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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Digital Visibility: The Reason Behind Content Marketing

Content Marketing before the salesperson calls
In SEO Primer: Nurturing Your Online Digital Visibility, I touched on the importance of creating the most engaging, relevant, visibly and effective content online. However, I didn't fully explore the reason behind creating content marketing and developing a content strategy that aligns itself with your business objectives and strengthens your digital visibility.

This McGraw-Hill ad describes the reason perfectly.

Although more than 50 years old and developed for business publications, it succinctly captures why content marketing matters. As Content Marketing Today explains, it addresses the objections that most of our customers express. More specifically, that they...

* Don’t know who we are.
* Don’t know our company.
* Don't know our company’s product.
* Don’t know what our company stands for.
* Don’t know our company’s customers.
* Don’t know our company’s record.
* Don’t know our company’s reputation.

The last line reads: "Now, what was it you wanted to sell me?"

Rich, relevant content allows us to tell customers who we are and what we are about. We can tell the story behind how we can truly help customers in terms relevant to them. And placing it online where they go for researching products and services means we have a chance of being digitally visible and found online.

For example, if you are a retailer, your content - on your website, on Facebook, on your blog - allows you to share with potential customers how you got started in your business, why you care so much about your business, how you help your customers, who your employees are, how you are connected to your community... It allows you to address your customers' problems in terms that tells them you are paying attention to them.

These are rich, relevant stories that help you establish a level of trust that potential customers can believe in [BTW, make sure all of your stories are true or you will be sorry]. These are also living and dynamic stories that you update periodically with new details.  After all, your content marketing cannot be static. You can't just create it, publish it and abandon it for the next 10 years.  You need to keep it alive and fresh.

Ideally, you're also creating dynamic content via a blog.  Blogs are marvelous tools!  I believe every organization should have one to regularly update how you bring value to potential customers.

And, all of this BEFORE these customers realize they need you.  Content marketing allows you to start building a meaningful trust-based relationship with customers "before the salesman calls".

What do you think? How do you build trust with your customers before calling on them? How might you use content marketing to strengthen your digital visibility?

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Image courtesy of Content Marketing Today.
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