reviews, comparison tables)
- Removing niggling doubts (e.g. FAQs, testimonials)
- Confirming they made a wise choice (e.g. personalised follow-ups and offers)
- Retaining them as a customer (e.g. online help centre, marketing emails, referral bonuses)
By addressing pre-purchase barriers and offering superior post-purchase support, you show customers that your brand offers real value.
3. Earn trust and credibility
We increasingly turn to Google to satisfy not only our functional needs but our emotional needs too.
Brands that offer a wealth of useful and accurate information without pushing their own products and services too heavily build trust and credibility in consumers’ eyes.
MoneySavingExpert is the perfect example. Despite being a for-profit business, MSE has championed the consumer from its inception and always been clear about how it does and doesn’t finance its site (signposted affiliate links, but no paid-for placements).
Consumers have come to trust the site (and the reputation of its founder Martin Lewis) as a source of detailed, up-to-date advice on how to manage their money. The only way to build this kind of credibility is through truly amazing content that gives people much more than it asks for.
4.Educate your audience
Google revealed in a recent report that searches starting with ‘why’ were at an all-time high. No matter what industry you’re in, there are dozens if not hundreds of ‘why’ questions that your target audience wants answers for. For some questions, they want maximum detail. (Articles that are over 3,000 words get three times more traffic on average, four times more shares and 3.5 times more backlinks than shorter articles.)
For other questions, quick, easy-to-skim content is preferred. (On average, listicles get 80% more traffic than other types of articles.)
Whatever format you decide is the most useful, every piece of content represents an opportunity to demo your expertise, share your knowledge, and guide your audience in the right direction.
5. Content is scalable and evergreen
One advantage of paid advertising is that its ROI is obvious in the dashboard, whether it’s measured in cost-per-click, profit-per-impression, or another metric. But one major downside is that the benefits only last as long as the paid campaign is live. When the ad vanishes, so does your traffic.
Organic content is evergreen, which means its benefits last long into the future. An amazing guide will be amazing in one month, six months, or a year’s time. And you can gradually improve your best content to further boost its visibility, traffic and conversions. According to SEMRush, 51% of companies say that updating old content has proven the most efficient tactic they’ve implemented.
Content marketing is also extremely scalable. You don’t have to launch a full-blown content empire to see results. Instead, a carefully planned MVP content strategy can show what will work for your brand. You can then hone and scale up while keeping a close eye on ROI through key metrics like organic traffic and, of course, sales.
The more content you have catering to the top of the funnel, the more traffic you can attract and usher into the middle and bottom of the funnel. In other words, more content equals more leads.
More specifically, by creating more landing pages, you create more entry points into your funnel, more call-to-action opportunities, and more collateral for various marketing channels, including emails.
A study by HubSpot showed that on average companies who increase their number of landing pages from 10 to 15 saw a 55% increase in leads.
Scaling up your content also lets you segment your audience, with different content designed to appeal to different buyer personas.
A particularly effective strategy is to develop a tool that will streamline the consideration process for your audience.
After quantified audience interest in such a tool through a sentiment survey of around 150 women, we developed a unique interactive Menopause Questionnaire for our client My Menopause Centre. Through a series of questions based on a well-established medical scale, the tool gives women a personalised menopause symptom assessment by email.
The assessment tool was completed by more than 1,000 women in its first six weeks online, leading to hundreds of account signups.
For more on that project, please click here.