Over the years, as techniques for cultivating digital presence have changed, the strategy of content marketing has remained to be an essential factor in gaining online traction. With B2C, and B2B marketing, content marketing rules the marketplace, but many businesses are still struggling to use it to their advantage.
Creating great content can be a daunting experience, particularly when you don’t have any background in the world of marketing. There’s planning, development, production, and measurement to think about, and all of that can feel like unknown territory. Fortunately, if you’re struggling with understanding content marketing, or you’re unsure whether it’s worth the effort, this could be the article for you.
Why Content Marketing Matters
Today, the average customer sales funnel has changed dramatically. Thanks to the introduction of new technology and social platforms, information is everywhere, and your customers can find more data wherever they look. That’s why the average buyer doesn’t contact a supplier until around 57% of the purchase is already complete.
With content marketing, you make the decision to fill the environment with the information your consumers are looking for. Without it, you’re leaving nothing more than an empty space, which can either reduce trust in your customers or leave you vulnerable to losing space to your competitors.
What is Content Marketing For?
Any investment in business needs to be made with an in-depth understanding of what you’re getting yourself into. After all, you don’t buy advertising space if you don’t already have ads to use with it. Content marketing, at its most fundamental level, is all about your customer. In simple terms, your focus is on building the content that your customer needs, and craves. The goal of content marketing is, therefore, to create informative, helpful pieces – no matter their format.
Whether you’re creating animated gifs that inform and entertain, or white papers with background case studies into your business – as long as you’re providing value, you’re driving positive results from your customers. That means that the first step in any content marketing effort should always be figuring out what your customers want.
Getting Started with Content Marketing
Think that the world of content might be right for?
First things first, examine your marketing goals. Ask yourself whether you’re trying to increase conversions and improve customer experience. If you are, then look at your audience, and try to figure out their needs and pain points. Use that information to develop content that demonstrates the value of your company. Your content strategy should line up with your goals.
For instance, if your focus is on reducing a number of calls that come through to your call centre, then your content strategy might focus on offering resources that help you to answer the common questions and complaints that come from your target audience.
Remember to be Patient
The important thing to remember about content marketing is that it’s not an instant fix to anything. Everyone wants things fast, and cheap in the world of business, but content marketing requires effort and time. Don’t be fooled into thinking you can post a few blogs and reap the benefits of content for the rest of your business lifetime. Content marketing works because it takes a lot of time and effort. However, it’s a tool that really works for the long-term, and continues to give you consistent value for as long as your business exists. As investments go, this one is really worth your cash.
Rob is Founder & Publisher of UC Today, a leading news publication specialising in Unified Communications & Collaboration technologies.