Content Marketing: Leveraging Content to Build Customer Loyalty
Content Marketing is King!
Doing content marketing means creating and distributing valuable content to attract and retain a well-defined audience. Identifying the target audience and offering useful content means giving an edge to your business. Content marketing involves knowing how to communicate with potential customers without the anxiety to sell, but with the aim of creating a relationship of confidence with them and only then approaching the customer to sell.
Content marketing is anything but a novelty of recent years: companies have always created content for their customers, just think of the Pirelli or Michelin calendars. What has changed is that content marketing has now taken on a leading role in the overall business strategy of companies and has attracted ever increasing interest among experts.
As has been happening for years, the Web 2.0 has seen users—or, rather, people—become active participants in the communication process that takes place between companies and customers. It has gone from a kind of one-way communication to a circular one: consumers have become “prosumers“, capable of giving instant feedback, producing content and stories. To quote the well-known Cluetrain Manifesto, “markets are conversations.”
A good content marketing strategy should establish a relationship, inform and build trust with the greatest possible transparency.
The beauty of content marketing is that it is within the reach of small businesses and not just the big names; all, potentially, can become reference points for their own audiences.
Valuable content that is useful content
In 2013, the American marketer Michael Brito wrote a book emblematically entitled: Your brand, the next media company. Every business has the potential to become a publisher and produce content. But what content? The answer “valuable content” is not wrong, but it is incomplete. Content should be tailored to the needs of the target: “valuable” content that is completely disconnected from our typical clients’ interests and needs is unnecessary. It is essential to focus on their needs and, consequently, produce content aimed at satisfying them.
A company must be able to answer questions, solve problems, clarify doubts and prevent any objections: the form taken on by the content may differ, but the goal will always be the same; that is, to bring the prospect to trust the company and become a loyal customer.
Self-referencing is banned: a content marketing strategy that only includes content focused on the quality of your company’s products/services is doomed to fail from the start.
The different forms of content: which is the best?
Content can take on many forms: blog posts, videos, images, podcasts, and webinars.
Before choosing the format, you should understand, by performing a data analysis, which is the most effective in responding to our typical clients’ needs. Depending on their behaviours, we might choose a video content to a textual one, an image to a podcast, or opt for a mix of various formats.
There is no single solution suited for all companies: based on your business and typical customers, you will choose the content strategy most appropriate to attract prospects, bring them to trust us and turn them into customers.
Does content marketing come at no cost?
No: you need to pay for a winning content marketing strategy. Relying on content marketing professionals is your only option if your goal is to get an adequate ROI. Today, doing content marketing is one of the preferential ways to a business’s success: ignoring it or underestimating it is anything but a wise choice.