What Does Content Marketing Actually DO?+Vincent Messina
's outline below is superb, but following our mutual friend +Jim Burns
, I would add one more purpose that would fit many businesses: Sales & Retention.
If you have built up a catalog of great, in-depth content, it can be a great tool for selling new clients or customers and helping existing ones. What better when a question comes up from a client or prospect and you're able to say, "Ah, here's a great post or video we have about that very topic."
Here's Vincent's outline:
How do companies using the principles of the modern version of content marketing gain?
There are many ways you gain when using content as part of your overall marketing plan. For me, I think it is easiest to wrap your head around it all by considering the three main outcomes of any decent sales and marketing plan.
Content is indeed used to make people aware of who you are and the value you bring their way. Some examples include:
- Advertising a useful piece of content
- Develop content that adds insight to other peoples content
- Create content that helps search engines understand that you are the best choice for their users
- Create content to share with your social networks
- Create content for influential channel partners and networks
Getting chosen is without a doubt a fairly important follow up to letting people know who you are. If the people find you, but they dont like what they see when they do, they will likely take their business elsewhere. Content helps them stick around, and make you their choice.
- Content that is designed to be useful attracts people to your business and makes them feel like they can trust that you know their business
- Content demonstrates your expertise, adding a layer of credentialing that is much harder to demonstrate without content
- When you create content for a particular niche, you develop a reputation as the go-to solution provider for that niche
- Content helps people make decisions, and when you help people make decisions, they like you. ;)
And then there is the all mighty referral. Every business should be doing everything they need to do in order to get some word-of-mouth business. Where does content fit?
- Content is likely to make your current customers more satisfied. Satisfied customers are more likely to refer.
- Content is often the center piece of an actual referral, usually in the form of "Hey check out this article so and so wrote..."
- Content is the conversation piece that starts conversations about you by other people.
This Wednesday +Ammon Johns and I are going to do our best to cover these and a few other concepts related to using content in your marketing and sales efforts.