The purpose of content marketing

Sometimes marketing teams lose sight of what the real goal of content marketing should be.

It’s an easy mistake, considering the time and money invested in generating quality content that is supposed to attract attention and build revenue. People want instant gratification for all that investment and so they look for a quick return. However, researchers recently released a study titled, “Content Marketing Tactics Planner 2014” which points to what the true purpose of content marketing should be.

First and foremost, leaders in the marketing field say content marketing should be used to drive leads, not necessarily make sales. Leads are customers who are genuinely interested in your product or service and have the means to make purchases. This differs from content marketing that attracts a cloud of curious customers who aren’t the right demographic or who don’t actually qualify for the service.

The study revealed, “Over 60 percent of marketers saw an increase in the quality and quantity of leads due to content marketing. Getting consistent quality content up on your site or blog drives a higher quality of visitors and in turn, increases sales.”

Another appropriate aim for content marketing is to increase customer engagement. What value does your content provide, besides driving leads? It should do more than just splatter keywords or common search terms on a page. Proper customer engagement starts conversations, which draws social media attention, which then proliferates your message ever more widely. Sharing links, making blog comments, or mentioning your brand with hashtags are all ways customers can connect with you.

Once this engagement occurs, leads will improve as well. The study showed, “76 percent of marketers saw an increase in buyer engagement as a direct result of content marketing. . . . Find out what type of content your customers want, publish on these topics consistently, and engagement will increase.”

Surprisingly, the study found that one of the last priorities of content marketing was to increase SEO and web traffic. This could be because marketers have realized it’s quality, not quantity, that generates good ROI. Different from the early years of SEO, it’s quality now that will get good search rankings. Search engine algorithms keep track of consistency and article integrity, rather than just awarding that top slot to the company with the most keywords.

Source: Social Media Today

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