Most corporate decision makers will not buy your product or service after seeing your banner ad or after seeing you rank highly in search engine results. Closing a deal on software or signing a year long engagement is not an impulse buy. Buying Skittles for your kids in a checkout line - sure, impulse buy. Paying $20 or $30K for software - that requires a bit of time and analysis before purchase. That's where the power of content comes into play.
Therein lies one key benefit of an inbound content strategy: Education.
Senior managers and executives are regularly assigned new projects and tasks. And they regularly need to skill up and learn about the decisions, vendors and software those projects require. That's where your content comes in.
If you're offering a vendor matrix or vendor selection tool that articulates important decision points - that's helpful and useful. It's not a simple ad. It's nuanced, well thought out content that will enable an executive to go to her boss and position the pros and cons of a decision or purchase. There is long term value there. Not only for the executive, but for your company. If you have a vendor selection guide that a large percentage of leads download before becoming customers, that's also a valuable piece of data for you.
Most decision makers have a learning mindset and enjoy educating themselves on how to make the best choices for their company. Very rarely will leaders make an organization-wide decision based on something they saw on a banner ad. But if your company can educate them, you will likely come out on top. - Forbes
A content strategy can help your business attract top talent.
Every company wants to hire the best and the brightest. Where do those best and brightest start their job searches? Most likely Google. If that Harvard or Penn State grad is interested in what your company does, they will land on your website and see how smart of a company you are. They will judge you not by graphics or pictures but by the content you offer. They will decide whether they want to work for your company based on the content of your website.
Content provides lifetime value.
Think of a banner or display ad. Then consider a blog post. Write a blog once and it lasts forever. Ads only last as long as you pay for them. Then you have to pay for more. It's like a 5 minute thrill. The blog that I am writing (and you are reading) right now will last much much longer than any ad. Your content, in a very real sense - becomes priceless and timeless.
Having a content strategy that links buyer personas to your sales funnel is not an option, it's a necessity. If you haven't viewed your website through a content prism you're in danger of losing customers, talent and money. Do you know of any other benefits of having an inbound content strategy? I'd love to hear!here.