In this competitive B2B marketing landscape, businesses make substantial investments in building content marketing programs.
Why? Content marketing has been proven to deliver resounding success.
As one of the most effective methods of growing audience engagement, developing your brand presence, and driving sales, content marketing is a mission-critical growth method for most businesses.
Below, let’s review content marketing — the benefits of producing consistent, high-quality content, and how to measure success.
Why is content marketing important?
Content marketing is important because it answers your audience’s questions. With content marketing, you can build trust with your audience, improve conversions, connect with customers, and generate leads. And, in today’s age, customers expect high-quality, consistent content from their favorite brands.
According to the State of Inbound report, content creation is a top priority for 53% of marketers. Moreover, on average, content marketing accounts for 29% of B2B marketing budgets.
Consistent, high-quality, and engaging content impacts audience decision-making more than any other technique.
Consistency in brand messaging is one of the many factors that determine the growth and success of your business. Big brands know how to portray their brand consistently and at every customer touchpoint.
The same reasoning applies to content marketing — your content needs to carry a unique and identifiable voice, style, and pitch across all distribution channels.
Content consistency establishes your credibility, builds trust, and strengthens your reputation.
So, we know the content you create has to be consistent. However, why is content marketing so beneficial in the first place? Here are the top benefits of content marketing.
Benefits of Content Marketing
1. Your audience will stick around longer.
Great content is an important asset. It has the ability to create positive experiences for your potential customers and compel them to come back for more. It’s your ticket to capturing your audience’s attention and continually reinforcing a positive brand impression.
2. You’ll have better traction on social media.
It’s one thing to increase your social media followers across channels, but it’s quite another to create trendy content. If you’re one of those businesses that doesn’t see much traction despite having a huge following, it’s time to use content marketing to your advantage. Quality content can help your business gain traction on social media.
Track the performance of your content campaigns using HubSpot’s analytics software.
3. Your audience will trust you.
Creating content helps your business build a relationship with your audience. You can answer their questions and interact with customers. When you create value without taking anything in return, your audience is more likely to trust your advice and recommendations.
Ultimately, when your content shows up at the right place and the right time with the right audience, it’ll improve your brand’s reputation.The more quality content customers see, the more likely they are to have a positive association with your company.
4. You’ll generate more and better leads.
Content marketing can also generate leads. When your audience views your content, they’re more likely to purchase from you in the future. Additionally, calls-to-action (CTA) placed directly in your content can generate new leads for your sales team.
So, how can content generate leads?
According to Lindsay Kolowich, the team manager of the HubSpot Academy Acquisition Content Team, “content is a great way to guide users to a landing page. Typically, you create content to provide visitors with useful, free information. You can include CTAs anywhere in your content — inline, bottom-of-post, in the hero, or even on the side panel. The more delighted a visitor is with your content, the more likely they are to click your call-to-action and move onto your landing page.”
5. Original content can improve conversions.
The content you post influences conversions. It helps your audience connect with you and gives them information needed to make educated purchases.
Even more, if you’re using blog content to bring in traffic, consider using unique images rather than stock photos for a potential 35% increase in conversions.
Additionally, your content should always include a CTA and guide your reader on what they should do next.
6. Your business will become more visible thanks to SEO.
The more consistent, high-quality content you produce, the better it’ll be for your SEO efforts.
For example, your content should help your business become visible online and build trust and authority with your audience. With a developed content strategy, such as the pillar/cluster model, your content should help you rank higher in search engines.
7. Great content can position your company as an authority in your industry.
Creating quality content will also help build your authority online. If your business is established as a credible place to get information, you’re more likely to rank higher in search engines.
Plus, your customers are more inclined to trust you if they view you as an industry expert. Your content should demonstrate your expertise in your field and provide valuable answers to your audience’s questions.
Overall, content marketing is important. But, how can you be successful at it?
One way to tell is to assess the quality of your content. One particularly beneficial assessment of quality is content scoring.
As more businesses are increasing their content marketing budget, there’s never been a better time to incorporate content scoring metrics into your marketing campaign.
With the help of content scoring, you can measure and improve your content marketing performance and offer great value to your audience.
8. Quality content can build brand awareness.
Sure, anything can build brand awareness, but content marketing can do it in a unique way.
Our HubSpot marketing experts have written about something called Surround Sound strategy.
In a nutshell, this content strategy does more than just rank your blog article on page one. It makes your content (and therefore your brand) appear everywhere your potential customers are looking for your product.
To execute this strategy, write about topics your customers are interested in so they begin to associate your great content with your brand.
9. You’ll cultivate loyal brand fans.
Taking brand awareness a step further, all the people who raved about your content and associated all those great feelings to your brand are very likely to become brand advocates before ever purchasing your product.
It’s true, brand fans can be just as loyal and influence their friends’ and family’s buying decisions as much as a current customer can. This happens when potential consumers see that a business provides value to its current audience. One of the more successful ways businesses can do this is through content marketing.
For example, while I may not be in the market for children’s meal plans because I don’t have children yet, I am obsessed with the Kids Eat In Color blog and Instagram content. I recommend it to my friends and family who have children with picky eating habits. See how well that can work?
10. You’ll save money on your marketing strategy.
Since HubSpot first assessed the cost of content marketing ten years ago, the practice has remained the most cost-effective marketing strategy available.
Upfront costs for content appear steep, and that’s a fair point.
Estimates for blog content range from $150 a post to $3,000 for a freelance writer, but you could go the route of hiring a full-time staff writer to create content for you on a regular basis.
In the long term, when compared to paid advertisements, video marketing, and traditional marketing, content wins the battle with Frank from finance every time.
What is content scoring?
Content scoring is the process of assessing and quantifying the true potential of content by tracking how individual content pieces perform in generating and converting leads.
As an innovative content marketing metric, content scoring helps marketers prioritize only the assets that have a higher probability of generating and converting leads.
In addition to delivering a scientific method of assessment to writing, content scoring is a reliable and predictive method of evaluating the engagement potential of an individual piece of content before it’s published.
Improving the quality of your content is pivotal to the success of your marketing campaigns.
The quality of your content is relative to your audience’s profile. With a better understanding of your customer’s needs, you can offer content with higher resonance. But improving your content is a gradual process, and you need to continually measure and analyze your audience’s responses to understand and improve on the elements that matter most.
How to Score Your Content
Writers and content creators often find it difficult to quantify what recipe works for their content and their audience. By scoring your content, you’re able to objectify that process and use the same recipe repeatedly to create similarly successful content.
Here’s how to score your content:
- Establish scoring criteria. To develop an effective content scoring system, you need to establish a foundation built on whichever engagement metric has the greatest impact on your content. For some, it may be page views, for others it could be shares on social media.
- Create a campaign. Once you’ve identified which metric matters to you most, create a campaign and add the successful content that meets your threshold. For example, if you decide that 1,000 page views is high performing, include all the content assets that meet said criteria.
- Monitor content performance. Measure how each new piece of content you create is performing. As certain content assets meet your success metric — 1,000 page views, for example — add them to the campaign. Continue adding content to build a small sample size of high-performing content. Use HubSpot Analytics to track the performance of this content.
- Evaluate what works. Now that your high-performing content is segregated, you can further analyze what makes your content perform. Although it’s difficult to quantify, you can discover patterns within your content that you can then replicate.
- Rinse and repeat. Although these patterns are always changing, this manual process is an effective way to score your content and take action on your insights in the future.
This can be a tedious process, and it only scrapes the surface of a true content scoring system, but it’s a thorough and important process to implement. For more effective and efficient results, you can use an automated tool like Atomic AI to help you score your content in more granular patterns.
Content scoring helps your brand set a benchmark for itself, moving you closer to understanding customer’s buying stages and expectations. When you’ve established the content types that work for a specific customer segment, you can easily replicate your success over and over again.
Start Creating Consistent Content
Creating a content marketing strategy is one of the most important steps you can take for your marketing team. To do so, take an audit of your current content and figure out what works for your business.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in November 2017 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.