The Content Marketing Institute, an online resource for information on all things content marketing related, defines content marketing as:
“Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
Content marketing attracts prospects and transforms prospects into customers by creating and sharing valuable free content. Content marketing helps companies create sustainable brand loyalty, provides valuable information to consumers, and creates a willingness to purchase products from the company in the future. This relatively new form of marketing does not involve direct sales. Instead, it builds trust and rapport with the audience.
Content marketing requires continuous delivery of large amounts of content, preferably within a content marketing strategy.
Content marketing helps you build your digital brand in 3 ways
1. Establish Clear Identity:
It helps you to represent your brand in the best possible way. Developing consistent content allows your audience to build a memory structure around who you are and what value you have to offer.
2. Gain Visibility:
Visibility is the utmost important! As they say out of sight is out of mind. Content should always be visible to the entire prospective client. Your content represents who you are but considering your audience can also help you target them effectively.
3. Enhance Your Credibility:
Brand’s credibility increases when audience and prospective customers get a peek through the various aspects of brand. As you post personal stories about your brand, your credibility will increase as users begin to know, like, and trust your brand.
Let us first understand the four steps of the buying cycle; this will help us understand why content marketing is important to business.
The requirement or need of product comes first. At times we need to be aware of the product and then decide its utility or need for us.
Prior to awareness a customer may have a need, but they are not aware there is a solution.
Once a customer is aware there is a solution, they will perform research to educate themselves. For example, someone who needs a new TV will try to find out what different types/models of TV exist, and which one will fit his/her needs.
At this point the customer starts comparing different products from different vendors to make sure they’re getting a high quality product at a fair price.
Finally, the customer makes their decision and moves forward with the transaction.
Traditional advertising and marketing is great when it comes to the second two steps. Content marketing taps into the first stages of the buying process by raising awareness of solutions and educating consumers about a product they may have never considered before.
Content marketing also helps businesses to achieve a number of objectives, including:
1. Lead generation:
Customers leave their contact details if they are impressed by the content provided, there is a high probability that they will be interested in the product or simply a desire to get to more content.
2. Increased reach and name recognition:
Going viral makes you the talk of the town. Often, high-quality content that addresses current or controversial topics is disseminated via social networks. By taking advantage of this trend, a company can increase its prominence and reach.
3. Image development:
Releasing high-quality publications on a regular basis allows businesses to establish themselves as thought leaders, which strengthens the corporate brand.
4. Customer development:
Content that offers useful information connects the customer to the company for the long term. By consistently offering good content, companies generate interest in their website and entice users to return.
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