Content marketing: if there was a prize for Buzzword of the Year, it would certainly earn the title. Everyone is talking about it, but what is content marketing? In the simplest terms, content marketing means using various types of content to attract new leads and convert them into sales. That sounds simple, but is that all there is to it?
What is Content Marketing?
From that simple definition, it sounds like content marketing is just sprinkling articles, videos, and graphics around the web and then sitting back and waiting for the dollars to roll in. If you sprinkle, they will come, right? Well, not exactly.
Content marketing aims to address the fact that the consumer buying cycle has changed. Where people once visited retailers or contacted companies early in the cycle to get information and make decisions, today many people do the majority of their research and comparisons on the internet and without the help of a salesperson.
This means that a company must have the answers to consumer questions ready and waiting. This is accomplished by strategically placing content where consumers will find it. To be effective, this content must be valuable to the reader, relevant to current conditions, and distributed in a consistent and reliable way.
Be Valuable to the Customer
While all marketing and advertising campaigns try to target a specific segment of the market, content marketing takes this to a whole new level by trying to get into the minds of potential customers and anticipate their needs and problems before they happen. When someone finds a piece of content that speaks directly to them and their problems, they feel like they have received something of value from the company without having to buy anything. This is where consumer trust begins to build.
Relevancy: Your Key to Clicks
No matter what industry a business is in, seasonal changes and market fluctuations keep things in a constant state of change. Keeping messages relevant to what’s happening right now means companies will be able to attract the right people at the right time.
For example, a roofing company in Chicago may not have a long list of customers waiting for a new roof in December. This doesn’t mean that the company shouldn’t try to help people considering a roof replacement in the spring or provide tips for keeping a roof in top shape during a harsh winter. It might be too late in the year to discuss gutter cleaning, but it’s just the right time to debate the merits of a snow rake.
Consistency: Drive it Home
Delivering fresh new content on a regular basis is the key to turning simple content into an actual marketing strategy. For one thing, Google looks favorably upon websites that have lots of new content and a website might be rewarded with a bump in rankings on a page of search results.
Second, people will engage with companies if they feel like they are consuming content from real people who are actively involved with their content. Readers will come to see content creators as leaders in their industry, someone to turn to for answers and expert advice, and when they are ready to close the deal they know where to go.
Don’t Bother Me
The magic of content marketing is that it doesn’t interrupt customers. It doesn’t bug them while they’re trying to watch a television show or put them to sleep while they’re driving home from work. It’s simply good information or entertaining content patiently waiting for the customer to find it.
People might find a video shared on Facebook by a friend or come across an article after doing a Google search. They might find information by going directly to a company’s website to learn more about them. No matter how they get there, the point is that they will be out looking, ready to consume content, rather than trying to relax.
Communication and Trust
What’s important isn’t always the type of content that is used, only that the content engages the audience by solving their problems while bringing awareness to the company and establishing trust between the consumer and the company. That way, when people are ready to buy, they know who to turn to.
We know the ins and outs of content marketing at New Perspective. Please call us at (508) 755-6797 to talk about your business today.