Content marketing is entering the next decade and – like the rest of us – it’s evolving. What started as a marketing approach focused primarily on creating brand awareness is morphing into something bigger. Now content marketing is a vehicle for identifying leads, driving revenue, creating more meaningful touchpoints with customers, and personalizing the customer experience. How does it work? A content marketing strategy centers on companies creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract customers and drive profitable actions. (Content Marketing Institute). What else can a smart content marketing strategy do for your organization? Let’s explore further.
- Think like a teacher – The most effective content marketers start from a place of educating customers – helping their target audience learn something new, or make smarter decisions. It’s an intelligent way to engage with customers and to build better relationships. Coming from a place of ‘education’ as opposed to ‘promotion’ includes several steps:
- Identifying the challenges of the audience
- Breaking down complicated subjects into manageable parts
- Using straightforward, personable language and messaging
- Creating content in a variety of formats. And, because many people are visual learners, using videos, whiteboards, infographics, and more
- Fuel for lead generation – Content marketing can increase sales and create more loyal customers. How? By using highly relevant and useful information to grab their attention! It’s critical companies know what matters to their target audience. What are your potential customers searching for online? What are they reading? Who do they trust? Your content marketing efforts should answer these questions and then some. This content is then the fuel for lead generation campaigns that help fill the sales funnel. Any number of content pieces can help organizations capture high-quality leads for the sales funnel, such as generating content for and hosting webinars, e-newsletters, infographics, case studies, blogs, or videos.
- Social media efforts should work in tandem – Content marketing also includes social media marketing. When building your content calendar, start with your objectives, buyers’ personas, and then move to create the content calendar or editorial plan. For example, is your company hosting a customer panel to talk about Unified Communications (UC)? Your company’s social media platforms should talk about how to register for that event also linking to an industry article about how mobile workforces can benefit from UC. Or you could post a Q&A on your LinkedIn page featuring a conversation with a customer presenting at the event. Useful social media channels like Twitter, RSS, and LinkedIn can help with your coordinated efforts. Teams should also use keywords and hashtags to better segment promotions, and to differentiate what voice to use in messaging.
- Becoming a thought leader – The right content, shared by Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in your organization can help companies accelerate their market influence to increase brand loyalty or generate new business. A content marketing strategy should include developing content that is unique and thought-provoking, and otherwise valuable enough for people to use and share with their network. Ultimately, this caliber of content will help establish the organization as a thought leader and industry influencer.
It takes time
According to a report by Accenture, 61% of all B2B transactions start online. And, considering the complexity of purchase decisions in the cloud, telecom and IT space, companies need to make sure they’re delivering relevant digital content to help customers make informed decisions – and this information needs to be delivered steadily overtime. Companies can take advantage of content marketing to meet these goals and, in doing so, create more meaningful touchpoints with customers. If you have any questions about how a content marketing strategy can help your business get to the next level, talk to Carve Digital!