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Content Marketing and its basics:

Content is central to all marketing campaigns and  activities.  Content marketing involves choosing the right content to highlight your product/service on several digital marketing channels. The content displayed in  this form of marketing can be in the form of blogs, infographics or video and it must be very focused as per the target audience.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.

“A few years ago, I spent a lot of time convincing marketers about the value of investing in content marketing. Today, I get calls from marketers saying, “We bought into the idea of content marketing. We’ve created great content. People read it. But it’s not moving the needle.”When I go online to take a look to offer feedback and advice, I usually see decent content. What I don’t see is any strategic plan for orchestrating engagement with prospects and customers. I don’t see any attempt at relationship building. Mostly, I see areas for improvement in relevance, context, and connection. This is because companies tend to talk about what they know best—their products. Even when marketers think they’re developing content for buyers, they’re not—not really. The problem remains that they don’t know their buyers well enough to provide the level of valuable information mixed with an emotional connection that buyers are searching for. Quite often, they also don’t know their customers very well. But compounding the issue is a one-off mind-set that inhibits storytelling over the length of the buying process. Rectifying these issues gets to the heart of context and relevance.

Content Marketing Basics
Content Marketing process

Filling this gap will require that marketers develop customer-oriented communications, identify the distinct value that differentiates their company, make the shift from one-off communications to a continuum approach, and ensure that data and metrics are used to relate their programs to the achievement of business objectives. More than $40 billion is spent globally each year producing and using custom content in marketing programs. But how much of that money is bringing a quantifiable return on investment? How long will companies continue to spend on marketing programs that don’t help achieve business objectives? Publishing content without a strategy isn’t moving the needle. Time, effort, and money are flushed away without a quantifiable impact on business performance. This is a serious problem for marketers. Their companies expect results. Their jobs are on the line. If not now, then soon.

Many of the marketers with whom I speak are concerned that their marketing isn’t as effective as it could be. They know that buyers and customers prefer digital information and communications, but they’re not confident in how to go about creating relevant content successfully. And, they’re deeply concerned that they won’t be able to reach their customers as the competition for attention online increases. Much of the marketing content I see lacks the personalization and targeting that is needed to do more than engage prospects or customers briefly, in the immediate moment.Creating content your audiences find useful has been the rallying cry for content marketing for at least the last five years. Quality content can be found in every medium and channel. It’s no longer enough. Business-to-business (B2B), buyers crave meaning and connection—not just utility or value. That’s a distinction that raises the bar for relevance and what marketers must achieve to create sustainable growth for their companies in the future.Given the ease of publishing, marketers have gotten themselves into a bit of a pickle with buyers. They’ve published so much content without a strategy or the ability to speak to what matters to target markets that prospective buyers continue not to trust content produced by vendors. Buyers think vendor content is biased and lacking substantiation for the assertions it makes. Therefore they trust it less, just when we need for them to trust it more.

There is a silver lining. Buyers want to buy. They want to do so faster than they do now. They’re also solving problems they’ve never had to solve before. Your buyers know they need help finding and deploying the right solutions. But they’re stymied by the information they find online that doesn’t address what they need. They’re expanding so much effort to make the right decision that it’s taking longer, involving more stakeholders, and introducing the risk that keeps them from making a choice. And the inconsistency they experience across channels isn’t helping. Marketers know relevance is critical, but they need to understand what it truly means in action and how to accomplish it. It’s no secret that traditional forms of marketing, which interrupt audience members, are less effective than they once were for reaching prospects and converting leads into customers. That’s why content marketing has become a popular way for businesses to reach and engage their target audience. By providing audience members with useful content to educate them on your products and services — and show them how those products and services effectively solve their pain points and challenges — you can increase conversions, improve brand awareness, boost revenue, and more. Content marketing is the process of planning, creating, distributing, sharing, and publishing content to reach your target audience. As a business, this tactic can help you improve brand awareness, boost sales, connect with your target audience members, and engage prospects and customers. Today, outbound marketing strategies (or anything that interrupts your audience members) aren’t as effective for reaching audience members and converting leads as they once were. Content marketing has become a popular way for businesses to combat this issue. 

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