The Internet has transformed the way businesses market their products and services. Using traditional media, such as TV, radio, newspapers and magazines for advertising is no longer effective. These media are outdated for marketing as customers dislike being interrupted with advertisements.
In this age of advanced digital technology, customers are in total control of their interaction with businesses. They prefer to learn more about the product or service before they purchase. Customers can conveniently access the important information online at the time when it is needed. Therefore, companies must adjust their marketing strategy by providing valuable content in order to capture customer’s attention.
According to a report by Jen Doyle of Marketing Sherpa, companies rank how to convert qualified leads into paying customers as their top challenge. This ranking is followed by lead generation, lead nurturing, and branding, reputation and awareness. In order to reduce these challenges, companies need to use quality content to connect and engage their prospective customers. The content is not merely content; customers must find it relevant and be able to relate to it.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing are articles, documents, reports, blog posts, white papers, e-books and more that are written for the customer in mind. These are how-to guides, tip sheets, case studies, trend reports, and more. Additionally, content also can be podcast and displayed in video format. The potential customer can listen to or download the audio, or view the video on YouTube. What is important, the content must help customers solve their problem. The content must also be delivered in compelling ways to make it interesting. Often content will be accompanied by images, charts, or illustrations to be appealing.
Content marketing is effective when written without a sales pitch as customers are turned off by such a tactic. Using content as a tool to connect and interact with them is essential. Over time, this will allow businesses to understand and gain insight about their customers’ needs.
The Advantages of Content Marketing
Delivering educational and informative content to prospects is one of the best marketing strategies. The benefits are tremendous, including:
1. Strengthen Online Presence
Creating timeless content and posting it on a website, blog and on social networks will increase the businesses’ web presence. For instance, posting how-to guides on Facebook will create a buzz. If fans like what they read, they will like it and share it. Not soon enough, the article will be read by their friends and the momentum continues. Businesses can also use a blog as a platform to disseminate significant content.
Any remarkable content will attract other bloggers, or website owners, and they will refer to it on their site. This will result in an increase in inbound links. Over a short period of time, the content catches the attention of a growing circle of users. Subsequently, page views at the owner’s site increases, and boosts his or her popularity as people take notice.
2. Establish the Business as a Leader in the Industry
The more the business shares its expertise, the greater the opportunity to stand out from the competition in its field or industry. Now that potential customers begin to recognize the business through unique content, the business’ reputation and prestige will increase. Over time, the content will propel the company into a leader in its market or industry.
3. Build Trust
Potential customers are skeptical with marketers that approach them as they do not want to be inundated with sales pitches. However, through the Internet they are free to review and post feedback on products or services at their convenience. Thus, businesses should nurture two-way communication by responding to their prospects. They can address potential customers’ concerns or feedback by providing educational content that matters to them. As a result, prospects will gain a positive perception, and the business will earn their trust.
4. Low Cost
Content marketing is inexpensive as compared to using traditional media to advertise. For instance, businesses can create e-books, in PDF format, with tips and suggestions written in casual style. Adding significant images and graphics increases the appeal and attracts readers to continue reading the content. They can download these materials from the company’s website. Depending on the goal of the e-book, the company can let users download it without registering, or they can simply input their email to download. The cost to produce content for an e-book is low. Although it will take time, marketing through e-books will reach quality customers.
5. Help Customers to Make Better Decisions about your Products
For example, when they read an article about the benefits of the company’s products, they feel intrigued to learn more. They also feel closer to the company that creates or sponsors the article. The content educates and helps them to be more informed, which leads them to make better decisions about purchasing.
Content Markting: A Summary
The goals of content marketing are to engage potential customers, and give them the opportunity to know the business. This process takes time and effort to be successful. However, the process can be accelerated with effective content that addresses the potential customers’ needs. Content should be authentic, genuine and straightforward to build trust and foster the relationship. Only then, will customers feel confident to purchase.