These days, one of the most common strategies for building relationships and engagement with customers is content marketing. Content marketing establishes your company as a thought leader, gets customers involved (especially if they are sharing your content across their social media networks), and keeps you top of mind.
It’s no wonder that, according to the Custom Content Council, 55% of business-to-consumer (B2C) and 54% of business-to-business (B2B) brands plan to increase their content marketing budgets in 2013.
Content marketing involves the use of high-value articles, blogs, infographics, and other informational materials to establish you as a thought leader and “go to” source in your market vertical. Newsletters, postcards, email, and social media are all important channels for distributing content.
If you are going to invest in content marketing, there are three best practices to keep in mind:
1. Know your audience. Content marketing isn’t about filling mailboxes with promotions focusing on your company’s needs and priorities. It’s about providing your readers with information that is important and interesting to them. Start by creating a basic profile of your target audience and knowing what makes them tick. If possible, segment your mailings so you can target the content by interests or other demographics.
2. Track where the recipient is along the buying cycle. The typical buying cycle involves five stages: identifying a need, determining potential solutions, evaluating the available options, negotiating the purchase, and making the buy. If you know where the person is in the buying cycle, you can provide information appropriate for what they may be thinking about or need at the time they receive the communication. This isn’t about hitting them with overt marketing pitches, but providing valuable, appropriate information to help them move forward to the next stage.
3. Develop an editorial calendar. Be purposeful about your content strategy. Don’t leave it to chance. Develop a plan for what you want to include in your blogs, social media, and mailings, and execute your plan strategically. Develop appropriate material in advance and release it on a timeline that provides the right content at the right time.
Need help with content marketing? Talks to the experts at McCormick Armstrong about helping you develop valuable, multi-touch, multi-channel solutions to help you engage your customers and stay top of mind. Call us at 316-264-1363 or look us up at www.mccormickarmstrongt.com. We want to be your consultive marketing team helping you increase your revenues.
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