|The Power Of Content Marketing|
It's really simple: If you sell leather jackets for men and I, as a potential customer for your business, don’t even think about your brand when the time comes for me to buy a new one, because mine doesn’t fit anymore, then you have a huge problem to solve, or your potential customers will never approach your business to make the purchase.
In advertising, this is called "top of mind" and refers to the process through which you assist customers in remembering your brand and business in a positive, memorable way and consider it as their choice of preference when making a buying decision.
The goal of your strategy should always be to position your business in your potential customer’s minds as their choice of preference.
If your company is not "top of mind" for customers when deciding to purchase, unfortunately the business will be taken by another people. Guess who?
That’s a given: It will be taken by the company properly positioned in that particular space of consumer or potential customer’s minds, regardless of their leather jackets not having even the same quality as yours.
Of course, the next question is: What tools can be used to reach and occupy such a privileged place in potential customer’s minds?
In addition to paid advertising and the likes, I’d like to talk to you about a special one.
A powerful and silent sales representative for your business: content marketing.
Some time ago I wrote in this blog an article entitled "What do you talk about with your customers when you're not selling to them?". At that time I made a reference to this powerful tool you can use to properly position your business in your potential customers’ minds and become their choice of preference when they make a purchase decision.
Content marketing allows you to do it without having to become the sales rep who calls customers once a week just to “check in”, or who sends an email or "drops by" customer’s offices from time to time just to "keep himself within the radar", all of those things that if you perform them the wrong way, will send you directly to the "annoying characters nobody wants to talk with" drawer.
It’s the main benefit you’ll receive from content marketing and therefore its strongest value. If you invest part of your time developing content that might be relevant to both your customers and the industry in which you are immersed on, you are creating both for you and your business a very important venue to be recognized for the value of your opinions and knowledge, and not only for the products and services you sell.
Differentiate yourself by the value shared through your conversations and the usefulness of content you share.
It is clear that "content marketing" and "promotional content" are two very different things. It’s not the same to share with your customers a very well written article in which you describe in great detail the products and services your company offers; than to write a detailed post about the problems your customers face most often and which are the best ways and tools to solve them.
As you sure have noticed, in the first example you are simply putting down on paper a sales speech while in the second one, you are sharing value, because you’re helping clients (or future clients) to solve one (or more) of the problems they have.
Do you see the difference?
Now, how does content marketing work? Why is it so valuable?
Developing and publishing relevant content is one of the most valuable tools you can use to attract and cultivate new contacts and business relationships.
Why is it so? I can show you here at least some of the ways content marketing works:
- When you publish new content on LinkedIn, for instance, each of your contacts receives a notification from the social network and is invited to read it, even those contacts who don’t answer your phone calls, don’t reply your emails or even those who you haven’t seen personally in the last few months.
- When you share your knowledge through other platforms, all that content is available to people who have questions regarding that specific topic within your industry, who look for answers to those questions online. If your proposals are valuable and relevant, you immediately enter on that person’s radar, providing you truly create concrete answers to real problems.
- Each time you send a newsletter to your database, regardless of how often you do it, you're reminding each of your prospects / customers / acquaintances that you are a specialist within your business sector and have a selection of relevant articles which provide answers to the most common problems related with your industry.
As you can see, you don’t have to use the phone or email to make direct contact with your market. Quite the opposite. You've approached them in a different way: a positive, constructive and, above all, disinterested one.
You're not focusing your conversation on selling your products, but on issues that are relevant and interesting for everyone, and this leads always to much more attractive and interesting conversations.
That is why content marketing is so powerful and effective. If used the right way it’s a powerful reputation builder for your brand, your company and its products.
We all have a story to tell. What matters most is how to identify it.
The hardest part of a content strategy is precisely developing such content.
In many cases, I get to talk with entrepreneurs who, after 10, 15 or more years within their respective industries, tell me they don’t have a story to tell, that generating and creating content is not for them.
How many customer’s related questions have you had to answer throughout your professional life?
And the reflection is always immediate: During your career, how many customer or even product and industry related questions have you answered?. How many problems have you solved?
When you have participated in professional or business meetings, forums and so on, how many relevant discussions have you joined?, how many interesting topics have you come across during all your years in the industry?
It is at this moment when all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place and allow you to really appreciate its beauty.
If you can put on paper all these stories, you will have an excellent opportunity to create a powerful source of relevant, interesting and inexhaustible content for your customers, actual and future.
In addition to that, you will be demonstrating how valuable an experience you've accumulated during all those years, experience that may be even deeper than that of your customers, so they will come to realize there are many things they can learn from you.
And that is quite a great opportunity, both for your business and yourself, to strongly position as a reference point within your industry, an opportunity you can take full advantage of using content marketing.
Following you’ll find links to the articles I did mention throughout this post along with an additional one I’m sure you will find of your interest.
What Can You Talk About With Your Customers When You’re Not Selling To Them?
Differentiate Yourself By The Value Shared Through Your Conversations.
Photo Credit: Billion Photos