Content Marketing is a term that’s come about over the past five or six years to describe a new marketing strategy or focus. It’s a blend of marketing and customer service at its core. Content Marketing is marketing material or content, that’s focused on serving your customers or audience, providing value to them rather than focusing heavily on sales or promotional materials.
You may have read the description above and wondered what’s the point of content marketing. If you create content that answers customers' questions, they get used to coming to your website or blog. They turn to you because you’re now a trusted resource. And when it comes time to buy a product or service, they’re already familiar with you. You’ll be top of mind for them.
Yes, in today’s world, most people would prefer to research on their own before reaching out to a company for information. They want to find out about products or services without speaking to a salesperson. It’s been reported that people will visit a website up to eight times before they complete a contact form or call a company for more information. Think about that for a moment. Your website or blog is your first step (first seven steps) in the sales process. This is why content marketing matters so much.
Customers want to read reviews from other buyers; they want to know if your products or services are what they want to buy. If they’ve already bought a product and have a customer service-related question, they may likely research online to see if they can figure out the answer before calling customer service and waiting to speak with someone. If they’re struggling to assemble a product, they may look for a video or blog post with images that walk them through the process.
Content Marketing consists of all content that’s created for your customers or audience that’s not specifically sales-related. Many content marketing pieces will ultimately lead to sales, but the goal is to provide value, not produce an immediate sale.
Content can come in many forms. The central content hub for most brands is their website and blog; some use video, email, images, and social media channels for content marketing purposes too.
Content Marketing is a delicate mix of providing the content your customers need and want to achieve your business goals. Having a well-researched and cohesive content strategy will help you achieve much. If you focus too heavily on your sales priorities, you’ll alienate customers. If you don’t focus on them enough, your business may not grow.