The Importance of Content Marketing
When you think of “content marketing,” what do you think of? Is it blogs? Social media posts? Youtube videos? While all of those are included, there is so much more to content marketing. This is because content marketing has been around for years, prior to the internet even. It all boils down to storytelling. Think about it…are you more likely to listen to a promotional ad or listen to an intriguing story of how a product helped someone or even changed their life? Although content marketing has been around for many years, with the internet and social media, there is more opportunity than ever for businesses to place content in front of their audience.
What Is Content Marketing?
The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience- with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
In that definition, it is important to note the word “valuable.” Today, your audience wants content that is high-quality and relevant to them. It must provide them with some sort of educational value or engage them in some way. The word value also sets apart content marketing from advertising. Rather than putting promotional content in front of your audience, you are providing them with valuable content that they can use. You might be wondering where to start with your content marketing…and it all starts with strategy.
Do You Need A Content Marketing Strategy?
If you are wondering if a content marketing strategy is necessary, the answer is absolute. This strategy serves as an outline to address your business and customer needs. This strategy also serves as the “why.” Consider why you are creating this content, who is this content for and how will it help them and how is it different from any other content out there? By coming up with a successful content marketing strategy you will see over time increased revenue, lower costs and long-term, valuable customers.
There is no template for content marketing strategies, but you should keep in mind 5 components: Reasons why you are creating content, the goals you want to achieve from content marketing, your audience and their needs, your brand story and how it differs from your competition and which platforms you will use to communicate your message.
In addition to your content marketing strategy, you should also consider content mapping. Content mapping is a way to put yourself in your customer’s shoes to understand their buying journey. It is unlikely that someone discovers a product or service and instantly buys it. Once they discover this product, they do plenty of research, research reviews, maybe spend time thinking and then they purchase.
The Buyer’s Journey
To tap further into the buyer’s journey, there are three basic stages for the way people buy. The first stage is the awareness stage. Perhaps this is the most important stage because if your audience is unaware of your business, there is no way they can purchase your product or join your newsletter. A great content marketing tactic to build awareness is through blog writing. Blogs are a great way for people to learn more about your business, who you are and how your product or service can help them.
The second stage of the buyer’s journey is the consideration phase. Unfortunately, customers don’t jump from the awareness phase to the buying phase. During the consideration stage, this is where customers want to hear from you. Social media and newsletters are a great way to stay in touch with the audience. At this point, your audience is determining whether or not they can trust you. They want to know if you are a reputable brand and if the information you are giving is genuine and true. If you use newsletters and email to connect with your brand this is a great way to build relationships with your customers. You can personalize your message to them and even greet them by name. email marketing also gives you the chance to convert prospect customers into valuable customers. For example, maybe they are aware of your product but need some time to consider. Over time, as you continue to stay in touch with this customer, they are more likely to purchase your product. The consideration phase also includes SEO strategies. Focus on optimizing your content so that you rank for long-tail keywords. SEO is a simple way to stay away from promotional content but still make your content visible to your customers.
Lastly, you have the decision phase. In other words, are you going to convert this person into a customer? Or is your content marketing strategy really working? During this phase, you are ready to give your buyer the push that they need. They are already aware of your business, they more than likely trust you after being connected for some time, and all that is needed is that final push to get them to buy. This is when you begin using CTA’s (call to action.) Your CTA’s should be used in all blogs, email marketing newsletters, and even your social media content. Be sure to stay away from sounding too promotional because it could come off too pushy. It is not uncommon to offer a free trial, or discount to push customers to purchase.
Content really is king. Without content, you wouldn’t be able to provide information to your customers, convert prospects into customers, or show others that you are a reputable business that is capable of building long-term, valuable relationships. All of this is almost required to become successful in the marketing industry.
There are many ways to approach your marketing content strategy and there really is no “template.” With the help of content experts, you can create valuable content that your customers are looking for. If you are looking for ways to enhance your content marketing strategy, do not hesitate to reach out to our team at Joseph Studios. To learn more about content, keep up with our blog page.