Archive for October, 2013
Content marketing is all the buzz, and it has changed the way we do business. An effective content marketing strategy now serves an increasingly significant role in marketing departments throughout the world. Whether you’re working to generate leads, improve search engine rankings, or boost sales efforts, content is a big deal.
Some companies, however, are missing the point. Avoid wasting your time and follow the top content marketing strategy out there – make helpful information your new sales pitch. From e-commerce to SaaS, business is no longer about the sale, it’s about customer service and education.
Why Build an Educational Content Marketing Strategy
Let’s say you’re selling light bulbs. Your prospective online customers are probably homeowners or business owners, and they’re either replacing a burned out bulb or outfitting a new building with brand new lighting fixtures. Either way, you’re trying to convince these web surfers that your light bulb web store deserves their time over any other light bulb web store. How are you going to do that?
Answer: By helping them.
When a prospective customer first discovers a new need, such as light bulbs, the final purchase is rarely the first step in solving that need. Rather, it’s usually next to last. That means the final sale cannot be the focus of your content marketing strategy. The new sales pitch is helpful information.
Google has coined the marketing term “zero moment of truth” or ZMOT to explain where in the purchasing process educational content comes into play. The ZMOT is the first step in the process – conducting initial research.
These days, most everyone goes online to find out more about a desired service or product. During this time, they’re not yet in buying mode. They’re in learning mode. Of course, the ZMOT phase in the purchasing process isn’t new, but with the growth of online stores, review websites, and social media, this phase has become incredibly more important to consumers.
According to Google (easily one of the most influential companies in the marketing industry), “Before making an online purchase decision, a customer may engage with your brand through many different media channels over several days” (The Customer Journey to Online Purchase). In marketing time, these several days can turn into eons if your content marketing strategy fails to engage potential prospects at the zero moment of truth.
However, if your content marketing strategy is based on a commitment to providing helpful information, you can win over prospects right off the bat. Which website would YOU click on when searching for “how to replace a light bulb”? Would you click the link that says “Buy Discounted Light Bulbs Here” or the one that says “How to Replace a Light Bulb”. Probably the latter, right? We’re all looking for information, and the companies that provide it are the companies that earn our attention.
How to Create Educational Marketing Content
Once you decide to build your content marketing strategy upon helpful information, the path forward is fairly clear. Consider the different reasons your customers require your services or products, determine the frequently asked questions, and then answer those questions through original, educational content.
One of the easiest ways to get your helpful information published and found online is by blogging. Your company blog can potentially become a go-to resource for information about your industry. And by attracting online consumers who are just in the “zero moment of truth” phase, you can capture their attention before anyone else, and capture their business in the long run.
For more information on developing an education-based content marketing strategy, or on any other aspect of online marketing, call Hat Trick Associates today at (314) 494-3494. This is our zero moment of truth together, and content marketing expert Jim Haynes is ready to answer your questions. Come to the next phase with us to discover the power of educational marketing content!