Content Marketing

The Biggest, Yet Never Mentioned, Benefit of Content Marketing

bigstock Text Content On Colorful Woode 29310596 The Biggest, Yet Never Mentioned, Benefit of Content Marketing

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We can pretend we’ve all accepted the commonly understood benefits of content marketing. But we’d be pretenders.

Let’s deal with the digits. Content marketing can help you make money.

Planned and executed by marketing professionals, your content marketing efforts will drive traffic to your site and increase leads. It’s capable of playing a role in helping you better qualify leads, too.

Well-played content marketing tactics will build authority, foster trust, create and activate brand advocates, and inspire referrals.

But rather than talking about making money, I want to focus today on making more money. And I don’t mean selling more product. Nor do I mean lowering your sales and marketing costs. Both are reasonable expectations for crack content marketers—but that’s not today’s point.

What I’m talking about is raising your prices. Inflation, my friend. You can’t avoid it, so you might as well just cause it.

Will content marketing—done well—allow you to increase your prices?

I took the question to a number of proven experts. First up, Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute:

Smart content marketing enables so many more sales opportunities. That means companies can be more discriminating about who they do business with and at the same time hold tight on pricing.

Since the majority of would-be customers are long-time readers, they already understand the value you bring to the table. They don’t come for the cheapest service… They come to get the best. In this way, pricing rarely becomes an obstacle. When you increase your pricing, customers usually don’t have an issue with it.

Here’s Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs:

The truth is giving free content to your prospective clients and customers will do a few things, but none of those things will dissuade the purchase of any metaphorical milk. Rather, educating prospects about the products you sell and underscoring your own expertise actually increases your credibility and fosters trust. Ultimately, it allows you to unapologetically charge what you charge. You show that you know what you’re talking about. Those who dig your stuff become more educated and sales-ready leads.

And now we hop over the salty seas and hand it off to B2B content marketing mastermind Doug Kessler, co-founder of Velocity Partners.

Done properly, content marketing attracts more of the right kind of prospects: the ones who value what you do best. You can translate the extra inbound interest into any business benefit you like: raise your prices, grow faster, select your customers more carefully… whatever you need to do.

With lots of demand, raising prices is a pretty sound strategy (it also lets you buy pretty things). Content marketing supports this because it positions you as THE (metaphorical) DUDE in your field. And top dudes cost top dollar.

Content is content, marketing is marketing, and money is money

I’ve studied and practiced content marketing like a man possessed for a few years, and I’ve started to enjoy the benefits. I found content marketing really did help me better qualify prospects (mostly by cutting loose bad fits faster).

I thought long and hard and decided the qualifications I was looking for in customers were (1) those that understood and valued my talents and (2) those uninclined to balk at my fees. Amazingly, they turned out to be same customers. So I raised my prices. And demand went up.

If you leave Marcus Sheridan out of a roundup like this he hunts you down and rips you to shreds. He is, after all, The Sales Lion.

Content marketing has a HUGE impact on pricing and there is one main reason why: when people love you, they don’t date around.

And no, your ‘unique’ industry doesn’t matter. I’ve seen it in all types of industries—B2B, B2C, products, services… It all works the same.

Good content = great teaching = more trust from consumers = less quotes from the competition = higher prices and margins.

At first I thought Marcus must have a sticky equals sign key, but upon further examination, I concluded his equation adds up perfectly. Here’s some more math from Marcus:

I’ve said it 1,000 times and I’ll say it 100,000 more: great content is the greatest sales tool in the world… period.

Before we check out, we’ll check in with Copyblogger founder Brian Clark, an unquestionable pioneer of content marketing.

Content marketing creates authority, which prompts people to choose you over other solutions that might cost less. People are paying to make sure the problem is solved or the desire is fulfilled.

Another benefit is the groundswell effect. When you reach lots of people with content marketing, you sell lots of stuff. This in turn allows you to move into new levels of business, which can often correspond with much higher fees and prices. For example, you create a reasonably priced solution for the SMB market and it catches fire. This trickles up to the enterprise level where higher pricing is actually a requirement. It’s a good problem to have—and content is the catalyst.

Amen. Now raise your game. And raise your rates.

Related
  • http://twitter.com/dougkessler dougkessler

    Slam dunk. Great point and great post.

    • http://www.feldmancreative.com/ Barry Feldman

      A hoops metaphor from a Brit. How ’bout that. Thanks for being a part of this one Doug.

  • joanna

    thank you for the post. Inspiring :)

    ———————-
    http://www.ananova.com

    • http://www.feldmancreative.com/ Barry Feldman

      YW.

  • http://twitter.com/GregHyer Greg Hyer

    Excellent insight! I would add that a content marketing strategy that aligns with the buying cycle and that can enable Sales, reducing frustration, can support a lift in pricing.

    • http://www.feldmancreative.com/ Barry Feldman

      I’ll buy that. Sales would definitely help with the credibility.

  • http://www.rocketmedia.com/blog Bryce Propheter

    I don’t know that it’s “never mentioned”, but I agree that it is not mentioned enough. This has been my selling point to my organization for some time.

    • http://www.feldmancreative.com/ Barry Feldman

      And…?

      • http://www.rocketmedia.com/blog Bryce Propheter

        Not sure that there was an “and…” Just mentioning that the headline isn’t completely accurate :)

        • http://www.feldmancreative.com/ Barry Feldman

          Oh, no, sorry Bryce… I meant, “And how has that gone for you, that selling the idea to your organization?” (And… what organization?)

  • http://www.craigmcbreen.com/ Craig McBreen

    Hi Barry,

    Great points on content as the catalyst for higher rates. Not only for finding better qualified prospects, but also as another selling point to my potential customers. I’ve been in the visual branding business for almost 20 years, but this is something I am just starting to implement (content marketing, that is) … getting a crap-ton of push back from clients (for good reason) they have limited resources and time, but many really, really need it. Thanks for the info.

    • http://www.feldmancreative.com/ Barry Feldman

      The push-back part concerns me. Can you collect some success stories to demonstrate how CM works?

      • http://www.craigmcbreen.com/ Craig McBreen

        Now working on directing clients to the best articles I can find (5-10 max) Any suggestions would be appreciated :)

  • Guest

    “Great content is the greatest sales tool in the world… period.” <This. Its great to see that others industries are realising what journalists have always known!! And frustrating to see how much terrible, spammy, link-baity content there is out there. Ever-increasing white noise to cut through. But I hope it will mean that, as time goes on, the good stuff should really stand out.

  • Guest

    “Great content is the greatest sales tool in the world… period.” <This. Its great to see that others industries are realising what journalists have always known!! And frustrating to see how much terrible content there is out there. Ever-increasing white noise to cut through. But I hope it will mean that, as time goes on, the good stuff should really stand out.

  • Steven TRACY

    John DEERE was one of the first to do content marketing with success in the late 19th century.

    He created “The Furrow” magazine all about farming and agriculture.

    Another good example is the “Michelin Guides” by Michelin.

    The three main benefits of content marketing wich make’s you stand out from the rest are :
    1) You show people that you know what your talking about
    2) A lot beter quality lead custumor engagement
    3) You turn out to become an opinion leader in your niche wich creates brand awareness.

    The main challenge has always been creating good quality content and most people don’t realize how much content marketing give’s you an outreach that would cost millions in advertising to obtain the same results.

    Content marketing is also a great time saver. Why ? Well, simply said, ounce you’ve created good content you don’t have to go through all the trouble to explain the same thing over and over again.

    Search engines have changed the marketing landscape by changing the way customers engage towards products.

    90% of us all look for information before we choose to buy. And this is even challenging for Google’s own Add system. People are looking for information, that’s why 80% of the clicks go to natural serps rankings and not to Adwords.

    Our biggest challenge is educating clients who are used to writing out a check to buy add placements into working with us to creat great content that really engage customers.

    Thank you for another educationnal article about Content Marketing :)

  • http://www.vaniatechnologies.co.uk/seo-services Emma Jones

    Barry Great thought, Content marketing is a great way which we introduce our product,
    services or brand. If we going to write a article or publish. We must include social
    profiles in author bio; if we do this we can get more popularity.

  • http://www.callboxinc.com/ Belinda Summers

    Hi Barry,

    You made your point clear here. Content marketing has really a lot to offer. I’m happy to inform you that we we do have business leads that come from contents. Amazing right? That’s how content marketing magnificently works for us. Invited you on LinkedIn:)

  • jon_mitchell_jackson

    Most people don’t charge enough for what they sell or do. Over on the far side of my office I keep 4 or 5 pictures of my family. Every time I’m on the phone or computer thinking about charging less than I should, I look over and they remind me what my priorities are and the correct figure is then quoted. Now here’s a funny little fact. The more I charge the less push back I get and the easier it is for me to get paid. This happens almost without exception. I always tell young lawyers and business owners to charge what they’re worth and not what they think they’re worth. Too many people are “afraid” to ask for full value and it’s usually their problem and not the customer or market. Putting out great content, helping others, and providing an exceptional customer experience are the foundations that allow you to do just that. It’s all related and the better “Youtility” you are in your industry or profession the easier it is to raise price.

  • franci edgerly

    A very interesting blog and I enjoyed/appreciated the comments from everyone involved. This is a proven strategy. Our challenge is finding talented writers who can help us generate content.

  • globalteckz

    Traditional marketing is
    becoming less effective as the days are going therefore marketers are more
    moving towards content marketing,