"Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half,” said John Wanamaker.
This problem is nothing but ineffective planning of content marketing strategy. The importance of content marketing is growing rapidly as is evident from below graph on google trends.
A quick look around the marketplace and you’re sure to see a number of articles focused on the importance of a quality content marketing strategy. While valuable content properly placed on a website and throughout the market is an important step in the marketing process, it must be part of an overarching effort to establish a brand, build the value of that brand and drive acceptance and loyalty among the consumer base.
Take a step back and review the customer buying cycle – there is a process that takes place. The typical consumer will examine the different available products in a market and the companies offering those products in which they have shown an interest. Before deciding on the final product and provider, he or she is likely to do a little more research into the topic to select the provider and solution that best fits their needs, wants and lifestyle.
In any marketing strategy, the first focus is on developing the business and the services offered. You then start to focus on the development of the brand, paying close attention to communicating the value it delivers to the target audience. You communicate consistent messaging across multiple channels that support that brand and reinforce that value.
With a proven and consistent message strategy, your business becomes that brand and consumers will seek out your products and services because of the value they attribute to the brand.
At that point, the consumer is ready to dig even deeper into what you offer in the marketplace. This is your opportunity to leverage your current online presence to build out your content marketing strategy. This means the development of value-added content that takes the prospect deeper into your value proposition to understand the depth and breadth of what you have to offer. The strategy gives the perfect opportunity to make a connection and convert that prospect to a customer.
In this opportunity, however, you have to be careful that your content strategy is not pages full of fluffed out advertisements. Prospects don’t want to read endless accounts of why your product is so much better than the competition’s just because you said so. They also don’t want to stumble upon page after page of dry product knowledge. Instead, this is where you have the opportunity to build your presence as the knowledge leader in your industry. That means providing the reader with value-added content that actually improves their experience.
When this happens, the visitor sticks around on your site, searching for even more valuable information and expanding their knowledge base. For each minute they stay longer on your site, that’s another minute your brand is reinforced. This strategy is not only good for conversions, it’s good for business and for building long-term value-added relationships with customers who not only buy once, but each time they return to your site.
To truly be a leader in your industry, focus on how you can be an expert in your field. Demonstrating this knowledge in a way that is meaningful to the potential customer is exactly why content marketing strategies exist. If you haven’t launched one yet, it’s time to take advantage of a powerful marketing tool.
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