The Content Marketing Revolution

by Matthew O'Brien on January 30, 2013

photo by cambodia4kidsorg on Flickr

Guest post by Richard Henderson – The internet has brought about massive change for many industries and businesses.  Every company these days knows the value of having a web presence, but not every business has fully come to terms with the new marketing paradigm that the online world has opened up.  To reach deep into niche markets and build real trust, credibility and customer retention, businesses need a new approach – and for many, content marketing is the key.

Content marketing, is, in essence, the creation and distribution of content that is valuable to your current and future customers.  Often, it’s entirely free, and “invitational” in nature.  It might be a Youtube video with a link to your company’s website, or an informative article with an optional newsletter signup.  The general format is:  provide free, valuable information or advice, and occasionally invite the consumer to take a “next step” that leads them to even more free value, or your services and products.

The Advantages of Content Marketing:  Trust and Credibility
Content marketing builds your trust and credibility with your potential customer.  By positioning yourself as an authority or expert on a subject, and providing free, valuable information, you become a source of value.  If your content genuinely helps customers, they’ll feel grateful to you before they’ve even opened their wallets.  They also come to see you as a trustworthy expert; from their experience of getting something valuable from your content, they’ll confidently expect to benefit even more when they buy your product or service.

Content marketing also opens up another potential trust-building avenue – that is, the opportunity for you to be transparent and honest.  Many consumers have become jaded and cynical about commercial offerings as a result of their exposure to pushy salespeople and intrusive advertising campaigns.  Content marketing can change all that – by talking openly and honestly about your product development, your internal processes or your future plans for your business, you give potential customers the chance to see your business as human, authentic and trustworthy.

Brand Loyalty and Customer Retention
Another benefit of content marketing is that it is an excellent vehicle for customer retention and brand loyalty.  Fresh content can be delivered steadily over time – new videos, articles and newsletters can be delivered at regular intervals.  When a customer is interested in your content, they will often return again and again to your Youtube channel, newsletter or blog.  This allows you to really connect with the customer over time, in a way that is impossible via traditional advertising campaigns.  By staying on their radar for weeks or months after a sale, continually offering them fresh, valuable information – you’re far more likely to turn them into a repeat customer.

Content marketing really is the “new marketing” and is definitely here to stay.  If your current and future customers could benefit at all from your knowledge and expertise, then you owe it to them to share that.  In return you can earn their trust and become one step closer to working with you.

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