Every brand wants to be authoritative in its niche and build a loyal customer base. But only some succeed in doing so. Why do some manage to increase their authority and capture market share while others fall behind? The answer lies in effective content marketing.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a subtle marketing strategy that aims to captivate, engage and retain an audience through quality content such as videos, blogs, podcasts and other mediums. Unlike traditional advertising, content marketing’s main fulcrum is providing value to the audience and, henceforth, engaging and retaining customers. In orthodox marketing, the brand bombards the audience with tailored messages, literally vying for their attention and engagement. While in content marketing, the brand caters useful information and practical values to the audience.
The importance of content marketing in our time
There are many testimonies that vouch for the efficacy of content marketing. Let’s look at a few of them:
- 90% of all organizations use content marketing efforts for their business
- Around 88% of prospects say that videos have propelled them to take the next step towards buying
But content marketing is not about bombarding the audience with an overwhelming gust of content. The latest spam policy of Google has incorporated extra cautions to punish such an attitude of quantity over quality. Instead, the Google algorithm is poised to reward those content and articles that are helpful, reader-friendly and written for humans, not for the search engine. That is to say, there is a fine, logical thread to content marketing. And we can’t hope to sidestep the logic and find success.
Here, we have outlined the logical steps of conducting a successful content marketing effort.
The logical steps to conduct a successful content marketing
Content marketing is a great instrument to tap into the leads of people researching certain products and services. When people are researching what to buy, content marketing can provide them with a stellar avenue to reciprocate to each stage of their sales cycle. To begin with, in infancy, a prospective buyer researches their desired products, their many qualities, pros and cons and so on. In the next stage, they consider certain products over others and focus on their buying intent. The third stage consists of the conversion, i.e. your prospect making a purchase.
A thorough content marketing effort should complement each stage in the buyer’s journey. The buyer should find reciprocating content for each stage in their mindset. Let’s review how content marketing logically progresses.
So, this is the foremost stage in the buyer’s journey, and in this stage, your content should avoid any direct pitch. Instead, an erudite content marketer would focus on creating helpful content that addresses the pain points, queries, and challenges faced by prospective buyers. In a nutshell, your content at this stage should be instructive and educational. Let us illustrate this stage with the following examples:
- An oncologist writing a blog about ‘The advantages and disadvantages of chemotherapy.’
- A car-rental company writing about ‘How to plan for your long-destination car trip.’
- A tea-estate publishing article about ‘A brief outline of different types of Darjeeling tea.’
The consideration stage is defined by your prospects juggling their options. It is the intermediate stage of shortlisting someone’s options and closing in on their ultimate purchase. Hence, content at this stage can include case studies, infographics, detailed comparisons between similar types of products and so forth. For instance,
- A smartphone company might write an article about: ‘Top 10 budget smartphones you need to consider.’
- A banquet service can make a video about ‘Essential features you need to look out for in a banquet.’
- A beauty salon company might publish a case study about ‘The trending hairstyles of 2023’
This is the final stage in the buyer’s journey. And, to accommodate this stage in your content marketing efforts, you need to create an indirect pitch in the guise of quality content. So, here, your content must focus on what sets you apart, how exclusive your expertise is and so forth. The more comprehensively you can demonstrate your uniqueness and knowledge, the more effectively you will ace this stage.
For instance, let’s say you run a consultancy firm, and there is a study that shortlists your firm among other eminent companies. You should link that study to your company’s website. Another example of content marketing at the closing stage would be a phone company that exhibits the unique & stellar features of its new launch in an alluring video.
Content marketing efforts are not isolated, but they go extremely well with other marketing strategies like search engine optimization and social media marketing. The secret is to come up with the right strategy that embodies all three stages of buyers’ journey.