Business Growth 101: Using Content Marketing to Generate Leads
Content marketing has become an increasingly important part of building a new brand or growing an established brand. When it’s done properly and backed by a solid strategy, it can serve multiple purposes for any organization.
To define the concept of content marketing, it’s an article, a video, a blog post – any piece of content – that is informative and helpful to that brand’s target audience. Content marketing has become a pillar of any sound marketing strategy since so many transactions are started, and completed, online.
The internet has provided brands with countless ways to get their message in front of consumers. Now, it’s almost become table stakes for brands to have established some sort of content marketing strategy to lead their audience and potential customers through the marketing funnel.
The Benefits of Content Marketing
A solid content marketing strategy can serve many different purposes for any organization. It can:
- Introduce your brand and its products or services to potential clients
- Help establish your brand as a subject matter expert (SME) in your industry or niche
- Differentiate your brand from your competitors
These can all be rolled up into what we’ve come to know as the Awareness stage of the marketing funnel. You’re spreading the word about your brand, what it is, what it does, and how it benefits your audience.
Content Marketing Tactics and Platforms
In an era when a great deal of consumers are conducting their upfront research and purchases online, there’s a tremendous amount of potential to position content marketing where your audience can consume it.
Blog & Vlog Posts
While these certainly aren’t a new method of content marketing, blog posts remain effective and impactful today. A good blog post can establish your brand as a subject matter expert while incorporating many of the other tactics here – audio, video, and imagery.
What’s fairly new and developing in blogging is platforms being designed and monetized specifically for this purpose.
If something can still be considered “emerging” after a handful of years, then video content is still emerging.
One reason that it’s still an emerging – and effective – tactic is that it’s really difficult to do well. And though many brands have tried this tactic, few have made it into an ongoing and effective means of content marketing.
Producing an effective and impactful video requires elements of photography, cinematography, on camera-presence(s), some audio and lighting know-how, and experience editing this altogether to tell the right story.
On the other hand, it’s easier than ever to produce video content. Nearly any mobile device manufactured in the last few years is capable of producing high quality video with the right person behind it.
For many brands, this should be a focus of your content marketing strategy. The ability to find and define audiences and then track results in near real-time has added so many new dimensions to the world of content marketing.
This, like each other’s tactic here, takes some experience and some know-how. Different social media platforms have different capabilities, audiences, and opportunities.
Without going into detail for each of the most popular at the moment, it’s important to understand each and their capabilities, limitations, and audiences before committing any part of your content marketing strategy to any specific platform.
A Content Marketing Strategy
Like anything else in the marketing world, it’s important to define an audience and, ultimately, a strategy, in order to get the best bang for your marketing buck.
Examine your current audience and determine your potential audience. Narrowing down your audience based on location, demographics, and interests will have an incredible impact on your results.
Likewise, define your tactics and platforms as part of your strategy. Your brand and its message cannot be everywhere all the time – at least effectively – so determine where you want your content to live and what type of content is most effective for your target audience.
Doing a few things really well will yield much greater results than doing everything poorly.
A solid content marketing strategy can introduce your brand to new audiences or expand relationships with existing audiences. The right strategy executed properly is sure to pay dividends for years to come.