Today’s era of mass media bombards customers with information from every direction. Advertisements on their televisions are competing for attention with the social media notifications on their smartphones and the dozens of unread emails on their tablets. Companies are sending out information all the time and to really grab the focus of their audience, the marketing efforts must be relevant and valuable to customers. That is exactly what content marketing is all about. Content marketing involves a strategic approach that focuses on providing content through blogs, videos, social media or other mediums that adds value to attract a targeted audience and drive profitable customer action.
HOW TO ADD VALUE
Effective content marketing results in customers looking forward to receiving it. They not only anticipate the content and spend ample time looking at it, but they might also share it with their peers. Why? Because they feel that it is relevant, interesting, and useful information. Creating quality content that meets those criteria and resonates with your audience is like telling a great story. You have to know three essential items: who your audience is, what story you want to tell, and how it should make them feel.
With content marketing, the first step of identifying your audience is simply picking who you feel you can help most. This would most likely be a similar population to your target market for the goods or services that you provide, or a smaller segment within it. The next step is deciding what message you will deliver. It is important to provide information that your target audience will find useful and engaging. Ultimately the reaction of the audience should coincide with your company’s desired outcome, whether that be brand awareness, buying a certain product, or helping to generate leads.
ADDING VALUE FOR COMPANIES
Great content marketing brings in visitors and transforms them into passionate subscribers. By building audiences for your content, you can gain loyal customers and reach larger numbers of people. Companies that deliver consistent, ongoing, valuable information to their audiences are rewarded with consistent, ongoing, valuable business from customers. Effective content marketing results in increased brand awareness, lead conversion into sales, a reputation of quality customer service, customer retention and upselling. These results drive the profitability of companies that use content marketing to add value for their customers who in turn add value to the company.
CONTENT MARKETING IN ACTION
The education software company, Frontline Education, underwent a massive rebranding effort in 2016 that shifted its direct mail marketing to a robust digital content marketing program. The marketing department created a content marketing strategy that included a mission statement stating its purpose, personal profiles, a topic repository, and an editorial calendar. Each of these elements were focused on informing, educating and inspiring education leaders. The content marketing was targeted towards a specific audience, education leaders, and the content itself was purposeful and relevant to the audience. It consisted of customer interviews, information from internal subject matter experts, and original industry data.
The results from this content marketing strategy were staggering. The marketing exceeded its goals and generated 32% of the company’s new business. The content had a steady engagement with a 195% increase in click-to-open rates. The emails had a very low opt-out rate of less than 0.7% which spoke to the fact that the audiences were finding tremendous value in the content. Needless to say, Frontline Education had all the essential elements of a good story with its content. They knew their audience, what story to tell, and their desired outcome. The leadership of the company credited the marketing department with frequent accolades and clients, attracted by the content, have emailed Frontline Education thanking them for the information they provide. Content marketing creates a two way street of value, as companies provide information to audiences that then become loyal customers for the business.