Well, sort of.
The rules of modern marketing have changed significantly.
No longer is it about talking up your best skills and your biggest deals to the customer, marketing today is about demonstrating your worth and showing (not telling) what you can do for a potential customer.
We recently discussed this topic at a meeting of the Business Exposure Group. A valuable and forward thinking forum for business owners across the North of England.
Some of the thoughts from around the table are included in my article…
Marketing is now all about ‘content marketing’, and the link between raising awareness about your business and expertise in your field, and solid lead generation. Instead of pitching your products or services, you need to be delivering information that makes your buyer more ‘informed’. Effectively, ‘attracting’ the customer to you.
Don’t get content creation confused with content marketing. Content creation is the actual composition of the text or content itself. ‘Content marketing’ is an umbrella term for the art of publishing and communicating the message to your target customers, without selling.
Companies send out information all the time, it’s just that most of the time it’s not relevant or valuable – and not focused on ‘the customer’.
Good content marketing makes a person stop, read, and think. This is difficult considering that, according to research done by Jakob Nielsen, only 16% of online readers will read an article word-for-word, with 79% simply scanning a page. (There are techniques that we now use to engage people that prefer to ‘scan’ articles)
Here are some things to consider when creating your content:
- Don’t target customers with messages they don’t want
- It must be truthful
- Make it easy for people to find you
- Make it unique
- Make it easy for people to pass along and share
- Measure and optimise the reaction and lead generation of your content
- Listen to your customers
- Use the ‘you’ word.
- Don’t use long-winded eloquent prose.
- Be helpful, not promotional
- Use an outsider to write it so it is customer centric
This form of inbound marketing has been around for a while, and is starting to truly catch on. It has been boosted dramatically with the growth in use of social media.
This is regarded nowadays as the most important tool for improving sales and marketing effectiveness, with 80% of respondents to a recent survey, listing social media in first place in their marketing strategy with ‘article marketing’ a close second.
The full list is as follows:
- Social Media – 80%
- Articles – 74%
- E-Newsletter – 65%
- White Papers – 60%
- Blogs – 59%
- Case Studies – 58%
- Videos – 57%
- Webinars – 51%
Furthermore, 75% of B2B and B2C consumers prefer ‘informational’ articles over adverts and it’s expected in 2014 that 25% of consumers will make purchase decisions based on blogs.
51% of respondents saw ‘content marketing’ as being the most impactful tool for generating leads, outscoring brand awareness (38%) and sales (29%).
Content is King
All of this information begs the question, should content now form the foundation of your business strategies?
I believe that it should. (But I would, wouldn’t I?)
There will be many different answers and opinions on this, but until one stands out from the crowd, every methodology is a valid one.
If you want to learn more about content marketing and how it can help your business, please contact me or maybe come along to a Business Exposure Group event.
This article was generated after a discussion about ‘content marketing’ held at a recent meeting of the Business Exposure Group.
If you are a Director or business owner and would like to attend one of their informative round-table discussions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org