You might have heard it so many times you are sick of it, “You need Content Marketing.” Or, like many, you have never heard of it at all.
Content marketing is the art of providing valuable information about your company and industry. It includes calling out problems and introducing solutions. This includes:
- White Papers
- Case Studies
- Web Pages
- Much More
You are then using that content to market a product or service.
5 years ago, everyone was clambering to get a website. But now everyone has one. And if you want to compete, you need to do something different to stand out.
That “difference” is in the content you produce.
But, what makes content marketing so important today? Especially since 5 years ago no one had heard of it.
What has changed in consumer and business buyer’s behavior that it causes you to need an entirely different marketing model?
Customers Are Sick of Interruptions
With so many different media outlets all vying for your attention, potential customers are immersed in conflicting advertising messages constantly. On average, we are exposed to somewhere between 3000 and 20,000 advertising images every single day.
These include TV, Radio, Billboards, Print Ads, Direct Mail, and of course, the Internet.
This has caused consumers to shut out most of them. You couldn't survive if you consciously registered all this information. You would go into overload. And menial tasks like looking both ways before crossing the road would be forgotten causing certain death.
Much of this outgoing, or interruption marketing is now based on luck. Yes, you need good copy to actually sell once you have your prospects attention. But, you need luck to be seen at all.
Consumers are More Sophisticated
You have probably heard the old adage that customers hate to be sold. But they love to buy.
Never before has this been more true. And, the internet has opened up this avenue for consumers.
While in the past, buyers were forced to make a purchase decision based on the last advertisement they happened to see; now consumers are able to go online and research solutions to their problems on their own.
In fact, approximately 70% of customers are at the point where they are ready to buy, before they even want to talk to a sales rep.
Before that, they want to know what your product is, how it solves their problem, and that they are dealing with an expert.
Content Marketing Fills the Gap
Content marketing provides the information a potential customer needs before making the decision your product or service meets their needs.
And generally, the company that provides the most information, or at least the information that proves they have the right solution, wins.
Clients often complain they don't want their prospects “knowing too much”. They want to force them to talk to their representatives to get the information they need.
But, remember, buyers have changed. 70% of them want all of the information before they talk to a rep until they have enough information to make a decision. So you will never get that opportunity most of the time, if you take that old / back dated approach.
That type of marketing worked in the past, but not any more. Or, at least it will not work with a large percentage of your potential customers.
Plus, look at the flip side. If you attract well informed buyers, your sales reps are not wasting time on a bunch of cold leads. Or prospects who only want information and will never buy from you.
I recently had a sales rep at one of my clients tell me about our content marketing efforts. – “It’s great that by the time I talk to a prospect they understand what we do and how we do it. That way I don't have to waste the first 45 minutes of a sales call explaining it all. I can get right into it. My closing ratio is much higher now!”
In a nutshell, content marketing:
- Positions you as the expert
- Allows your prospects to come to their own buying decisions, saving you valuable time
- Attracts more, higher quality leads to your business
- Allows you to gently guide your prospects to a solution that matches the product or service you sell
- Gets your leads knowing, liking and trusting you
- Helps your customers buy, instead of trying to sell them
- Closes more deals
There is no doubt that content marketing is how businesses sell today. Having a static website has become a waste of money.
Yes, you probably still need one – so you can put it on your business card. But if you actually want to use the internet as a tool to get leads for your business, you must provide valuable content.
Getting Started is Easy
It’s easy to get started with a blog. You can download our Free Blogging for Business guide here. It will tell you everything you need to know about adding a blog to your website so you can start providing valuable content as soon as tonight.
It will also subscribe you to our free newsletter which will keep you up to date on the latest content marketing and lead generation techniques.
Or, if you are ready to really step up your content with videos, white papers, webinars and more, contact us and we can discuss options which will put you head and shoulders above your competition.
Buyers have changed. The internet has infiltrated our lives to the point where the customer buying process will never be the same. If you want to survive, your marketing has to change with it.