It was a perilous time to do business.
The masses were tired of constantly being sold to. It was a period of wary-eyed prospects and ad-blockers. While thumbs scrolled past their well-crafted ads on timelines, small-to-medium sized businesses without the marketing budget of the big corporations staked their hopes of survival behind a novel tactic: content marketing.
The year was 2012.
The strategy defied all marketing logic and demanded these businesses become about more than just themselves. In order to succeed, content marketing requires businesses to:
- Identify ideal customers, their pain points, needs, and aspirations
- Put customer needs and pain points at the center of marketing and messaging.
- Build relationships and communicate heart-to-heart with customers.
- Become an authority by crafting useful content for customers.
- Be authentic and genuinely care about helping customers achieve their aspirations.
And only after all the above would sales be made on a consistent basis.
It flew in the face of the previous ME ME ME approach that had characterized marketing for so long.
- Conversion rates are six times higher for companies who use content marketing than for companies who don’t.
- Content marketing costs 62% less than the previous traditional approaches while generating almost three times the volume of leads.
- 72% of marketers reported higher engagement among their target customers.
- Businesses who used video content in their content marketing saw a 60% returning customer rate
And those are just a few of the benefits that businesses got when they leveraged content marketing.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is less about marketing and more about providing useful information to the people whom you hope to do business with. It consists in sharing valuable content with your target audience with the aim of driving profitable customer action.
The minds over at Copyblogger put it nicely:
“Content marketing means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell; in other words, you’re educating people so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you.”
When you properly understand the scope and meaning of the above definition, the success of content marketing becomes a no-brainer.
The average person sees about 5000 ads per day. That is up from about 500 ads per day in the 70s. In order to not lose our sanity, our minds have become very adept at ignoring and phasing out these ads as we go about our day.
You best believe that unless you are providing real value by solving real problems for your prospects and customers, they will ignore you as much as they can.
Businesses that will survive in this day and age of unprecedented consumer power and ad-blockers are those that master the art of getting their heads out of the sand and becoming useful to those they want to do business with.
Quality Content Creation and Content Marketing Are Leveling the Playing Field
When you make it your priority to provide the best solutions to the problems which keep your customer’s up at night, they reward you with loyalty.
And I’m not talking about any sort of loyalty here:
I’m talking about the sort of loyalty that buys all your products and becomes an advocate for your business; the sort of loyalty that follows you all the way to the bank and fosters business growth.
This is the sort of loyalty that posts your 5-man startup as a player to be reckoned with alongside the biggest names in your industry.
It is the stuff that marketers dream about and which business owners and entrepreneurs could really sink their teeth into.
Make no mistake; customer loyalty like this require creating useful content that is above and beyond the usual fluff to be found on the internet.
It takes work and a commitment towards nurturing the customer relationships that your business needs to thrive.
You can expect to give everything you have to this process and experience a few blips along the way.
But the rewards are absolutely worth it.