Content is king. You’ve probably heard that phrase thrown around a lot recently.
That’s because it’s true.
Well, content marketing is king. It’s not enough to simply whack out a few blog posts, publish them, and wait for the customers to come.
If you’re doing that and wondering why you’re not getting flocks of interested people through your digital door, please read on.
This is where strategic content comes in.
If content marketing is king, consistency is queen, and to build a consistent collection of content that continues to bring you leads, you need to know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
A.k.a. you need to be strategic.
It seems like a complicated term, right? Like you need to draw a map and get your pawns out to determine your battle formation, but it’s really a whole lot simpler than that.
What is Strategic Content?
Strategic content tackles the five big “W’s”:
Instead of throwing up a blog post and hoping for the best, or randomly sending out a Tweet at some obscure time of day, strategic content is put in the right place at the right time for the right people.
Strategic content is targeted towards your ideal customer, it’s been created especially for them and answers a specific pain point they have, it is published in a place where they will see it, and it has a purpose.
Seems like a lot of work, right?
Well, that’s because it is. But it’s not all in vain, I promise. In fact, strategic content has the ability to boost your conversions and sales considerably.
And I’m not just saying that to get you to sit up and listen. I’ve dug around for some solid research to back this up, so let’s dive in.
How Strategic Content Leads to More Sales
1. People Prefer Content to Ads
If you didn’t know, the age of traditional ads is coming to an end.
People are putting up adblockers so they don’t have to sit through tedious commericals; they’re actively buying into brands like Netflix, which shows they’re willing to pay to have no ads.
But more than that, people are no longer the passive receptacles of marketing that they used to be. They have more choice now, and they are quick to move on from a business that doesn’t reach out to them in the right way.
It’s the same for business decision makers, too (if you’re a B2B brand, listen up).
A whopping 80% of business decision makers prefer to get their information from articles and blog posts than via an ad. That means they’d rather take the time to learn from you and read your story than be bombarded with a “buy now!” ad flashing away at them on their screen.
2. Strategic Content Sends the Right First Impression
And, following on from the idea that consumers are ready and willing to devour multiple articles instead of see an ad, they also like to get to know a brand before they purchase.
In fact, 61% of consumers admit they gravitate towards companies that deliver custom content and are more likely to buy from them.
Look at brands like Apple that have created a cult following, or even Red Bull and their adrenalin-junkie videos.
People want to connect with a brand rather than feel pressured by them to buy.
When prospects come to your site via custom content (a.k.a. awesome, action-packed blog posts) they are one step closer to getting to know you and are, therefore, one step closer to buying from you.
3. Content Builds Relationships
Strategic content also builds good relationships.
These days, it’s not enough to simply draw people in, grab their money, and disappear into the sunset.
As humans, we crave connection.
We crave interaction – especially in this digitally-led age where a lot of our communication is carried out over the internet or through the screen of a phone.
Consumers want to see your authentic side; they want to know that there’s a human behind your brand. When you can show them this, you’re creating a relationship with them which – you guessed it – means they’re more likely to buy from you.
4. Strategic Content Boosts Your Site Traffic
I’m willing to bet that one of the goals on your website checklist involves a certain amount of traffic.
We all know that more traffic equals more potential customers. With more eyeballs on your site, you have more opportunities to convert readers into buyers and, eventually, raving fans (who help sell your products on their own, but that’s a whole other story for a whole other day).
But getting traffic isn’t easy.
You can’t just click your fingers and get thousands of people to come to your site every day.
So how do you lure them in?
You consistently give them excellent content that they want and need. You consistently publish posts that answer their key questions about your industry.
Overtime, this will bring in more and more visitors as you become a stalwart in your niche for providing incredible content time and time again.
And, as you’ve probably guessed, more visitors mean more sales. If you’re looking for numbers, year-over-year growth in unique site traffic is 7.8 times higher for content marketing leaders (a.k.a. those who are down with strategic content) compared to other companies.
5. It Gets You More Conversions
So it makes sense that if you have more visitors on your site you’ll get more conversions, right?
Ding, ding, ding. You’re absolutely right.
But it’s not enough to simply lure people in and hope they’ll find something they like.
With strategic content, you’re ensuring they’ll land on your site and be sucked in by engaging content that they literally need in their life.
And, once they discover that, they’re not going to want to leave. Which is the perfect opportunity to get them on your mailing list and get them into your email nurture sequence.
Conversion rates are almost 6 times higher for those who employ strategic content marketing than those that don’t. And, if that wasn’t enough, inbound marketing methods (like blogging) produce 54% more leads than traditional outbound practices.
In a study run by HubSpot, they found that brands who consistently (and that’s the key word here) published 15 blog posts a month averaged 1,200 new leads per month. Yes, 1,200. Incredible, right?
In fact, I think that stat alone is enough to drop everything and start planning your strategic content now, don’t you?!
6. It Encourages People to Spend More
It’s easy to think that, once someone has bought from you, that’s it.
In fact, that’s a terrible way to think about selling if you want to create a brand with a tight fan base and tonnes of loyal customers. Instead, you want to be nurturing the customers you do have.
Once someone has bought from you or simply shown an interest in what you’re offering by signing up for your mailing list, you want to make them feel like the most special person in the world (because they are, right?!).
Email marketing is such an important part of a strategic content plan (I’ll save that topic for an entire blog post, though). To put it bluntly, customers who sign up for a mailing list and receive newsletters spend 82% more when they buy from the company.
Sales doesn’t have to mean new sales, it can also mean upsells and new sells to existing customers.
7. Strategic Content is Cheaper…
Than traditional marketing methods.
Remember when brands clamoured to get their ads on prime time television and they paid a really pretty penny to get there?
Turns out that kind of advertising just doesn’t cut it anymore.
The ROI is nowhere near as high as it used to be, and the most successful companies are moving away from that method.
Instead, they’re focusing their efforts on their own sites and generating engaging content that follows a story-led system. And they’re finding it much, much cheaper than getting a full-page ad in a magazine that their target audience may or may not read.
In fact, content marketing produces three times more leads per dollar, and inbound marketing (you know, like blogging) costs 62% less per lead than traditional marketing methods.
That’s a difficult stat to ignore, right?
So, not only does strategic content help you get more sales, it also makes getting those sales cheaper. It’s an obvious win-win situation.
Tell me, are you focusing on strategic content this year?
If you’re ready to dive on in, feel free to reach out and we can discuss how you can start implementing your content strategy and earning new sales from the get-go.
Lizzie Davey is a professional business and marketing writer.