Has content marketing run its course? There’s so much content out there now, that every search just feels like it returns nothing but noise — it’s more of the same, over and over and over.
We all know the reasons why “content matters.” Having good, authoritative content on your website and social media, content that speaks to your audience and offers useful and relevant information, helps people find you and draws them into your sales funnel. It helps them understand their problems and the solutions available to them, and helps them make purchasing decisions. And with effective tracking and measurement, it can help you understand your audience better, learn what matters to them and help you understand what motivates their decisions.
Those (very important!) basics are all still true. But if everyone knows them, and everyone is using their content the same way, it’s fair to ask why it even matters anymore, if all you’re doing is adding to the noise.
Why You Should Still Invest in Content Marketing
We’re content marketers here at Glance, so obviously we think you should continue to invest in and develop content. Here’s why:
- It’s tried and true. Basic content marketing (like writing a keyword-stuffed blog, for example) may not be as effective anymore. But good content marketing — well-written content, that’s authoritative and connects to other, well-written and authoritative content — will still help you rank well on Google and attract attention. It may require more thought and effort — and more time and resources — but you’ll see the difference in the end.
- There’s so much more you can do with content. Creating one piece of content and asking it to help drive traffic, prospects and leads is a) asking a lot! and b) a very narrow view. You’re unlikely to see a return on investment if you approach content that way. Your investment in one piece of content should always include a wider view; what else can that piece of content do for you? One short article can also be used as the basis for a LinkedIn post, an infographic, an explainer video or a webinar. Longform pieces (e-books etc.) offer even more opportunities, such as multiple blog posts or drip campaigns.
- It’s part of a bigger strategy. Even if you believe content isn’t as effective as it once was, it’s still an important part of your overall sales and marketing strategy. Content draws people into your funnel, helping reduce cold call efforts. It gives your sales team talking points and material to leave behind or follow up with. It helps train and onboard new employees and new clients. It’s part of your retention and cross-sell/upsell strategy.
In other words, if you can take a step back and look at the bigger picture, and see content as more than just a blog post that drives traffic, you’ll see that content remains as valuable as ever.
Three Reasons why Right Now is the Right Time for Content Development
To take this a step further, there are some timely factors at play in how valuable content marketing is. Consider the following:
- Sales people are more intrusive than ever. Because buyers have gotten so much better at doing their own research, sales people are finding their traditional methods aren’t working as well, and they’re attempting to ramp up their pitches — with more cold calls, more LinkedIn messages, more emails. This approach can be a real turn-off, and prospects may opt out before they even have a chance to consider you. Content marketing alleviates this. It allows the prospect to come to you, to use your content to decide for themselves whether or not you’re a fit — and to approach you on their terms. It may take longer to get a prospect to the point of talking to a sales rep, but it’s a much more respectful and valuable approach, one that ensures the people your reps talking to are actually engaged and interested.
- The economy is in a rough spot. The world, including the economy, has slowed down as we all pitch in to try and stop the spread of COVID-19. Hopefully, our isolation and social distancing practices are effective and the economy spins up again in 3-6 months. That means right now is the perfect time to build out content: For one, businesses may not be spending right now, but people are still doing their research into the solutions that they need. Building out content now means you’re ready to be found now, and you can build trust that matters when businesses are ready to spend again in the future.
- Google values authority and expertise more than ever. In the past 18 months, Google has made more of an effort to deliver search results that align with its “EAT” concept (that’s Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness), rather than just traditional keyword-optimized content. That means if your competition hasn’t updated its old content (or is still creating keyword-spammed content) you have a perfect opportunity to stand out from the crowd and rank high on Google. It takes some effort to build EAT content — it requires more backlinks and more concrete examples that showcase your expertise and authority — but if you start now, you’ll have a head start.
Make Content Marketing Part of your Business Strategy
Traditional content marketing may not be as effective as it once was. But when done right, content can have a significant impact on your business, in terms of driving traffic to your website and drawing prospects into your funnel, as well as arming your sales team, educating employees, and retaining clients.