Written by Fergus Stoddart, Commercial Director at Edge
The battle for consumers’ attention is causing new marketing battle lines to be drawn. We are moving away from disruptive one-way advertising to deeper, highly personalized, two-way relationships with customers. This evolution is being driven by the convergence of new data, CRM technology, new consumer consumption habits, social media, digital distribution and above all, content.
The upside of this evolution is rather than attracting one-off customers, content marketing can facilitate ongoing relationships that increase the likelihood of repeat business and increased sales revenues.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing isn’t the latest fad or buzz word, it is the direction marketing is heading. The underlying reason for this is because it can have a direct and ongoing impact on sales and therefore the bottom line. With increasing demands on consumer’s attention, good content that is entertaining, informative, valuable and interesting provides an effective avenue to developing a lasting customer relationships and increased repeat business.
Flow On To Monetary Opportunities
Content marketing is more than just writing a few blog posts then waiting for the engagement and sales to come. It firstly involves using data and insights to really understanding your customers, including their buying habits, behaviors and triggers.
Interpreting this information will enable you to deliver relevant, interesting and personalized content at the right time to hopefully inspire customer action. This action could be clicking through to a website, downloading a brochure, becoming a member, sharing the content or making a purchase. On average shoppers need to be exposed to 10.4 sources before buying. This is twice as much as in the past.
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In most instances it’s good to view content marketing in terms of a value chain that takes a customer from the moment of discovery through to purchase. Along this chain are many touch points for customers with aim of stimulating a different action with monetary opportunities towards the end of the chain. For this reason content marketing needs to be viewed as a long term strategy but also one that if done right, can have significant ROI pay offs.
For instance, for an alcohol retailer offering an exclusive membership for wine lovers, their value chain might look like: membership, leading to engagement, leading to offers, leading to sales, then finally repeat sales. At each step, metrics are involved to measure the success, for instance how many members, how engaged are members by the content, which offers worked best and then how much revenue was generated.
In some instances, if your content and distribution channels are attracting solid traffic and engagement, you can also think about monetising your content for additional revenue. This is of particular relevance to retailers to get the support from suppliers.
Content marketing success lies in making content customer centric and not focused on the brand. This will mean customers are more receptive to any offers or sales you promote to them, especially if they see them as highly beneficial, exclusive or convenient.
Key Tips for Developing a Content Strategy >>>
Businesses often put more focus on expanding and reaching out to new audiences. However, with customer attention now at a premium, it’s equally important to focus on retaining those customers you attract and using great content to keep them involved, interested and loyal to your brand. When this is done correctly, your bottom line will thank you for it.
Edge is a strategic content agency creating and producing custom content for brands across any channel or platform, including print, digital, gaming and broadcast. Edge has a strong heritage in quality editorial products and advertising sales, having started in 2003 as a custom magazine publisher.
Edge’s clients include Woolworths, Volkswagen, Westpac, Australia Post and Foxtel.