In 1996 business magnate and technologist Bill Gates penned an essay titled ‘Content is King’. The essay was published on the Microsoft website. It aptly predicted that content would become central to the future world of the internet. Gates understood that content was, and is, a very important commodity. It can entertain, educate and make people feel connected to the world around them.
The definition of content has expanded over time to include written content, video, webinars, audio recordings, spoken word, images, GIFS, statistics, social media posts, reports and so much more.
Essentially content is the transmission of information or media with a purpose. According to research from HubSpot 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing. An effective content strategy can be a profound way to drive results in business.
From converting leads to building trust, content is a versatile tool for marketers and brands. Here are four specific reasons why content creation is important for business:
1. Build trust
The relationship with consumers should be reciprocal. In other words it should offer value to both parties. Beyond just products, brands should view content as an offering of tangible value or insights. Content is also a valuable opportunity for a brand to demonstrate its values and what it stands for. Through content a brand can demonstrate that it is honest, ethical, authentic and worthy of trust. A brand can also solve a problem or answer a question for the consumer. In return, a consumer will reward a brand with their trust.
Content creation can also position a business as knowledgeable or an expert. For example, a paint brand that shares high-level content about interior design and colour schemes demonstrates that it understands style and current trends. It demonstrates that it can guide the customer in making the right decision. 68% of marketers have reported that they have used content marketing successfully to build credibility and trust with consumers.
2. Engage an audience
Media is a major part of modern life. In fact, consumers around the world spend an average of 463 minutes or 7.5 hours per day with media. Reports tell us that global online content consumption is soaring as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns. By creating content a brand or business can answer a question or provide valuable information for the end consumer.
People go online to search for things that they need, be it a product or service, information or an answer to a question. When brands create a library of engaging and creative content they increase the likelihood of engaging future customers and building an audience. If content is created strategically it will inevitably find an audience and engage future leads for your business.
3. Convert leads
Once a brand establishes an audience it can then use content to actually convert leads and make sales. Research says that 61% of online purchases are the direct result of a customer reading a blog. Furthermore, 34% of consumers are more likely to make an unplanned purchase if a brand personalises content. This is because content creation can be used to move customers through the sales funnel, from intent/interest to purchase.
When used strategically, great content answers any lingering questions or quells any doubts. Great content will engage the customer but also follow up with a direct call-to-action (CTA) that entices and encourages the final purchase. Just like a great movie trailer and compels you to watch one film over another, a well-executed piece of content is compelling enough to take customers over the line and encourage purchase.
4. Improves SEO
In 2019 the World Economic Forum reported that there were 1.7 billion websites and rising but that only 200 million were active. With so many websites and businesses trying to appeal to consumers, competition is fierce. Web traffic is among the top two most-common measurements of success for content marketing strategies. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is essentially the process of optimisation to ensure that a website is visible on search engine results pages. In the cluttered modern world, SEO is crucial for operating a business.
Content is a sure way to rank for keywords and actually be seen on Google algorithms. A content strategy that takes SEO into consideration will be rewarded with profitable website traffic and solid leads. Consistent and considered content are a proven way to improve SEO in the longterm.
Quality content is important because it adds value for the end consumer, be it knowledge, entertainment or satisfaction. Brands that do not invest in content are at risk of losing the interest of customers. By investing in content creation businesses can connect with an audience and achieve a myriad of goals.