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SEO gave way to content marketing, and while to begin with, it may have been considered a buzzword – it became a mainstay. Content marketing has become one of the best marketing strategies a business can implement, and certainly rivals traditional advertising methods.

However, despite the power that it holds, many business owners and even marketing executives are still unaware of what content marketing actually is, and therefore are not engaging with it.

The Content Marketing Institute states, “Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience — with the objective of driving profitable customer action”.

As with all forms of digital marketing and advertising, content marketing is a targeted way of getting a relevant message in front of a relevant audience; and of course, the message has a clearly defined purpose – convert the audience into customers. If you are still uncertain as to why you should implement content marketing, we have put together some reasons why you might want to invest your time, effort and perhaps a little money into this strategy.

Competitive Edge 

There is no denying – content marketing is a competitive area, and the rate of competitiveness is increasing every day. It’s likely that your competitors are already using content marketing strategies, allowing them to capitalise on topics that are trending, creating brand awareness and solid brand advocates.

If you engage in content marketing, you too can gain this competitive edge over other competitors that are also ignoring the power of content marketing. Richard LeCount from USB Makers comments, “Our industry is incredibly competitive, and we learnt that the more time that we invest in content marketing, the better competitive advantage you achieve. To leverage this advantage, it’s better to begin content marketing as early as you can”.

Story Telling 

Content marketing is not about shameless self-promotion, in its most simple essence, it’s about story telling – targeted story telling. Story telling is one of mankind’s earliest form of communication, and it has remained relevant through the ages.

Telling stories is a medium by which you can build strong relationships with your audience.It humanises your band and makes it easier to relate to, it enables the audience to better understand your brand and establishes your authenticity and authority in your field.

At the Content Marketing World Conference 2015,Nirmal Gyanwali of Nirmal web Design Agency said, “”Content marketing, when done properly, is bound to generate more inbound traffic to your site for the reason that good content marketing focuses on what the people want to hear and not what the business wants to tell them. Stories are good bait. [Listeners will] always bite.”

Content marketing is here for the long haul, ensure that you capture the attention of your audience by creating compelling, informative and entertaining stories that they will remember and share. 

Diverse Opportunities 

There is almost an infinite number of mediums for you to distribute your content online. Whilst many of these are written articles and blog posts, content is moving into a more creative and visually led sphere. 

If you are short on time or unconfident in your ability to write compelling content, why not implement a strategy that uses infographics, quizzes or video? There is an upside to visual content too – our brains process images 60,000 faster than text, and our eyes are drawn to explore shapes and colours – making your audience naturally drawn to visual content.

Offering yourself for interviews – in print, live chat or on podcasts also broadens your brands reach. The possibilities are endless, just ensure that you are open to all opportunities and everything you do, imparts value. 

Measure ROI

Traditional methods of marketing and advertising make it difficult to determine the ROI; unless you have proactively set-up specific telephone numbers or email addresses for that campaign – how can you determine where the leads have come from and therefore justify the cost?

With content marketing, you can drill drown where the traffic comes from to your site and track their journey on your website to the point that they get in contact with you. This also gives you an insight into how your website is performing and any pages that need to be optimised.

You can clearly see the keywords that are performing for your business and how you are performing in Google rankings. There is a lot of growth to be gained through content marketing, and by monitoring the avenues of growth; you can tweak your strategies and leverage the ones that are working well for you.

Loss Potential is Minimal

Content marketing does require an investment, both of time and money but you are in control of the amount that you wish to invest. There are many well-established, authoritative websites that accept compelling expert content without charging a fee. However, in order to produce pieces, you may want to pay an experienced copywriter or graphic designer, depending on the content you want to contribute.

There are also numerous opportunities for you to contribute expertise to features being put together by journalists and editors.

If you only just beginning your journey into content marketing, its plausible to invest the bare minimum as you test the waters. The best quality material will produce the best results, having a profoundly positive impact.

There are also specific questions that you can ask sites that charge a fee for posting content, to try and ascertain the return that you can expect.

Of course, there is nothing to say that you must invest in and implement a content marketing strategy. Your business will survive without one, but when the alternative is ‘thrive’ – there isn’t a choice. Put simply; you will lose to those competitors that are using content marketing, because they have the ability to reach a wider audience and will progress faster.

On the other hand, if your competitors aren’t using these tactics, then you have a major opportunity to become an influencer and set your brand apart. In order to maximise the potential that content marketing has, it’s better to begin as soon as possible.

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