The pushy salesperson is Dead. Long live Content Marketing.
There was a time when the glib-talking, pushy salesman would roll out his pitch to “convince” an unsuspecting prospect to buy their product and solutions. Travelling salespeople sold everything from home cleaning solutions to cosmetics and gardening tools.
Not so anymore. As consumers become more aware and literate, they demand and often get a leading role in their purchase decision. They must “know” everything about the product before deciding.
The pendulum has shifted from the seller to the “aware purchaser”.
So, what is content marketing, and how does it work to benefit the prospect and the brand?
As per the Content Marketing Institute:
Content marketing is the strategic marketing approach of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
It means generating and disseminating relevant information that will enrich the prospects’ awareness of the brand, what it does, and how it can enhance the user’s life with its capabilities and solutions.
More than direct selling, it is buyer empowerment.
What it does is makes every enterprise a publisher.
What kind of collaterals and media are involved in content marketing?
|Blog Posts||Your website as well as community forums and publications related to your product category|
|Videos||You can publish them on YouTube/Vimeo and embed them on your website|
|E-books||Online, downloadable books offer the user community cogent and relatable information and solutions. These can be provided on your website or through your CRM mailers to your user community and opt-in mail recipients|
|Podcasts||Audio broadcast that offers listeners valuable content|
|User-generated content||Videos, posts, and infographics produced by users and shared by the brand on their media properties|
|Case studies and White Papers||Content that explains user problems and their solutions highlights the capabilities and the power of the solutions delivered by the brand. White papers are in-depth studies and reports on a particular subject of user interest|
|Slide Decks||Presentations that share information, tips, and guidance for users|
|Webinars||Online video presentations that involve users and focus on discussions related to user interest topics. Webinars typically allow for user Questions and interactions.|
Not every company is competent to create and publish this range of content, and most brands now have digital marketing and content marketing agencies to help them develop, disseminate, popularise, and maintain their content marketing initiatives.
Content marketing represents a fundamental shift in selling/ marketing
We have now arrived at a time when the focus of marketing is not solely the brand/ product but increasingly the prospect and users. This is a tectonic shift with many consequences ranging from closer interaction between brands and users to the possibilities of co-creating products and services. In addition, it empowers “informed buying” and sustains transparency in communication with prospects.
What benefits does content marketing deliver to brands?
- It creates empowered customers and user communities that have a higher loyalty quotient
- It increases your sales and sustains your marketing
- It saves cost since it predominantly uses owned media
- It makes your content into a profit centre
So, no matter what your business- be it banking, financial services, hospitality, automobiles, fashion, lifestyle, etc., underlying all your specialised inputs, you will have to be a publisher!
No wonder there is a common agreement on the fact that today and always:
– CONTENT IS KING!