6 ways to hit your mark and achieve positive results
by Cheri Woodsmall
November 10, 2015

Many business owners don't understand that while content marketing is a new term, the foundation of the strategy has always existed. Content marketing brings a certain value to an organization that doesn't always correlate with website page views or form submissions. To understand the real value of content marketing, adjust your perceptions and think long term. To communicate the value to your team, you must be able to explain the advantages in a way they understand.

Content marketing involves the process of creating and curating, and then distributing content to a targeted, specific audience. Content marketing is usually combined with other marketing techniques as part of an overall marketing plan for the purpose of lead generation and client acquisition. The following statistics reveal the growing influence and positive effects of content marketing:

  • Seventy-three percent of B2B marketers are producing more content than they did a year ago (CMI, 2014).
  • The average organization spends 30 percent of their marketing budget on content (CMI, 2014).
  • The most effective B2B marketers spend 39 percent of their marketing budgets on content (CMI, 2014).
  • Fifty percent of consumer time online is spent engaging with custom \uc0\u8232 content (HubSpot, 2013).
  • Content marketing costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing and generates about three times as many leads (Demand Metric).
  • Brand awareness is a content marketing goal for 82 percent of organizations (CMI, 2014).

The percentage of businesses experiencing success from their content marketing strategies has increased dramatically over the past couple of years. Content marketing will help your business achieve positive results in the following ways:

1. Brand awareness

A sound content marketing strategy, with quality content and a documented plan, helps businesses gain exposure by allowing them the opportunity to introduce themselves and their solutions. Having a blog on your website is one of the best ways for raising brand awareness, as long as you keep Google's ever-changing algorithms in mind when publishing blog posts. If you are creating content that appeals to your audience, this content will also appeal to the search engines.

2. Lead generation

An important thing business owners and marketers should remember about lead generation is that building strong relationships with potential clients is a key factor of client acquisition. Content marketing helps businesses attract potential clients and build relationships. The more your audience perceives your content as valuable and informative, the better they feel about engaging with your business.

3. Thought leadership

Through the use of content marketing, you are giving consumers the media they want and you are increasing your chances of being discovered. By frequently publishing news, blogs or articles that relate to developments pertinent to your products and services, readers understand that your company is an industry expert. For example, if you are in the commercial building restoration business, write news about your most recent success story or articles on how to appropriately restore a historical building in your region. By making your business an industry thought leader, you give consumers a reason to come back.

4. Engagement

Business owners who focus on their audiences' interests often experience positive results from their content marketing efforts. A study from The Content Council asked consumers how they prefer to find business information online, and 75 percent of respondents said they prefer information in the form of branded articles over advertisements.

5. Sales

ROI is a huge priority for every business owner. You know how an effective marketing strategy contributes directly to successful project bids. Digital marketing helps businesses reach and capture online leads, which makes having a content marketing strategy in place important. Keep in mind that, ultimately, your sales success depends on how you handle the factors covered in the points above.

6. Long-term results

One of the biggest struggles with measuring the success of content marketing is the time frame in which you evaluate it. Content marketing is a long-term process. With a strategy that calls for consistent posting month after month, you will eventually build up an arsenal of quality content that you can continue to bring traffic to your site for years to come. This content will drive consumers to consider you a valuable resource of information. With planning, team buy-in and proper execution, a great content marketing strategy can efficiently grow your business.