Content marketing is a marketing strategy used to entice, keep, and expand an audience through the creation and distribution of pertinent articles, videos, podcasts, and other media. When it’s time to buy what you sell, people will think of your company first thanks to this strategy’s promotion of brand awareness and establishment of expertise.

Content marketing is the process of creating and distributing relevant, helpful content to current and potential customers in the form of blogs, newsletters, white papers, social media posts, emails, videos, and similar items. When done well, this content demonstrates expertise and makes it obvious that a business values the customers it serves.

Utilizing content marketing consistently helps you build and maintain relationships with both current and potential clients. When your target market views your business as a partner invested in their success and a reliable source of information and direction, they are more likely to choose you when the time comes to make a purchase.

Why it’s significant

A tried-and-true strategy is content marketing. It also gives you a competitive advantage. Look at the statistics regarding content marketing:

  • Businesses that blog receive 67% more leads than competing businesses.
  • Before speaking with a sales representative, 47% of buyers view 3 to 5 pieces of content.
  • Businesses that use content marketing experience growth rates that are about 30% higher than those who don’t.
  • 72 percent of business-to-business (B2B) marketers claim that content marketing boosts lead generation and engagement.

How to use content marketing

Your company can use content marketing to draw in leads, convince potential customers to buy your product or service when they are shopping around, and close deals.

Deliver the appropriate material at each point of the sales cycle, from awareness through consideration to purchase, in order to use it successfully. If this seems challenging, relax—using this method to approach content really makes things easier.

Here is how businesses interact and close sales at each stage of the sales cycle.

stage of awareness

Your content should be centered on your audience’s main issues throughout the initial stage of the sales process. You have the highest opportunity of connecting with them via writing about their problems, obstacles, and inquiries. At the awareness level, the content should be instructional and instructive. During the consideration and closing stages is when you should sell.

Articles, blog entries, e-books, videos, and newsletters are the best content types for this stage.

Examples

  • Include a restaurant’s blog article on how to prepare a menu for a spring graduation celebration.
  • A little film titled “3 Ways to Choose the Right Bike Trip” was produced by a bike touring business.
  • Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Architect is an e-book written by an architecture company.

stage of consideration

Content should include a mix of useful information and marketing during the deliberation stage. It need to inform the reader about the qualities or capabilities to seek out as well as how different aspects cater to different demands. Of course, the focus of your writing should be on the services that your company provides.

The best content for this level includes case studies, how-to writing, how-to videos, and worksheets and checklists.

Examples:

  • The “8 Ways to Improve Your Phone Customer Service” checklist was produced by a cloud-based phone system provider and lists the attributes and capabilities necessary for excellent customer service.
  • Case studies regarding “The Biggest Mistakes Most People Make When They Hire a Landscaper” are produced by a landscaping business.
  • The case studies of successful events that a catering business offers are highlighted along with the advantages they provide, such as “How to Accommodate Food Allergies at Your Next Event” or “How to Ensure Your Caterer Uses Sustainable Practices.”

final phase

When a prospect is about to make a purchase, content marketing is crucial. You may concentrate on sales at this point as long as you keep emphasizing why you’re the greatest option rather than just how excellent your services or products are.

Your knowledge, experience, and the unique advantages of what you sell should be the main points of your message.

Case studies, user-generated content, buyer’s guides, product videos, and research reports are the best types of content at this stage.

Examples:

  • A consulting company produces a study that demonstrates that companies with higher growth rates engage in strategic planning, third-party evaluations, and other services that are influenced by the services it provides.
  • A design agency creates brief videos that highlight the variety of its work in different industries to demonstrate the breadth of its expertise.
  • An orthodontic practice asks clients to submit reviews about its state-of-the-art equipment and excellent service.

Getting a content marketing campaign off the ground

However, content marketing need not be intimidating. A content marketing campaign that is both manageable and effective is crucial. Follow these actions to get started:

  • Decide who they are. You must have a thorough understanding of the priorities, difficulties, and preferences of each reader before you can produce content for them. Select 1 or 2 of your segments to write for if you have in-depth descriptions of them. If not, create profiles of your audience and potential customers before beginning.
  • Choose the appropriate formats. The stage of the sales cycle for which you are creating content will determine the appropriate format. What formats will best enable you to demonstrate value is another crucial factor to take into account. This will be a video for some people and a checklist for others.
  • Choose a writer, editor, and proofreader for your copy. Your content will be evaluated by an audience, and they should. Choose the best internal or external resource to produce this work. Regardless of who creates it, have anything before it leaves the building proofread by a professional.
  • Choose your distribution strategy. Will you publish the information on your website, send it by email, or print it for a gathering? By starting “where” you think your audience will be, choose formats that make sense. A buyer’s guide is a good follow-up to a pitch, a checklist or worksheet can be shared on social media, and an article makes sense to send via email.
  • Pick a schedule that is sustainable. Making an overly ambitious content marketing plan is simple. Create a short-term (3-6 months) plan for a realistic number of content elements you can create based on your budget and resources once you are aware of your target readers and the formats. So that you can factor that time into your schedule, keep track of how long it takes you to produce each piece of content.
  • Observe good practices. Clear writing without jargon that only you and your peers will understand makes for compelling content. It should also include how-to advice. The ideal piece of content is brief, pertinent, and actionable.

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