Educate: Getting The Word Out
Content marketing is a popular way to attract new business for many reasons; it helps potential customers become familiar with your company, demonstrates your company is an expert on the topic, it is a long term strategy, and in some cases - significantly lower costs compared to other methods of client acquisition. This can be accomplished through a variety of modes including; articles, podcasts, videos, ebooks, etc. The main goal is to help potential customers before they even reach to you to solve their problem.
Thought Leadership - Establishing You As An Expert
One of the main benefit from content marketing is that it establishes you and your business as a thought leader in your field. This provides a significant differentiator between you and you competition.
Think of it from a customers standpoint. There are three companies providing the same service; two of them go the traditional route and only advertise, but there is nothing that really differentiates them from the others - they basically provide a commodity. The other business however, produces educational videos that help you understand how the industry works, how you can do it yourself (not that you want to or have the time), how they operate, and honestly try to help you out. Because they produce so much content, you feel as if you already know everything about company and its people. Given the three choices, who would you choose?
Similar to the example above; potential customers know you on a deeper level. You have provided so much value up front with no expectations of return, they feel that it is a simple choice to pick you. And since they already know everything about your business, and you have answered their questions before they even talked to you, there is a lot less buying resistance. What we would consider very “warm” leads.
Do you prefer to buy from people you know or strangers? Probably not from strangers; that’s why so much money is spent on advertising to build awareness and familiarity. But building this familiarity through content can be a more cost effective way to do so.
This type of marketing is a long term solution for your company. You are essentially building digital assets that can be repurposed and updated over time. Once you produce something educational, it can be consumed years after and eventually lead to a sale.
This brings up another potential advantage to solely relying on traditional marketing & advertising; the cost savings. Content marketing will be slow in the beginning, but with time the flywheel effect begins to kick in. As more and more content is produced, older stuff is being viewed along with the new stuff that is coming out; and readership growing over time. If you were to stop producing content, new business would still come in (though it would slow). Compare this to traditional advertising; when you stop advertising, no new business comes in from this method.
Do you use content marketing as part of your customer acquisition strategy? If not, you may want to consider at least doing more research into it; maybe even giving it a try.