Wednesday February 13, 2013

Approaching Content Marketing from the Bottom Line

Keyboard

If you happen to work in marketing at an agency or on the brand side, chances are good that you want content marketing and authorship to be a big part of your marketing strategy in 2013 — if it’s not already. Every day, we see more evidence of content’s importance in inbound marketing and its brand-building potential; at the same time, we’re witness the fading effectiveness of old school anchor text and link building tactics in the race for SERP.  

Now, if you're a business owner or executive who oversees your marketing, your valuation of content marketing is coming from a different place. You likely don't have the time or inclination to research the details of changing search algorithms or the evolving relevance of Google authorship in the post-Panda landscape. You want to hear about ROI, profit and the bottom line. You need to consider the tangible value of content marketing in terms of the big picture, not the minutiae. 

Highly Qualified Leads

Unlike someone who happened to click on your ad or answer your telemarketing call, a lead that’s generated by your content marketing efforts has likely contacted you because they’ve found your expertise useful and they’ve already developed a level of trust regarding your business. These are highly qualified leads. Work with the sales team to project what sort of close rate could be expected with these types of leads, then work backwards to see what it would take to achieve your business’ goals for growth.

The Longevity of Good Content

Consider the life span of the typical piece of advertising or marketing material: An average radio spot is over in 30-60 seconds; a telemarketing call is over in a few minutes; a PPC ad disappears the second the marketer stops paying for it. Now, consider a well-written e-book, an insightful white paper, a clever and useful blog post, video, article or infographic; these forms of content, when well-executed, have the potential to be discovered and shared not only right after you creation it, but for years after the fact. As ongoing content development and promotion drives more eyes to existing content, the momentum of this strategy continues to build — creating more opportunities for your business as it goes. Who wouldn’t be interested in this kind of staying power from their marketing output?

Less Money Spent on Ineffective Channels

A sound content marketing strategy includes a few key tenets: hone your business’ value proposition, make honest and unique connections with your audience, and put the interests of your customer first. By emphasizing these principles, your marketing efforts are much less likely to veer off into shortsighted or gimmicky campaigns with poor returns.

Content as Flexible Currency

Content is an investment that can pay off in a number of different ways. A good piece of content can drive leads directly, it can be used to access and influence new audiences, it can improve organic search traffic, it can be exchanged for more good content, and it can build and strengthen relationships. When we understand the many forms of value that content delivers, we understand why content marketing is a smart strategy for business at every level — including the bottom line.

What are some of content marketing’s biggest selling points for your business? Let us know in the comments.    

Charlie Nadler
Simple Machines Marketing

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