Developing a marketing plan is the first point of entry for many businesses looking to promote their goods and services. A strategic approach to reaching potential customers helps you schedule emails, coordinate social media posts, design your Web site and define achievable advertising goals.
These are all excellent tools utilized in both traditional and content marketing to reach your audience and move them to act. The difference between both marketing styles is the message you’re sending. Yes, in both niches, marketing is telling your story to catch your audience’s attention and encourage them to act. A compelling story in any style of marketing will typically see positive results.
While the result of both marketing techniques is the same – increased sales and greater leads – the roads to get there are vastly different. Advertising is more about telling your audience about your product, service or business, and spreading a wide net; content marketing is becoming a more effective, subtle way to attract attention, leads, and customers.
Successful content marketing uses the same channels – email, social media and your Web site – but in a different form. Writing informative blog posts, educating your readers through podcasts, and sharing infographics are some of the most frequently-used avenues to success. The ultimate goal of content marketing is to establish a more meaningful connection with your audience and turn content consumers into quality customers.
Nearly two-third of Americans own a smartphone, which many are using to access the Internet. Most are using their mobile devices even more than a desktop or laptop computer. While traditional advertising routes put your messages where you would expect to find your audience, and assume certain demographic about the individuals in that channel, content marketing is much more personalized. As a result, most Web users are not sharing your advertisements with their friends and contacts. Content marketing, on the other hand, is highly customizable, and Internet users share blog posts, photos, infographics, and videos an incredible rate. An AOL and Nielsen study showed Internet users were sharing more than 27 million pieces of content on a daily basis and 53 percent of users’ Internet time was directly related to content consumption.
In traditional advertising, once your ad campaign has finished, it won’t continue to be published. Your quality content, though, not only exists online but can be shared even years later, lending more credibility to your business and introduce new customers to your brand. Not sure where to start when it comes to generating quality content? Check out our free Webinar, Unlock the Power of Content Marketing, and learn more about what your ideal customers are looking to consume and share.
Positioning yourself as a leader in your field significantly improves the chances of a prospect entering and following through your sales funnel. Gaining authority in your field involves more than just writing a few blog posts. Content that generates results is fresh, engaging and consistent.
Who is your ideal customer? What are they looking to read? Once you’ve found those key pieces of information, tailor your online content to their interests, research and write about topics that will interest them and add value to their personal and professional lives, and do so on a regular basis.
If you paint a large circle around your brand’s main messages, think of what information might fall within that limit. For example, posting recipes for healthy food is a natural content extension for an all-natural cosmetics or cleaning company. It won’t have the same effect on a manufacturing company or business consulting firm.
Adding value comes when you are more interested in improving your customers’ lives than your bottom line. Providing free, relevant content brings them one step closer to getting to know and trust you, which puts you first in line when they are in the market for a product or service offered by your brand.
While content marketing takes on reaching new customers in a slightly different way, the end goal is still the same as traditional – to reach new and qualified leads. Rather than the more direct approach taken in advertising, quality content marketing builds upon the credibility and authority you’ve established by subtly prompting readers to take action. First steps might be signing up to receive e-mails, subscribing to a podcast, or following you on social media, with the end goal of turning to your company over your competitors. A clear call-to-action is typically built into your copy and leads your customer to the next step, rather than telling them to do so.
There is an art to crafting a clear, compelling call to action – and it’s available in our free content marketing Webinar, which will cover the best placement for your offer, finding qualified prospects, and guiding them into becoming customers.