it gives your business more WOW
Keeps you relevant, informative
connected, sales active
Real value if you know how
Content marketing is the newest way businesses can engage buyers or members and drive sales, but in a more indirect way. It is not about ‘hard’ selling or writing ad content to sell the goods.
It is about informing your customers or members; it enables you to have a two-way conversation with the tools to measure engagement. Used in a social media campaign, it can become a major source for selling more or gaining and retaining members. This could be a lucrative area to gain a foothold in an industry, especially for associations and small businesses who work with restricted budgets.
Content marketing is becoming a major form of brand building and direct marketing for businesses. In fact, more than 60% of B2B marketers now say they plan on spending more on content marketing over the next 12 months.
The content marketing goal is to create and distribute relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage your customers and prospects without selling.
In-house marketers are starting to understand how to integrate social media marketing into business strategies and drive these strategies to real business profits. There is a way to get the most out of using both traditional and new media. Specifically, content marketing can position your company (and/or brand) as a thought leader and can help increase the number of visitors to your website.
In the old days, a paperboy stood on a street corner and shouted out the news, hoping passersby would be interested enough to stop and buy the paper to learn the details. Today, people leverage ‘word-of-mouth’ (WOM) marketing in a more efficient way. Blogs, online profiles, e-newsletters, are just some examples – and these can carry a much greater reach capacity. Cyberspace has become a major vehicle to drive WOM referrals.
And, guess what? This can give your business a competitive edge. Using content marketing can do more than just inform your audience, it can develop trust and credibility before you even contact them.
Here are Four Steps to developing an Integrated Content Marketing Strategy:
- Content Marketing does cost money. Effective campaigns require a significant investment of staff time both in production and distribution. However, this can be significantly cheaper than traditional media.
- Gain Staff Buy-In. Your C-Level executives need to understand the value of this medium. ABC Selling points: A-Able to maintain control over their message and brand positioning. B-Be where your buyers are. C-Create your spotlight by taking the lead of providing innovative thinking within your business’ industry and/or community.
- Plan, Plan, Plan. Integrate your content marketing strategy with your overall marketing and business plan. Plot content topics, frequency and channels of distribution.
- Lay down your measurement tools. How will you measure your program’s success? There are many tools to help you determine how well you’re doing.
If your organization has not started to reach out to your customers through online communications, now is the time. The younger generation is spearheading this mode of communication, but this is a strategic vehicle. If resources are not available in-house, outsource your marketing for the next best solution. Your online marketing efforts should have more direction than a Sunday drive.
What resources are out there to help you stay relevant and visible? Stay tuned for the next article in the Content Marketing Strategy Series -2.
Check out the next article here. Utilize content to drive demand: 3 Secret Tools to Create a Great Content Marketing Campaign. Content Marketing Strategy Series -2
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