This post explains the benefits of content marketing for your online business. I’ll also look at examples which will provide you with some food for thought when it comes to applying content marketing to your own business.
A common question I’m asked is what are the benefits of content marketing? If I’ve learnt anything from adult training and copy-writing, it’s to always showcase the benefits first.
There’s a previous blog post on what content marketing is should you need some help.
Benefits of Content Marketing #1 : Fosters Trust
Long gone are the days when something is bought offline straight away. The reality for most online businesses is that for a sale to be made, there has to be some kind of evidence of that product or service. This evidence is usually in the form of positive reinforcement by a customer who helps to instil trust into future customers. This can be in the form of reviews, blog posts, social media pages, referrals and educational awareness. It’s certainly not an overnight process and can somewhat be a catch 22.
How do you get someone to trust your brand in the first place in exchange for positive reinforcement?
Many brands choose to collaborate with bloggers since bloggers seem to help foster trust in brands and their audience. An excellent example of this was done by a small and local to me, skincare company. They designed a campaign which involved its audience signing up to their 2L water a day challenge.
- Everyone who got involved had to post progression pictures alongside a hash tag.
- Each day an email was sent out with tips and tricks.
- The winner received a selection of skincare goodies for best before and after photograph.
A wide range of beauty bloggers got involved and wrote blog posts documenting their journey of the 2L water challenge. This skin care brand now has the beginning of fostering trust among its audience. I even took park in it.
Benefits of Content Marketing #2: Increased online reach
The reason content marketing benefits different sized businesses, is because it helps them to expand to a larger audience than say an offline business. That’s not to say small offline based businesses don’t do well from content marketing because they do.
When I hear others in my industry talk about increased online reach, it makes me cringe. I’m fed up of hearing false claims about being able to reach everywhere and everyone. Whilst it’s true the internet does allow you to span far and wide, that doesn’t always means it’s a good thing. Perhaps the phrase should include increased niche online reach.
And that’s what good content marketing does, it enables you to be seen in front of the right kind of people in a faster and more creative way than traditional marketing.
A prime example of this is Land Rover’s Hybernot campaign. Buying a top of the range car is rather niched wouldn’t you say?
- Designed their campaign around the current winter season.
- Demonstrated how their car can be used in winter conditions.
- Taken their audience on an online journey by using their blog to showcase mini adventures from celebrities with families.
- Used clever word play and turned it into a trending hash tag.
Land Rover know not everyone can buy their 4x4s but nor do they want everyone to. They’re more concerned with targeting the right type of people with the money to spend.
Benefits of Content Marketing #3: Creates a sense of community
Community should be highly regarded. Community helps with trust, audience reach, referrals, recommendations and much more. It doesn’t happen overnight. Community is one of the big content marketing benefits and comes from well earned and thought out efforts. Having a community behind you who supports your vision, ethos and mission is like having a team of cheerleaders on your side.
In particular one company who seems to have a supportive community is lingerie brand Curvy Kate. Well fitted lingerie is a sensitive subject for many. Curvy Katie has broken down some tough barriers in the industry by using real life women as the face of their brand.
The brand went on to create a campaign to launch a new collection and partnered up with Mills and Boons. The audience was given the scenario of during 7 days, a girl received a gift of Curvy Kate lingerie by a mystery sender, and so the contributors had to create a story around this. The best one got published.
Personally I think this is content marketing as its most creative. The brand knew that people love to publish their own thoughts hence why blogging became so popular. They combined this with their audience’s love of their lingerie and it spiralled community involvement at its best.
Can you think of any examples like the ones above where companies have capitalised on the benefits of content marketing? Have a think of how you can apply these principles to your business.