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Understanding Content Marketing: Quickly and Easily

Dante Cook
Strategic Enterprise Sales

This post will help you understand the basics of Content Marketing.  It isn't rocket science.  Here are some quick stats to kick us off. 

Quick Stats

  • 70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles over ads (Content+

  • 86% of people skip TV commercials; 44% of direct mail is never opened; 91% of email users have unsubscribed from a company email they previously opted into (Infographic from Hubspot

Content Marketing has become a major point of focus for marketers because the customer now controls the buying process. The days of generating a consitent and predictable amount of sales by the sheer number of advertisments you push to customers is over.  The effectiveness of that strategy is now being limited by DVR, web browser pop-up blockers and that little close X in the corner of your latest banner ad. Your brand is now judged on how engaging and relevant someone's last interaction was with you on Facebook, your Twitter Account or by how helpful your last email they opened was. The main goal is to have true 1 on 1 engaging interactions with potential consumers of your product or service. Companies must now be able deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time to influence purchasing behavior. 

Accomplishing this isn't rocket science.  It's simple and attainable.  In order to deliver relevant and timely content companies must understand these things:

  1. You must have a plan. You can't be generating content randomly.  You should have some sort of editorial calendar to help you map how much content is being produced, when that content is being published and ultimately through which channels.  

  2. You must be targeting a specific person with your message.  This is called creating marketing personas.  Understandid who you are trying to reach is half the battle.  Here is a good article on understanding personas Customer Persona Essentials: How to Make Your Content Connect.

  3. You must be able to analyze your marketing efforts.  You cannot improve what you don't measure.  There must be some sort of content analytics system in place to measure your marketing efforts.  A powerful tool is Google Analytics and a tool like this can help you understand what works and what doesn't so you can tweak and modify your efforts to maximize your ROI.  

  4. You must be engaging potential customers all the way through the Customer Engagement Cycle.   There are 5 stages in the Customer Engagement Cycle and they go in order from:

  • The Awareness Stage

  • The Consideration Stage

  • The Inquiry Stage

  • The Purchase Stage

  • The Retention Stage

Once you begin to understand these basic elements of Content Marketing you are well on your way to having a great content marketing strategy. You can find out a lot more useful information about "content marketing" through great blogs like Moz, ExactTargetBlogConvinceandConvertCMI and of course ours.  Learning how to engage your consumer will be important to understand as the buyer's preferences continue to evolve.  

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