If we had a pound for every time someone asked us this – well, we could keep the whole of Greater Manchester topped up with Calippo’s for life (sorry it’s the hottest day of the year and we are already on our second box of ice lolly’s – so if you are reading this in December, stop moaning about how cold it is.)
But in all seriousness – this question comes up A LOT. Content Marketing is often one of the most overlooked and undervalued channels in most marketing strategies – but those businesses who do understand its importance – and more crucially it’s long-term power, are the ones having the last laugh.
So, what’s the point in it? Well, sit down, grab a lolly (still so bloody hot) or a hot water bottle if it's December, and we’ll tell you.
Your customers are so much more than just people who buy your products – so that makes you so much more than just the provider of those products. And we hate to break it to you, but there’s a good chance other people sell similar products to you too – so what is going to make you stand out from the competition? It might be your prices, it might be your packaging, or it might be you – who you are as a brand, what you stand for and how you represent your customers. Consumers are making more considered choices everyday - choices that are driven not by price, but about a brands ethos and stance on key topics like sustainability and diversity.
There is a reason ‘brand loyalty’ is a thing. There is a reason people opt for more expensive but ‘trusted’ products over cheaper, unknown alternatives – because those brand they are have an infinity with ‘speak to them’. They speak to who they are as a consumer, how they feel, what their fears are etc. So, find your voice, speak to your audience, be more than just the products you sell – be a source of knowledge, or comfort, or even fun – but be more than just the stuff you sell.
This is our usual response to the question ‘What’s the point in content marketing’, and the answer is never ‘No’. So, at that point we have won half the battle with clients who don’t get the main objective of content marketing – to stay front of mind.
Unless you provide a product or service that becomes obsolete the second it is used and is used on such a scale that people must buy it every single day to survive – then there are going to be times in your product life cycle when people are not buying, and you are potentially not selling. So, what are you going to do instead? Shut up shop? Course not.
Content marketing is about staying front of mind so that when people are ready to buy again, they remember to come to you. Content marketing is about keeping people in the loop as to WHY they should choose you when the time is right.
The other main string to the content marketing bow other than staying front of mind – is content marketing gives you an opportunity to educate new consumers without the hard sell.
Want to know why it’s important to cleanse and tone your face twice a day? There is a content marketing angle for that – oh, and you happen to also sell cosmetics to cleanse and tone my face once I understand the importance? How convenient! Let's go to the check out.
Not everyone is at the ‘decision making stage’ of the sales funnel – some people are in the research phase, the learning phase, the, ‘what the hell is this new thing I just found and want to know more about before I buy’ phase. So speak to these people – they are your pipeline.
You have a duty to have and maintain a long-term relationship with your customers. Like in real life, it can’t be all one way – you can’t take take take and never give back – or the relationship will break down. And before you ask, no, incentives to buy more are not enough. You must talk to your consumer – understand them, learn what makes them love you and then do more of that stuff.
And more importantly – they must get to know you. If they are about to sign their consumer life away to being committed to your brand, and your products, then they need to know who they are getting into metaphorical bed with. So check in on them, tell them things they will find interesting or that they will like, don’t just ask them to buy from you then disappear until you need them to buy more. No one likes a user.
Not given your content strategy any thought, or still not convinced it’s important? Get in touch and let us convince you otherwise.