Content Marketing: Not Just A Fancy Name for Advertising
We often hear the word “content marketing” thrown about that it’s easy to think that it’s another word for advertising. To that, we say absolutely not. While advertising “speaks” about a brand’s merits, content marketing “shows” them instead. This is achieved by showcasing a brand’s values in a manner that lines up with the target audience’s values. By showing how your brand will fit your audience’s life, it pulls them in rather than pushing them to your brand.
There are many advantages to content marketing, including:
- Nurture brand loyalty through relatable content
- Showing advantageous differences from your competitors
- Reach a wider audience through SEO performance
- A more cost-efficient option compared to traditional advertising
- Higher conversion rate and lead growth
Stages of Content Marketing: The Content Funnel
One model that’s often employed to understand and build a strategy for content marketing is the Content Funnel model. This model is made up of three stages of engagement, including how to approach your audience at each stage.
The Awareness Stage
This first stage is all about educating your audiences about a problem that might not realize they have in their lives. You’re also communicating your brand’s existence as the solution at this stage. You can make use of media such as blog and social media posts, infographics, podcasts, or newsletters.
The Consideration Stage
In this stage, the customers know that your brand exists and they’re comparing how your brand will do in comparison with your competitors. The goal here is to convert the audience’s awareness of their problems and solutions into leads. At this stage, you can make use of surveys, discount offers, webinars, and downloadable educational resources.
The Decision Stage
This is the stage where leads convert into sales. After going through the Awareness and Consideration stages, your audience can now make an informed purchase. To maximize the performance of this stage, you can create content on product demonstrations, testimonies of previous customers, spec sheets, and events to help them make the decision to buy your products or services.
Each of these stages should be treated differently to achieve maximum return of investment. Don’t rush to sell by telling them to buy your product or service ASAP. This will only make you look desperate, as if you’re just here to make a quick profit and bail, and ultimately will turn the audience away from your brand.
Other Tips to Improve Your Content Marketing
Target Specific Types of People
Your audiences are humans, with differing lifestyles, interests, cultures, socio-economic situations, etc. These should be taken into consideration when you’re planning content for your audience.
Consistency Is Key
Consistently produced and published content will help to ensure a stable flow of traffic to your platform of choice, which will ultimately increase potential leads. Be sure to maintain the same tone of voice and message to keep their attention focused on what you’re trying to tell them. It’ll also help to ensure that your brand isn’t upstaged by your competitors within the audiences’ minds.
Leave Room To Breathe
Don’t bombard your audience with a ton of content. It’ll make your brand appear noisy, or even worse, desperate. This mistake often occurs on social media, where a brand will post more than once a day. Whether you’re going to post on your social media platforms daily, every 3 days, or on a weekly basis, stick to your posting schedule. You can always change how frequently you post to follow peak posting time later based on the response from your audience.
Content marketing is much more rewarding than traditional advertising. It draws the prospects toward your brand instead of you shoving information to the audience. With proper knowledge and utilisation of content marketing, it’s not only cost-efficient, but also more effective in fostering brand loyalty among the audiences, which will turn into leads, and ultimately, sales.
Content takes many forms – written, graphics, transcripts, audio, video etc and each has real value. I know that it can be challenging to incorporate them into your website if they don’t form part of your skillset, so if you do need help with your written content (my specialty) feel free to reach out to me to learn how I can help you. To contact me directly (not a help desk!) find the ways here.