How To Get Started With Content Marketing Today
by Dani Damous
As we know, marketing is constantly evolving. Therefore, businesses must stay ahead of the curve compared to their competition in order to increase leads, return on investment and sales. Today, one of the primary methods that can help achieve this is content marketing. These two words seem to be popping up more and more in today’s conversations and some might be scratching their heads thinking, what is content marketing?
Let’s start with the definition:
“Content marketing is the process of developing and sharing relevant, valuable, and engaging content to target audiences with the goal of acquiring new customers or increasing business from existing customers” with “the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behavior.”
Content marketing has become one of the most fruitful and cost-effective ways to market. Creating a website and focusing heavily only on traditional and/or outbound marketing while praying to see results are tactics of the past. Providing your current and potential customers with relevant information regarding their needs, industry, and, eventually, your product and services allows your company to build deep relationships. Building and nurturing these relationships by delivering information that makes your buyers more intelligent instead of pitching yourself will push your customers further down the purchase path and help them to, ultimately, choose you as the solution to the problem they’re researching.
The buyer’s journey is now about consumers starting off with extensive online research and educating themselves prior to any initial conversations. A couple of years ago, Google published the popular eBook, “The Zero Moment of Truth” (https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/collections/zero-moment-truth.html), which discussed this exact shift in shopper behavior. There is now an entire content collection on the ZMOT site that covers the topic. Because of this shift, making strong and relevant content the core of your marketing strategy is critical! See below the three stages of the sales funnel that help drive your target audience to purchasing:
- Awareness: Top of Funnel (TOFU)
- Think of your customers needs and pain points and tailor the content to that.
- Evaluation: Middle of Funnel (MOFU)
- Answer any questions specifically about your product or services to increase your customers engagement through facts, statistics, etc.
- Purchase: Bottom of Funnel (BOFU)
- Provide insight on specific details of the product/services and any discounts or special offers to help finalize the purchase.
Now that you know the sales funnel stages, you might be wondering how this is all used to generate leads and ultimately increase sales.
- Establish your buyer’s persona. Ask yourself what
types of customers you have. Segmenting your customers will help you
create content that targets their questions, goals, and objectives. Now
the key is to engage with these buyers through multiple platforms:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Website Pages
- Social Media
- Paid Search
- Paid and earned PR
- Convert visits to leads. It is important to attract
the right visitors but what’s more important is converting these
visitors to leads . Collecting your customer’s contact information is
key. However, you must provide something in return that is equally
valuable. Creating pieces of content that allow the customer to increase
their engagement and further their knowledge of the company is the
answer. Once you create a valuable and unique premium content piece, you
can use it as “currency” with your target audiences in exchange for
their contact information. Use some of the below tools:
- Landing Pages
- Creating a database of contacts
- Turning leads into customers. You have successfully acquired leads. The next step is to make them a customer. Collecting the contact information into a database allows the business to create a resource to continue engagement. Sending out emails with relevant content to your target customer will help nurture the lead process.
- Keeping happy customers. At any stage the goal is to keep your audience engaged and happy. Using some of these methods can help ensure you are providing the right content and receiving continuous feedback.
- Public Relations
- Social Media
- Smart Text
Content marketing can help your business increase sales, return on investment and leads. Providing relevant content on your businesses’ products and services and targeting the right audience will provide results. To help reinforce the above information check out these great statistics:
- 80% of business decision makers prefer to get information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. (Exact Target)
- 61% of consumers say they feel better about a company that delivers custom content and are also more likely to buy from that company. (Custom Content Council)
- Blogs give websites on average 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links. (Inbound Writer)
- HubSpot customers average a total of 9,100 leads after 1.5 years of content marketing. (HubSpot)
- Customers who receive email newsletters spend 82% more when they buy from the company. (iContact)
- Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. (The Annuitas Group)
Is content marketing for your company? Download the flowchart below to find out.