As technology advances, new techniques are found leaving older ones obsolete. As traditional marketing has become less productive, the rise in new methods have become more popular. Enter content marketing– a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to acquire a defined audience with the goal of driving profitable customer action, according to the Content Marketing Institute.
To give you a better grasp on what content marketing is, take a look at some different types. An infographic makes long and complicated information eye-catching, easily understood, and sharable. A podcast is a form of audio broadcasting on the internet; it can be created by anyone to share anything from strong opinions to factual information. There are also more known types of content marketing, such as presentations, web pages, apps, and public speaking.
While companies are starting to become more consumer based, there are still plenty of businesses that solely focus on a customer’s purchase. That is not necessarily a bad thing; however, it is extremely challenging to create loyal customers if your vision stops at the purchase. There needs to be recognition of the whole process a person goes through before making that purchase.
The Four Stages of Customer Interaction
Awareness. Research. Consideration. Purchase. These are the steps of the buying process that a person goes through (subconsciously perhaps). Traditional marketing does well with the last two steps but lacks the value needed to induce the first two. Content marketing, on the other hand, works to create awareness and educate potential customers of their products. This allows a customer to find the content, find the business, and then decide what they need from that business without dealing with the annoyance of advertisements or sale calls.
Now the question is: why does content marketing work? The answer can be summed up in one word. Influence. Can you not see the connection? Well, let’s spell it out. Content marketing is the sharing of valuable information. Value leads to influence. For example, think of your mentor, significant other, your parents, or anyone else of value in your life. Now consider how you feel whenever that person suggests a new tv show, shares new fashion advice or provides their opinions on certain topics. Are you likely to hear them out? Maybe try the things they’ve suggested? Their value to you makes their thoughts more influential for you. The same goes when it comes to business.
Content marketing works because you provide tangible benefits to your audience. When that content solves a problem or answers a question, the potential client has then received value without being asked for anything in return. Thus encouraging the prospect to buy your product or service.