You may have heard the term “Content Marketing” being bandied about in marketing circles of late. And this may have left you a tad confused … what do you mean “content” marketing? My products and services are what I am marketing, so is not that my content?
The facts are that traditional marketing is fast loosing efficacy which means a breakdown in the communication link between you and your market. Remember, “Where business is the selling of products and services, “marketing is the exchange of specific information for consumer interaction” Marketing, then, is the conduit through which a business communicates with its customers and clients and this communication needs to be a continual process in order to retain the share of the market space a business needs to continue thriving.” (Why do marketing if you are an established business?)
This is where savvy marketing steps in, filling the gap being left by the fading of traditional marketing with new strategies, a strong component of which is content marketing. Content Marketing is a strategic marketing approach that creates and distributes valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain your market audience with an endgame of driving a profitable customer action.
Content marketing is not about the products the business sells. It is educational content offered with such good information that consumers become loyal to the brand because of the functional use they get from the content.
It includes peripheral information that leads to, or motivates, or educates about the product and/or its uses and usefulness in the form of
- educational articles (blogs),
- games, and
that answer specific questions potential customers may have. Based on the characteristic of the new sales model that “Modern consumers can now seek answers to their questions in the moment the question occurs – in the moment they wish to go, do, or buy. These moments are rich with intent and they create unique journey shapes to fit the individual undertaking them” [hyperlink] providing the answers in the same space as the product turns any product search into a unique consumer experience with a greater chance of a positive customer action.
The main reasons to use content marketing is:
- Offering the answer to the question
As mentioned above, customers are asking questions and turning to the internet and social media for answers. A business that provides those answers via blogs, e-books, videos, or other content pieces positions themselves builds trust and a positive brand experience, which leads to customer loyalty.
- Building and interested and engaged audience
Content will have value in its ability to attract an audience through reputation of being informative and useful, created with integrity and clarity. Content should not only answer questions, but pre-empt questions, providing information and education on relevant topics that a reader may not have yet searched for, but will find applicably useful in their lives. This creates an addressable return audience which will help increase sales, gather customer insights, and activate followers as brand advocates.
- Gain new customers
A reputable, consistent content offering can be a key driver in an overall marketing strategy. Building an audience that trusts and relies on your content are more likely to convert to buying products and services.
- Increase revenue from existing customers
Companies can use content marketing to increase the loyalty of their existing customers, which has the potential to increase sales by cross-selling and up-selling products or services across the brand. In some cases, the content can be monetised to finance itself and increase overall profit.
Through content marketing, a business can become an authoritative resource on topics that are relevant and/or important to potential customers. Your business will be more likely be found by customers looking for the products and services you offer, and for those customers to become loyal over time. This will boost the revenue potential of your business through strengthened customer relationships.