Content comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s not just about blogs; it can be whitepapers, eBooks, valuable downloads such as templates and activity sheets, videos, infographics and much more.
Content is one of your most valuable marketing assets and sales tools.
The right content gives you the ability to educate your target market, tell them about your business and establish a relationship with them without even picking up the phone or writing an email.
Content marketing is commonly referred to as inbound or ‘pull’ marketing, which is the process of drawing traffic to your website by creating valuable, relevant content. It’s a popular approach with marketers because of its natural ability to generate leads, drive traffic and build trust.
While the initial process of creating valuable content can be time-consuming, overall, it makes the process of actually generating leads and enquiries much more passive compared to traditional outbound sales, making it attractive to many businesses.
In today’s market, content marketing is favoured by businesses because it can help you to build trust and credibility with your market and set you apart from the competition. It’s also becoming an invaluable part of the decision-making process for many consumers.
In his seminal book ‘They Ask You Answer’, author Marcus Sheridan conducted research that suggested that as recently as a decade ago, when a potential customer visited your website, they were only around 20-40% of the way through their purchasing process. Customers were happy for brands to sell them the rest of the way through sales calls and follow up emails.
Fast forward to today, and consumers don’t want to be sold to. They have become both willing and able to educate themselves, undertaking extensive research to make informed purchasing decisions. This means that, nowadays, when a potential customer makes contact, they’re already 70-80% of the way through the buying process and will have a much clearer idea of what they’re looking for. While you might produce fewer enquiries overall, the ones you do generate will be far more qualified as they’ve already done their homework and are ready to choose you.
So, this means that it’s more important than ever that your business leverages the power of content to educate and inform your customers, breaking down complex topics and essentially ‘giving everything away’ if you want to secure the business of your target market.
What if you’re not generating content? Based on the above evidence, this could mean that a lack of content could lead to a lack of contacts and conversions. It also means that while you may still be getting enquiries, they won’t be as qualified, and you’ll probably find your more serious prospects are leaving your site in search of answers that your competitors are providing – the same competitors who are already addressing these burning topics in their own content marketing.
An important thing to remember about content is that it isn’t just about ranking well on search engines and driving more traffic to your site. It’s a way of establishing trust with your audience and building credibility. Content enables you to show your prospects and existing clients that you know what you’re talking about, that you are leaders in your field, and reassures those who choose you that they have made the right decision. For those who haven’t met you before, it will help them to feel like they already know you before they get in touch.
Going back to Marcus Sheridan’s book ‘They Ask You Answer’ that we mentioned earlier, in one part, he refers to a ‘Mr and Mrs G’, who, between the two of them, consumed more than 500 pages worth of content on his website before enquiring. When he did eventually speak to them, Sheridan said Mr G “acted as though he had known me for years.” Sheridan states that they were 99.9% of the way through the purchasing process when he arrived at their house to give them a quote. They knew what they wanted, they were confident in their decision, and he said it was one of the easiest sales he had ever made, all because of great content.
The moral of the story? If you’re not receiving as many enquiries through your website as you’d like, it can be tempting to assume it’s an issue with the design or layout or the contact forms’ placement. But it could be down to how much content you’ve provided users with and if they feel ready to entrust you with their business or not.
We hope this blog has convinced you that now is the time to start producing fantastic content to boost your reach and conversions. If you’d like to stay in the loop with our insights, please register for our newsletter.