Content marketing is here to stay, so it’s time to start paying attention. With these tips, you can figure out how to harness this strategy’s massive potential.

If you’re still confused about what content marketing is, Clifford Jones of the Chicago Business Journal offers a simple explanation: “The name of the game here is integrating highly engaging content into your overall marketing strategy and plan of action.”

The idea isn’t just to attract potential new customers, but to also retain the ongoing interest of your existing customer base with a steady stream of creative, interesting, and (perhaps most importantly) relevant information. This might sound easy enough, but according to Altimeter, 70% of businesses lack an effectively integrated or consistent strategy. Here are some tips to help make sure your content marketing efforts stay on the right track.

Set It and Forget It

A Kapost and Eloqua study found that, when it comes to ROI, content marketing is over three times more effective than paid searches. In terms of overall efficiency, paid search advertising costs businesses about $111.11 per lead, while content marketing costs just $32.25. What’s more, HubSpot discovered that 82% of marketers with daily blogs experienced a positive ROI for their collective inbound marketing efforts.

A good way to boost ROI is by outsourcing. Not only will it lower typical marketing overhead, but bringing in an experienced content marketing firm alleviates pressure and guarantees results, allowing you to focus your in-house mental resources elsewhere. And you’ll be in good company — according to Demand Metric, 62% of companies outsource a portion or all of their content marketing needs to third-party specialists.

Search and Destroy

A pair of golden binoculars.

Chase Elliott Clark/flickr

 

Believe it or not, content marketing isn’t just about engaging and educating readers. With the advent of Google Panda, content is now the bedrock of good SEO. By generating a steady stream of high-quality content, search engines will begin to recognize your business an industry authority, and your SEO will improve accordingly.

Build Trust

The ability to develop meaningful connections with customers is crucial when it comes to fostering brand loyalty. Content is a good way to demonstrate that you understand and embrace the values of your specific consumer base, and will ultimately help you gain their trust.

But this kind of bond doesn’t happen overnight. Edelman found that 64% of consumers need companies to repeat the same information four or five times before it’s really able to sink in. Content marketing is definitely a long-term strategy, but over time it can yield serious results — a report from Nielsen showed that 53% of consumers claimed they were more inclined to purchase a new product if they discovered it through an article they found online.

The Undeniable Upper Hand

Content marketing can be a powerful tool when it comes to enhancing customer engagement, but only when it’s done properly. And considering that 69% of B2C companies are planning on increasing their content output in 2015, optimizing your approach is more important now than ever. Because as the world becomes increasingly saturated with posts from company blogs and social media channels, a single step in the wrong direction will likely get you lost in the shuffle.

Longneck and Thunderfoot offer B2C content marketing services to help your business reach the audiences that matter with smart, useful content that delivers the right message at the right time. Learn more about B2C content marketing here.