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  • Writer's pictureMikaela Bolling

How content marketing outperforms traditional advertising

Creating brand awareness and building strong relationships with customers are some of the important aspects to generate sales and grow your business. Some achieve these objectives by advertising their services, while others opt for more holistic marketing methods to establish trust with the consumers.

As the online marketing landscape gets more fierce, customers take more time trusting a brand and making an informed buying decision. The main motive of content marketing is for the brand to establish trust with its customers through offering helpful, free content and thought leaders in their specific niche.

In this blog, we’ll discuss why content marketing may be a better option for brands to invest over traditional advertising.

The difference between advertising and content marketing

Advertising helps promote your services to drive immediate conversions, focusing on the specific benefits and approach of your business. On the other hand, content marketing takes a slightly alternative approach and analyzes your target audience, and their pain points and helps them fix these pain points through free content. In fact, content marketing drives 3x more leads with 62% less cost per lead than traditional advertising. (Source: Search Engine Journal)

Content marketing over advertising

Advertising and content marketing are two approaches to reaching your target audience. Both are important and are often used in tandem together. However, content marketing takes the cake when it comes to a high conversion rate. Here are some benefits of content marketing over advertising.

+ Builds authority and establishes your brand as a thought leader

When your company consistently creates and shares high-quality, valuable content that educates your audience, you establish your brand as a thought leader in your niche. By providing expert insights, addressing industry challenges, and offering innovative solutions, the brand becomes a trusted source of information to build authority over time. Traditional advertising often feels transactional and can only focus on the features and benefits of the services.

+ Builds trust with the customers

The intent behind any content marketing strategy is to build trust with the consumers and establish a long-term relationship. Brands achieve this by consistently providing valuable and informative content to the target audience. The content is targeted towards solving the pain points of the customers, terming the brand as a credible source of information. In the case of advertising, no prior information is provided to the customers to establish trust or nurture the relationship, which is why most of the customers scroll past ads on the top page of Google to reach the top organic results.

+ Enhances brand visibility

Content plays a crucial role in optimizing a website for search engines by providing relevant and valuable information to the users and SEO techniques help ensure that the content is easily discoverable and ranks higher in search engine results. SEO is a thorough process that starts with onsite and offsite optimization. Onsite optimization involves

  1. Technical SEO - checking for HTTP status codes, Indexation, XML Sitemaps, Orphan Pages, Page Speed, Canonical Tags, Duplicate Content, and various other elements.

  2. On-page SEO - keyword research and optimization of blogs and website content along with link building.

Off-site optimization includes link building, guest posting, social media, and other earned media channels.

With consistent SEO practices and consistently posting informative, optimized content, brands can improve their search engine rankings, increase organic traffic, and gain visibility in search engine results, ultimately enhancing brand visibility. Traditional advertising, on the other hand, does not involve any SEO, while online advertising involves the use of keywords, with or without any prior brand awareness.

+ Enhances brand awareness

By strategically creating and distributing consistent blogs (on-site and guest posting), videos, and social media posts, brands can reach a wider audience, ultimately boosting brand awareness and recognition. Advertising may or may not rely on brand awareness before reaching the target audience.

+ Increased engagement

Using content, when you address the pain points, interests, and needs of the audience, you can capture their attention and generate engagement. Consumers are likely to interact with the content they like, share it with others, and become brand advocates, leading to increased brand visibility and organic reach.

+ Cost-effective

Advertising consistently requires a significant amount of investment, while content marketing relies on the creation and distribution of valuable content through owned and earned media channels. While initial investment in content creation may be involved, the long-term benefits and return on investment (ROI) are always higher than advertising. As per stats, brands that engage in consistent content distribution generate 67% more leads than brands that do not. (Source: Search Engine Land)

+ Long-term results

Content marketing delivers fruitful results in the long term. Informative content posted on your website or earned media channels is a long-term asset for your brand that ‘gets wiser as it gets older.’ How? Because Google values old but updated content and also because this informative content continues to attract the audience for a very long time, again enhancing brand visibility. In the case of advertising, the ads stop showing once you stop paying for them.

Why is content marketing important for businesses?

While content marketing may take time to yield results, it is one of the strongest methods of improving brand visibility, enhancing brand awareness, and nurturing customer relationships, the three things important for any business to get good leads and improve conversions.

Content marketing is not just limited to blogs or website content. A thorough content marketing strategy involves telling your story and solving your customers’ pain points through videos, podcasts, newsletters, or social media channels. It's about connecting the dots where your products or services solve your target audience’s pain points or educate them. That is when your target audience starts to trust and buy from you.

Here are some examples of businesses following a strategized content marketing plan and why you should too.

Example 1: ADA Developers Academy

ADA Developers Academy is an 11-month intensive school for software development serving women and gender-expansive people with underrepresented backgrounds. As a nonprofit founded in 2013, they were building out their B2B marketing efforts to attract more enterprise technology companies to invest in their interns.

To do this, they created a B2B microsite specifically focused on their corporate partners and developed a lead magnet landing page. The landing page offered a downloadable corporate partner guide that helps potential leads know if Ada is the right program for them. It has a readiness checklist and additional information about its program to bring the potential lead further down the sales and marketing funnel from consideration to engagement. The download was gated, meaning users had to put in their email addresses to download. The microsite and landing page was shared on their LinkedIn, Instagram, and through their newsletter. It was also used in their sales process. This is helping to boost brand awareness and visibility, ultimately reaching out to their niche audience. This audience-informing downloadable guide is a step in the right direction to get leads and boost sales.

Example 2: Google Search results pages

Long-form content is a huge asset when it comes to ranking in Google search results pages as Google loves any long-form content that delivers all the relevant and detailed information to the users on a single page. That is what ‘Ridester,’ a B2C company providing information on ride-sharing apps like ‘Uber’ and ‘Lyft’ did. After a huge decline in traffic, Ridester worked on its content marketing strategy and started writing long-form blog posts on the most searched topics in its niche. This gave them a massive 487% increase in organic traffic with an improved search engine ranking for around 16 keywords.

That is the power of content marketing.

Example 3: SEM Rush

Check out the data from Semrush in the image below on what factors help the most in boosting your rankings in the SERPs.

Content marketing is, indeed, the core of a perfect marketing strategy in this highly competitive digital landscape. It gives you a roadmap to analyze your goals and reach your targets. If you want to grow your business in the online space, you need brand exposure that only a strategized content marketing plan can give you.

And, remember to track your performance to analyze your growth with each step.

If you’re ready to up your content marketing, reach out!


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