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Content Marketing as the New Cradle of Civilization

Content marketing is the art and science of creating brand experiences for target audiences across their user journey to generate quality leads, generate sales, and grow business.

 

The content you create via website landing pages, online blogs, ad copies, and social media posts must establish your company as a trusted resource whenever audiences have any questions or concerns in your space.

 

When done right, content marketing is exceedingly powerful in driving business goals.

 

Content Marketing Defined

So many people confuse content marketing with copy writing. But there’s a big difference.

Content marketing is the creation of valuable content that has a marketing purpose - blogs, white papers, and viral videos. Content managed strategically is exchanged for an email address and permission to inform the consumer further about a product.

Copywriting is designed to get the reader to take specific action. Sometimes that’s making a purchase, but it can also be confirming an email opt-in, calling for more information, or going to the store to check out the merchandise. Copywriting is sales pages, infomercials, and direct mail.

How Content Marketing Drives Business Results Online

When you publish high-quality original content consistently, Google sees you as the go-to authority on a subject matter and refers traffic to you every time a customer has needs/concerns in your space.

Let this sink in for a minute, because it is vitally important in understanding the role content marketing plays online.

If you establish a track record of providing valuable information that is shared, bookmarked and linked back to, your website will rank your site highly on search engines as the authoritative trusted resource in your space.

You will rank for SEO keywords because your content is relevant, and your domain authority will be high because more and more people will read your content. Google Analytics shows that you get high organic traffic and lots of pageviews with time spent on pages. What’s more, you get linkbacks from third party sites with a huge audience base. 

Influencers with large captive fan bases and media sources with large subscription base pick up your content and refer to it, even potentially repurposing its content. Your organization earns relationships with key influencers who accelerate the traction your blog by amplifying it for you online.

Content marketing builds trust

Many marketers are stuck in the 80’s, when traditional advertising was all about interruption. 

In today’s digital world, that approach has become an intrusive barrage of Iphone banner notifications, Youtube takeovers, Waze pop-up suggestions, and Facebook always-on purchase suggestions. The consumer response? To block the noise out. According to the PageFair 2017 Global Adblock Report, more than 615 million devices now have ad-blocking software.

Spending marketing dollars on hard-sell messages that interrupts programming is madness. Harassed consumers simply unsubscribe from email lists and un-follow companies on social media. They block telemarketers, file consumer complaints, and tell their friends how annoyed they are and why they are not going to buy products from a company that doesn’t respect privacy. In effect, consumers place a ‘Do-Not-Disturb’ sign on the door. There is no trust.

So how is trust built? When audiences are met at every touch point along the consumer journey with information that is useful and valuable and worth sharing.

Content Marketing and the Customer Journey

There are four types of content that needs to meet your customer at three distinct stages. Attention, Authority, Action and Acceleration.

Attention content does exactly what it says on the tin. Via social media posts or google ads, it grabs consumer attention and explains who you are and what your offer is.

Authority content is designed to position your organisation as the expert in the space. This type of content is found in Informative blogs or thought leadership articles on your website. All authority content must be hosted on your owned digital architecture to ensure link backs, referrals and google citations recognise your domain as the information source. SEO can then rank your pages highly for organic results.

Only when readers interact with your content and trust you as a go-to resource, can you promote targeted Action content which encourages sign-up or sales. This type of content comes in the form of emails, newsletters, form submissions or blogs.

Acceleration content comes last, to drive satisfied customers towards becoming brand advocates, encouraging upsells, testimonials, referrals, and feedback for new business ideas.

Many companies focus efforts on driving Awareness content and then hard-sell messages with Action content. That strategy is so short-lived. It makes the company dependent on repeated expenditure on social media posts and period buys of campaign ads to drive sales. The minute the ad dollars stop flowing, no content assets are working to generate leads for the company.

Companies would do well to consider investing in Authority and Acceleration content, which is evergreen material that keeps generating ROI down the funnel. A healthy mix to have in your editorial calendar should roughly look this: 

Authority and Accelleration Content

The Most Likely Candidates for Content Marketing

Businesses that benefit most from investing in high-quality content marketing are those that recognise the need to become increasingly audience and customer centric. They want to understand their buyer personas better, they want to understand their customer user journey and they want to ensure that at every touchpoint on that journey, their current and prospective customers are met with useful and engaging content.