WHAT is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing is the strategy whereby you publish valuable content to attract visitors and customers to your business. Online, your content marketing strategy is carried through your website, blog, social media channels, and the emails you send to your subscribers.
Content online includes articles, e-books, blog posts, videos, podcasts, emails, newsletters, ezines, webinars and press releases. It also includes all the actions you take on social networks, whether it is sharing new content or updating your status, or sharing, liking or commenting on other people’s content.
HOW Does it Work?
Content Marketing online works in various ways to attract, convert and retain customers.
1. Attract customers
By publishing and disseminating your fresh, relevant and valuable content online, you’ll create more exposure for your online presence. When you produce great content online, it gets shared on social media and ranked well by search engines. This allows you to reach and attract more customers online.
2. Convert customers
When visitors find your content via search engines or social networks, you then need to engage and build trust with quality content. It’s not enough to just be found, you also need to be liked and valued. Your content must be informative, entertaining, inspiring and insightful, and it must also be valuable by making a difference or solving a problem for your target audience. This is the first step in building trust.
So how do you convert visitors and generate leads through your online content?
After attracting visitors and building trust by providing valuable content for free, you are now ready to make your first offer. Your free content should always include a compelling call to action, inviting your visitor to take action on your website (subscribe to your email newsletter, visit your online store, join your Facebook page, etc.).
Using free content to introduce a primary calls to action
(e.g. subscription to your mailing list) will allow you to
build trust with your potential customers.
This in turn will compel them to act on a secondary call to action
(purchase your products and services).
The most effective way to initiate the relationship with your potential customer is to add them to your online mailing list. This can be done easily on your website or blog, by offering a free subscription to your newsletter, or access to a free e-book, report or video series you created. This simple step will allow you to build your list online, to follow through with email marketing and to build relationships with your subscribers for the long-term. From visitor to subscriber, you have generated a lead for your business through your valuable content and free offer.
3. Retain customers
The best business is repeat business. Whether you are dealing with subscribers or customers, building loyalty is one of the most important objectives of content marketing. So how do you keep attracting your subscribers and customers back to you? Through more valuable content! By consistently bringing your customers back to your website or social media profiles, you are building more trust and awareness for your business, brand, products and services. When your customer starts looking for something that you offer, you’ll be the first person or company they think of, and the first they want to buy from.
Email lists for subscribers and customers. Creating a separate mailing list for your subscribers and customers is also important, as your objectives are different. While your content marketing strategy should always focus on providing free but valuable content, the ulterior motive will differ depending on where your subscribers are in your sales process. For example, you may focus on customer service, upsells and exclusive offers with existing customers, but focus on relationship building, introductory offers or free consultations for your subscribers (potential customers).
WHY Does it Work?
Content Marketing is the main vehicle for Inbound Marketing, also called Attraction Marketing. Attraction marketing revolves around producing valuable content for your target audience. By publishing content online, you help your potential customers to find you online, to read your content, to appreciate the value you offer, to trust you, to engage with your content and to take action. It works on the understanding that businesses now need to gain trust and interest from consumers before they can start the actual sales process.
Inbound marketing works because it gives the power back to the consumer. Consumers are choosing to approach you because you’ve marketed your product or service in such a way that they feel empowered to make their own decision. The era of pushing your products and services onto customers and coercing them into buying is over – consumers have become desensitised to traditional marketing (outbound marketing) and they’re not taking in marketing messages positively unless they feel in control.
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Is content marketing an important part of your online strategy?
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