Content Marketing to Attract, Engage, Sell and Keep Selling
The word marketing is familiar to every person. I have heard many and I mean quite many who interpret the word as sales. While it may be true that a long time ago marketing was a part of sales. Today sales is part of marketing. Today the marketing department dictates whether a certain product should be launched, what’s the feasibility and what the packaging and messaging should be, in case the product is launched. Today online marketing is an integral part of life since we are online for a good part of the day. Content marketing is a strategy used by many companies and firms to attract potential customers to their stores and make them buy stuff. It is a great tool to convert customers into loyal customers who also recommend their products to others.
Getting on the web
While some businesses are still working towards getting on to the web, young people all over the world and remember there are many of them, are logging on to the net for everything we can think of. From information about small things like headaches and backaches, to yoga and healthcare services. From finding the appropriate courses to enhance careers to information about loans for education. From information to buying cars, homes and office spaces and mobile phones and clothes to home appliances. From cell phones to jewelry. The vast spectrum of information available on the web is humongous. Yet content marketing is still not organised and taken advantage of.
Content marketing is the branch of digital marketing that aims to engage the audience and make them your active partners. How does one do that? By addressing issues and questions of customers asking about. Customers – current and potential should feel that you are an authority in the field you are doing business. They should look at you for guidance. That’s the name of the game in content marketing – being a trusted guide.
Difference between Digital Marketing and Content Marketing
Most business owners don’t even know the difference between digital marketing and content marketing. Aren’t they the same? Well. Yes! They are. But while digital marketing is everything under the roof that you are doing online to get your customers to notice you and ultimately sell your products, content marketing is part of digital marketing where you engage with the customer and potential customer and sell them anything.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital Marketing is the direct and online route to new and old clients. Yet surprisingly most businesses ignore this route and concentrate on traditional ways to interact and to convert customers. A lot of people are opening their eyes to digital marketing, to help expand their business exponentially. Digital marketing includes having a presence on the web – in other words a website or at least a social media page. You can contact your customers using mobile marketing – SMS, email, video and everything else that you can do electronically. You can also use content marketing.
What is Content Marketing?
What is the content in Content Marketing. Anything that can be shared online is content. Words, photographs, videos, infographics and anything you can think of including presentations.
While content marketing uses all the above mentioned electronic media, the aim of content marketing is to engage customers and solve their problems, and your products or services could be part of the solution. In other words, if you have a website and you tell the world how good you are and the many years of experience your company has gathered you can impress your customer that your service or your product is something they should use – that is your digital marketing effort. For example you are an interior design firm and your website elaborates the kind of work you have done and your year of establishment along with case studies of your work.
If you use the same website to make sure the consumer in your field of work gets a solution to his problem then you are indulging in content marketing. For example your interior designing website talks about “How to design small spaces” or “What colours to use in the bedroom” etc. Now why would you do that? One – people are searching for solutions and not you and two, it establishes you as an authority and friend.
How does content marketing work?
As I stated earlier, it is common knowledge that people are searching for solutions to their problems. You too go on a search engine to do what? You don’t type a company name if you are looking for – how to design a particular area of your living room or you have a small rash on the elbow or maybe you are looking for some hand ornaments. The search engine (in most cases Google) replies with websites that have used most of the words you typed in the search bar and in a sequence that is most relevant. Wouldn’t it be better that your website used these words along with all that self-praise that you have filled your website with?
Around 61% of people on the web search for information about whatever they need on search engines. There are many who actually go to Youtube to search for information. This information would be helpful to make a better and informed decision. Whoever offers help will automatically become a trusted friend. Similarly, anybody browsing social media will usually swipe up many things before deciding to look at a particular post, image or video. This post will probably be something he or she is interested in and not just any random information. So it makes more sense to make posts that are relevant to the users.
How to do content marketing?
Although the aim of content marketing is simply to engage the consumer/user, it is a meticulous job. In other words you are attracting your customers and potential customers by advising them and offering practical solutions to their problems. This also creates trust with you customers. They know they can turn to you for help. In this situation if you offer your product and service to make their life simple, they will readily accept it. This process is called conversion. They have converted from being potential customers to being customers. Once you have someone’s trust, you could, like a good friend, use fear based marketing to tell them why they should buy you product or service. Content marketing however, doesn’t stop here. Marketing in general should not stop here and there should be continuous interaction with the customer to make sure they are taking the most advantage out of what you have sold them. Why? Customer service should be the top priority of your team so that they are delighted and not only become repeat customers but also refer you to others. And the reach increases. Remember the 3 important steps in content marketing – Attract, Convert and Delight.
Strategies to use for content marketing
Whatever strategies you can use for content marketing falls into the 3 main steps mentioned above. If you look and observe closely you will find almost everyone – big companies, singers, influencers, politicians, and everyone you are following online are using content marketing.
Attract – Let them know what you do
If you want to attract customers what should be your window dressing? Like showcase windows outside stores there has be something that attracts customers. Unlike physical stores which have the disadvantage of a customer being physically present to be attracted by the beautiful decoration, online sites need to be entered before anyone can even notice what the store is selling. One way to attract customers is to help them by answering their questions about the problem they have. Most customers are confused about what they want. So they try to get answers to their questions before they will go on to buy anything.
Answering Questions from customers on your own website and social media like facebook and other social media sites like Quora and Reddit.
Convert – Convince them you know your stuff
Convincing customers your product or service is better or suited to their needs. Creating funnels so that people who like your products come around to actually buying them. This means targeting them, re-targeting them, engaging again and again till they finally buy.
Delight – Show them you care
Buying is not the end of the customer journey as is perceived by many people. Buying is the start of a relationship. Now the customer has trusted you enough to spend money on your product or service. If you keep this person happy you can sell more and related products and services to the same person.
Tools that can help you in content marketing