Unlike Inbound Marketing, which is about getting found online, through search engines and on sites like Facebook and YouTube and Twitter, Content Marketing has clearly defined business goals.
Content Marketing means creating and sharing compelling quality content to attract and convert prospects into customers, retaining these customers, and cultivating additional business from these customers over time.
The content marketing goals below follow the typical marketing and sales cycle stages
1. Brand Awareness and Reinforcement - Content Marketing is a more effective way than advertising to create awareness for your product or service. This is where inbound marketing and content marketing overlap and the reason why the two concepts are often confused. Because of this, lots of businesses stop here and then struggle to find the Return On Investment (ROI) of 'content marketing'.
2. The second stage of Content Marketing is the conversion of permission based marketing leads and nurturing these leads. Because the competition for readership of your content is becoming progressively more difficult, it is essential to create a loyal following.
An example is Facebook, where monetisation of content publication is being driven by new content delivery algorithms that prioritise personal choice. Called 'See First', users are able to designate which of their friends' posts they want to see at the top of their feed at all times.
Companies will have to work much harder to catch the attention and mindshare of the consumer by creating great content.
3. Customer Conversion. The goal of this content is convince your audience that you have the solution to a pressing need of theirs. This is closer to a sales pitch than other forms of content, but content marketing is not about making the hard sell.
Establishing credibility is the hardest part of this sale, and yet there are many ways to do this authentically and effectively. Case studies and Testimonials are convincing mechanisms to achieve authority in this area.
Perhaps the best way to explain this stage of content marketing is as a form of Customer Education. This is content that provides real value to potential customers. The perception of value, where your product and service uniquely meets your customer needs, is a proven means of customer conversion.
4. Customer service after the sale is critical to preserving brand loyalty and retention of customers. Not only is the rationale behind making the buying decision reinforced, but the use and dependency on your product and service can be extended.
There is also significant benefit for your business product or service development processes, because customer retention and engagement at this level provides valuable insights for the future of your business.
Helping your customers get the most out of your product is also essential for the next stage of content marketing
5. Customer upsell via content marketing is critical for your future business growth. Instead of spending all your efforts on developing new clients, businesses perform better if they can 'upsell' or cultivate existing business customers.
Content Marketing is best seen as a dialogue for establishing additional value in the mind of the customer. This applies not only to extensions of an existing product or service, but also other products and services on offer from your business.
6. Creating customer brand ambassadors is the ultimate goal of content marketing. Simply termed 'Word of Mouth', content marketing allows existing customers to share easily and effectively their positive experiences and becomes the ultimate sales people of your business brand.
Data from the Content Marketing Institute show that certain techniques work almost universally.
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