Using content marketing to nurture leads
Content marketing is an industry response to the way consumers have changed their buying habits. Most proponents of content marketing, and inbound marketing in general, feel that sales people are becoming obsolete due to the abundance of product information available to the consumer online today. Technology advancements in on demand television programming, satellite radio, blogs and other forms of online news sources, are also impacting the effectiveness of traditional marketing. It has been said that 60% of purchase decisions are made before the customer even enters the store. Business to business sales are experiencing a similar trend, corporate buyers are rarely need the sales person to explain the difference between products and services, most of that information is available online.
For every action there is a reaction. The marketing world is responding to this shift in knowledge by engaging the customer online and in their email inbox. Offering free samplings, and optimizing their websites and blogs so search engines push their information to the top of the pile. New technology is giving marketers more personal information about the consumer, so marketers can personalize their message to the buyer through special “perfect for you” offers.
Content marketing looks at the buying process from the consumers perspective, it is customer-centric. Traditional marketing is marketer-centric, the marketer uses cold-calling, email (spam) and interruptive ads to push their message on the consumer. Content marketers guide the consumer through the stages of their “buying journey” in hopes that the they will build enough trust that the consumer buys their products.
Content is about creating marketing that people love. If the marketer offers valuable content that contributes to the buyers journey. The buyer will offer the marketer their valuable time and attention. Content marketing is designed to turn strangers into promoters for your brand, promoters then introduce you to more strangers and the cycle continues.
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