Content marketing is the art of capturing and nurturing an audience with exceptionally valuable content. Instead of “pitching” your products or services, you are providing truly relevant and useful content to your prospects and customers to help them solve their everyday issues. In developing content, you need to create different messages for different situations because not all customers or prospects are at the same stage of “readiness to buy” (i.e. they are at different stages along “The Buyer Journey”). If a potential customer already has a strong desire to buy the types of product that you offer, then your main challenge is to ensure they know that you exist (and that you are competitively priced). But a prospect that already knows that you exist, but has no desire to buy your products, will need to hear a different type of message that might persuade them that they have a need for your products.
By the same token, not all businesses are at the same stage of development (for the sake of continuity let’s call this the “Seller’s Journey”). A small business start-up will be known by no one, and the first challenge will be to explain to potential customers who they are and what they do. At the other end of the scale the big multinationals have established brands and are known by everyone (e.g. Dell). Their challenge is different. They don’t need to explain to people who they are – they need to persuade people that their products are worth buying. And so the content that their marketing teams develop will need to reflect that.
Tailoring your messaging to your target audience…
Different customers or prospects will be at different places along the “Buyer Journey”. Your messages will need to be tailored accordingly:
Types of Content
Once we’ve developed all the necessary content, we can start to build up a message roadmap which will form the back-bone of your marketing plan. The next step is to decide what vehicles we are going to use to deliver those messages. Your website will host a lot of this great content, but there are many more marketing vehicles we might utilise, some or all of which you will be familiar with:
This is your primary shop window, so the content should seek to highlight the very best bits about your company: best products, rewards, location etc
This section should describe, in some details, the key products and services which your business offers.
The “About” or “About Us” section provides a concise overview of your business
The Contact page is critical. It should offer as many different ways of contacting you as possible, including via social media
Especially important for a retail unit or high street business. Include a postcode, a map and even directions
Nowadays a vital section on your website which plays a key role in search engine optimisation (SEO)
Online ads come in all shapes and sizes, and can offer a powerful delivery mechanism for some of your content
YouTube is the world’s 2nd largest search engine, and the appetite for video content is seemingly insatiable.
Like videos, webinars are a powerful way to teach people about your business and your products.
For some it is the scourge of modern-day marketing. But email is still a very powerful delivery mechanism – if used correctly.
Newspapers, journals and magazines are full of content. Have they written about you and your business?
eBooks are an increasingly popular way to promote business, establish credibility and demonstrate thought leadership.
And under-utilised and hugely rich source of re-usable content.
The company presentation is a must-have marketing weapon and a rich source of content.
Again underused and underrated, datasheets contain a huge amount of information about products and services.
Potentially expensive, but a very effective way to reach out to new customers.
Possibly the most valuable content of all – recommendations and testimonials from happy customers.
Often overlooked, but potentially critical to the successful promotion of your business.