Is “Content Marketing” the New “Promised Land”?

Content, Content, Content… it’s the new buzz word in marketing circles these days. Since Social Media isn’t living up to its claims for many companies, they are looking for the new “silver bullet”… which now happens to be “Content Marketing or Content Management.” Is it the new found Promised Land for marketing?

I would encourage you to think a bit broader and deeper when it comes to a discussion about Content Marketing. We have to remind ourselves that “Content Marketing” is actually just a “TOOL” with a Bigger Purpose if used correctly. Like many of the other traditional, digital, and social media “tools” already being used, this one can fit into the same category… unless you THINK DIFFERENTLY.

Start with the concept that generally, “Marketing ruins everything.” OK, I know this will get some people’s feathers ruffled and for others of you, you will say Amen, it is completely accurate. The point I want to make is that when marketing gets a hold of “a new thing (tool)” they tend to do two things to it… over use it and use it incorrectly. Content Marketing probably won’t be any different so it will follow the same path at some point in the future… unless you treat it differently.

If you think of Content Marketing as a “tool” you are missing the point and its value.

There are two concepts in marketing… “PUSH” and “PULL” marketing. All traditional marketing was designed as “Push”… shoving out lots of ads and other information to the audience. This worked amazingly well in the Industrial Revolution when there weren’t any other options for the consumer to hear about products and services. Ad agencies were born and raked in millions of dollars on the backs of this approach. It has essentially died when we left the Industrial Revolution behind and entered into the Internet/Digital Revolution.

Unfortunately, many people in marketing didn’t get this was happening right under their nose. Instead, they saw a whole bunch of new “tools” called Social Media show up that they thought were simply a new and improved way to “push” their information to the customer. They were wrong. The customer initially thought this was pretty cool and welcomed the new way of getting information… then marketing ruined it. They started shoving everything they could… faster and in more volume… than they ever had before. They thought this would work… it didn’t. It was still “push marketing” only using a different tool called Social Media instead of direct mail, TV, radio, magazines, billboards, and a host of other traditional media tools.

The audience grew up and learned how they wanted to receive information and it wasn’t by having billions of pieces thrown at them through every channel they were on… they learned where the “off switch” was and turned off this barrage of messaging. The numbers have been declining steadily and marketing is wondering why their audience doesn’t want to see their valuable ads and self-promotional information. They really never did…

Enter Content Marketing as a new way to “push” more information to the customer. It is new because it actually involves content… something of substance (written, video, podcast, etc.). The consumer is asking for this… they want to learn more but invest less time in consuming the information. Once again we are seeing most marketing groups seeing the next “Promised Land” and as such are shoving more and more “content” to their audience. The right concept… wrong execution.

The content isn’t RELEVANT, HELPFUL, or TIMELY for their audience… it is just once again voluminous amounts of information… much of what we can already get by doing a search. This is where marketing stands to “ruin content marketing” as they have done for so many other forms of media.

But there is a solution… “PULL MARKETING.”

Pull Marketing is all about the “customer WANTING the information you have because it is relevant, helpful, and timely and so they PULL it to them… when they want and how they want.” This is an entirely different way to think about marketing. It is marketing the customer actually wants in their life because it is VALUABLE to them.

CONTENT MARKETING is an absolutely amazing way to create an effective PULL MARKETING strategy and execute it in a way the customer will love. Now companies have the opportunity to truly understand their customers wants and needs and anticipate what will be helpful and relevant in their lives and then give this to them in a timely manner. When marketing adopts this mindset, they have crossed over from the old traditional “push” process and adopted a completely different strategy of “pull” into their strategy.

THIS WORKS… AND THE CUSTOMER IS BEGGING YOU FOR IT.

Content Marketing can be the next PROMISED LAND for your marketing and company efforts… if you adopt a “PULL MARKETING” strategy and erase the “PUSH” strategy from your brain. Content marketing is absolutely something that your audience will love and reward you for when developed with a PULL MARKETING STRATEGY. It is what they want… marketing just has to understand this and not screw it up again.

What will you do as the leader of your company… the business owner and CEO? Will you allow your marketing to be done the old traditional way and lose the immense value in front of you that you could benefit from by using a “PULL CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY?” I believe the leadership team needs to direct the marketing function to be more OBSESSED with their CUSTOMERS and give them the ability to create a powerful PULL MARKETING strategy… using CONTENT as the core. Today leadership teams need to be more involved in marketing than ever before.

Today it can help to significantly solidify your brand, create true differentiation, and endear your customers to you in ways your competition can’t… this is where marketing and customer obsession can become your true competitive advantage. When this happens, Content Marketing can become the new PROMISED LAND for your company… and your customers will reward you both with business and much more WORD-OF-MOUTH… and we all know this is the ultimate success for marketing and the organization overall.

Will you adopt and drive a PUSH or PULL strategy as a leader of your company? This is an excellent time and opportunity to put your company in front of the pack of competitors.

How Digital Marketing Companies in India Are Helping Businesses Stay Relevant Online

The advent of the internet has opened up novel vistas for doing business. As per a survey, India will have around 500 million internet users by 2017. This creates a fascinating opportunity for businesses to sell their services and products to a growing population of internet users.

The internet has brought along with it newer ways of marketing. Obviously, traditional marketing or outbound marketing methodologies that use TV and radio ads, banners, hoardings and print ads in newspapers, magazines, brochures and other marketing collateral, do not work on the internet.

Inbound or online marketing, is marketing on the internet or in the digital sphere. It takes into consideration things like page rankings in search engine searches, advertising on search engines, banner ads on other websites, marketing on social media, etc. These marketing campaigns are highly focused and target exactly the audience that a particular business wants to serve ads to.

The need to market products and services on the internet has given rise to a new industry – the internet marketing industry. Digital marketing companies in India provide comprehensive digital marketing services for businesses. They usually employ a specialist team of domain experts in search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing (SMM) and social media optimization (SMO).

A recent survey noted that 34% of the companies surveyed had an integrated digital marketing strategy and 16% companies said that they use internet marketing on and off. A staggering 50% of the respondents said that they do not have a defined strategy for internet marketing. These numbers suggest that there are still businesses that have not been exposed to the awesome capabilities and powers of internet-based marketing.

It is imperative for Indian businesses, in particular, in this age to realize the importance of having an integrated internet marketing strategy if they wish to survive in a highly frenzied and competitive market. Without the help of Digital Marketing Services, they fall short of creating a strategy and face the dangers of seeing themselves become directionless. They will never know their online market share, their current market share will be gained by existing and start-up competitors and they will never have a powerful online proposition.

A Digital Marketing Company in India can help businesses harness the power of a robust web-based marketing strategy. The use of novel platforms like the social media can be a game changer as more and more people are using them to engage with brands. It is an excellent place to gain followers, engage with them and serve them relevant and helpful content. Once they become loyal brand followers, targeted ads are served to them to convert them into customers.

Online marketing is the present and the future. Businesses staying away do so at their own risk. It’s worthwhile to climb on to the digital bandwagon while the time is right.

How to Kick-Start Your B2B Content Marketing Strategy

Developing a B2B content marketing strategy that aligns content messaging with your target audience is no small task. In fact, 88% of B2B marketers currently use content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy, yet only 32% have a content marketing strategy.

The development of a fundamentally customer-focused marketing strategy will blaze a trail for a B2B content marketing strategy to reach new customer engagement and acquisition goals. By ensuring value is delivered to your customers, the B2B content marketing strategy will fall into place.

Here are a few key tenets of B2B content marketing strategy to kick start the process for you and your team:

1. Determining your content point of view. Here’s a hint: Make it customer-focused.

2. Ensure once you start executing on content creation, you can measure your efforts. Another hint: Make sure it’s driving a tangible business outcome as well.

3. Align your team’s talents with the type of content being created. Last hint: Not all marketers think the same way.

Customer-Focused Point of View for Content Pays Off

Content marketing strategies developed to engage customers with your brand start by aligning content with the point of view of your reader. Delivering information both that the customer sees as valuable and that aligns with your brand should be the underpinnings of every B2B content marketing strategy.

In a recent study from Forrester Research, they provided the example of Kraft Foods launching a site (kraftrecipes.com) to share recipes and food ideas using their products. By shaping purchase decisions, encouraging buyers through the journey through value-driven content, Kraft Foods had buyers that were all-the-more inclined to purchase cream cheese for “that casserole recipe I saw online”. They delivered value to customers by encouraging a purchase decision as opposed to pushing a coupon.

With a customer-focused point of view regardless of the buyer type (B2C and B2B buyers), position your content to deliver value to your customers. Similarly, through customer-centered content, you can actively shape purchase decisions through a B2B content marketing strategy that drives leads which, in turn, fuels revenue.

Prioritize and Set Content Goals

In a recent survey of content marketing maturity, Forrester found that 52% of B2B marketers were in the early stages of assembling a content strategy and executing it. While B2B marketers seem to be embarking on a more customer-focused approach to content development, a key tenet to a closed loop model for your B2B content marketing strategy is tracking buyer interactions with content at each stage in the purchase life cycle.

Providing buyers with content that is useful and valuable to read, watch, or interact that encourages forward movement in the buying cycle is a B2B marketer’s dream. And yet if those interactions are not measurable, how do you know your content strategy and supporting tactics are effective?

To kick start your B2B content marketing strategy that produces customer-focused content, ensure your team is taking a practical approach to content creation aligned with short-term goals. Meeting and rewarding these short term goals will push your team to drive increasingly buyer-aligned content. This will inevitably result in customer interactions that contribute to increased revenue. These longer-term objectives ensure content drives tangible business outcomes.

Align Talent with Content Creation

Balance your team to align strengths with content creation requirements. Buyer-aligned content that captivates, inspires and challenges is a different focus for most B2B marketers. Marketers whose background include a mix of product marketing, sales positions and even direct marketing may be challenged to make this shift.

Climbing to new heights requires planning and preparation but it also mandates physical and mental stamina. Applying that principle to strategy development versus plan rollout and execution, B2B marketers need to consider skill assessment and training as a critical tenet of B2B content marketing strategy. When the team is ready to hit the trail, talent needs to be aligned with a type of content creation that sees through the buyer’s point of view, interweaves a compelling story and is appropriate to the content application.

So, begin with your team to consider what content will deliver value to your customers. With this customer-focused lens, a B2B content marketing strategy will achieve the following:

  • Address buyer concerns to engage
  • Motivate them through the buyer journey
  • Build support from bottom-line-thinking executives.