Content marketing has redefined the relationship that many businesses have with their customers and prospects. We now recognise that it’s not enough to publish brochures and data sheets with an internal focus – they simply won’t make you stand out from the competition. Instead, content marketing focuses on providing value to your audience and demonstrating your own credibility, which serves to build confidence in your brand and provides reassurance about your ability to deliver.
But this shift in focus is not a silver bullet for building the sales pipleline. We often hear companies saying “I’ve had 500 downloads of my latest content piece, but I still don’t have any solid leads.” That’s because content marketing alone cannot do the whole job.
The reality is that content marketing almost takes you back one step in the audience engagement journey. Good content serves to get your brand noticed early in the buying cycle, when prospects are researching solutions and finding out more about what they need. They might not yet know exactly what they want or what it will do for them. That’s where your content can help to educate them – and at the same time position your brand as a trusted supplier.
Good content marketing is selfless – it puts the reader first. If your content piece generates 500 leads, that’s a job well done! But the effort can’t stop there. Now that you’ve overcome the first hurdle and got your brand name out there, you need to continue to demonstrate your value. The messaging you use in your follow-up communications must support the overall proposition that you incorporated in the first campaign touch point.
Make sure that your message is focused and addresses real customer pain points. It may sound simple, but can be overlooked. Relevancy will make you more searchable and more appealing to those prospects who are experiencing that particular challenge. The messaging should be consistent in all follow up collateral and communications – from ebooks, videos and guides to case studies, solution sheets and even datasheets. The same messaging also has to feed into the sales teams pitches when they speak to prospects directly. Everything must be joined up.
We came across this useful report a while ago which shows the huge range of content types you can include in your campaigns during the customer journey. We are big advocates of using more than one content vehicle to get your message out there – that way your prospects have a choice in how they engage. And as long as you know your message is consistent at all stages of the buying cycle, you can rest assured that your audience won’t be disappointed when they do speak to you face to face.
If you need any help in expanding your marketing collateral or refining your core messaging, we’d be happy to help. Get in touch with us to discuss it.