What Content Marketing Strategy Builds Your Customer Base?
Want to strike up a conversation with visitors to your website? Looking for an opportunity to chat with visitors about your unique offering? Searching for ways to connect with people who need your product? That’s what a content marketing strategy is all about.
Lots of websites behave like shop windows – they encourage visitors to look and move on. Successful websites, though, are those which look for opportunities to engage with visitors whether they’re just browsing, looking for something in particular, or ready to buy.
Content marketing aims to reduce the space between buyer and seller, in order to make relationships that increase conversions, improve brand awareness, and boost revenue. How’s it done? Read on to get an overview of what content marketing is, lots of different ways to approach it, and – finally – how to start thinking about the kind of content marketing strategy you need.
What is Content Marketing?
Imagine you’re a traveller in a bustling marketplace. Only, instead of shouting out about their wares, the merchants share fascinating stories from far off lands, offer helpful advice in whispers, and make you laugh with entertaining riddles. This is content marketing! Remember the UK Olympics? Content marketing is like that captivating opening ceremony – it doesn’t directly sell tickets but leaves you passionate to support the event.
How Does Content Marketing Work?
Content marketing builds emotional connections, offering something before asking for anything in return. Instead of creating ‘shouty’ marketing that muscles in on your target audience’s browsing, content marketing seems to know what you need intuitively, and provides it in a friendly, engaging way that’s about you – the potential customer – rather than me – the seller.
By providing consistent, quality content, brands become trusted allies, ultimately reaping the rewards of loyalty and conversion. When people feel ‘seen’, ‘listened to’, ‘acknowledged’ or ‘heard’, they tend to open up emotionally to the person that offers this experience. This connection is priceless; it’s the gateway to trust, loyalty, and long-term engagement.
What Kinds of Content Marketing Are There?
Just as consumers delight in an ‘unboxing experience’, in the same way, your target audience want content that delights, intrigues, educates, stimulates, inspires, and seduces. Whatever kind of content you choose for your content marketing, it needs to get visitors involved.
Content Marketing Example #1 DO US A FLAVOUR!
Walkers Crisps invited fans of their snacks to come up with a killer recipe for a new flavour. The big prize was £1 million and a place in Walkers Crisps history. More than a million people entered, and the recipes were wild. David Walliams and Marco Pierre White were the judges, and the winner was Paul Rothwell’s pulled pork in sticky BBQ sauce.
Starting to feel inspired? Then this could be the moment to select the kind of content your content marketing strategy requires. Here are 4 examples to get you thinking:
- Web Pages. Use your website to get visitors excited about what you have to offer them. It could be good-looking product pages, or informative how-to-videos. Including your website in your content marketing strategy will help you to rank higher in the search engines, too. Read More: 8 Tips for Writing Great Website Content
- Blog Content. Blogs let you do so much, and they’re a simple resource to add to your website! You can promote products or services, introduce key members of the team, demonstrate you understand users’ pain points, and provide the solution they need to deal with them. Read More: Why Google Loves a Business Blog
- Paid Ad Content Marketing. Paid ads are an excellent way to reach out beyond your normal network. You know where your target audience hangs out, so place your ads where they’re most likely to see them; choose from social media, banners, emails or sponsored content. Read More: What is PPC Marketing?
- Make a Video. How-to videos had and audience reach of 92% in a survey carried out last year. B2B businesses in particular, find that training videos, customer testimonials and explainer videos are particularly popular.
Read More: 7 Video Marketing Strategies
How Does a Content Marketing Strategy Work?
Content marketing uses information wrapped up in stories to sell products to different types of customers. It’s a way of talking to customers who have different needs, or problems to solve, whilst making them feel that the content speaks directly to them.
The same is true for customers at different stages in the buyer’s journey. For the sake of clarity, we have divided this up into 3 different groups, but you may be able to find more stages, dependent on your product or service:
Group One: I Know I Want Something But I’m Not Sure What
These are the people who need help to understand their problem better and be introduced to potential solutions for that problem. Content targeting this group of customers would want to catch their eye by demonstrating a broad awareness of their problem, answers to common questions that are posed around it, and basic brand awareness.
You’re not selling directly at this stage; you’re offering a way for customers to better understand the problem they have. Types of content include social media posts, blogs, checklists, free downloads.
Group Two: I’m Looking For a Solution to my Problem
Now your customer understands the problem they’re dealing with, they may have visited your site a few times and they’re actively looking for a solution. This is the moment to nurture your relationship. Maybe they would like to subscribe to your newsletter, in order to receive personalised promotions? Perhaps they might want to become part of your social media community?
You’re still not selling directly; you’re offering a relationship with your brand. Types of content include landing pages, email newsletters, case studies, video product demos, blogs.
Group Three: I’m Ready to Buy
Now you’ve reached the point where the content you provide needs to be all about helping them to make their decision and convert. You may wish to offer a free trial at this stage, provide detailed pricing plans, or different ways to buy the product they’re interested in. At this stage, and for the first time, there’s a sense of urgency to the process, in order to keep the customer focused on what you have to offer them.
Don’t lose your focus, the journey to conversion is fragile. Content that helps at this stage includes pricing plans, personalised emails, customer feedback/testimonials, case studies, free trial offers.
Content Marketing Example #2 WHAT’S A PERFECT BODY?
Superdrug used online platforms, including social media, to draw attention to the manipulation of female body image in the media. They asked 18 graphic designers to use Photoshop to create the kind of female body their culture favoured. Then they published 18 versions of the same body from around the world.
The issue was picked up by global media outlets, celebrities got involved and the photos generated around a million social shares. Not only that, Superdrug got more than 1,000,000 page views to their site within a five-day period.
Imagefix Can Help With Your Content Marketing Strategy
A skilfully prepared content marketing strategy will help your business to reach out to its target audience and, ultimately, increase conversions. If you would like some help, or guidance with creating your tailored content marketing strategy, Imagefix has a team dedicated to doing just that.
All you need to do is give us a call to find out more about the support and management of your content marketing strategy we can offer – 01525 715608