“Content marketing is any marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media in order to acquire customers. It is not focused on selling, but on simply communicating with customers and prospects.” ~ Wikipedia
Content marketers create and curate relevant and valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behavior. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that helps prospects make an intelligent buying decision. The belief is that if we deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they will ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.
Why is a Content Marketing Strategy Important?
Content Marketing is not new. It pre-dates the Internet by many years, and has been effective in helping to sell many different products. Today, however, consumers are increasingly tuning out the marketing message and looking online to get the information they need, when they need it. Content Marketing a great way to build your brand and communicate with your clients, and establish a relationship with your clients by providing valuable information to help them make an intelligent buying decision.
Content Marketing also helps businesses to demonstrate their knowledge and establish their brand as an industry expert and trusted resource. It’s great for creating top-of-the-funnel awareness to fill the pipeline with leads.
Content Marketing Tips
- When developing a content marketing strategy, chose quality over quantity.
- Create content to educate buyers at different points in the buying cycle and at different levels of awareness.
- Nurture leads with different content to stay engaged with them throughout the buying cycle.
- Position your company as a trusted source when they are ready to buy.
- Understand your target audience and address the challenges they face.
- Solve customer problems – don’t focus on product specifications.
- Keep content fresh, and reuse relevant existing content.
- Original content has the biggest impact, but it takes time and talent.
- Curate relevant industry-related content for social media posts.
What Makes Effective Content?
Content needs to be valuable and relevant to your clients. It needs to be something they find useful, interesting, and relevant. It should set your brand up as an expert resource for them to turn to when they are ready to buy, but should not be selling anything!
Content marketing should not just be an afterthought of your marketing strategy. It’s an ongoing process that is best integrated into your overall inbound marketing strategy.
B2B vs. B2C Content
B2B: Purchasing decisions are grounded in reason, with a heavy focus on education and industry knowledge.
B2C: Purchasing is based on emotion, status, and brand appeal. Branded and sponsored content can positively affect brand perception.
Marketers in both channels look to engage potential customers through stories. The nature of the message and the channels used to distribute the message are as distinctive as the content itself.
Content for Different Stages in the Buying Cycle:
|Goals||Content (education/relationship building)|
|Evaluation and Decision Stages|
|Goals||Content (referential & best practices)|