In today's world, customers want to be informed about your services and products, feel connected to your business, and be entertained along the way. And all of this happens before they even pick up the phone to call you. We live in the age of the educated where the average customer guides themselves through 60% to 90% of the traditional sales funnel before ever contacting a business or salesperson. When they have a certain need or even a curiosity, they turn to the search engines to get the answer to their question. How can you as a business market to this buyer-driven environment? In what ways can you ensure that your business is the one to answer their question?
Enter content marketing.
Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as: "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."
Content marketing allows you to foster a relationship with your target audience and be the ones they turn to when they have a question related to your business. By creating and sharing compelling content, you will become the thought-leader in the industry and once your potential customers find you as a trustworthy, credible source, they are more likely to buy from you.
Instead of interrupting potential and current customers with your marketing message, content marketing is a form of inbound marketing that draws your audience in by providing ongoing, quality content that speaks to them at every stage of the buyer's journey. Businesses that use content marketing find it to be a powerful communication tool that helps them position the most relevant content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers.
The idea behind content marketing is that by offering valuable free content to a prospect as they work their way through the sales funnel, they will in turn reward you with their business. The main objectives for this strategy are to engage customers, boost brand awareness, and drive sales, but have many more benefits including:
Content is a central component in an overall marketing strategy, not an afterthought. An effective content marketing strategy includes a systematic approach to creating and sharing useful material on a consistent basis. It requires you to understand your target audience like no other form of marketing. You first have to understand their pain points, challenges, and goals in life in order to know 1.) what information will be beneficial to them and 2.) how, where, and when they will be searching for it.
We keep using words like valuable, compelling, relevant, useful, and quality because this is the key to content marketing. To be successful, the content must offer value to your pre-defined target audience. Buyers are overwhelmed with information on a daily basis. If you just look at your Newsfeed, you probably don’t know where to click anymore. Quality content is relevant and helps the audience with an issue they have right now. It should grab their attention and compel them to want to read more, but it extends much further than a fancy headline or email subject line. The “meat” of the content should improve their lives in some way, whether that is intellectually, emotionally, or spiritually.
Content can come in many forms and the best platform is largely dependent on, you guessed it, your target audience’s preferences. Having a clear picture of where they spend the majority of their time online will help you choose which form of communication will work best as well as at what frequency. Here are a few examples:
There is no doubt that content marketing is an essential part of a marketing strategy, one that seems to raise a lot of questions about how to implement it in a way that will be worthwhile for your business. That is why next week, we will be covering the challenges of content marketing and how to overcome them. A few challenges include producing quality content consistently, insufficient resources, and maintaining long-term sustainability.
According to Marketo, consumers spend an average of 79 days conducting online research before buying. That is more than two months! Here at Splash Omnimedia, we make it our business to shorten the sales funnel and drive inbound traffic through powerful content. Contact us today if you are ready to reach and convert potential and current customers that are already searching for products and services like yours!