As the digital landscape of our current marketing culture evolves, so does the content we push out. More and more marketers are wise to the trends; abandoning the traditional marketing approach with advertising gimmicks and shameless self-promotions–reaching instead for adding value with their content marketing, and in turn, attracting a clearly-defined audience who genuinely wants to engage with and purchase from the brand.
This can be done in various ways, but it all centers around a central idea of providing relevant and useful content to your prospects and customers to help them solve their problems. It also helps solve your problems as a business owner–200 million people now use ad blockers, while content marketing costs 62 percent less than outbound marketing and generates more than three times as many leads.
Content marketing is king now and in the digital future
The difference between the antiquated version(s) of marketing and content marketing is that marketers have finally realized that people don’t want to be spammed with mechanical, sales-y garbage. Human beings are wired to connect socially, and that doesn’t change simply because they’re in the decision-making stage of the buying process. In fact, I would argue that when we are able to connect with brands, it satisfies a need that we perhaps didn’t know we had, thus making us more likely to stay loyal to said brand.
Back in those before-the-internet days, people had these face-to-face conversations during every purchasing decision. They built relationships with brands by shaking hands with the owner of the hardware store, or by delivering fresh baked goods to the local supermarket manager. I believe this is what we need to bring back.
My grandmother knew the man who cut her lunch meat by his first name. She knew the backstory of his family, and she’d tell me about him every time we visited the deli counter. There was a sense of loyalty to the brand, due to the people and stories which stood behind it. There’s something to be said for that.
This is what content marketing does today–it makes your brand stand out in a world full of sales pitches and advertisements. You’ll be the leader of the pack if, instead of trying to push your product or service, you’re offering genuine engagement with and adding value to the lives of your current and potential customers.
Take a look at one of my favorite brands doing content marketing right, Cabot, a farming co-op. They leverage the personal touch better than almost any brand I’ve seen by putting a face and a name to farming families and their animals. There is something that feels so genuine about this brand, and that’s why they got it right; it’s important to note that content marketing must be genuine and true to your brand. After visiting Cabot’s site, I actually want to become a co-op farmer–you know, if this whole writing thing doesn’t work out. Check it out:
Content is mutually beneficial
When you push out content that is valuable to your targeted customer base, you can expect to see increased sales. The starting goal of a content marketing strategy is to drive demand for your products and services by creating “friends” or “subscribers” or “followers” who easily recognize your brand, enjoy it and become customers. You nurture people who are engaged with your branding, but aren’t yet at the purchasing decision. When they’re ready, you’ll come to their minds.
In addition, it cuts costs substantially. Instead of implementing the tired way of marketing with shameless self-promotion, you can invest in creating valuable and innovative resources that will feed audiences for a substantially longer amount of time.
Going back to nurturing them, this is a much better tactic than pushing ads in their faces–ads that cost money to publish and may only stay relevant for a short amount time. This allows you to cut costs by using a strategy to deliver information to a targeted audience, resulting in a highly-targeted lead pool. When companies implement content marketing, they have conversion rates nearly six times higher than competitors who do not utilize its power.
Content is the Foundation for All Things Marketing
If you don’t have a content strategy, you don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to marketing. If your plan lacks high-caliber content, you can’t move forward with your marketing initiatives.
For example, content marketing strategy effects how you format your inbound marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, public relations efforts, search engine optimization and social media strategy. Sites are generously rewarded for creating quality content on a consistent basis, and you must create captivating content for the ads. In an effort to drive inbound leads, content is what baits and hook your prospects.
You get the picture, content is a big deal:
Can you imagine how your business would evolve if your content was something clients awaited with great anticipation? What if you made them laugh? Do you think that would change how they view your brand and their loyalty to you? You bet it would! What if you humanized your brand, like the Cabot farming co-op from earlier? I’d be willing to wager your customers’ response to your marketing materials would change drastically.
As with any marketing strategy, there are many different moving parts. If you’re ready to learn more about how to up the ante with your own strategy, you don’t have to do it alone. Click here to learn more about developing your content marketing strategy.