Everyone is talking about content marketing. It’s the latest “buzz word.” Like every other buzz word, there are those who’d like you to believe that content marketing is the quick easy way to elevate your conversions and profits.
Here are the facts about Content Marketing:
Content Marketing is not new
Content marketing is a relatively new term. You should know that content marketing was once called blogging. Before that, it was just called marketing.
In the image above, it says, “Content marketing turns hard sell push marketing upside down.” It’s true.
Traditional hard sell push marketing is intrusive by nature. The best way to describe the difference between the two is through a word picture.
Imagine you are hosting a cocktail party. Traditional marketing is the salesman who has crashed the party. This salesman approaches your guests and interrupts their conversation. He has to intrude, because no one wants to approach him because he’s in constant “sales” mode. The guests know that if they even glance his way, he will descend upon them like a hawk on a field mouse.
So, he has to intrude on the conversations at the party. Your guests are a polite crowd. You recognize this because no one has punched this guy in the face to shut him up. Instead, your guests do their best to ignore him.
That’s how traditional advertising works. Let’s say you’re watching a television show – or a You Tube video. The ad has to intrude because you’re not there to see the ad. You’re there to see the video.
That’s traditional marketing. Content marketing is the art and science of creating content that your prospective customers want to see.
Content marketing is the television character driving a particular make and model of car. Content marketing is the informative video on how to use your product.
Content marketing is the yard manufacturer publishing patterns. Content marketing is the magazine article on “how to lose belly fat” that recommends a particular product.
Back in the days when magazines, television and radio were the predominant mass communication tools, content marketing was referred to as “sponsored content.”
Content Marketing Online
Taking a content marketing strategy online elevates the campaign to a whole new level. A well structured online content marketing campaign is sponsored content on steroids.
Content marketing in traditional media is short lived. Magazines have the longest “shelf life” but even then, your content marketing materials are trapped on the printed page.
However, online content marketing lives forever – or at least as long as you maintain the content. This provides INCREDIBLE long term value and gives your business an unfair online advantage.
For example, let’s say you’re selling supplements. Sponsored content in a magazine is a GREAT way to deliver your message. It’s effective. When the magazine is published, you see a measurable bump in sales. However, that bump is temporary. If you don’t have sponsored content in the next issues, the sales bump disappears.
Contrast that with content marketing online. Instead of publishing an article on the benefits of using your supplement in a magazine, you decide to publish that article online. Then you publish another article, and another. Then you create a video demonstrating the benefits – and another.
The content you publish online never “expires.” It’s never pulled from the internet – unless you remove it.
The key to content marketing online is understanding the benefits your products/services provide.
Content Marketing Reality Check
Content marketing isn’t the best marketing strategy for every product or service.
There are two types of transactions your business can be making:
- Significant Sales
- Insignificant Sales
Significant Sales are high value transactions. Many times the value means high cost, but this isn’t always the case.
A Significant Sale has consequences in the mind of the prospect. If your prospective customer perceives that the consequences could be dire if they make a wrong choice, then you’re making a Significant Sale.
An Insignificant Sale is the opposite side of the coin. In an Insignificant Sale, your prospective customer isn’t concerned about the consequences of making a wrong choice. These types of sales are often driven by price and convenience.
Content marketing is a good choice for businesses making Significant Sales because these consumers are willing to put in the time to research their buying decision. Insignificant Sales don’t warrant the time and effort needed to research.
Buying a pack of gum is an Insignificant Sale. Buying a home or car,and choosing a doctor or lawyer are examples of Significant Sales.
Surprisingly, some low cost purchases actually qualify as Significant Sales. Nutritional supplements are an example of a relatively low cost purchase that often warrants the time and effort needed to research the purchase. Dog food is another relatively low cost purchase that consumers will take the time and effort to research.
Sometimes, consumers don’t recognize the need to do research for a particular purchase. In these cases, content marketing is an excellent way to educate consumers about important factors in their purchase decision.
If you’re not sure whether the products or services your business offers are Significant Sales or Insignificant Sales, ask us using the form below.