In my blog last month I explained why we need content marketing. Today I'm going to show you what great content marketing means.
Content marketing needs to empower our buyers to make informed decisions. This means you need to demonstrate the full extent of your product or service and your expertise in a way that is convenient and easy to consume.
Because content marketing is all about education and trust-building, it supports our most risk-averse buyers who need to deeply understand and trust something before they're happy buying. Selling to fast-paced risk-takers might be much easier, but if you can convince the slow-paced risk-avoiders then your sales will skyrocket.
To explain the purpose of marketing content, first I need to explain something about buyer behaviour and why businesses didn't need marketing content years ago when they do now.
Over the 16 years I've worked in marketing, I've noticed a significant change in buyer behaviour. And with everything that's happened in 2020, this has only accelerated.
So how do we buy now compared to 16 years ago
I disagree with a lot of marketers on this question. I don't believe a business necessarily needs to spend weeks (or even months) creating a strategy.
Don't get me wrong, if you're running a huge corporation with a marketing budget of millions then it'll take time. You'll definitely need to spend a while getting your strategy right before you start implementing it.
But I work with small businesses who want to see results as quickly as possible. Do they need to take weeks out of their business before they can start taking action?
I say 'no'.
We don’t know when it’ll happen (maybe it’s already happening for you) but sooner or later, your customers will emerge from lockdown and need what you offer. Your marketing needs to be ready for this. Here are the steps to get ahead of your competitors in the post-lockdown period.
We can probably all agree that the last month has changed the world forever. So if the world has changed then chances are your market's needs have changed.
The essence of business boils down to solving problems in exchange for money. Whether you're a restaurant or a personal trainer or a software developer or a manufacturer, you all solve problems for your customers.
Over the last month, many new problems have been created and many problems we used to have are no longer important or relevant.
This is another question I've been asked recently because of the pandemic and I can understand why. Everyone, it seems, from Joe Wicks to David Walliams is giving away free stuff.
So if everyone else is doing it, does that mean you should?
Here are the things to consider.
I've have a few conversations with people this past week about discounting. I've also seen a lot of businesses discounting their products and services. So if a lot of people are doing it, does that mean it's a good idea?
Well, it might be a good idea for your business, but it might not. Here are the things to consider.
A value proposition is your answer to the question, “what value do you deliver to your customers?”
A strong value proposition is not necessarily the messaging you’ll use in your marketing. Rather it’s a tool for you to use internally to create powerful messaging that will resonate with your buyers.
A lot of people know exactly what they do, but they don’t articulate the real value to their buyer. If your buyer has to work out the value for themselves then that makes it harder for them to buy from you.
My definition of marketing is simply making it as easy as possible for people to buy from you. So if your customers have to work out for themselves what value they’re going to get from buying your product or service then you’re not making it easy for them.
It’s important to tell your customers not just WHAT you deliver but also HOW you deliver it and WHY it is important.
So how do you create a value proposition?
In my last two blogs I’ve been taking you through the buyer’s journey, looking at how excellent marketing needs to support our buyers at every step.
If you missed part 1 and part 2, read them here:
Encouraging the first purchase
To reduce the perceived risk at this point in the buyer journey, your customer needs to feel what it’s like to be a customer before they buy.
A product ladder is a series of offers and products that lead from one to the next so people can build a relationship with you and get a sense for what it’d be like to be a customer before they commit to something big. It’s all about reducing perceived risk.
In my previous blog I explained how we all go through a number of stages when we make a buying decision.
Excellent marketing supports our buyers at every stage of their decision-making process so they can move forward.
To do this, you need to have mapped out your customer’s buying journey because it’ll be different for different markets and products. Once you’ve mapped out your customer’s buying journey, you can then look at how you can reduce the perceived risk at every stage and build trust throughout the journey. By reducing risk and building trust at every stage, it becomes easy for customers to decide to choose you. And if it’s easy for people to buy from you then sales will inevitably increase.
If you haven’t read part 1 yet, where we covered the first stages of the buying journey, click here: Part 1
Building buyer’s interest
Once your buyer is aware of you, you need to let them get to know you in their own time. Build trust by providing regular, quality, short-form content such as;
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