You’ve heard the buzz around content marketing, and chances are, you’re already using it to some extent at your own company. As you’ve probably heard, 88 percent of organizations in the U.S. say they're using content marketing to attract and retain a clearly defined audience.
But what kind of results could you see if you really committed to content marketing? Here’s how content marketing can improve your conversion rates and the quality of your leads better than virtually any other form of marketing out there.
What Content Marketing Achieves
Before we dig into conversion rates directly, here are a few ways that we know content marketing is influencing buyer behavior.
- More Traffic. An Aberdeen study found that content marketing leaders experienced year-over-year growth in unique site traffic that was almost eight times higher than others.
- Builds Trust. A full 95 percent of buyers said they found content trustworthy when evaluating a company.
- Meets Buyer Preferences. 80 percent of business decision-makers prefer information in a series of articles rather than an advertisement.
It's clear that content marketing is what B2B buyers say they prefer when making purchase decisions, and that preference is reflected in higher traffic rates to companies with a content strategy. But by how much are these prospects making the leap and converting?
Repeat Visits and Conversions
Without question, branding is an essential component of any marketing strategy. The content on your website provides visitors with a place to engage with your branded messaging, and the more often a prospect visits, the more likely it is for he or she to convert.
A Wordstream study found that conversion rates for repeat visitors were two to three times higher than new visitors. There's more than just content that's contributing to these conversions, but content forms the foundation of all the activity on your website.
Brand Recognition and Trust
In digging into how branding affects Google rankings, Moz discovered an interesting bit of information about searchers and their clicks. People are far more likely to click links associated with brands they are already familiar with — not necessarily the links that were in the top slots of the search results.
The Moz deep-dive was focused on improving SEO, but the takeaway is the same: When people are searching for solutions using Google and are presented with a number of options to choose from, simply having heard of a brand before tends to lend enough trust to earn the click. Along with driving new traffic, these clicks also contribute to repeat visitors who are then more likely to convert.
How is this brand recognition happening in the first place? Content marketing.
Content and the Buying Process
Today's buying process is not only driven by consumers, but it's also longer than ever. In a B2B buyer behavior survey, almost 60 percent of B2B buyers said they are spending more time researching purchases. This research includes consuming lots of vendor content, including white papers, articles, videos, and more.
At least 90 percent of buyers interacted with at least two to four pieces of content from the vendor who ended up getting the sale and 30 percent viewed between five and seven pieces. And 65 percent said that content had a significant impact on their decision.
Content Marketing: A Case Study
ShoreTel Sky, a B2B cloud-based phone system, wanted to promote its products and demonstrate its expertise in the industry to generate more targeted traffic to their website and hopefully drive more conversions.
To achieve these goals, a blog was launched and content generated to make the most of their keyword strategy. Every day, a short article was added to the blog with one longer piece published monthly. Plus two high-quality infographics were created to share around the web to drive more traffic back to the website.
In just six months, the website experienced an organic traffic lift of more than 50 percent, with the blog being the most popular page. What's more, visitors who read content on the blog had a 42 percent higher conversion rate.
Get More Conversions
Content marketing will act as an amplifier for all your digital marketing strategies. From boosting SEO to building brand awareness, content is bringing B2B marketers results across the board. And, to the point: content marketing will increase conversions — and your bottom line.