Whether you view a sale as a slow, methodical seduction to get your prospect into the bedroom or storming the castle walls to get into the throne room, the process starts with an exchange of information. The modern-day term for disseminating this information is “Content Marketing.” It’s a way of spoon-feeding your prospect the right information at the right time when they are hungry for your message.
You probably have heard a lot about it and might have some ideas on what content marketing entails. According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is, “A marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” In other words, giving them enough information and reasons so that they will buy.
Content marketing is about building your audience, allowing you to grow beyond your local area, and prosper over time.
Why Use Content Marketing?
You might think, “how about running an ad?” If you can afford $15,000 – $25,000 to get started with your ad budget, why not? Companies spend millions on ads, so it might not be a bad idea. But advertisements just create interest. They rarely give the information buyers need to make a buying decision.
How about the hard sale, the salesperson, the cold call, or word of mouth? It’s feasible if you can afford the time and have resources. If you’re doing it too aggressively, some people might avoid you.
Instead of making hard sales pitches, content marketing is a way to introduce your target audience to your brand, product, or service. It’s low pressure and reassuring way to bring new leads, prospects, and customers into your business by providing content that is truly helpful and useful.
Content marketing is not limited to blogs and articles. Infographics, videos, guides, reviews, case studies, or white papers are excellent content options. The more types of content you use, the more effective your content marketing efforts become because you reach a wider audience.
Content marketing introduces customers to your company or brand without being pushy or salesy. It also convinces repeat visitors that you are an expert in your field. Great content such as a viral video can spread your name far and wide, ensuring that more people know about you and your business.
Is the benefit worth the effort? Let’s find out.
Six Advantages of Content Marketing for SME’s
Here are the top 6 reasons to incorporate content marketing into your marketing strategy:
- Building a Strong Online Presence – By continuously offering new and helpful information, this outbound marketing technique will reinforce your brand and what you offer to your target market. Your content will drive site visits and attract followers who are potential customers.
- Establishes Thought Leadership – Quality content marketing provides your prospects Solving your customer’s problems establishes you as a thought leader. Confidence in your company and products can lead to better sales.
- Builds Trust and Brand Awareness – The more often you post useful content, the more opportunity you have to get in front of your prospects. Repetition is the key to brand awareness, and quality content builds trust.
- Moves Your Prospects Down the Sales Funnel – Your content gives buyers the information they need to get closer to a buying decision. The more benefits information you provide about your product, the more objections you overcome in the buyer’s mind. You gently nudge your prospect toward the “Buy Now” button.
- Content Helps SEO and Organic Searches – Your content will naturally contain specific keywords that people use to search for your product or solutions to their problem. Search engines use these keywords to help people find you, giving you free traffic. Google loves useful content and rewards you with higher rankings in the searches.
- Generate Pre-Qualified Leads – When people search for keywords related to your content, they are already pre-qualified for your product or service. Someone searching for a piano tuner or dog groomer has a specific goal in mind. If your content has what they need, prospects will take the next step and move further into your sales funnel by clicking on the next page or offer that you set up.
Content marketing helps search engines connect your business with the people who need what you sell and simplifies customers buying decisions.
Two Initial Steps of Consumer Buying Cycle That Leads to Sales
There are four steps to the consumer buying process:
- Awareness – Making the customer aware that you have a solution to their need or problem.
- Research – Customers want all the information they can get to make the right buying choice
- Consideration – The customer evaluates his or her options, trying to finalize (and justify) the purchase choice.
- Buy – They pull the trigger and make the purchase.
Content marketing is vital to steps 1 and 2 of the purchase process, while traditional advertising and marketing focus on steps 3 and 4. The advantage of content marketing is that it educates consumers about features and benefits they might not have considered before.
You probably wonder how do you start content marketing for your business. You can either do it yourself or outsource the task.
DIY or Hire A Pro?
If you have the time and talent to put your thought in writing, you can write your content. There is plenty of help available online. You probably save some money, but it can be time-consuming. And if you are a business owner or entrepreneur, how much is your time worth?
If you are a DIY type of person, start with writing a blog. You can get great writing tips from sites like Copyblogger.com or Smartblogger.com. These are two great sites that will teach you how to blog effectively and build an audience.
However, unless you are an excellent writer, with SEO knowledge, you are better off using a pro. Most of the content that you see on larger sites comes from freelance or agency ghostwriters. These professionals know how to write in a style that matches your brand and achieves your business goal
Let’s Create Effective Content for Your Product or Service
Are you ready to start content marketing for your business but are unsure where to begin? If you have any questions, contact us, and we will be happy to guide you or provide you with a quote to write for you.
Content marketing works for any industry and product. Make sure you have quality content in place for your prospects to learn about what you offer and why they need to do business with you.