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How Content Marketing Can Help Your Company Do More For Less Content marketing has the power to transform businesses, with lower costs and higher returns than traditional marketing methods.

By Alex Ionides

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If you still think content is more of a supporting act than the star of the show, think again. True, companies have been producing content for decades– everything from brochures, flyers, direct mail, websites, podcasts and videos. And they're still doing it. But in recent years, the concept of content marketing has been redefined. It's shifted from being a mere bolt-on to a highly profitable discipline in its own right, complete with strategies, budgets, and long-term plans.

In fact, it's grown so much that it now has the power to transform businesses, with lower costs and higher returns than traditional marketing methods.

Why content should be a priority for your company
Time and time again, studies have shown that people (particularly younger people) are tuning out of TV as a main source of news and information and going online instead– to social media, blogs and search engines. People not only want something more accessible, authentic, and relevant from brands like yours, but have come to expect it.

And you now have the perfect platform to deliver. But while giving customers what they want is a good reason to take content marketing more seriously than ever, it's not the only thing that makes it attractive. The revenue it generates on a global scale is set to be worth US$ 300 billion by 2019. Done well, content marketing delivers real returns.

So let's look at three reasons why your company needs content marketing:

Content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing, but generates 3x the leads
Unsurprisingly, people don't respond well to having thousands of promotional messages pushed in front of them every day. They prefer non-intrusive content they can use and access when and where they want to. It works for them and it can work for brands like yours as well.

Because it means you can grow your customer base while enhancing your brand profile at the same time. It's why more marketers are now putting greater emphasis on diversifying their channel plans. While company blogs initially carried the weight of a typical content strategy, today we find that spreading content intelligently across multiple platforms can boost lead generation even further. Social media, ebooks, whitepapers, video and infographics continue to make an impact. And after ten years of delivering consistently high returns, email continues to be the most effective overall.

Website + blog = 434% more search engine-indexed pages
Spread it over a range of online platforms, and you'll lead more people to your site. You can essentially hit two birds with one stone. So instead of sweating over SEO as a single strand within your marketing strategy, get your content strategy right and let it do the hard work for you.

Conversion rates are 6x higher than traditional marketing
Yes, you read that right. Content marketing is six times more effective at converting leads into customers. In fact, one study revealed that more than 60% of US online consumers purchased a product after reading recommendations about it on a blog. When you consider the trust that content marketing cultivates, it's easy to see why the vast majority of B2B marketers use content marketing in their overall strategies.

Welcome to your customers– why content pays for itself
Content marketing has evolved into a vital cornerstone for businesses globally. If you haven't already, now's the time to start exploring the value it can add to your company. It has the power to transform your business like no other form of marketing. Your customers will start treating your brand more like a trusted friend than an unavoidable annoyance, and have greater confidence in your offering and expertise. So when the time comes to buy the thing that your company offers– well, they'll turn to you.

Marketers at all levels are realizing how far it can go to build brand awareness, increase conversion rates, and reduce costs that typically come with traditional advertising. What started as an "unknown' has come into its own. Content is all grown up.

Related: Five Data-Driven Improvements To Your Content Marketing Strategy

Alex Ionides

Managing Director, Silx

Alex Ionides is Managing Director of Silx, a Dubai-based digital marketing agency. Previously, Alex was General Manager of the Dubai office of global PR company Hill+Knowlton Strategies, and Managing Director of Munich-based marketing agency Threeview. He grew up in Vancouver, Canada, receiving a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mass Communication from Simon Fraser University. In addition to his career in marketing, Alex worked for many years as a journalist in the Middle East. He has lived and worked in the US, Germany, Hong Kong, Egypt, and now Dubai.

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