In todays world traditional marketing methods like commercials and billboard just don’t cut it for small to medium sized businesses. Unless you are a multi-million dollar business with tons of budget to spend on these methods, your voice will be drowned out by others that do.
Online, there are more avenues than ever for businesses to reach potential customers through strategic tactics like content marketing. Content marketing (also known as inbound marketing) is the creation and distribution of content that is relevant and useful to a target audience. It involves multiple forms such as, ebooks, infographics, case studies, how-to’s, blogs etc. Basically, any information that could provide value to the audience and build credibility and authority to the business distributing it, is content marketing.
How content marketing affects the buying journey
The difference between traditional marketing and content marketing tactics is that they affect buyers decisions at different stages.
Pull vs. push marketing
Traditional, push marketing like billboards and commercials are used to influence consumers at a larger scale. They aren’t honed into a specific niche because they are big brands that seek to be superior in their market.
Content marketing, or pull marketing, is meant to be targeted to a niche audience to increase awareness around the brand and provide value that builds trust around a product or service. At this stage of the buyers journey, they may otherwise be unaware of a problem in their life’s, until your content leads them to realize it. Once they are aware and ready to act, they will be more likely to go with your business because of the value it’s already provided.
The benefits of content marketing
Content marketing is a great way for your business to attract, inform and engage with customers. Here are the top benefits from an effective strategy:
When a customer is searching for a solution to a specific problem, your content will help lead them in the right direction. By making content with your customers in mind, your business is anticipating their needs on a level that humanizes your brand. Your brand will pull more customers in by being friendly and helpful, than by cold selling.
Content that is relevant to customer needs and offers a valuable solution helps your business stand out as a leader in your industry, further convincing potential buyers because of your credibility. Your business is not only selling a product or service, but also the knowledge of an expert. A great example of this is how avid cyclists prefer to shop at smaller specialty shops, instead of big retail stores that offer no personal expertise. People are looking for real humans with real experience in the field they are interested in, which just can’t be replicated in bigger retail stores. As you release more content, you position yourself as the expertise that will be leaned on for advice when the customer is ready and keep the engaged along the way.
Businesses revolve around building positive relationships! That’s why providing value before a customer even visits your store can be such an effective strategy for your business. It’s not only a good first impression, but a lasting one.