Content marketing is a great way to engage with your customers at every stage of the customer journey. It also works effectively alongside other digital marketing strategies too so it should always form part of your digital marketing strategy.
Content marketing is a great way to get in front of your target audience exactly when they're searching for your products or services. It's a great way to answer their questions and help to build a relationship so your business is top of mind when they come to make a purchase. Read our guide to find out more.
Disruptive advertising and marketing tactics are becoming less and less effective. Consumers have become blind to traditional marketing techniques and, with so many customers being online, they’re able to turn ads off.
Search engines and the internet have given consumers more power over the content they consume, and when and where they consume it. As a result, content marketing has become a more popular strategic marketing approach for businesses who are looking to engage with customers more effectively.
In this guide, we’ll have a look at what content marketing is and why it’s important for your business and how to get the most from your content marketing efforts.
According to the Content Marketing Institute: “Content marketing is a 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.”
When it comes to content strategy, value is key. Your content marketing should offer something of value to your and it needs to reach them in a natural, organic way rather than through disruptive methods. A valuable piece of content is something that consumers actively seek out and look for.
Instead of directly pitching or selling your products or services, content marketing should provide relevant and useful information to prospective and existing customers to help them solve their issues.
Content marketing allows you to engage with your target audience at every stage of the customer journey. It also fuels a number of other marketing strategies too so it should always form a central part of your digital marketing strategy.
Content marketing is the perfect tool for the awareness and research stages of the customer buying cycle. It helps to raise awareness of the solutions and answers your products or services can offer by educating potential customers about products and services they may not have considered or encountered before. This allows you to attract a whole range of customers you may not have been able to reach before and helps to boost your SEO strategy by making your brand more visible in the search results.
If you execute your strategy correctly, the return on investment for content marketing can be better than any other marketing strategy. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 60% of marketers say that content marketing helps them to generate demand and leads for their business.
Content marketing strategies are perfect for supporting your other digital marketing strategies. Without content, many of your other strategies will not be effective. For example, it provides content for your social media marketing and will contribute to your SEO strategy by helping you to build authority on your website with good content that gets found in the search engine results, as well as helping to generate natural inbound links.
Content marketing helps with the following strategies:
By sharing relevant, interesting and useful articles, videos, podcasts and other types of content, content marketing will help you to attract new customers, drive traffic to your website and help you to convert these visits into sales. It helps you to establish your expertise in your sector and keeps your business top of mind when customers are ready to buy your products or services.
When you create useful content that’s easily found in the search engines, you also attract customers who are actually looking for something that you offer. These people are much more likely to convert into paying customers and more likely to become recurring, loyal customers.
There are a number of different types of content marketing, all of which can be used across your full digital marketing strategy to attract and convert leads.
Common types of content marketing include:
As well as building awareness of your brand, products and services, content marketing can work effectively across the whole customer journey. To make sure it’s as effective as possible, you will need to provide the right content at every stage of the customer journey.
During the awareness stage, your content should be focused on the concerns your target audience is likely to have and the problems your products or services can solve. Write content that provides solutions to their pain points, challenges and questions will give you the best chance to engage with them and help them to find your content while they’re searching online.
Content at this stage should be educational, how-to advice and make sure you save the direct sell for later in the buying process.
At this stage, your content should provide a hybrid of helpful information and marketing. It should educate your potential customers about the features or functions to look out for and how features of your products or services address their needs.
When a prospect is close to buying, content can play an important role. You can focus on selling your products or services as long your content focuses on why your brand is the best choice rather than just repeating the benefits of your products and services.
The key message should be your expertise, knowledge and how your products differ from your competitors.
As you can see, content marketing is a crucial aspect of any digital marketing campaign. Creating content might be time consuming and require resource but, other than that, it hardly costs anything to create and the benefits are huge and wide-ranging.
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