“Content is king” is one of the most popular phrases in content marketing. It has been used so much that it’s starting to sound like a cliché. Though that might be the case, content marketing is crucial to driving conversions and sales for most online businesses.
This article will teach you four key functions that content marketing plays in conversions and sales. If you’re struggling to justify why you should invest in content marketing, this guide is for you. Read on to gather some useful insights into the value of content marketing.
1. Attract the right buyers to your business
According to a 2018 report by Google, 53 percent of consumers research a product or service before purchasing. The majority of this research happens online through search engines or social media.
This graphic created by Hootsuite provides a nice sense of social media’s role in consumer buying. People turn to search engines to conduct online research in similar volumes for the same purpose. That could be search engines for written content, like Google, or a search engine for video content, like YouTube.
These stats on how we use search and social media reflects the way most of us shop.
The importance of a strong online presence for most businesses has only increased in the last year due to shutdowns caused by COVID-19. That means more competition to reach your audience.
The size of your business and the niche you operate in will define the channels where you are most active. Logically, you should focus your efforts on the channels that provide the best return on investment. That means targeting channels where your audience is most active and you have the greatest presence.
2. Nurture leads through the sales funnel
Only a small percentage of people online at any moment are looking to make a purchase. Even those who are ready to purchase a product need some convincing. As the graphic below indicates, the vast majority of sales pages have a conversion rate of less than 2 percent.
That implies around one person in 50 who is thinking about making a purchase gets out their credit card. That sounds about right.
Now, look at the right-hand side of the graph quickly.
You can see there are some outliers with a conversion rate of 10% or more. I suspect these pages are getting a high conversion rate because warm leads are being funneled to the page. For example, they could be email subscribers who are being sent to these pages.
Warm leads who know your business are much more likely to convert than cold leads. That fact highlights the second role of content marketing in conversions and sales; nurturing leads.
If you want to generate more sales for your business, you need to generate trust with your audience. As a small or medium-sized business, generating that trust takes time.
If a person hasn’t heard of your company before, they will naturally be hesitant to purchase through your store. To create that brand recognition with a consumer, you need to expose the person to your company multiple times. You then need to deliver an amazing customer experience when they purchase through your site.
It’s why a company like Amazon is obsessed with the customer experience.
Regarding content marketing, you need to consider how people will encounter your company. Then, you have to create and provide content they would find useful through different marketing channels.
A comprehensive content marketing technique ensures all stages of the sales funnel are sorted. For example, top of the funnel content allows you to boost brand awareness. Meanwhile, the content towards the bottom of the funnel optimizes conversions.
In essence, proper content marketing allows you to move consumers through the customer journey. Such a content marketing strategy ensures most of your traffic ends up converting.
3. Engage customers at the appropriate times
Timing is a vital element in marketing. To push people down the sales funnel effectively, you need to anticipate your customers’ needs and provide relevant content in a timely manner.
There are two elements to this.
First, and perhaps easiest, you need to deliver content to people when they are likely to consume it.
You need to keep this in mind for any content that you actively share with visitors. For example, you need to consider the best day of the week and time of the day for sharing content on social media. Midnight, when most of your customers are asleep, will be a bad time.
Repeated studies have shown that a good time to share social media content is around lunchtime or in the late afternoon on a workday. That makes sense. Most people are looking for some kind of distraction. I know I find myself browsing my social media feed just before a meal.
The second thing you need to keep in mind is your customer’s buying cycle.
Depending on the business you are running, it might be able to anticipate your customers’ needs. For example, if you were running an e-commerce business selling goods for babies and toddlers, you can anticipate when people are likely to be interested in new products.
Your ability to anticipate your customers’ needs and deliver timely content will positively impact your conversion rate and sales.
4. Recall value of your brand
Effective content marketing increases brand recall value. If you publish insightful content regularly, people will come across your brand more often. And if you do it across different content channels, your authority in the niche increases.
Let’s say you are in the digital marketing space. An aspiring blogger searches for something like “profitable niches,” and your optimized blog post on that topic shows up in the SERPs. Next time they search for “SEO for beginners,” and one of your articles appears once again.
Maybe they do a third search, this time looking for a step-by-step guide on building backlinks. Another of your articles or videos makes an appearance.
By the time the person does the fourth search, they’re already pretty familiar with your brand. If they were impressed by your content, they might start doing branded searches. Getting people to associate great content with your company will dramatically increase the chance of a conversion.
It’s clear that there is a direct link between content marketing and sales. For one, a powerful content marketing strategy drives more qualified traffic to your website. More qualified traffic means more leads.
Content marketing is also very useful in nurturing leads, targeting prospects at the right time, boosting brand recall value, and increasing customer engagement. All these functions lead to more conversions.
In closing, you should not overlook or replace content marketing for anything else. Your business needs it as much as it needs other marketing campaigns, if not more. So sit down with your marketing and sales teams right away and create a robust content marketing strategy.