The way in which people are deciding to buy has fundamentally changed.
Consumers are no longer trapped, forced to consume a static amount of information. Information that is littered with advertisements, calls to actions, or infomercials.
Consumers now have a choice.
And many consumers exercise this choice by simply turning off the traditional marketing channels. Enter commercial-skipping Tivo’s, efficient popup blockers, and even Gmail’s new update that quietly disconnected promotional emails from your main folder, making them sit quietly in the corner while they silently pray that you’ll open them by mistake.
Thankfully, it’s not all gloom and doom for those looking to market their business. While changes have to be made, there are still ways in which you can reach your customers outside of the “traditional” marketing tactics.
It’s called content marketing.
What’s content marketing?
According to The Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is:
A marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
In other words, content marketing works by providing potential customers with relevant and valuable content to get them to engage in desirable behaviours. Content marketing allows you to connect and involve your customers, and keeps them close interacting with your free products until they decide to purchase one of your paid products.
With content marketing, you don’t have to worry about “advertisement burnout” because your customers actively seek out the information that you put out.
Does content marketing work?
Content marketing has been shown to be an extremely useful strategy for those looking for new ways to market their business. The statistics show that a whopping 73% of consumers prefer to get information from a company in the form of an articles as opposed to advertisements. Not only that, but 61% also said that they feel better about companies that deliver custom content, and are therefore more likely to buy from that company.
These statistics have made many companies sit up and take notice. As a matter of fact, 81% of companies now find that their blogs are useful or critical to their business, with 57% of businesses with a blog reporting that they have gained customers directly through their blog. For companies that blog multiple times per day, this figure rises up to a staggering 92%.
How can content marketing help me?
Far from being a one dimensional marketing tool, content marketing can build your business in a number of ways:
1. You’re provided with a targeted pre-qualified audience
By tailoring your content, you can actually target only the consumers that you want, giving you a pre-qualified audience for your products. By providing relevant content that offers the answers that your audience is searching for, you can ensure that a higher number of visitors that visit your site are already pre-warmed for a sale.
2. Your customers will keep coming back for more
With proper content marketing, you have an audience that will keep coming back to your site, allowing them far more time to realize the value of your products. You can pitch a number of different products to suit the needs of different segments, and also develop products for each stage of your audience’s development. Even if they choose not to purchase the first time they come to your site, you will have many more chances to pitch to them again as long as you keep producing valuable content.
3. You get great PR
Good content marketing provides great PR for your business. By positioning yourself as an expert in your particular field through your content marketing efforts, you can quickly develop a platform for promoting your business and brand beyond your core audience. As more and more people like, share or tweet your content, others will see the value of your brand and expertise.
4. You build relationships
One of the great things about content marketing is that it allows you to build relationships with your audience. Your audience will feel closer to you as you use your content marketing to develop a personality and brand for your company, and they will begin to develop a sense of loyalty and commitment to your brand. Since most forms of content marketing allow for communication between your content marketer and audience, you audience can get personalized interaction with the business or brand that they enjoy.
In other words, content marketing attracts customers by giving them relevant and valuable content to get them to engage in desirable behaviours. Instead of simply producing marketing material solely to get consumers to buy, your content marketing will assist in developing your audience in a far more holistic manner as they derive true value from your marketing efforts. Content marketing allows you to adapt to a rapidly changing environment with minimal effort.
Indeed, the times are a-changing.