The Power of Content Marketing
By Marylene Vestergom
With so many marketing options available to target B2B customers, how do you effectively employ your advertising dollars to reach your audience? How can you ensure you’re having a dialogue with your target, the decision maker?
Consider the power of content marketing.
“Content marketing aims to build a relationship of trust and loyalty with the sponsor’s customers, so they regard the sponsor as the vendor of choice when they make purchases. This is accomplished by providing information and, often, advice that meets the needs and suits the preferences of the sponsor’s target market. It serves the interests of the audience, rather than overtly plugging products and services the way ads do. “(Wilkipedia)
Content marketing is networking in writing. Instead of the one-size-fits-all solutions like radio, television and other types of advertising, engaging in a targeted approach using custom content is a way that you can convey your unique story in a non-interruptive forum. Imagine being able to have a conversation within the context of peer-generated content.
The key, of course, is delivering content that is relevant and current to your target market. In return, your vehicle becomes a trusted resource that will be recognized as a voice of authority. By using narrative content to communicate a new product, an innovative idea or a case study, the content marketing vehicle quickly becomes a reference tool. You begin as a source of information and continue as a source of roducts and services.
Content marketing is actually the best thing to happen to the marketing profession in decades. Instead of creating ads, consider communicating impactful ideas to your audience using content marketing with articles that are underwritten with an editorial presence, positioning your business as an authority on the subject covered. Remember, most people read magazines not for the ads but for the content. So why not create what they really want — content that can be trusted and targeted to your customer.
“Basically, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that provides industry intelligence.”
Joe Pulizzi, Founder of the Content Marketing Institute
In the past, consumers didn’t have much of a choice – if they wanted more information, they were at the whim of the advertisers. Today’s consumers are in complete control, with their 24-hour-a-day electronic devices. They are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages daily. B2B marketers can now drive profitable customer action by tailoring their message within a vehicle like a custom content magazine and speak strategically to the end user.
Consider the following figures from Roper Public Affairs:
80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles instead of in an advertisement
70% say content marketing makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company
60% say that company content helps them make better product decisions.
Content marketing is the fastest-growing and effective form of marketing after the Internet, because of its ability to deliver relevant, compelling and engaging content to a defined audience in a manner that delivers results.
How would your business be different if your customer looked forward to receiving your marketing? If they spent between 15 and 45 minutes with your material? If it became a resource tool that they saved and reread?
“Smart marketers understand that traditional marketing is becoming less and less effective by the minute, and that there has to be a better way,” says Pulizzi. “Thought leaders and marketing experts from around the world have concluded that content marketing isn’t just the future, it’s the present.”
Content marketing is an opportunity to deliver your personal message and build brand awareness to your customer — a targeted vehicle that you can tailor to meet your needs. GB