If you are running a small business, your business is likely grappling with a myriad of changes that are challening the commonplace strategies you’ve generally used to communicate with prospects and clients. But nowadays, prospects have a solid craving for good information but have come to find the so called “hard selling” more and more distasteful. Most of us look into apps, community-based forums, and even third party online services before making a purchase or a subscription. We scrutinize different products, comparing costs and features, before even showing up in a store. Indeed, even grocery shoppers utilize cell phones to look at costs and deals before picking up anything on the shelves.
This is where “content marketing” comes in. This is the latest and the most increasingly utilized manner in which businesses both big and small communicate with an ever critical and skeptical market. Gone are the days of traditional advertising, content marketing is paving the way for a new direction in marketing and reaching out to customers.
Many argue that this is just another fad, something that will drift away into obscurity very soon. But will it? In this article, we’ll define what this new trend is, what it is about and how this new communication strategy is helping businesses in this fast-changing environment.
The Content Marketing Institute is a leading organization when it comes to educating individuals about this practice and they define content marketing as:
…a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
This means to say that a business must have a clear concept of who their target market is. You must have a definite goal, and know what it is you want to achieve and how your actions can spur you closer to the objectives of your business, which is to make your prospects purchase your goods and/or services. This entails planning the kind of content that you are going to distribute and publish that can inform or entertain your customers in a meaningful way. In other words, your content must benefit a clearly defined group of viewers or readers. So, you can’t just randomly post things into your social media or type or publish things that are irrelevant and have no relation to your business. One way of doing this is by posting evergreen articles. Evergreen articles are postings that will always be relevant even after a year from posting it and is not necessarily tied to a fad or something that’s viral or trending.
Ultimately, an effective content marketing campaign is always certain to lead customers into actions that will eventually be advantageous to your business. People have a tendency to trust and will most likely want to do business run by people who share similarities with them. They believe the suggestions of other customers like themselves, so when a friend shares brands and services through web-based social networking, that suggestion becomes more believable. Content marketing gives you the chance to win that validity by making messages that exhibit how your product or service can have a beneficial outcome in the lives of your potential customers.