Before you can understand the importance of content marketing, it is important to know what it is.

Content marketing is the creation and distribution of valuable content with the goal of driving customer engagement. It is educating, entertaining and informing your reader with the goal of conversion in mind.

When your competitors wield a six-figure marketing budget (or higher), content marketing can help even the playing field. It is a way of utilizing social media, website and various digital platforms to better engage with your audience and tell your business’s story.

The importance of content marketing can be measured by the business it brings.

Content Marketing Generates Business By:

Giving Your Readers What They’re Looking For – It’s not necessarily the business with the loudest megaphone that wins anymore. Content marketing allows you to build a larger, more interactive audience by telling a better story.

Your audience is after information. They’re searching for information about your industry, and not just the products or services you sell. They’re looking to become more informed consumers, and the good news is you can help them solve their problems. When you do that, they’re more likely to stay loyal.

Building Your Brand and Reputation – Let’s say you are a plumber. Giving readers advice on how to fix their own leaky sink may seem counterintuitive, but it’s not. The Internet ushered in an age of information, and if your readers don’t get it from you, they will easily find it somewhere else. Publishing a post about a how to fix a leaky sink establishes you as the plumbing expert. Plus, if the person reading the blog is anything like me, they’ll get to step 2, and realize they don’t want to be doing this themselves. They’ll be envisioning the worse case scenario while taking a wrench to the pipe, and instead call for help. Who do you think they’ll call? That’s right. It’s you. (When it comes to home repairs, I’m the least handy person I know. And I’ll admit it.)

Generating Traffic – Utilizing social platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram (and many, many other) will help you generate traffic to your website. People are looking for information about your industry, and they’re looking for it in an appealing fashion.

Chances are, a significant percentage of your audience is probably already utilizing the social networks above. When you join they’re conversation, you open new doors and expand your audience. Placing informative, helpful content on your social networks brings people back to your website, and is a great strategy for fostering conversions. Traffic can help underscore the importance of content marketing.

Speaking of…

Encourages People to Buy – You have to remember that you use social media, blogging and other forms of content marketing to sell. Yes, they should be friendly and informational. But you are using content marketing to sell. Don’t be afraid to include a call to action where appropriate. You can always end a blog post encouraging people to contact you, download your eBook or buy. Readers may not automatically know what you want them to do unless you ask them. So ask.

Importance of Content Marketing: Have a Plan

A good content marketing plan is important in generating more business. It is important to understand what goals you have for your business, and adjust your approach and content strategies to meet those goals. Meeting those goals is all part of the importance of content marketing.

Wrapping it all up – If you are sick of all the digital marketing fads, and waiting for this one to end, you’re going to be waiting a long, long time. Content is the future of marketing. Consumers want information, and that’s not going to change with the next technological advancement. You don’t have to take my word for it.

Check out some of the great content resources: Content Marketing Institute, Copyblogger and ProBlogger. These resources can help you understand the importance of content marketing and how to leverage it to generate more business.

If you’re looking for an extra push with your content marketing, contact a marketing writer.