Gone are the days when companies relied on salespeople knocking on doors and cold calling potential customers to close a deal. While these practices still exist today, marketing has shifted to strategies that are more sustainable and cost-effective in the long run.  Instead of chasing down prospects, content marketing is all about establishing thought leadership to draw people towards your brand. You want to produce content that resonates with your audience and speaks to the different stages of the buyer journey.

What is Content Marketing

Content marketing is a strategy that supports inbound digital marketing in generating quality leads, attracting website traffic, and improving brand reputation. If your business is based on inbound marketing, then content becomes the anchor for it.

You create content to take people through a journey. The buyer journey relates to acquisition. The customer journey relates to growth and expansion. You need to understand these two journeys in the context of your company and craft content that speaks to every stage of the funnel.

While there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all content marketing strategy, understanding your audience is key to success.

The right balance between informing your audience and delivering a sales pitch

In an inbound marketing context, content is really about thought leadership. It’s designed to draw people towards your brand and use you as a source of learning.

However, there is a fine line between what you give people in terms of thought leadership and connecting the dots to your products. You have to ask: Who is your audience and what matters to them? Understanding your audience is the first step.

When it comes to your content marketing strategy, the right thing to do is to choose topics that ladder back to something that you offer. You definitely don’t want to be talking about issues that don’t relate to what you’re bringing to market. That’s a conversation that you don’t want to own or be engaged in.

Customer testimonials, case studies, and success stories are all pieces of content that work really well with your audience. It’s all about giving real examples so that people can envision themselves using your solutions.

Don’t just spit out a bunch of facts. Tell stories! It’s more convincing.

Success of your content marketing strategy

You can track the page views and look at how much time people are spending on your content.

You can also measure the engagement. Are people sharing your content on social media? Are other websites referencing your content or giving you backlinks?

You can measure the number of clicks in your call-to-action or the number of people signing up for your offers after consuming your content.

Content marketing is key to inbound marketing. If you get your strategy right, your content will keep feeding your funnel. It has a long shelf life.