Written by: Bangcwele Qwabe
Promoting your content is a far better way to engage with your target clientele than telling them about your product or service. Wait, what?
Yup, you read right. Research has shown that while potential customers are likely to perceive your product or service as a commodity, they will perceive your content as value if it caters to their needs. Consumers don’t buy products based on how well they are advertised. Rather, they make the decision to purchase based on valuable content given by the service-provider to get them to know, trust and use your brand.
What Is Content Marketing Actually?
Content marketing – a buzzword that’s thrown around a lot currently, even though most of us only have a vague idea of what it means. We are often embarrassed to ask what should be obvious. But is it really?
Content marketing is unique in that it goes beyond marketing and advertising strategies. It’s about crafting content that will engage your audience and turn them into lasting customers.
The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “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.”
Is It A Necessity For Businesses To Have?
This was further explained by Michele Linn, from the same institute, who explained content marketing as a tool to shape holistically, the way a body of content influences how people view a product.
She says, this goes beyond just marketing the products that a company sells. Instead, it is a collection of strategies employed towards educating consumers about your product, in order to elevate it from being a basic commodity to something people embrace and fall in love with.
The current world order is digital, and now is the time for businesses to act digitally in order to stay ahead of the game.
Linn says, mastering content marketing is what can turn your product, no matter how common, into something that is not like everyone else’s.
“Content marketing creates a more knowledgeable customer. Content marketing builds relationships. Content marketing helps people feel smart. Content marketing is an investment that reaps long-term rewards”, Linn says.
Does Content Marketing Actually Work?
What’s the currency behind content marketing you might ask? Customers who return for more. The digital age has seen customers become more engaged, invested and particular about the products they purchase and consume. With social media as the driving force, customers are now at the driving seat of sales, as they don’t shy away from critiquing products on the market.
Founder of Uber Brands Jonathan King says no matter how much traffic your visually compelling content attracts, if your channel isn’t optimized to convert followers into thought leaders, then their views are virtually useless. “All the website traffic and blog page views in the world mean zilch unless they are converting into leads and, ultimately, revenue for your business.”
Alain Mevellec, co-founder and CMO at Sellsy, suggests that businesses hoping to crack the secrets to staying power, should place customers at the core of content marketing. “The rise of online communities, peer review sites and social media has forever changed the impact of the customer voice. Customer feedback has evolved from something owned and managed by customer service teams to a force that influences every department across an organisation.”
Mevellec further breaks this notion down by stating the following:
New leads: customer testimonials lead to customer referrals
More sales: 88% of customers have been influenced by an online review when making a buying decision.
Higher profit margins: highly-engaged customers spend 60% more per transaction.
What To Take Home?
From the above mentioned, we’ve come up with 3 simple ways of making content more productive by bringing revenue
1. Know your audience:
True insight into who your custard doesn’t happen overnight. It requires effort. But knowing clearly who you cater for will help you produce content that is relevant, compelling, valuable and will drive audiences to take action.
2. Create content that contributes to revenue:
Content marketing is about getting audiences to take the next step. You make them interested in your product by showing them how it is an experience they need. What do you want audiences to do after viewing your content? Produce content that will create the momentum that’ll get them. Always create content that has a clearly outlined plan for conversion audience to customer specified in advance.
3. More is not necessarily better:
Your content should inspire audiences to act. That doesn’t necessarily mean you bombard different social media platforms with your product, but instead produce quality that will get them to take the next step. The right balance between content and social media engagement is both sustainable and profitable to your business. Effective content marketing is heavily interwoven with the marketing strategy and tactics, as well as with your organization’s sales process. This is what gives audiences what they need, when they need it most.
Every person or business can be a content creator these days. It requires effort to stand out. Turning your target audience into life-long customers is all about engagement. You want your brand to be associated with a great deal of credibility and necessity. In order for audiences to place your brand at top of mind, give them content that makes you hard to forget.
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