Marketing September 18, 2015

Why every marketing strategy would be lost without content marketing

We live in an age of information overload; in fact, we’re inundated by marketing messages – more than 2,900 a day. As a result, brands are scrambling for the attention of their target audiences. Content marketing is one of the tools to get your brand heard amongst the masses – it elevates your brand above those thousands of marketing messages – becoming the fuel for engagement with your customers.

Firstly, what is content marketing?

According to The Content Marketing Institute: “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

Put simply, good content marketing gets your potential customer to stop, read, think and behave differently.

Example content channels

Content marketing comes in many forms, for example:

• Social networks
• Blogs
• eNewsletters
• Webinars
• Infographics
• Video
• Podcasts
• White papers
• Ebooks

What problem does it fix?

The problem = Information overload

We live in an age of information abundance. We’re inundated by marketing messages – more than 2,900 a day, by current estimations. Prospective customers – not brands – are now more in control than ever, especially thanks to social media and the ‘internet of things’. As a result, audiences are becoming harder to reach as they filter out more marketing messages and clutter – risking missing out on ones they may actually be interested in (yours, for example!)

The Solution

Quality content marketing can be used to help, support, entertain and impress your prospects before they are even thinking of buying. Why? Because it delivers trust. The key to online sales!

“To make an influence on the purchase decision, your brand needs to be identified as an authority in your market sector and a solution to your prospective customer’s needs”, says CE marketing manager, Hannah. “If the right content is present at the right time and with the right message, you can build trust earlier in the buying cycle and top the short list of companies they plan to choose from.”

How Content Marketing Can Generate Sales

Done well, content marketing is a highly cost effective method of generating sales. “Think of it as a process,” says Hannah. “First, content marketing uses search marketing to generate inbound traffic to your website from your key target audiences – and brand awareness increases as a result,” she explains.

The content that you create acts to engage with your key audiences and build a relationship, positioning you as an ‘expert’, a ‘thought-leader’ and a credible supplier within your market sector. So it’s this process that could lead to an increase in sales and customer loyalty, because your audience grows comfortable with your brand and trusts you as a supplier so is therefore more willing to buy from you.

So if you’re planning on adding content marketing to your marketing strategy, let us leave you with a final piece of advice: Keep your content un-salesy and beneficial to your audience – such as helping to solve a problem, address a challenge your audience faces, educate them, or engage them emotionally (through humour!)

This is because unlike traditional marketing (such as press releases or brochure copy) your content should avoid being self-promotional. Your customers should be encouraged to use your content when doing their research, so that when they later engage with your sales people for instance, your business has the necessary credibility for them to buy with confidence!

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