Content marketing is a powerful way for professional service businesses to reach and attract prospects while they are in the informational gathering stage of the purchasing process. So what is Content Marketing?
According to the Content Marketing Institute:
“Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience - with the objective of driving profitable customer action”.
The nuts and bolts of content marketing involve creating valuable informational content that you offer online. This content is never a sales pitch, but rather information that gives your prospect what they are looking for when they begin or are in the midst of a purchasing decision.
Think of what happens when you give a presentation or seminar to a group of people. Typically, you would be speaking about a topic that is related to the services your offer. While not a sales pitch, you are offering valuable information in the hopes that when the prospect is ready to buy, she will buy from you. You’re also positioning yourself as an expert in your field.
Content Marketing is done through many different vehicles, but the mostly widely used for BtoB businesses are articles, social media and blogs. Other tactics include white papers, webinars, videos, infographics and case studies. Your goal is to cut through the clutter of advertising and other tactics that your customers face throughout the buying cycle. If your customer has a problem that your services can solve, and is looking for information as to how to address these problems, your content can be the vehicle by which a conversation can start.
Keep in mind too, that since you are offering something of value, it’s more likely that a prospect will give you some personal information in exchange for the informational piece. This allows you to offer related information over time so that when your prospect is ready to buy, you are top of mind.
Say for example, you sell search engine marketing services. You might offer content that explains how Google Adwords campaigns can help businesses. If you allow a download in exchange for an email address, you can then send related content offers. Your prospect has already shown an interest in Google Adwords campaigns, so why not offer content around paid search advertising. Each offer can move your prospect further down a sales funnel and address the purchasing cycle. This lead nurturing technique is easily managed through automated marketing tools like Hubspot or ActOn.
For more information on how you can get started with Content Marketing, contact us today.