...Even to those who don't want to be sold to.
Content marketing encompasses pretty much everything that your business shares online.
Your social media content, blogs, images and videos are all part of it. People build up a picture of your brand through taking this stuff in. If they engage with it, they’re probably interested in what you’re doing.
When used correctly, a coordinated approach to content marketing can attract potential customers, and nurture those who are already invested in your brand. Now that’s a pretty powerful tool if you ask me.
A lot of businesses use their online presence to share overt sales messages to people that have never heard of them before. And a lot of businesses find that this doesn’t actually work. Now, why is this surprising when we know that…
We’ve all experienced them. Annoying adverts on tv, littering our social feeds, and even sales calls we definitely wished we didn’t answer. Sales messages are everywhere.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like it when someone tries to sell something to me. That is, unless I actually want what someone is selling me. That’s a whole different story!
But how do you know who wants what you’re selling in the first place? And how do you get the right messages to the right people? You guessed it. Content marketing.
Contrary to what some may believe, content marketing isn’t all about the hard sell. In fact, until someone is ready to buy from you, it’s about the complete opposite.
So here is a scenario for you. You’re scrolling through Facebook and see a video on how to cook a vegetarian meal. You’re interested in this because you are a vegetarian. You watch the video and are pleased that you’ve learned a new recipe in under a minute. “I think I’ll try cooking that next week” you think to yourself.
All good, no advertising here… right? Wrong.
If you work within marketing, you will know that these videos and blogs are actually adverts in one way or another. They’re shared by brands to gauge your initial interest in what they’re selling. If you like their content and engage with it, they gradually show you more and more content to nurture you as a ‘lead’. Someone who is likely to buy their products or services.
They’re giving you something valuable for free in the hope that you’ll eventually give something back.
Now, let’s go back to the thought that adverts aren’t so annoying when they're showing you something that you actually want to buy.
You’ve watched more and more of your vegetarian recipe videos and started to try them out. You’re loving your new found veggie recipe provider! The next thing you know you’re signing up to their monthly magazine...
Well my friends, as you can see, it is through clever content marketing. No overt sales messages were used until you were properly invested in the brand. But by then, you’re happy to sign up to the magazine subscription because you like this brand. It makes you feel good. And it has invested its time in giving you free information that you have already found useful.
So, hopefully by now you can see how and why content marketing is a valuable asset to your business, and why you should be investing your time on developing some kind of content marketing strategy. Even if it's just a few scribbles in your notebook for now!
Remember, a person is much less likely to buy from you the first time they’ve heard of your brand. They want to suss you out first. Use content marketing to show them that you know what you’re talking about, and that you know the types of content they enjoy reading or watching.
Of course, to get to this stage in the first place you need to know the types of content that your customers respond to. And once they’re ready to buy, you need to know which sales messages work for them too.
But that’s an article for another day!
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