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Content Marketing Benefits and Drawbacks

Are you looking for something to breathe life back into your SEO and marketing campaigns? Content marketing might be the answer. Before you kickstart your new strategy, make sure you know what’s involved. Here are the benefits (and drawbacks!) of content marketing.

Content marketing can mean a broad range of things for different businesses. Its many facets entail several methods and techniques, of which you can pick and choose. In this way, content marketing is customisable, so you can have a strategy that suits your brand, budget, and time scale.

Although there are many attractive benefits to content marketing, it comes with its drawbacks too. If you were to launch a far-reaching content campaign that produced masses of content, you’d probably have to outsource some of the work since it would be very time-consuming to do it all yourself.

Even so, some are adamant that a content marketing strategy is what made their business successful. According to Drift, content marketing costs 62% less than other marketing options whilst delivering 3x more leads.

In order for your strategy to deliver the amazing results you want, it’ll need to be consistent. It might even require full-time investment to be highly effective.

According to Terakeet, billion-dollar brands were losing their share of the organic market to publishers who were creating long-form high-quality content. So, there is a case to be made that quality is more valuable than funding when it comes to content marketing campaigns.

In this article, we’ll run you through the benefits you can expect to see from content marketing and the drawbacks to prepare for.

Firstly, what is content marketing? And, what’s involved in a content marketing strategy?

A content marketing campaign shares material online that doesn’t explicitly promote a brand but aims to encourage interest in a company. Also, many businesses utilise content marketing as part of their SEO effort, which aims to build authority on search engines and gather more impressions, conversions, and sales through digital content.

A content marketing strategy involves consistently producing relevant and valuable content to attract a specific audience. The content may include:

  • Blog posts and articles
  • Social media posts
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Emails
  • Tools and templates
  • Interviews
  • Live Q&As
  • Lookbooks
  • Infographics
  • Webinars

Content and marketing are linked

Marketing will always include content to some extent. For example:

SEO: websites are rewarded by search engines if they produce high-quality content consistently.

Inbound marketing: content is crucial in attracting inbound leads and traffic.

Social media: posting engaging social media posts requires high-quality and well-thought-out content.

PR: businesses that address issues (that their readers care about) in their content have successful PR strategies.

Pay per click: good content is crucial if your PPC is going to work, as users need to be compelled by something to “click”.

Benefits of content marketing

Organic search improvements

Content creation is considered the foundation of organic search and driving more traffic to your website. However, this strategy might be hindered if you haven’t addressed your site’s technical SEO issues.

Once you’ve worked on your campaign for a while and produced a large backlog of content, you’ll start to see significant results.

By building a sufficient catalogue of industry-relevant and well-researched keywords across your site, you’ll start to rank well for more competitive keywords, as well as long-tail variants. If you action this correctly, you will yield long-term and compounding return on investment. This process will also result in your website growing in authority for its niche.

E.A.T – what Google wants to see in websites

E.A.T stands for expertise, authority, and trust. These are the three pillars that your site must emulate for Google to reward you in the SERPs.

Shopify is a great model for the E.A.T approach as it produces straightforward content that beginners want to consume. Their content is written by experts and solves users’ pain points.

By taking this approach and producing beginner-friendly content, you build a website that is authoritative, trustworthy, and that has expertise – exactly what Google is looking for. As a result, your SEO will benefit massively.

High-quality content can result in numerous backlinks from high-authority websites, boosting your site’s trustworthiness even further.

For e-commerce sites wanting to explore content marketing, their strategy will go far beyond transactional pages. Blog posts full of data and helpful advice can build trust and authority.

Having no sales on a page might seem counter-intuitive for some, but sales aren’t the immediate goal here. A trusted and authoritative site will gain more traffic in the long run, appear higher in the SERPs, and ultimately gain a more extensive customer base.

Brand personality

When you think of a brand, you might just think of its colour scheme and logo. But a brand’s voice is a defining characteristic. A brand can get its voice out there in many ways, but especially through its content.

Whether it’s through advice, tips, recommendations, tutorials, or “top ten” guides, the act of producing content is ripe with possibilities to convey your brand’s personality.

Content marketing allows you to encourage a stronger brand affinity. Through content, you can answer your users’ questions and provide additional information they didn’t realise they needed. If this high-quality content is paired with your brand’s unique personality, your users are highly likely to emotionally invest in your company.

Once someone’s emotionally invested, they become a channel through which your brand can be communicated. Although someone may find your content via Google’s SERPs, they might also be sent a link from a friend or find you through an industry resource. In this way, your brand personality builds leads, which then build awareness. As this process repeats, awareness of your brand continues to grow.

Once you’ve built up brand awareness, got your brand’s personality into the web-o-sphere, and produced a substantial backlog of content, you’ll have created an authoritative platform to work from.

Google will value this large, trusted, and unique platform and reward you.

Better quality leads

When your content is full of relevant keywords, it will be found by people who are looking for it. Plus, if your keyword research is aligned with searcher intent, you’ll have a higher chance of securing leads.

Site visitors who have searched specifically for what your content discusses will have a higher chance of converting as they have bigger intentions to engage with you. Thus, your content acts as a magnet that attracts the exact audience you are targeting.

As long as your keyword research is relevant and your content matches your user intent research, you’ll attract better quality leads who are more likely to make purchases from you.

Close sales funnel gaps and improve conversion rate

Think of the stages of the conversion funnel: awareness, consideration, and decision.

Both content marketing and SEO can target each one of these stages. Wherever your users are in their sales funnel journey, you’ll be able to encourage them with content marketing.

You might already have an email marketing campaign that aims to encourage users through their sales funnel journey. However, utilising a further-reaching content marketing strategy will enhance this goal via more channels.

Content can be used to attract leads in the first place, reach out during their consideration phase, and influence their decision to make a purchase.

Thus, content marketing can be extremely helpful in improving your site’s conversion rate. Through content, you can:

  • Remind users about new or improved products
  • Reinvigorate your brand
  • Include each and every customer in a community
  • Tell a story that people want to engage with
  • Address questions and concerns
  • Sell your products
  • Share incentives
  • Create calls to action
  • Foster a sense of trust amongst users

Accessible by a broader audience

You know how some people are visual learners, and some prefer to skim bullet points?

Well, it’s because everyone has unique learning requirements.

Some people would prefer to watch a video whilst others would want to read.

When you invest in a varied content marketing scheme, you can cater to all these different customers. Here are some of these different formats you can utilise:

  • Blog posts and articles
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Social media posts
  • Emails
  • Tools and templates
  • Interviews
  • Live Q&As
  • Lookbooks
  • Infographics
  • Webinars

Furthermore, content marketing efforts will reach those people who choose to avoid ads and other traditional forms of advertising. Some will be using an advert-blocking extension but will be able to see your blogs, videos, and social media posts.

Increased PR results and engagement on social media

Before your content converts users into paying customers, it will turn them into brand advocates. This happens when someone lands on a piece of your content and thinks it’s been helpful, entertaining, clever, or touching.

Once you’ve got a brand advocate, they’ll likely follow you on your social media platforms and possibly share your content with their friends. In this way, your brand advocates are lending their voice to you.

Brand advocates aren’t created without content. If you’re not producing blog posts, videos, or social media content, users will never be able to share your creations.

It’s not just individuals who can be brand advocates; high authority publications and blogs can get a hold of you too. These significant figures are keen to share high-quality information with their own audiences, and if your content has information they’re looking for – they’ll be sharing it.

This act of sharing and backlinking can have a significant effect on where your site appears in the SERPs. It might even be the difference between being on page one or page ten of Google.

Drawbacks of content marketing

Unfortunately, all strategies come with drawbacks. Before you embark on your journey with content marketing, you need to make sure you can handle what comes with it. Here are some things to be aware of:

Your results won’t be immediate.

Experts say that the results from content marketing campaigns can take up to six to nine to appear. However, the length of time you’ll have to wait will, of course, depend on the quantity and quality of your content output. You might have to have a good look at your budget and allow for this “waiting time” before you see an ROI.

Google is constantly changing its algorithm.

Unfortunately, all websites are in the hands of Google’s algorithm. Since it’s constantly changing, your site’s SEO goalposts will change too.

Therefore, you must always try to be agile, competitive, and relevant.

You might have to outsource the workload.

Many writers, editors, content managers, SEO strategists, and social media marketers will know more than you about content marketing. If your campaign is taking up too much of your valuable time, you might have to bite the bullet and reach out to freelancers or agencies for help. Fortunately, since they’re the experts, you’ll get high-quality services.

Content marketing requires a lot of steps

(E.g., planning, keyword research, writing, editing, proofreading, SEO checks, scheduling, publishing, social media management, and email marketing).

There sure is a lot to think about when it comes to a content marketing campaign. Unless you have some experts to help with the workload, this might mean you remain in the “planning” stage for a while. It will also mean that at some stage, you’ll want to outsource the work to the experts, which comes at a cost.

You must have the creativity to come up with new ideas regularly.

To stay engaging and keep up an ongoing content campaign, you’ll have to be creative. If this doesn’t come naturally to you, you’ll want to hire someone with a creative streak. Make sure you do your research and look at what others are doing to stay inspired. Sometimes it’s just a case of following current trends and adapting them to your brand.

Brand reputation, loyalty, and awareness are difficult metrics to measure.

A large part of content marketing is getting your brand out there, reaching a wider audience, gathering brand advocates, and encouraging loyalty. Unfortunately, these metrics are somewhat fickle to measure. However, since these all result in sales and engagement, there are still other KPIs you can use to help you see how your business is growing.

Content marketing can be expensive.

Hiring an agency will be more cost-effective than an in-house team; however, it could still cost between $2000 and $10,000 a month.

You probably can’t do it by yourself.

As we’ve listed above, there are many aspects of content marketing that you might not have experience with. And even if you do, there is so much to cover within a content marketing campaign that you might not have the time to do it all yourself. Outsourcing talent will come with a price tag, so make sure you have the appropriate budget for this.

Final Thoughts

Anyone working on their SEO strategy has considered content marketing. And why wouldn’t they? Many websites have been highly successful with their content. A well-planned content marketing strategy can bring a wide range of positive results to many aspects of a business.

However, if you’re still in the brainstorming stage of your strategy, make sure you do your research. Content marketing can be heavy on resources, time, and money. Plus, you’ll have to wait a while to see results. You’ll need to know if results are something you can afford to wait for.

With all these benefits that content marketing offers, your company could become the brand that audiences come to when they need information that you specialise in and the brand that people can’t wait to share with others.

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