How Content Marketing Works and Why Every Business Needs It
Content marketing involves attracting and keeping customers. Yet not just any old content will do. It must be unique, relevant, and useful to a targeted audience.
Content marketing is nothing new. For generations, people have been buying products simply because they received some free information or were given some basic advice on how to solve a problem. Often, consumers just wanted some questions answered, but ended up buying. The content a business provided prompted that sale.
It is only the online part that is relatively new to content marketing strategies. Consumers can search and find answers in an instant, so a business needs to have articles, videos, and other information available online at all times.
People like to buy, but they do not like to be sold to. Content marketing works because it distributes information without pushing a sale. Videos, blog posts, infographics, and social media messages should never directly sell a product. The slow dripping of content subtly encourages a purchase but doesn’t hard sell to the customer.
Content marketing is a long-term commitment. Amateur marketers create a blog article or social media post and expect it to go viral. Unfortunately, attracting the kind of attention hardly ever happens. So, frustration sets in, and the excited, motivated marketer walks away and calls content marketing a failure.
The experienced marketer sticks it out and continues to accumulate content, writing engaging articles and producing entertaining videos. Often, the prospect of consistently creating content for an extended period can be daunting. Yet, it will be well worth it, as content marketing remains the most powerful way to attract leads and customers.
Content marketing is like a salesperson who never takes a day off. Once a video or blog post appears online, it will be there to engage, teach, and sell whenever a prospect clicks on it. It works around the clock, attracting engagement and collecting leads.
However, content marketing only works if it speaks directly to a consumer, and some research is required to create a successful campaign. Find out who is most likely to need a product and provide content that person will find useful. For example, a company that sells pet health supplements would create and direct content toward pet owners concerned about their dog’s health.
A business can significantly boost credibility and brand awareness with content marketing. With consistent, high-quality content, a company can gain visibility and expert status in a particular industry. Consistent exposure through different media channels will create familiarity with a company, and familiarity leads to trust and confidence if done right. A consumer will more likely make a purchase if they know the company will still be around to support the product they buy.
Part of an effective content marketing strategy is determining where your target customers are. Look at the demographics of the people likely to buy a product and the typical way they consume content. Younger audiences tend to be on social media, so reaching them means posting content on Facebook, Twitter, or even TikTok. Promoting content through email and newsletters tend to produce better results when an older consumer is the objective.
Longtime marketers measure content success, and that measurement is crucial. If a particular blog post or video does well, similar content is created. Of course, the failures are forgotten and hopefully not repeated.
Staying focused and being in it for the long haul are the keys to content marketing. While it may seem a bit fruitless in the beginning, posting useful, entertaining, and consistent content will attract new leads and keep customers coming back to buy over and over.