If content marketing has been around forever, why the new focus?
Historically, to get new prospects most marketers needed to get their message in front of as many potential customers as possible. The idea was that no matter where the prospect was or what they were doing, a marketing message could be delivered through formats like TV, radio, outdoor, direct mail, and Internet display. This interruptive approach to marketing isn’t as effective as it once was.
The overall decline in interruptive marketing is due to a number of factors, including an overload of advertising messages, the availability of objective information on the Internet, and the ability of consumers to control their ad consumption through technology like DVRs and ad blocking software. Yes, there is still a place for advertising, but when the advertising works, buyers want more information. Without that critical information that would help buyers make decisions, the buyer may end up going elsewhere or relying on someone else for their information.
So, instead of just pitching products or services, marketers can equip buyers with the knowledge to make better-informed decisions. If businesses can deliver consistent, helpful information to buyers at the right time, then potential customers will ultimately reward the company with their purchase and loyalty. This is the idea behind the growth of content marketing.
One of the reasons for the renewed focus on content marketing is that new technology tools allow marketers to easily and inexpensively create content platforms like blogs, eBooks, tablet apps, audio, webinars, and video. Another reason is the rise of social media tools and platforms that allow your customers and prospects to connect to each other and to you in unprecedented ways. And then there are the search engines like Google and Bing – customers are searching online for you along with the products and services you sell.
And finally, the increased ability to measure the impact of content marketing on awareness, lead generation, and customer acquisition has helped make content marketing an essential part of every marketer’s toolbox.
Why does your business need to understand content marketing?
As buyers tune out more and more traditional marketing, business must respond by reaching prospects in new ways. Content marketing is one of those ways. Businesses that develop timely, relevant, non-promotional content can reach potential buyers both directly and through word-of-mouth.
But remember, content marketing doesn’t stop at creating “buzz” or awareness; companies that can develop compelling content through all stages of the buying cycle are more effective at nurturing leads, acquiring customers, and reducing churn.
You can’t rely on content marketing alone. You should continue marketing that brings you results. That being said, content marketing is one of the very best ways to get more customers for your business. Content is still king.