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Why content is critical to your business

By Lisa Manfield  | December 11, 2017  |  Business solutions, Web solutions

The content business used to be the exclusive purview of media outlets, book, and magazine publishers. But today, the maxim “everyone is a publisher” has become more relevant than ever, particularly online, where audiences are not only wary of ads, they may not ever see them.

Companies have turned to editorial-style content -- whether it’s a blog post, a video, an e-newsletter, or a compelling social media post to distribute brand messaging and attract readers and customers to their website.

According to eMarketer, 60 percent of marketers create at least one piece of content each day to drive traffic, boost engagement, improve search ranking, and increase sales.

Content drives traffic

In order to generate an online revenue stream, you need to get eyeballs to your website. Content makes this possible by giving people a reason to come to your site -- particularly content that helps solve their problems.   

Take our client FindaTopDoc as an example. A year and a half ago, the doctor search and bookings site had launched a new website allowing patients to book medical appointments with specialists, and to post reviews. But its traffic was minimal, and it needed to build awareness of the site. Its solution? Content, and lots of it.

By introducing a variety of content features, including a medical library, expert questions and answers, as well as doctor blogs, the site has grown its traffic tenfold in less than a year.

FindaTopDoc didn’t set out to be a publisher, but it’s now publishing over 1,000 pieces of new content per month as a key part of its business growth strategy.

Content boosts engagement and SEO

One of the great benefits of and reasons to pursue content marketing is the boost in audience engagement and search rankings. Content that is well crafted and useful is more likely to be shared by readers. In fact, according to HubSpot, 76 percent of people use their Facebook feed specifically to find interesting content.

Google also tends to favour sites with fresh content, so the more content you have on your site, the more likely it is to be found by searchers (as long as it is well optimized). Fresh content leads to longer time spent on site, which can also improve your SEO. According to Ascend2, 72 percent of marketers say relevant content creation was the most effective SEO tactic they tried.

Our client, the Downtown New Westminster BIA, found that by creating compelling blog content, it was able to drive a significant amount of traffic via social media. Further, streamlining the process of publishing user generated content, such as event listings and business profiles, gave it an additional outlet for effective engagement with readers.

Content leads to sales

According to PageFair, over 200 million people worldwide use ad-blocking software, ensuring they never even see online ads. However, HubSpot reports that 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making big purchases, and rather than ads, it’s quality content they’re looking for.

Many marketers are using marketing automation tools to nurture leads, but you don’t necessarily need a marketing automation solution to drive sales. Marketing automation or not, you do need content, and you need to be willing to experiment with a variety of content formats.

Our client, Habitat Magazine, discovered that by adding sponsored video content, it was able to generate a lucrative new B2B revenue stream that has grown to comprise more than a third of its web revenue in the past year.

And on the B2C side, some of our ReaderBound book publishing clients are finding that adding complete meta data, including book covers, reviews, awards, and excerpts, makes books more discoverable, and leads to increased sales.

Even traditional publishers are discovering that more content, and new kinds of content, are critical to business success.

Ready to explore how a content strategy can help you drive traffic, engagement, and sales? Get in touch anytime, we’re happy to chat.

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