Content Marketing Connects Your Audience to Your Brand
by Amber Chmielewski
Imagine you're a member of a company who provides a product that many people would find useful. You know that the product is helpful. It solves some type of problem many people face. You know your product is reasonably priced, especially when you consider the value it provides customers. And yet, your product is not being purchased. What gives?
Perhaps the final piece to your puzzle is to build a pathway for your ideal customer to find your product. While there's not a GPS add-on that allows you to plug in your problems and find the potential solutions, the internet comes pretty darn close. Individuals ask the internet questions all day long. At the time I'm writing this, Google has received over 2.5 billion queries today - and it's not even lunchtime.
Now, you might be thinking, "That's great, but what does it have to do with content marketing?"
I'm glad you (hypothetically) asked. Content marketing is a way to provide stepping stones that bring your customer to your website and product offerings. Here's how HubSpot defines content marketing:
Content marketing is a strategic marketing and business process focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience, and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Sounds pretty great, huh? Let's break down this definition and see how content marketing works.
Create and Distribute Valuable, Relevant, and Consistent Content
One of the first hurdles of content strategy is deciding what type of content to create. Content is the message your content marketing strategy delivers, and it can take many forms, including blogs, emails, website copy, and social media messages. When you are strategic about what you create and how you deliver it to your audience, the content leads your audience toward becoming a customer.
Keeping your content consistent has multiple implications. Your messaging should remain consistent, meaning different components of your content strategy should work with each other, and the different pieces of content should not contradict each other. They should all be part of a larger conversation toward a common end. Consistency also has to do with things like voice, style, and tone. While individual authorship allows for slight differences, your brand's particular voice, style, and tone should form an umbrella over each individual author to provide a consistent message to your audience.
Attract and Retain a Clearly Defined Audience
Determining what content is valuable and relevant depends upon your audience. Consider what they value, what problems they have, and how you can inform and educate them. This foundation will allow you to uncover how to best help your audience.
In order to create content that is valuable and relevant to your audience, it's vital to understand who your audience is. After all, without a clearly defined audience, how can you tailor your message toward them?
When you think about the product you're selling, ask who does it help? And who would buy it? Sometimes, the person the product helps and the person who buys the product are different people. For instance, if you're selling a children's product, your audience would also be the parent or guardian because they control the buying decision. As you gather relevant information about your audience, build out a buyer persona to help you narrow down who your content should speak to.
Drive Profitable Customer Action
When you're speaking to the audience you've clearly defined, and you're generating content that is valuable, relevant, and consistent, you're creating a pathway for potential customers to find and purchase your product.
One thing that's really special about building a content strategy that's focused on the needs and preferences of your ideal customer is that it builds trust. If your audience trusts you, they're more willing to do business with you. When they've established a relationship with your brand, buying your products will make them happy, and they will be more likely to continue buying from you. And content marketing is a way to build that relationship.