Advertising with stealth
Content marketing is advertising for the social media age. In a world where pretty much everyone is a publisher, the marketplace for sales messages is now especially crowded. Buyers are much more media-savvy, screening out anything that looks too obviously like a pitch, literally and metaphorically ad-blocking the overtly commercial as they scan the information dense environment for valuable insights.
Nevertheless, buyers will still respond to a variety of cues and will react positively to well structured information flows if they look like they will be useful and reliable. The world could not be where it is today if there had not been a legion of salespeople, advertisers and marketers telling useful, informative stories about products and services which customers have subsequently come to rely on. They deliver credible narratives that provide a guarantee of quality. That’s how robust brands are built, and why such brands accumulate higher valuations despite their intangibility.
So it is with content marketing. A content marketing programme can build a very deep relationship with a potential client that previous forms of advertising could not. This is achieved through a series of useful articles, videos or podcasts that help an individual understand the commercial context they must navigate, provide them with insights to help them do their jobs successfully, or deliver them information that would increase their own credibility if they share it with others.
Relieving the burden on executives
Many companies are confident of their technical prowess, competitive positioning and business model, and can articulate this in most contexts. While executives can be very comfortable with technology and handling figures they struggle turning that into good writing. Where a company lacks the publishing expertise, or executives lack the time, a freelance writer with an affinity for their products and services can build a funnel of content that generates that credibility and ultimately the receptiveness of the prospect to a strong sales message at the end.
Deepening the relationship with prospects
When combined with an effective email marketing campaign or social media programme, authoritative content deepens the relationship with prospects and creates greater awareness of the corporate brand leading up to a potential conversion.
A robust strategy for search engine ranking
Google algorithms are searching for expertise and aim to rank authoritative articles above keyword-padded content, so a rich content marketing strategy is more likely to optimise a company’s search engine position over the long term.