Rather than as an investment in the future of a business or a generator of income in its own right, content marketing is often seen as a cost – a route to engaging prospects, but not to make profits. Well, that’s not strictly true. Content marketing, if carried out properly, can be a revenue driver for your business.
For simplicity’s sake, let’s assume you have no plans to create revenue directly from content (that means no ads, no spin-off events or paid-for access). Instead, you want to focus on using content to help the core parts of your business perform better. This can be broken down into five key areas:
Content can help generate profit by attracting new customers to a business. If a business is running good-quality marketing, its content will provide solutions for people who have gone online with unanswered questions.
If a business can provide relevant and timely answers for people, it can start to generate prospective customers. If its content is good, it will also encourage social shares, which will in turn aid brand exposure.
2) Retaining customers
Most businesses lose customers. The trick is to gain new customers quicker than you lose the old ones; but what if you could reduce the number that drift away in the first place?
The right mix of content can help lower churn rates by keeping people interested in what you do. If you can keep your customers up to speed on new products, developments and offers, perhaps you can retain more than you otherwise would.
Equally, if customers start to become unresponsive to your messaging, you can target them with content specifically designed to prevent them from leaving.
Reducing churn means you wouldn’t need to generate so many new customers to replace those who have left or, alternatively, you’ll increase profits as new customers join while less leave.
3) Customer support costs
Good content in knowledge centres and online communities around your brand or product can help ease the burden on your customer support team, and even reduce the size of your investment in this area. The content you create can often deal with customer service queries without an operative having to get involved.
4) Enabling sales
With all that content you’re creating, there’s bound to be a swathe of usage data that your sales team can put to good use. If you can understand who is looking at subject-specific content, signing up for your ebooks, downloading your podcasts, or registering to watch your webinars, then you will have a bucket-load of hot leads.
5) Increasing sales to existing customers
Once your customers are engaged with your content, the opportunity to guide them toward cross-sell opportunities grows increasingly viable. Also, if a customer is regularly reading or viewing your content, why not try to sell to them more frequently or devise a campaign specifically to introduce new products and/or services?
What better way to ensure a warm (or at least honest) reception to your latest venture than introducing it through compelling content to an interested group of people?