Updated: Dec 6, 2022
Lets try a different approach this time....Do you know what this is people??
This, my friend, is one of the greatest examples of content marketing of all time.
But content marketing has been around far longer than the Internet.
Because content marketing is all about storytelling, and humans have told stories for as long as they could speak. Our attention will always go to those who tell great stories.
When Hasbro and Marvel cooperated to launch their comic book series “G.I. Joe – A Real American Hero!” in 1982, their marketing strategy was simple.
They wanted to create a rich backstory for their action figures.
Within two months of releasing the first comic book, about 20% of their target audience, boys between the ages of five and twelve, had two or more G.I. Joe toys. And at that point, the comic book only had two stories.
Seven years later, the series was one of Marvel’s strongest titles, and two out of three boys in the same age category owned at least one G.I. Joe action figure.
How’s that for using content to market a product?
A lot has changed since then, and what worked back in the 80s won’t necessarily work today. However, with new marketing channels like social media popping up almost daily, opportunity is knocking.
So, let’s take a look at what content marketing means now in my content marketing guide
What is Content Marketing???
Content marketing is a long-term strategy that focuses on building a strong relationship with your target audience by giving them high-quality content that is very relevant to them on a consistent basis.
Eventually, when customers make a purchase decision, their loyalty already lies with you.
They will purchase your product and prefer it over competitors’ options.
Content marketing shows that you actually care about your customers.
Today, more than ever before, people want to feel like you care about them. The world is louder and noisier than ever before, and attention is our most valuable resource.
Why Content Marketing???
OK. Content marketing is popular. Lots of businesses use it, and they’ve used it for hundreds of years.
But is content marketing right for your business?
Just because content marketing worked for early adopters, that doesn’t mean it’s going to work for your modern-day business.
And just because massive B2B and B2C businesses use it today also, that doesn’t mean that it’s right for you.
To find out, let’s take a look at some recent and relevant content marketing data.
In the end, we’ll try to answer the question two questions: Is content marketing right for you?
And should you invest bandwidth and budget into it...
We must now ask ourselves why those are the top priorities.
Why do people want to create more engaging content, and why do they want to understand what kind of content is effective?
Most likely, it’s because these companies aren’t totally satisfied with their current content marketing efforts.
They probably feel that they are doing OK, but they also feel that they could do better.
And our suspicions are confirmed when you find out that 70% of B2B content marketers struggle to keep up with content quality and quantity.
A modern example of content marketing is one practiced by BlendTec company. In order to market their super fast blenders and get people engaged they made an innovative video of blending an iphone and android.
Don't believe me? Check it out for yourself!
Surprising isn't it!
Content Mapping based on the Customer Value Journey
Have you heard of content mapping before?
If you haven’t, it’s about time that you do.
It’s remarkably valuable and important for your own content marketing strategy.
Content mapping is the act of understanding your audience so well that you can then create content for each stage of their journey toward buying your product.
As you well know, few people go straight from discovery to buying.
Instead, they usually discover your website, think about your product, spend a few months thinking, see a retargeting ad, and then buy.
At least, it goes something like that.
The point is that people take a lot of time to buy.
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The Customer Avatar
When you do that, be sure to be specific. You want to pretend that your entire audience is a single person with individual desires, goals, pains, and demographics.
Then, and only then, will your content do a far better job of talking to the people who matter.
You can’t do that if you don’t start by understanding who your ideal customer is.
The better that you understand your customers, the better you can make their buying journey from traffic to prospect to sale.
And that can directly impact your revenue.
In fact, 55% of consumers would pay more for a better customer experience, and 86% of B2B buyers would pay more. To further show the importance of this, 89% of people have stopped doing business with a company because of a poor experience.
If, on the other hand, you guide your prospects through the buying journey with helpfulness, kindness, and availability, they are much more likely to love you.
And when people love you, they tell their friends about you.
The point is that your customers want a remarkable experience, and your content marketing efforts can give that to them. But you have to understand the way that people buy and then create content for each stage.
There are three basic stages:
And each stage requires a different kind of content marketing.
Awareness Stage For Content Marketing
The first stage of a buyer’s journey is awareness.
They simply become aware of your business. They aren’t necessarily ready to buy yet or even ready to opt-in to your email list or newsletter. But because of the content you created, they now know who you are.
Why is that valuable to your business?
Naturally, if people don’t know who you are, they can’t join your audience or, most importantly, buy from you.
People must first learn about your business.
And for that, content marketing is perhaps your best ally.
For example if I conducted a search "how to write a great blog post"
Which result would you click on? That’s right: the big Google snippet from Optin Monster
This shows you how powerful content marketing and SEO together can be for building brand awareness.
I don’t have to preach to you about how many people use Google to search or how many of those people prefer to click on organic results instead of paid results.
The reality is that people search like crazy. If you’re the one coming up on the SERP, then they’ll see your brand name over and over again.
Ideally, then, when they click-through to your content, your website and the content itself will continually impress them.
Those details help to flatter the person who arrives on the page.
You want to do the same thing.
After all, the last thing you want is to gain a great SERP position and then lose that position because of a high bounce rate.
Take a little extra time to create great content before publishing it.
How, though, do you measure what great content is?
In terms of brand awareness, pay attention to high-level metrics. These include things like number of readers, number of pageviews, top performing pages, engagement rate, time on site, and articles viewed.
Consideration Stage For Content Marketing
Once people become aware of your business, they’ll buy from you.
At least, that’s how you wish it worked.
But, of course, it doesn’t.
Truthfully, people have to hear about you, take time to consider, and then maybe they’ll buy.
While content marketing is remarkable at alerting people to the fact that your business exists, it’s also remarkable at guiding people through the consideration phase.
And every great salesperson knows that people are far more likely to buy when you guide them than they would be otherwise.
However, you can’t, or rather shouldn’t, use the same brand awareness tactics during the consideration phase.
In particular, pay special attention to newsletter sign-ups, number of returning visitors, form submissions, and resource downloads.
Decision Stage For Content Marketing
This is your favorite part of the buying process.
Namely, it’s the part where people actually buy.
They already trust your business, and they’re familiar with your products and what your business represents.
Now, it’s the time to make or break, push or shove, buy or ditch.
The person is either going to become a paying customer or fall into eternal obscurity.
This is the place where your opportunity pipeline, average size of orders, order frequency, and sales come into play.
I hope they give you a good idea of what it takes to be a good content marketer.
What’s more, I really hope that you see that it doesn’t take a huge marketing budget. Today, anyone can use content marketing to their advantage.
The world gets noisier each day. Before long, we will all have to utilize content marketing if we want to remain successful.
Those who focus their energy on telling good stories, no matter the platform or context, will win in the long run.
Yelling louder won’t help you anymore. Only yelling better things will.
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