In 1996, Bill Gates wrote an essay entitled, “Content is King”, where he said that the broad opportunities for most companies involve supplying information or entertainment. And in marketing, this statement is priceless and even more relevant today, than back in 1996.

The rise in popularity of content marketing is largely thanks to how much it is about the customer, rather than the marketing or the company. Content is king for two main reasons: attention and answers. When consumers check emails and browse through social media, they’re looking for something to engage with. By providing content for those searches – by providing answers – you’re able to attract and convert more of your targets.

Content marketing is an umbrella term covering a set of strategies, techniques, and tactics to fulfil business and customer goals, by using content across the customer journey and several business functions in a consistent, integrated and continuous way.

It’s a powerful tool that enables marketers to increase web traffic, boost sales and grow overall brand awareness because it:

Builds trust with your audience

Today’s consumers are smarter about how they consume content and share their personal information online. They are also less inclined to engage with your brand in exchange for mediocre and meaningless content. Building trust through quality content can lead to increased levels of engagement and interest in what you have to offer, and ultimately, establishing long-lasting relationships.

To get this right, we’re not talking content for the sake of content. People want high quality, useful, relevant, and engaging content about things that matter to them.  Attention spans are getting shorter and people hop from page to page, so always ensure that whatever content you publish, it is meaningful and valuable.

Generates convertible leads

Content marketing generates more than three times as many leads as traditional advertising methods and costs 62% less. It enables you to connect with and inform your leads and customers directly, and in turn, improve your conversion rates. Customers are more likely to invest in what your brand is offering, if they have a strong idea of who you are and what you stand for.

Sharpens your SEO strategy

SEO plays a direct role in how visible and accessible your brand is online, so it is important to leverage content to showcase your brand’s value. Content marketing helps you to create more opportunities for your brand to get noticed by your audience, ultimately increasing your chances of making impressions and developing lasting relationships.

The more quality content you create and publish, the more you’re contributing to your overall online presence. Always keep in mind that SEO algorithms reward good quality content and punish poor quality content.

Builds your reputation through increased authority

Producing great content shows the world that you are an expert in your field. The more quality content you have online, the more respect you will gain from your audience, which can increase your authority and credibility within your industry.

Instead of simply showcasing what your business can do, offer practical suggestions in your content to demonstrate how it can help to solve users’ problems, with content tricks like product or service feature guides, case studies that illustrate new needs and solutions, answers to solving common problems or thought leadership pieces.

Enhances brand exposure

Every time you publish meaningful and engaging content, not only are you increasing the stickiness of your digital platforms in attracting users more often, but you are also contributing to your business’s overall digital footprint and brand exposure. Content supports almost every aspect of your brand’s strategy. A solid content marketing strategy can set your business apart in your industry and even outsmart bigger competitors.

A well thought out and executed content marketing strategy enables you to promote your brand through various digital tactics. Using atomisation – taking one topic or idea and atomising it into multiple content bits or stories – will ensure that your content enjoys the maximum mileage it can get across platforms. This increases your digital and social media traction and allows for greater brand exposure.