12 January 2017
Content marketing has completely altered the way businesses interact with their customers. It has created a bond and understanding between customers and businesses. Since the massive growth of social media, brands must now become more communicative with their customers, especially if they want to build trust and loyalty.
Many businesses are beginning to understand the need for content marketing, but what is content marketing anyway?
Simply put, it is a strategic marketing approach using articles, images, and video content to attract users to your brand. These can then be shared via social media, blogs, video sharing websites, and more. All of this can help your brand build loyalty, attract new customers, and improve brand awareness.
Having a clear sense of what it is you need to accomplish with your content can bring you closer to reaching your goals. It is more than just advertising; it is all about showing your customers who you are, rather than just telling them.
Back in the day, broadcasting advertising messages was the popular way to promote your brand. However, it is no longer the only strategy available. It’s also not advisable, especially if your customer has made the effort of including you in their ‘social’ circle. Today – it is important to give out advice, create engaging stories, share information, and provide value.
Before starting your content marketing, it is important to make sure you know who your target audience is. In order to put an exact finger on it, we must ask ourselves a few questions:
What is the product or service we are offering? Who will benefit from the product or service? Why will they benefit? Once you have answered all these questions, it will be easier to gauge who and what your audience is looking for.
Now that you have a clearer idea of what content marketing is and who your audience is, let us look at some different perspectives of how to go about building your strategy.
Today’s audience has a strong appetite for good information, but also a more powerful resistance to the so-called “hard sell.” Many of us research products and services online before making a purchase. We study different cars, comparing prices and features, before ever setting foot in a dealership. Even grocery shoppers use mobile phones to compare prices and deals. People want good content that helps them make good decisions. Consumers are less responsive to traditional advertising and old-school sales tactics, and this is true for both B2C and B2B customers.
Consumers look to search engines for solutions to their problems. Often times, your best chance to win new customers is to be there when they Google it. You may have already established a search engine optimization (SEO) plan which is working well for you. You may also know that search engines frequently update the algorithms they use to crawl the web so they can continuously improve the quality of results that we see when we do a search.
Google’s updates in recent years increasingly reward quality content. And what does quality mean for brands? For one thing, up-to-date content is rewarded. Publishing fresh articles and updating your existing content will help you maintain a strong presence on search engine results pages (SERPs) and keep people coming back to your site.
Effective content can help you build customer relationships while avoiding less effective “hard sell” tactics. It showcases your subject-matter expertise and builds trust by showcasing important topics that may be of concern or interest to your customers. Well-crafted content can draw traffic to your website and social media accounts, boost your performance on search results pages, and give audiences the opportunity to share your content with their friends.
Companies with blogs attract more inbound links, and blogs on company websites tend to attract more visitors.
Keeping these different perspectives in mind, it is safe to say that the key to producing great content is to provide something of value to your audience that conveys your brand in a meaningful and memorable way.