According to Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is 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.
The Value of Content Marketing
In today’s busy digital marketplace, content marketing is key to setting yourself apart from your competitors. Content marketing provides numerous benefits, including:
- Building confidence with prospects
- Increasing brand loyalty with customers
- Creating brand awareness and improving brand reputation
- Educating your target audience
- Driving traffic to your website
- Generating leads
- Delivering an SEO and search-engine-optimization edge
- Addressing the different stages of the sales funnel
Here are some statistics compiled by Lyfe Marketing supporting the benefits of content marketing.
- Content marketing provides conversion rates about six times higher than other digital marketing methods.
- After reading recommendations on a blog, 61% of online consumers in the U.S. decided to make a purchase.
- According to 74% of companies surveyed, content marketing has increased their marketing leads, both in quantity and quality.
- Inbound marketers are able to double the average site conversion rate (from 6 to 12%), in part due to their content marketing efforts.
Your goal with content marketing is to create content that showcases your subject matter expertise and helps your prospects and customers see what makes you special. How do you do that?
Here are five best practices that will make a big difference in helping prospects and customers move through the buying cycle.
1. Know your audience: If you’re an email marketing company, and you operate under the assumption that every single company is a potential customer because every company uses email, you’re missing the boat. You’re talking at such a high level that nobody can relate to you. You need to define your persona(s) much more precisely. Perhaps one of your targets is chain restaurants who need to promote their brand as well as their individual locations.
2. Focus on key messages: Know exactly what you want your reader to take away from your piece. Is this a new product story? Are you addressing a customer pain point? A competitive comparison? Have you chosen a good keyword?
3. Determine next steps: What do you want your reader to do next? Have a clear plan and put it very clearly and enticingly in your call to action (CTA).
4. Remember that a picture is worth a thousand words: The primitive brain plays a huge role in customer engagement, particularly during the early stages of the sales funnel. Pictures are key, as are relatable stories.
5. Pay attention to readability: After you’ve written your piece, read it as if you’re the audience and ask yourself, “Would I read through to the end? Would this engage me?” Assuming it’s a topic that would interest the audience, if you answered no to these questions, it’s time to look at the piece’s readability. Do you sound a bit standoffish, or do you speak in an inviting tone? Do you break the piece up into titled sections and include some bullets to make it more readable? Do you include some personal information to help people get to know and trust you? Is your piece boring? Can you figure out how to take more risks and make the piece a little juicier?
Before and After Applying the Best Practices
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If you’d like to learn more about how Position2 can help you with your content marketing, please reach out to us!