Over the past few decades, your customers have changed. Have you?
Product-centric marketing is more apt to turn your potential customers off than it is to bring them in. People are now hip to the practice of being sold to, and are not very appreciative. So how do you strengthen the value of your brand, without shouting about your brand from the rooftops?
By utilizing content marketing.
Content marketing takes away the pressure of having to hard sell. Leads can be approached in a more natural and efficient way with highly educational, quality content.
Consumers aren’t largely driven by the glitziest, sparkliest, and prettiest anymore. They can see right through the fluff and aren’t impressed. They balk at being manipulated. That’s because people now are much better educated than they have ever been. On top of that, past companies were able to guard their knowledge and expect people to come to them for help.
Thanks to smartphones, computers, and social media networks, consumers now have access to a bevy of information and are already well-educated before they even come into contact with you. In order to prove your worth, they want to know that you have the knowledge and expertise, too.
Today’s savvy shopper wants the meat and potatoes of what your product can do for them. How your product or service can solve their problem. How their life will be better with the help of what you have to offer. They don’t have time for games. They have needs, and you can either meet those needs, or you can’t.
What Is Content Marketing?
You need a way to intelligently offer value to your customers. To do that, content marketing should be at the center of your marketing strategy. According to SnapApp, it costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates three times more leads as traditional marketing. If you don’t understand it already, you’d better get crackin’!
The Content Marketing Institute puts it into perspective:
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
You’re looking to reinforce what your brand stands for and offers, and then reinforce that with expertise, opinions, and more through different forms of content.
First Things First
Jillian Hillard, Director of Brand Marketing, small appliances, at Electrolux puts things into a little sharper focus: “For brands, it’s no longer a question of how you can use content to enhance the consumer’s perception of the brand, it’s a necessity.” She continues, “Content is the gateway into a brand’s soul, and when done right, it provides insights into the customer’s wants. It’s a brand’s job to understand the emotional needs of their customers and provide solutions that enhance their lives – not just sell them products.”
Before you get started writing your first blog post or white paper, you need to have a clear understanding of who you want to read your article, and why. In general, you should have a deep understanding of what matters most to your target audience. Know their problems, challenges, and aspirations.
You’re looking to deliver value to your customers so that their perception of you is enhanced. Think of what your customer needs to accomplish, what do they have to get done? Use your content marketing to help them do that.
But you’re not just looking to explain simply how to use your product. The general public is more wiley than that. Your content needs to be useful to your prospect. It needs to provide value. Your content needs to be more useful and tell a better story than everyone else around you.
When you’re seen as an information leader within your industry, more people become aware of your brand. Being seen as an expert in your field improves the perceived quality of your brand. After all, if you’re an expert, your product or service has to be the best, right? You’re also increasing trust in your brand. If you’re freely sharing information and your knowledge, the sense of trustworthiness that people have in your brand will strengthen.
Share what you’ve created and publish it across newsletters and blogs, guest blog on other websites, publish case studies and white papers, post and share on social media websites, and participate in online discussions on social media and other relevant information sources.
By sharing your knowledge, you’re building an invaluable rapport with your potential customers. It’s that relationship and sharing of expertise that alters their perceived value in your brand, and keeps them coming back for more.