“Is content marketing the right choice for my business?” you might wonder. Content marketing isn’t just one of those trends that come and go in the marketing world. It’s an essential ingredient in marketing success in the digital universe.
With a wealth of information at their fingertips, today’s customers come to their buying decisions with a healthy dose of skepticism. In fact, you’re probably reading this article with a skeptical mindset. After all, it appears on a content marketing agency’s blog, right?
However, there are three critical drivers in buying decisions.
- Customer experience: As Forbes points out, companies that focus on a customer experience mindset drive revenue four to eight percent higher than other brands in the same industry. In fact, those brands that take the lead in customer experience outperform their competitors by almost 80 percent.
- Authority, expertise, and trust: When prospects recognize your brand as an authority in its field, they are more likely to trust the information you publish. Substantiating that information with both your own expertise and corroborating evidence from other recognized industry experts builds their trust even further.
- Emotion: Studies reveal that the emotional part of the human brain processes information five times as fast as the cognitive part of the brain. Ads that evoke emotion drive a 23 percent increase in sales, while emotional connections to a brand make a customer seven times more likely to purchase something from it. Surprisingly, statistics also show that the emotional factor is just as relevant to business decision-makers’ purchases.
Content marketing checks off all three boxes. And with more people online than ever before, a multi-channel content strategy is a must to capture the lion’s share of your target market.
- Content marketing covers the three critical drivers in the customer journey.
- Whether yours is a startup or an enterprise, B2B or B2C, thoughtful content informs your prospects and motivates them to become customers.
- Put industry-leading content to work for your brand.
Content marketing works whether yours is a startup, a small-to-medium-sized business, or a multi-national enterprise. Both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) brands find major success when they build their marketing strategy around content. And, for highly technical or niche markets, quality content is almost a must.
Small Businesses: Content Marketing Is a Strategic Advantage
Small business owners have to wear a lot of hats. Most of them have a hands-on grasp of their industry.
Content marketing allows them to showcase their expertise, building customer trust and industry authority. That’s especially true if they’re in a niche market or concentrate on their local area.
Teaching customers how to get the most out of your product and services with content marketing is a budget-friendly way to build customer trust. In fact, a large majority of your target customers will likely prefer learning about a brand through informative content.
Use email newsletters to keep in touch with current customers, providing them with content that can drive customer retention and loyalty. Using email segmentation, send prospects helpful content that will build their trust in your expertise. When they’re ready to buy, they’ll likely choose your business.
Even startups can get in on the ground floor of their field through content marketing. As search engine optimization (SEO) giant Moz puts it, content builds a “strong brand awareness” in your audience. Leveraging that brand awareness to engage with customers and prospects in social media conversations allows you to demonstrate what your expertise can do to help them solve problems and grow their businesses.
Enterprises: Content Marketing Drives Greater Success
For decades upon decades, the world’s largest corporations depended on slick print ads and clever commercials to get across their messages. However, with the rise of newcomers, particularly in eCommerce and the tech sector, legacy enterprises need to shift their communication strategy into the digital space to compete.
Those large companies who have embraced content marketing have provided formidable competition to the upstart newcomers. Chief among them is IBM, who only a couple of decades ago was on the ropes.
With industry-leading blog posts, videos, and LinkedIn social media pieces, the company has once again positioned itself on the leading edge of technology firms. It’s not alone. Bank of America, John Deere, and the prestigious Cleveland Clinic have used content to bridge their illustrious heritage with a 21st-century multi-channel content strategy.
Newer companies, such as Salesforce, IKEA, and Home Depot, too, use problem-solving blogs, design ideas, and DIY advice to maintain their position as industry leaders.
B2B Companies: Leverage Content to Deliver Targeted Messages
As I mentioned earlier, even number-crunching business decision-makers appreciate content that pulls at their heartstrings. Paired with personalized messaging that helps them see the logic of doing business with your company, B2B content can make that head-heart connection that drives trust.
Account-based marketing takes the audience data you so painstakingly collect and turns it into personalized messaging that addresses the exact concerns each decision-maker has. For example, the engineering brass will need to know if your new device will help them increase the precision of their own manufacturing process.
To learn what each departmental head wants to know about your product, get out of your marketing silo and talk to your sales and customer service departments to understand your prospects’ questions and concerns. Then, partner with subject matter experts to get the specifics that can answer those questions in detail.
The chief financial officer will want to know how much money your device will save, while your prospects’ marketing department will need to brainstorm ways to promote the device’s benefits to their own customers. Wrap that messaging up in a compelling brand story, and you’ll hit a marketing home run.
Another kind of B2B content strategy utilizes local SEO to target businesses in various regions with locally relevant content. For instance, a business located in the northern US would appreciate content that helps them winterize their facilities, while one in Florida would be more likely to need content about teaching their employees to prepare the workplace to withstand a hurricane.
Using social media analytics, businesses can choose to show links to blog posts about hurricane preparation to prospects in Florida. Using geo-targeting, they can point their northern customers to content that helps them deal with snow and ice.
Content marketing empowers your business to showcase how you meet your customers’ specific needs – wherever and whoever they might be — with quality goods and services. That makes your B2B brand stand out, whether you’re large, small, or in between.
B2C Marketing: It’s Always Been About the Content
Ah, the glory days of Madison Avenue! Although Hollywood portrays marketing messages as a milieu of catchy taglines and slick TV commercials, the reality was – and is – much different, particularly when building brand and product awareness among consumers.
Enter one David Ogilvy. Said to be the model for Mad Men’s Don Draper, Ogilvy focused squarely on the target market and their needs.
He advised up-and-coming ad men and women to “study your consumer in detail,” pointing out that those “who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore the signs of the enemy.” Then, he and his agency created content that was not only catchy, but more importantly, chock-full of the information that would drive his target market to buy.
Today’s marketers should take note. Anyone can create a tagline and “a few vapid adjectives” to sell a beer – or anything else. It takes a content marketing genius to make consumers crave one, as did Ogilvy in his classic ad.
Niche Brands: Simplify and Sell
There’s nothing more confusing to consumers and business executives alike than high-tech jargon and business-speak. Or doctor-speak, lawyer-speak, or any of their linguistic cousins, for that matter.
If your company sells something that it takes an engineering degree or its equivalent to understand, you need content marketing. Quality content can bring all your technical knowledge down to earth to show what your products can do for your customers.
When you simplify the terminology and focus on your customers’ needs, you forge a connection with them, building their trust in your brand.
Whatever your size, brand, or industry, content marketing is the hub around which your messaging should revolve. It informs, helps, and assures your prospects and turns them into customers.
If you are ready to get more traffic to your site with quality content published consistently, check out our Content Builder Service. Set up a quick consultation, and I’ll send you a free PDF version of my books. Get started today – and generate more traffic and leads for your business.