How to attract prospects to your offering, build a relationship with them, and persuade them to purchase.
Content marketing is a narrative form of marketing focused on consumers' needs while telling a story. Without being a thinly disguised promotion or advertisement, its conversational, human voice gently persuades prospects and helps buyers and the public provide consumers with useful information to aid purchase decisions, improve product usage, and entertain them.
Think content marketing doesn't matter? Then, look at Man of the House, Celebrations, and Amazon to see how different companies, namely P&G, 1-800-Flowers, and Amazon, support their brands and products while driving sales.
To maximize its effectiveness, develop your marketing plans around the four pillars of content marketing: context, channels, connections, and commerce. (Here's help for keeping your content marketing on track.)
Context. Provides the basis for branding and message relevance. It draws prospects in and engages them.
Channel. Distributes messages one-to-many, one-to-one, and many-to-many.
Connections. By its nature, content marketing engages prospects, buyers, and others. Marketers' goals are to encourage engagement and build relationships over time. Of course, it's critical to respond and keep the conversation going.
Commerce. Supports sales at every step of the buying process. Content marketing effectively answers prospects' and buyers' questions about your offering in a variety of formats because they don't trust advertising.
By integrating the four pillars of content into your overall marketing, you can attract prospects to your offering, build a relationship with them, and persuade them to purchase. Used effectively with an appropriate call-to-action and unique tracking code, content marketing delivers measurable bottom line results. As a result, content metrics can be more easily tracked.
Is there anything else that you'd add to these four pillars of content marketing? Alternatively, is there anything that you'd change? If so, what would it be?
This column was originally published on January 23, 2012 on ClickZ.
Learn Digital Marketing Insights From Leading Brands!
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda, or register and attend one of the best ClickZ events yet!
Heidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies, an interactive marketing consultancy. She has over 20 years' experience helping clients increase profitability by developing innovative marketing programs to acquire and retain customers based on solid analytics. Clients include New York Times Digital, AccuWeather.com, CheapTickets, and the UJA. Additionally, Riverside Marketing Strategies has worked with numerous other online content/media companies and e-tailers.
Prior to starting Riverside Marketing Strategies, Heidi held a number of senior-level marketing positions at The Economist, the Bookspan/Doubleday Direct division of Bertelsmann, and Citibank.
Heidi is also a popular speaker on current industry topics.
Hong Kong, October 21-22
London, November 13-14
San Francisco, November 13-14
London, November 18-19
Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.
5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line
82 percent of shoppers say they would buy more items from a brand if the emails they sent were more personalized. This white paper offer five tactics that will personalize your email beyond the subject line and drive real business growth.
October 23, 2014
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT