Generating clients for your business by using the Internet with the final goal of bringing in revenue and growth over the long term is the biggest challenge that every entrepreneur or business owner must solve.
In the following, I would like to share our experience over the last 6 years about “why” a content marketing strategy is the best thing to put into place:
1) Because we generate value
The first reason, which I personally feel to be the most relevant, is that content marketing creates value for the end user, while a traditional ad (as much so as with a banner, a video, or a line of text using Adwords) does not achieve this effect.
But even more interesting is that currently all the consumers are trained to avoid any ad that they receive, without even reading it. Just take a second and think how often, while reading our favorite online news site, we take notice of the surrounding ads, or when was the last time we clicked on a sponsored ad while socializing with our friends on Facebook?
Doing marketing through the use of content is born out of an entirely different focus from what we are used to and this is the reason which will enable us to be able to achieve excellent results for our business venture; Because this conceptual change is derived from something essential: if we are able to generate value for our users by way of content, at the end of the day we will be developing a relationship with them.
For example, in our company we frequently read the blog of MailChimp, which contains excellent examples, news, advice, and everything that there is to know about email marketing. Over time we trusted them more and more until after a few months of following their content we decided that it was time to try their software. Today, even 3 years after making this decision, we continue to be their clients thanks to their strategy for content.
2) Because we educate the client up until the sale is made.
Another one of the more interesting advantages of doing content marketing instead of traditional advertising is that we have the opportunity to educate potential clients until they are in condition to try our services.
Many times there are users that don’t know why a service is important or how much they need it. We, for example, used Google Analytics just like many other companies around the world because it is a product that is trustworthy, besides being totally free. However, we always read the blog of KissMetrics because it helped us with quality articles and infographics and everything related in order to improve the stats of our online site.
They educated our method for measuring the traffic of our site over time, our way of analyzing conversions, and finally the way in which we generated new clients. In the end, we decided to try their products and today we are very pleased with them. If it were not for their strategy for content, I can assure you that we would have never known how much it could have helped us.
3) Because it generates reciprocity.
If there is anything that was unexpected that we learned in our business venture MT after implementing content marketing for over 6 years in all of Latin America, it is that when we constantly create value for our users, at no cost whatsoever, they at some point want to give us something in return.
This translates directly into the use of our services (as we observed in the previous 2 points) or by way of recommending our services to one’s friends, family, or acquaintances. Today, 42.7% of our new clients come by referral from users who read our content (guides, infographics, tutorials, tips, etc.) which is totally free of charge.
An example of a company that does this well on a worldwide scale is MOZ, which is a software company for inbound marketing, and was able to create their own online community where every day hundreds of questions and answers are generated, with the collaboration of experts, which over time became the biggest point of reference in all of the Internet for learning about these subjects.
4) Because it is an investment.
Even though we can spend thousands of dollars in advertising by cost per click, whether it be an ad on Google search or in a banner on a news site, or in the most important online blog or news site in the industry, traditional advertising will always be a “cost.”
On the other hand, content marketing is an “investment” because we do it just once and it remains forever. This content becomes an asset for our start-up, which with just a few hours of work creating a new article, an infographic, or video, can translate to earnings over the long term.
I personally consider that for a start-up which has limited economic resources at their disposal, but on the other hand has the time of the founders, with the addition of dedication and passion, content marketing will always be the best option.
The best example of this is the application Buffer, a start-up that specializes exclusively in content, which came to be currently number one in the world with their social media service with revenue of over 5 million dollars annually. And so we can see what can be done with content, they even came to share their revenue, salaries, and investments publicly!
5) Because it gives us excellent additional benefits: Shares + SEO.
If we analyze our social networks, from Facebook to Twitter, we will notice that what our friends share is 90% content. What does this mean? That if we want to generate new clients for our start-up through social networks, we should do it through content that creates value!
This benefit would not be obtained even if we invest millions in ads, because if someone shares the main page of our project, doing it just once, that is sufficient and they will not share it again. In contrast, if we have new fresh content that is useful for our readers, they will share it for being distinct and valuable. Not to mention the possibility of our content going viral because people begin to share it freely.
On the other hand, the benefit of SEO, with each new article that we publish, we will have a new page that Google, Bing, or Yahoo will be able to index and show organically, without any additional cost to our users.
An example of this is Zapier, a start-up that is dedicated to integrating distinct services so that they work together automatically. Based on this, for each service integrated, they create a content article explaining how the integration works and give examples of its use. Below we can see how they appear in Google, through SEO, organically when a user wants to integrate for example MailChimp with Gmail:
And here we see the content that they created for marketing with the final goal of generating new clients for their software:
Now that we understand the most important reasons for which a start-up should first focus on using social media content marketing to generate new clients, it’s time to start! The key to be able to take the first step successfully for this new strategy: always create content that our own clients need and not content that just talks about our product.
This knowledge and experience was shared by David Carreras, Marketing Manager for MT for Mexico and Colombia. Investment angel. Focused on the automation of processes and in development of new technology.