Content marketing is expensive with little ROI
Traditionally, marketing has been about being able to trace a sale back to a customer’s initial point of engagement. It’s the ideal solution to proving a business’ money has been well spent. Not so for content marketing. It leaps out into the ether in various guises – blog posts, web copy, infographics – to inform and promote, but can be difficult to track.
It’s understandable that when it comes to direct sales, some may struggle to see where content fits in, but it has a huge impact throughout the customer journey, both informing purchases and affirming a customer’s belief in your brand.
Brand awareness and authority
Never underestimate the power of these two things. It may take weeks, months or even years between a potential customer becoming aware of your brand to them actually purchasing something, but if during that time they are exposed to your name (and better yet your good reputation) over and over, they begin, albeit subconsciously, to take those cues and equate them to a known brand that can be trusted. They may not need your product or service right away, but when they do your name will spring to mind. It’s a long game, but one worth playing.
Authority comes in when the customer is at the research stage of the buying cycle. Their research will take them to your website, to consumer reviews and, increasingly, your social media pages. If these pages are filled with useful content, not just about your services but also about your industry in general, positive reviews and proof that there are real people behind the brand, the case for choosing you is stronger than for a business that has neglected these things.
As I’ve just said, the research stage inevitably takes consumers to peer reviews. If a customer is going to commit itself to your product or service, they rightly want to know that it’s one they can rely on. While these reviews are not, and categorically should not, be written by you, they influence buying decisions and can be used to demonstrate your credibility as a brand. The positive reviews speak for themselves, but even negative ones can be used to your advantage. Not only are they a great way to find out how your service can be improved, they are also a chance to publicly demonstrate the quality of your customer service. Responding to a bad review and satisfying a previously dissatisfied customer provides content that shows other potential buyers that you will value them.
Put your money where your mouth is
Even if you’re sold on the benefits of content marketing, you may still be concerned about the cost. Good quality content produced by professionals is really the only way to ensure your brand retains a good, consistent image – and unfortunately it doesn’t come cheap. But you can distinguish between getting what you pay for and being ripped off.
We’ve said this before, but it’s worth reiterating that using a writer who’s charging $2 per 500 words on a freelance website is not going to get you the best copy. It may not even get you copy that’s been written by someone whose primary language is English. On the other end of the scale, however, there are agencies that will rip you off with no apology. I’ve heard companies charging £150+ for a page of copy, and frankly it’s obscene. As a rule of thumb, you might reasonably expect to pay between £20 and £50 for 500 words (around one typed page), depending on the experience of the writer, the research time required and the turnaround time. Bear in mind that a good copywriting agency will be happy to make amendments at no extra cost.
Investing in content is necessary to support your wider sales and marketing objectives. A good content strategy will always prove to be worth the expense and can allow you to reap the benefits of the investment long after the content is produced.
Learn More About Content Marketing
Speak with any of the Whitefish Marketing team for further advice and a frank discussion about how we can help build and run your Content Marketing strategy. Call us on 01303 720288.