Marketing is one sector that constantly transforms based on the recent developments in the society as a whole. And the biggest change that this sector has seen over the last couple of decades is the advent of the Internet. There is no doubt about it that the Internet and the wave of Digital Marketing that it brought along has effectively changed the Marketing industry for good.Digital Marketing is advertising done through the latest digital channels like search engines, social media, websites, email, etc. as opposed to the conventional marketing that targeted the audience through newspapers, billboards, radio, flyers, TV etc. An important aspect of Digital marketing is Content Marketing that specifically deals with the creation of content to be shared online such as videos, blogs, social media posts, etc. that provides the consumer all the relevant information about the products or services in question.
Content Marketing has altered the very basic tenet of Marketing, which cannot possibly be better phrased than this:
“Traditional marketing talks at people. Content marketing talks with them.” – Doug Kessler, Creative Director. Tweet
This basically means that with Content Marketing is crucial in creating a favorable online presence for your company, so that your customers see you as an expert in your field who is here to offer them the best customer experience, together with quality products and services, and all the information that they need to make an informed choice. Meaning that there is a huge scope of building good customer relationships to ultimately enhance your company’s revenue.
If you are wondering how to excel at Content Marketing, well the easiest way is to start off by taking a few leaves out of the books of the best. And once you have got the hang of it, you can begin to use your own innovative ideas to delight your customers. If you hit it right, you can potentially take your company to new heights.
So, let’s have a look at some of the companies that were quick and creative enough to take the first mover’s advantage and change their businesses for the better by using Content Marketing.
HubSpot is a top software products developer and marketer for inbound marketing and sales. Given that their business operations essentially has to with Inbound Marketing, which is an intricate part of Content Marketing, we just have to begin our discussion with HubSpot. The HubSpot was founded in 2006 by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah.
One look at their trajectory of the last decade brings forth two areas in which they have tirelessly worked to excel.
Blog Posts – The have simply worked on sharing as much information as they can. Their blog posts offer an in-depth understanding of all the Inbound Marketing related Information that visitors come looking for. They regularly upgrade their posts with ebooks, which add authenticity to the content they offer.
Free Online Tools – Yes, HubSpot goes a step further and offers free online tools that give you a demo of how to employ content marketing in a way that turns site visitors into paying customers. Their free online tools include services like Lead Flows, Integrations, Contacts Database, Kickback Emails, etc.
LinkedIn is the most popular professional networking website today. Since its launch in May, 2003, it has systematically managed to provide the best business and employment-oriented services. Here are the two things that they have done right, which have contributed to bringing their business to the position that it enjoys today.
Ebooks and Guides – The best way to make sure that your prospective customers know how to use your website to their advantage, is to tell them how to do so. LinkedIn has picked up on this simple rule and has provided its eBook describing in detail how an individual can take up a marketing approach with LinkedIn to be able to use it in the most effective manner possible. And they have followed it up with more marketing guides. These endeavors go a long way in making the customers realizes that the company cares for them and is taking steps to educate them.
Connectivity Tools – LinkedIn has generated its own value tools like the Sales Navigator and the TeamLink. These tools make it incredibly easy way to connect with other LinkedIn users. The Sales Navigator Tool for instance, helps the sales professionals to find and establish relationships with prospective customers through social selling. The TeamLink, on the other hand, reveals connection pathways and highlights commonalities like same educational institutions or previous employers, basically anything that might work as a conversation starter. These tools make their website and application extremely user friendly and beneficial for the customers.
A successful case-study: Coca-Cola
In comparison to the previous examples Coca-Cola is the great grandparent who is somehow more tech-savvy than you are. Coca-Cola’s seniority in the market definitely gives it an edge over others and the way it has adapted to the changing social dynamic by incorporating content marketing in a unique way, is really impressive. They have worked on the social aspect of Content Marketing and have therefore, managed to win their customers in a way other companies have failed.
Some of the out of the box content marketing strategy employed by Coca-Cola are:
Liquid-Linked Ideas – Coca-Cola as an enterprise is fulfilling its social responsibility by creating ‘liquid ideas’. It basically refers to those notions and ideas that are brought to the forefront of the social conversations and left to freely float in the contemporary mindset. This gives the customers the space to engage with the company on a personal level and together make the world a better place to live in. Linked Ideas on the other hand, simply means that all content that is created by the company is essentially centered on the core brand story and experience. So, that the customers can associate Coca-Cola with the ideas that they are talking about, which in the long strengthens the relationship between the brand and its consumers.
Customer Storytelling – In a commendable feat of bringing the customer experience to the front and making it an important aspect of company values and policy decisions, Coca-Cola once again sets high standards. Through their Liquid Ideas they give the customers the language and a medium to talk about and engage with the issues that matter to them. Customer stories are an important, and often neglected aspect of the Content Marketing. Customers generally perceive user-created content as more authentic than the company’s content, as it comes as an honest expression by the customer which represents a deeper relationship between the two.
So, what have we learned from the examples of these companies that have completely changed their business with Content Marketing?
Content Marketing has shifted the focus from the traditionally aggressive selling of a product or a service to the providing of detailed, reliable information to the visitors that helps the make the right decision for them as customers. The endgame is to establish a strong relationship with the visitors and customers through nurturing them and making their experience with your company the best that you can possibly muster. And the best way to do this is by providing eBooks, Guides, Blog posts, System Tools, on your website.
Satisfying visitors is of paramount importance to make sure that at a time when information is available left, right and center, they still choose to come to you for information. When losing leads somewhere in their buyer’s journey is possible, make your brand irresistible for them giving equal importance to the quality of your products and services and the customer experience that you offer.
But the most important thing of all is to synchronize the company goals and increased ROI with social development. Content Marketing is about the creative use of language, and language always comes with ideas and ideologies. Harnessing the potential of language is of key significance when it comes to succeeding in the market using Content Marketing strategies.