In 1895, the first edition of the well-known informational magazine, The Furrow, was published. John Deere created and distributed this resourceful agricultural magazine and after several decades, it had reached millions of people. Other companies such as P&G and Michelin quickly followed suit after seeing its success. Thanks to the Internet, companies today don’t have to rely on time and print magazines to reach their customers. If you’re not familiar with content marketing, here’s the breakdown:
“Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”*
Content marketing changed the relationship between consumers and businesses by giving the consumer more information and resources in the beginning stages of the buyer journey.
Before the Internet and e-commerce made its big debut, consumers would reach out to businesses to learn about their product or service. Now, consumers are doing their own research before contacting companies. Consider this statistic:
“On average, business-to-business customers are nearly 60 percent of the way through the purchase decision before engaging a sales representative.”**
While the decision-making process is in the hands of the consumer, that doesn’t mean companies can’t play an important role! Your company should be an invaluable resource to the consumer by offering free, relevant resources that aid them during the research process. This will benefit your company in several ways:
- It gets you involved in the buyer’s journey in its beginning stages.
- It provides an avenue for you to attain their contact information.
- It creates a trustworthy relationship between you and the consumer.
There are several different information-gathering resources that you can create and distribute to your consumers. Take a look:
An eBook is an electronic book that people can access or read on their computer. Most eBooks are 30-40 pages but are not content heavy. eBooks boast a beautiful design complete with charts, graphs, and the like. They are easy to read, easy to digest, and can be downloaded for future use. (Consider this example.)
Unlike eBooks, whitepapers aren’t design-heavy. This resource gives the consumer the facts in a very streamlined fashion. It could simply be a word document filled with research information that is downloadable.
One-pagers intertwine content with graphs and statistics. While creating a one-pager, you can start with content to introduce your resource, then add graphs and statistics to spark their interest and hold their attention. For the consumer to read the rest of the document, you can request their email address then send the one-pager to their inbox.
Your website’s landing pages should host these information-gathering resources so that if any consumer is exploring your website, they will see these resources easily and be intrigued to download them. This serves as another information-gathering resource, as you can request contact information from the consumer to enable downloading!
How to Become a Resource for the Consumer
So, what does this process look like? How do you become an invaluable resource to your consumers? Follow these steps:
- Determine which area of research you can adequately provide valuable resources.
- Write, design, and create the resource.
- Make that resource available online.
- Create a workflow so when your consumer downloads your resource, you will gain their contact information for future use.
- Promote the resource. (Why not, right?! You’ve put so much hard work into it!)
How M&R Marketing Can Help
Do you need assistance making a content marketing strategy, writing and designing the work, or creating a PPC campaign? The M&R Marketing team can help you with all aspects of content marketing. From helping you determine which area of research you should focus on to promoting your resource, our team will spend countless hours helping you step into this important role!
Do you have questions about our content marketing services? Give us a call at 478-621-4491, and for more helpful tips, make sure you sign up for our eNewsletter!
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*The Content Marketing Institute
**Buyer Personas by Adele Revella