How many advertisements do you think you come across in a day? A handful? A couple hundred? Try nearly 5,000! Each day you are inundated with thousands of ads and sometimes, you aren’t even aware of it. Companies attempt to gain customers by proving themselves through constant logo appearances, media, and advertisements. But let’s be honest, how well do those ads work on you? Not as well as they used to, right? So how do businesses break through to customers when they are swamped with so many messages?
Companies that follow traditional marketing focus on promoting their products, their services, and their business with the hope of a sale. If the focus is all about your company, consumers are not likely to connect with you or entrust in your business. To be frank, your customers don’t actually care about you. They care about themselves. And when the time comes for them to make purchasing decisions, they aren’t going to simply choose the business who has been yelling the loudest, they will choose the business who has provided them real, problem-solving solutions. A powerful way to do that is through content marketing.
In today’s blog post, we are exploring what content marketing is all about, why it is effective, and how your company can get started.
What is Content Marketing?
According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is “A strategic marketing approach that focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” In simpler terms, content marketing requires you to put the focus back on your customer, meet their needs, and solve the problems that they face on a daily basis. Instead of endlessly talking about your products and services, content marketing pushes you to dig deeper and find out what your customers care about and what they need from you.
Content marketing is different from traditional marketing because it is based on the idea that people will make decisions based on value received, rather than the number of ads they are exposed to. Content creation involves providing your customers with information that is useful to them. There are countless ways to implement content marketing. Blogs, newsletters, infographics, and videos are all ways you can communicate and engage your customers, but how you choose to convey your content will depend on your company’s goals and more importantly, your customers’ needs.
Where do I start?
Define your goals
Before creating content, you must first determine what kind of results you want. Do you want to generate leads, position yourself as a resource, or grow your email list? Declaring these specific goals will help create a focus for your marketing efforts and direct you to your next step: choosing the strategies that will engage your customers.
Choose a strategy
Deciding which strategies to use is all about knowing your audience and which platforms will appeal the most to them. Are your customers active on Facebook? Is your website the hub where you could showcase a blog that focuses on customer needs? Do your customers love video or visual infographics? Evaluating these aspects of your business and the way your customers interact with your business will help you hone in on what platforms and what type of content will resonate best with your customers and ultimately, will help you reach the goals you set out to achieve.
Creating quality content on a regular basis is vital to content marketing. If you want to be a reliable resource for your customers, consistency is necessary for them to view your business as trustworthy and credible. The hope is that in time, your audience will depend on you for high-value solutions and insight. Your company should continually try new ways to engage with your customers and generate genuine conversation with your audience. However, it’s not a good idea to produce content just for the sake of doing it—remember, quality over quantity! Your content should always be well written, engaging, and useful to your customers.
Provide customers with real value
When it comes to traditional marketing, it’s hard to tell if an advertisement is accurately portraying the product you’ll receive. The difference with content marketing is that it’s easy to tell what is and what isn’t authentic. Content marketing involves putting your customers’ needs first. As you put the focus back on your audience, they will appreciate that you are showing your concern for their needs. You can provide value by having a two-way conversation with your customers, addressing their frustrations, and presenting them with solutions.
So why should I use content marketing?
Without your customers, your business wouldn’t be where it is today, and it wouldn’t have its hopes for the future. Content marketing helps your business keep customers coming back by providing them with value and supplying them with the solutions they are seeking. Implementing content marketing creates a new perspective for your business that is all about solving problems for your customers and honing in on creating and fostering long-lasting customer relationships.
One last tip – remember that building trust and strong relationships take time. Your effort will pay off, just be patient! As you consistently produce relevant and valuable content, your customer base will be sure to stick around. On a regular basis, evaluate your content and ask yourself “is this unique and helpful?”
If you have further questions about content marketing or need a partner to strategize with, we can help!