Inbound marketing has made content marketing a buzzword in digital marketing in recent years.
Traditional marketing relies on targeted brand awareness campaigns and “interruptive marketing messages” like pop-up ads or display advertising.
Inbound marketing is about attracting prospects to your company. In traditional marketing, brands would tell customers that they have a problem and then remind them that it exists. This step can be skipped with new content marketing campaigns. Customers know they have problems and are looking for solutions. It’s better for your content to help them.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing refers to any useful content you create for your target audience, with the emphasis on useful. This includes articles, social media posts and infographics, emails, and videos on your YouTube channel. These pieces of content may be part of multiple marketing campaigns, but should be organized under one content marketing strategy. Your strategy will often be divided into two categories: content prospects find themselves and content you distribute. You want to know how each one can benefit you as a content marketer.
Find Content Prospects
As we have discussed, inbound marketing is about attracting prospects. It makes perfect sense to create high-quality content that is relevant to the problem of your potential customers. This is one of the most effective marketing strategies.
There are many ways to help prospects find your content, but the most popular is optimizing content for search engine optimization. Search engine optimization (SEO), is the process of identifying keywords that your target audience uses to search to find answers to their questions and then creating relevant content to make it show up in those searches. This creates the “organic traffic” to your site. This is the clicks, views, and impressions you don’t pay for through hired services.
Content you distribute
Once your target audience decides you are interesting, have great information, or simply publish great content, then they will be more likely to engage with you, increasing your conversion rates. This can be done by following your social media channels, downloading a Lead Generator, or subscribing to your Email Marketing . Don’t abuse the privilege of interacting with these prospects. They have taken the first step towards trusting you. Your job is to provide value through engaging, effective content.
Why does content marketing work?
Content marketing’s primary goal is to provide value to your target audience to help them become more educated about their problem. Your brand’s success depends on providing value that is relevant to the products you sell, whether that’s white papers, blogging, or visual content.
Once subscribers have engaged with you and decided that your product could solve their problem they move on to the consideration and decision phase of their journey. Trust is a key component of content marketing.
We can all agree that most people want a trustworthy person to sell them something. We don’t trust people who try to sell us something right away.
Imagine this: You are at the mall and you are on your way to Auntie Anne’s for mid-shopping snacks. A random person suddenly approaches you and invites you to visit their kiosk. They want you try their “extremely rare exfoliant” straight from the Dead Sea. Do you believe what they are selling will actually help your skin? They:
- You’re on your way to the delicious aroma of fresh pretzels.
- You weren’t allowed to discover their business by yourself. Instead of being handed a problem, they told you that their product could solve it.
Don’t think of lead generation when you think about effective content. Your content should be viewed as a way of providing value to customers who are simply looking for information. Also, cater to your customers. People who are walking around the store and feeling the fabric won’t purchase anything. They will learn more about your brand, and whether it can solve their problems in future. This ability to think for yourself without any pressure is what builds trust with clients.
How to prove that content marketing works
Now that you are convinced content marketing works (hopefully), the next step is to get your management team to invest in a content marketing strategy. Content marketing can be a difficult game. Your efforts may take up to six months before you start to see results. It can be difficult to convince decision-makers to spend the time and money to flood your website with quality content. These steps will help you win their support and get you on the right path to content marketing mastery.
1. Focus on Content Marketing’s Track Record
Content marketing is not a new concept. It has been successfully implemented by companies of all sizes and in almost every industry. 70% of marketers report that they are actively investing in content marketing services.
Buyers today do their research online. Because they don’t have the obligation to speak with salespeople, no one talks to them before they are ready to buy. When a prospect is searching for a company to convert them into customers, you want to be answering their questions. Your chances of being the company they choose to do their business with are greatly increased if your company helps them through the research phase.
2. Demonstrate how content marketing works for your industry
Many leaders in mundane industries believe that content marketing is not for them. However, being the first to use content marketing in your industry can give you a competitive advantage.
First, emphasize to your team that content marketing is not about posting snazzy photos on Instagram. This will convince them that content marketing can be a viable option for their company. We are not looking for social media marketing. It’s about being available to answer prospects’ questions and be there when they need it.
Next, look for case studies from companies in your industry who are using content marketing successfully. These case studies can show real results and provide numbers. These can be found by searching for content marketing agencies that have clients in your industry.
3. Reduce the risk
It can be overwhelming to think about all the content marketing possibilities that you have over the next year. There’s no need for you to do everything at once. It’s better to be strategic and concentrate on the things that will give you maximum bang for your buck. Most businesses can generate a return on their investment by publishing informative blog posts, creating lead magnets, creating case studies, and developing a promotion strategy. Once you have achieved initial success, you can continue to build on it and watch the snowball effect.
4. Agree on Goals & KPIs
Once your team has agreed to the value of content marketing it is important that they agree on how you will determine if it is “working.” Before you begin to develop your content marketing strategy, you should define the goals and establish key performance indicators to keep you on track. These metrics should be discussed with everyone in your company, from your content writer to your CEO, so that everyone can understand the purpose of content marketing and can support the investment and time it will take.
A major goal we talk about at Fourteen Web Media is targeted traffic as a goal, using our unique TMB content marketing strategy.
Content Marketing isn’t going away
A content marketing strategy that is rich in valuable content is becoming a must-have for brands, just as micro-influencers, social media, and the availability and accessibility of information online have become more embedded in our culture. You don’t have to limit your content marketing efforts to blog content. Your content marketing efforts should include podcasts, webinars, and social media content. We’d be happy for you to take you through some of our tried-and-true content marketing strategies to help you decide if they can benefit your business.