Content Marketing

The Biggest, Yet Never Mentioned, Benefit of Content Marketing

Text Content on colorful wooden cubes

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.