Sometimes, it seems every business wants to employ content marketing tactics. It’s just as evident, however, that not every company can pull it off effectively.
Content marketing is more than a catch-phrase. It’s the valid concept of providing information to attract new business. It’s also more than just creating entertaining or informative content. In the context of marketing, content creation is meant to spur sales. If it doesn’t, it’s only content, not content marketing.
With that in mind, here are three tricks of the trade which effective content marketers use:
The idea of content marketing is to attract an audience that finds your business while seeking information on a particular topic of interest to them. The term “inbound marketing” is used interchangeably with “content marketing” because the company acquires leads by pulling them toward the informational aspect of its message instead of pushing it on them.
That means the leads they attract are not as welcoming of overt, heavy-handed sales pitches. Therefore, converting those pulled leads requires a more subtle exchange that results in an unobtrusive sale.
Effective content marketers embed great offers in great content. One mechanism they use is to first come up with an excellent proposal and then creating content around it. An example might be developing an offer of a product or service that fulfills a prospect’s need, then creating content that leads the person to that product or service as a logical solution. The best content marketers “sell” without overtly selling.
Consumers often turn to businesses to solve their problems. Marketers who whole-heartedly embrace that idea position their products or services as solutions to consumers’ pain points.
Prime examples of this come in the form of infomercials. How many ridiculous scenarios, such as tangled hoses or spilled drinks, convince viewers of problems they might not have even realized they had? The simple formula involves creating or presenting a pain point, agitating it, then offering a solution.
This process fits with the overriding theme behind content marketing in that it’s customer-focused, with content created around the specific issues that consumers face. It involves a problem-first approach rather than the solution-first, self-promoting tactic of traditional marketing.
The double “I”
Leads convert to sales primarily through two forms of content: information and inspiration. The content marketer’s job, therefore, is to both inform and inspire.
The former is pretty straightforward. The marketer of a specific product or service has in-depth knowledge of that product or service and often is easily able to communicate that information to a consumer audience hungry for that information. If someone finds your business because they are seeking information on a particular topic, then providing that information should be a no-brainer.
Inspiration, on the other hand, is somewhat more abstract. It requires content that goes beyond the nuts-and-bolts of the thing you are selling. It means creating content that motivates emotionally by evoking feelings of attachment. Information tells a prospect why they need you, and inspiration gets them to pull the trigger on enlisting you to their cause.
Just about anybody with an internet connection can produce content. Just about any half-decent marketer can sell. But those who blend the two to create trust, thereby converting leads to sales, are the ones with a few tricks up their content-marketer sleeves.