Digital Marketing Communications Best Practice
Content marketing is a newish term for an oldish concept: surround your customers with information and education they need to feel motivated to do business with you. Today, we have more ways than ever to do this: blogs, websites, social media, video, email, e-newsletters, and so forth. These tools allow marketers to become publishers in their own right, and tend to be far more cost-effective and far-reaching than the more traditional communications channels of direct mail, advertising and public relations.
Content marketing does have its drawbacks. It cannot be relied upon to create a direct cause-and-effect; i.e. running a blog piece will usually not result in a direct sale. It is also very difficult to measure the results; content marketing is somewhat like public relations in this respect. However, it is not a “warm fuzzy, ” either. Any marketing program should be using a variety of channels to reach customers so that its messages come from multiple different sources. Content marketing is one of the many tools with which a company can deliver messages to its customers and prospects to “condition” them to purchase. RELATED CLASS:
As in any marketing effort, be clear about who your customers are and what they need to know. As always, have clear messaging and clear objectives for everything you do.
1. Avoid the Sales Pitch
Content marketing is not about selling. If all you do is talk about how great your product/service is, customers will quickly turn off your message. You should be offering insights and information that customers need. Are you in the retail window treatments business? Create videos that teach customers how to successfully install curtain rods and mini-blinds. Are you a manufacturer of athletic equipment? Create a series of white papers about how to avoid sports injuries of various types and how to select shoes that will help people to stay healthy.
If you consistently offer solid information that solves customers’ problems—or better yet, helps them to avoid problems—you build a reservoir of trust and goodwill that cannot be achieved any other way.
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