Consumers are being constantly bombarded by sales advertisements every day on TV, radio, billboards and the Internet. Marketing companies are finding, however, that their hoped-for audience has basically turned off to these traditional forms of advertising – using DVR units that skip over TV commercials and surfing online to gather information while mostly oblivious to the banners, pop-ups and other "in your face" promos plaguing that environment. Some even employ the use of ad blockers to filter out all of the irrelevant garbage inundating the Internet.
A Better Way
Astute marketers have learned that traditional sales methods are becoming much less effective because, although consumers have an ever-increasing appetite for useful information, they have also developed an ever-increasing disdain for the old-time hard sell. They don't want to be "sold," but want good, solid, edifying information that will allow them to make educated decisions when buying goods or services. As evidence to this trend, a 2015 Roper Survey found that 80% of the business decision makers questioned said they would prefer receiving information regarding a potential purchase from articles rather than advertisements. That's where content marketing comes in.
The Beauty of Content Marketing
What's so great about content marketing is that it gives consumers just what they want – valuable, relevant information that's targeted to their specific wants and needs. It's an ongoing process of information (content) distribution meant for a specific audience you've determined through your research efforts. It's a strategic approach focused on attracting and retaining the attention of an audience that's been clearly defined, with the ultimate goal of creating profitable customer actions.
It's important that content be:
- Written specifically for your target audience
- Valuable or worthwhile to those viewing it, either for informational, motivational or entertainment purposes
- Relevant to your readers' needs, wants and interests in such a way that they feel you understand them
- Demonstrative of your expertise in your field, moving your audience to trust that you are a thought leader and will provide information they can use
- Consistent, with regularity in providing fresh, new ideas – thus the need for on-going new content
Consistency in Providing New Content
An effective content marketing campaign will be carried out over an extended period of time, with the look and feel of the writing style being recognizable to the readers who are gradually becoming familiar with and trusting of your company. Search engines like Google reward companies that produce consistent, quality content by improving their standings in results lists provided in response to queries. This is just one of the multiple benefits you'll realize from consistently providing new, quality content to your target audience.
Content marketing is communicating with prospects without selling, although the goal is for them to eventually take certain actions that will prove profitable to you. Well-crafted calls-to-action will help to encourage the behaviors desired. Consistently delivering new content will provide additional opportunities for interactions between you and your prospects to take place and are key to any successful inbound marketing campaign.
Learn more about Content Marketing