Content Marketing-Building Long Term Customer Relations
Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 1037
, Published on 19 February 2015
Gone are the days where a business could rely only on traditional “hard sell” tactics to woo customers. In this age of fierce competition, increasing disposable incomes and birth of new brands and products every passing day, it is hard to attract customers, let alone keep them loyal to your brand in the first place.
Traditional marketing can really boost sales but does not really create brand association unless the product or service is really good, especially when there are so many substitutes present in the market for everything. Customers like to be informed and not persuaded. This is exactly where content marketing comes into play.
While traditional marketing focuses on pushing their products or services, the essence of content marketing lies in pulling and engaging the customers. Content can be anything from blog articles, info graphics, and podcasts to videos, webinars, seminars etc.
Content marketing is not about catching eyeballs, it is about building a long term relationship with the customers.
In that sense content marketing can be compared to a good novel -
• It draws attention by giving the customer something he needs
• Tells an in-depth story by delivering content that is somehow related to the customer’s life
• Establishes a connection with the customer
• Focuses on long term relationship and brand loyalty
Content marketing is not advertising. But still many companies treat it like an ad campaign. It is not a tool for increasing short term ROI. On the contrary, content marketing is a sustained effort. It does not serve the purpose of immediate conversion of leads and treating it as an ad campaign can be detrimental for the brand. Content marketing with its long term outlook towards brand association seeks to cultivate a positive image of the brand in the minds of the target audience. This long term association in turn leads to your existing customers turning into your brand advocates. Brand advocacy in terms of word of mouth marketing, tweets, likes and shares goes a long way in establishing brand credibility and top of the mind recall.
Due to the long lasting effects of content marketing it is imperative to have a planned approach to this initiative.
• Identify who are the beneficiaries and stakeholders in your content marketing initiative
• Ensure proper identification of your target audience
• Check whether this target audience will help you/ your business meet its long term objectives
• What are the results and takeaways that you/ your business are expecting from this content marketing initiative?
• Are these objectives in-line with your long term goals?
• Is this content marketing strategy sustainable keeping in mind these objectives?
• How are you going to ensure that the initiative meets the desired results?
• Which medium/ media will serve you/ your business in the best possible manner?
• Will a strategy involving a collection of some these media suit you/ your business better?
This approach will not only make the content marketing strategy systematic but also divide the entire exercise into measurable collection of objectives that your strategy needs to address, thereby giving you a clearer frame of mind and a more holistic thought process. This approach also provides a definitive roadmap and will allow you to continuously revise, refine and re-tune your content marketing strategy, thus making it more comprehensive.
Content Marketing essentials:
• Biggest pain points are creation of content and maximizing its value
• It is a long term commitment and may not yield dividends in the short run
• It requires continuous engagement and will not succeed with a stop – start approach
• Ensure regular content creation with clear deadlines
• Deliver content that align with your business’ core values, mission and vision
Content marketing plays a major role in internal communication as well. Company magazines, newsletters, intranet can be used as channels to deliver content that bring value to the employees. Useful content can help employees not only professionally but also personally. It can also be employed as a sound medium for employee engagement and can be used to communicate the core values of the company. Transparency can breed trust in an organization and content marketing is an effective way to do so.
This article has been authored by authored by Varun Chhabra , Parashar Dutta, Payal Singh from T.A. Pai Management Institute (TAPMI)