Consumers are—for the large part—immune to traditional marketing. They either skip advertising or ignore them altogether, effectively making many forms of marketing sort of irrelevant and all the more ineffective. This is why you should be on the lookout for a better way to reach out to your consumers—and this is where content marketing comes in.
Content marketing is a strategic approach to marketing, focused mainly on the creation and distribution of valuable, consistent, and relevant content in order not only to attract but retain clearly defined target audiences and ultimately drive them into profitable actions. It involves the creation, curation, and distribution of relevant content with the purpose of enhancing or changing consumer behavior. Content marketing is an ongoing process that ought to be integrated into your overall strategy for web marketing. It is essentially the art of effectively communicating with prospects and customers without directly selling to them.
Did you know that content marketing is used by some of the biggest and greatest marketing organizations in the world, including Microsoft, P&G, John Deere, and Cisco Systems, to name but a few. These successful mega businesses are masters of non-interruption marketing, where they deliver information that makes buyers more intelligent instead of merely pitching their products and services to them. The logic behind this marketing strategy is that if businesses deliver consistent and valuable information to buyers, they will ultimately reward you with their patronage and loyalty—and they do!
Why Use Content Marketing?
The short answer: Because it works. A typical consumer’s buying cycle involves four stages: Awareness, Research, Consideration, and Purchase. Prior to awareness, a customer may have a need but may not be aware of the solution. Once they are aware of the solution, they perform research to educate themselves. A car buyer, for instance, may try to learn the different types and models of vehicles and compare different automobiles from different manufacturers, looking for the best quality at the best price. The purchase stage is when the consumer finally makes the decision to move forward with the deal.
Traditional marketing does a great job in seeing to the consideration and purchasing stages of the buying process, but it fails to address the first two. This is where content marketing comes to play. It influences the consumer’s buying decision early on by raising awareness of his options and educating him about products and services that he may have never known about or considered in the past.
How Do You Manage a Content Marketing Strategy?
Like a consumer’s buying process, a content marketing strategy can be divided into 4 stages: planning, execution, tracking, and measurement.
Having a solid content marketing plan is critical to the success of any strategy and it is an absolute must before launching any campaign. Without a solid plan, it will be difficult to achieve your goals. Enlisting the help of a professional content marketing company is your best course of action if you don’t know where or how to start planning and management of your strategy.
Consistency in executing content marketing activities is also crucial. Your content marketing plan ought to guide your marketing activities, but it should be executed consistently to ensure a clear message throughout the duration of the campaign. One of the keys to success in content marketing is proper execution of the marketing plan, followed through by an efficient system of tracking and monitoring its effectiveness. Determine how it is best to track sales against your content marketing initiatives. Asking consumers how they came to find you by putting surveys as part of your contact form is one way to track marketing effectiveness. There are also many online tracking mechanisms that you can use to help you know what’s working and measure your success.
How Do You Get Started?
There are firms offering content marketing services alongside other digital marketing solutions, SEO, and conversion optimization. SEOValley™ offers content marketing, along with an entire menu of website development, and optimization services to help you place your business on top of the online marketing game.