What exactly is content marketing?
Content marketing is the process of creating content that is considered by the reader to valuable, engaging, and relevant. Customers and prospective customers are inundated by more marketing messages than ever before — more than 2,900 per day, by current estimations. This creates an environment of attention scarcity, challenging marketers with the task of producing content that is engaging and won’t get lost in the ether. A content strategy that is well-crafted positions your business as a thought leader, building brand preference as you inform and educate buyers. Providing helpful and relevant content that is entertaining forms a strong bond between your brand and customers that continues to grow and strengthen over time.
Usually, marketers have had to piggyback on other people’s media or platforms through display ads on websites, stands at trade shows, or e-mails sent to third-party lists. For instance, whenever a brand places their logo on a sports team's uniform, they are renting the attention that the team or player built. Content marketing, on the other hand, allows marketers to build audiences of their own. By creating content and distributing directly to customers or prospects, marketers increase their brand awareness and preference by establishing a relationship of trust with consumers while they move through the sales funnel. Additionally, content marketing is recognized as a less expensive strategy than most other approaches, although the start may be sluggish while your content library is built.
Today, 41% of B2B marketers focus on content associated with the purchasing journey of the customer, yet many businesses fail to produce personalized content dedicated to each phase of the cycle. Personalized messaging doesn’t just mean targeting by demographic or similar type of segmentation, rather it means proactively creating content that works with each stage associated with a buyer’s journey. Eighty-five percent of consumers trust solutions that simply take the time to walk them through different paths toward decisions rather than just dictating a single path. This sort of approach shows consumers that you acknowledge and value their capability to judge and make decisions for themselves, thus building trust and a bond.
Effective marketers deliver appropriate content to all stages of the buyer journey. Take the time to map your prospective customer's journey, develop content to entice them to continue their discovery, and your business will grow and prosper.