The growth of social networks and mobile Internet has changed communication - the old patterns of relationships between business and consumers have changed. Consumers now publish reviews and share their opinions about the product, thereby having the ability to control the information received, as well as to avoid advertising messages. Many companies whose goals were to talk about their products and build long-term relationships were forced to change their channels of promotion and communication. Content marketing became a new method, involving the creation and distribution of useful content for existing and future customers.
Content marketing is aimed at creating and disseminating content useful to the audience in order to increase its loyalty, gain trust, and turn into clients. In other words, a distinctive feature of this method is the transition from a push communication strategy, when advertising is hard-sold to a consumer, regardless of his desires and interests, to pull communication, when the consumer himself manifest interest, and the seller at this moment provides him with such information about the product or service that makes the consumer more informed and interested.
Today, analysts are talking about the explosive growth of content marketing. Although the core goal in application of this tool is to increase sales, still, instead of active sales, it helps potential customers to obtain the necessary information, thus contributing to shaping a positive image of the company as an expert in a certain field.
According to studies, the "list" of main goals of using this method includes brand awareness, lead generation, customer involvement in communication, growth of sales.
Especially, this method is popular in areas where purchase decisions are not made spontaneously and require a lot of information to make a purchase decision. At the same time, consumers prefer non-promotional materials. Therefore, the content, as a rule, is not dedicated to the goods and services themselves, but to topics that are of interest to the target audience or in which the company has experience and expertise. The simplest and most common form of content marketing is the company's blog. This can be a separate section on the company's website, a page on social networks, a separate website, or any other platform, depending on whom the content is aimed at.
Despite the fact that content marketing exists in traditional formats (for example, magazines and brochures), namely digital environment popularized this term, and it began to denote content in digital format predominantly.
The content marketing method is used at all stages of the customer journey, but still most often at the stage of attraction. In the subsequent stages, the content is used to convince the client to choose a specific product, to familiarize him with the advantages compared to other products, and also to help him use it correctly after the purchase.
The strategy for applying this method is developed in the same way as for any other promotion technique, starting with determining the target audience and identifying its main interests and problems. However, this method requires the construction of a long-term development plan, with a description of topics, formats, channels, and tools, since content marketing does not work as a one-time advertising campaign, but implies continuous related communication on a given topic.
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