Being a creative entrepreneur is not easy, especially if you're new. But whether you're new and uprising or revisiting your marketing strategies, it can be helpful to brush up on the idea of content marketing. Content marketing is a contemporary marketing strategy that takes advantage of the global shift toward a more digital age. It makes traditional marketing practices, where the initiative is taken to reach out to customers and actively go toward them, take a backseat.
In this guide, you'll learn how content marketing drives sales and how to take advantage of its power to build lasting customer relationships. You'll also learn how Norby can help you plan strong content marketing strategies.
Understanding Content Marketing
Content marketing involves the creation and sharing of digital content materials that does not explicitly promote brands but intends to stimulate interest in their products or services. This strategic approach is meant to attract and retain a clearly defined audience with valuable, relevant, and brand-consistent content. This content can take various forms, such as blog posts, videos, infographics, eBooks, and more. Who knows? You might even be looking at an example of content marketing right now.
How Does Content Marketing Drive Sales?
You're probably already more than familiar with traditional advertisements, such as television commercials and video midrolls, but these strategies don't take full advantage of something that is now very much integrated into human lives — websites. How content marketing drives sales is by taking advantage of the internet with the core goal of providing information that addresses the needs and interests of your target audience.
Content marketing creates an environment for a more inbound customer-centric approach that leverages the power of content to engage, educate, and convert a business's audience into loyal customers. This is the perfect strategy for creators and small business owners to market themselves online and build a modern multichannel community or business.
But content marketing isn't a magic bullet all on its own — you also need to apply strong search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to give your content a powerful boost. Content marketing and SEO are interdependent. When used together, they form a powerful strategy for increasing online visibility, attracting organic traffic, and achieving marketing goals.
Content marketing provides the substance and relevance that search engines seek, while good SEO techniques ensure that your content is discoverable. A platform like Norby, created by and for creative entrepreneurs, can help you optimize your brand for search engine rankings.
How Does Valuable Content Play a Role?
Content marketing's strength lies in providing valuable content that will attract and engage your target audience. The trick is to focus the content on solving your audience's problems. Your content will have the most value if it answers the questions your audience has, provides them insights into solutions to challenges, and entertains them all at the same time.
Whoever is consuming your content needs to benefit from the content. Making sure that your content marketing is high-quality and well thought out will also help keep readers engaged — and potentially lead to more sales down the road.
Understanding the Sales-Content Connection
How content marketing drives sales is with its link to the buyer's journey. The buyer's journey is the path a customer takes toward making a purchase. It can be broken down into three steps:
- Awareness stage: The buyer recognizes that they have a problem.
- Consideration stage: After defining their problem, the buyer begins to consider options for a solution.
- Decision stage: The buyer weighs their options and decides on trusting a provider or making a purchase.
How Does Marketing Content Influence the Buyer's Journey?
In the consideration stage, buyers will scour the internet for information. With content marketing, you provide the information and answers they seek, which makes the buyer's journey easier. When a buyer has pain points that they want solved, your content should be an option they consider.
This will not only cultivate trust among potential customers but also increase your chances of earning long-term patrons. By creating content that addresses each stage of the buyer's journey, you guide potential leads toward choosing your brand.
You must also align your content with your sales goals. Your content should not exist in isolation — while it should be interesting and useful for readers, it also needs to complement and connect with your business goals. This is how content marketing drives sales.
Providing valuable touchpoints for customers throughout the buyer's journey, such as downloadable eBooks or links that redirect to a website, helps align your content. This makes content marketing a powerful strategy for businesses to attract prospects, build brand authority, and ultimately boost sales.
The Importance of Customer-Centric Content
There is a fundamental link between content marketing and sales. How content marketing drives sales for creators and their brands is by focusing on the customers. Putting your customers at the center of your attention helps you identify and empathize with their needs and then translate that into your content.
Your content should speak upon your customers' pain points, aspirations, preferences, and how you can improve their lives. This will aid in building trust and rapport, which are key elements for closing sales.
Creating Compelling Content
In order to see how content marketing drives sales, you need to make sure your content resonates with your audience. This is what will organically attract leads to your brand.
Identifying Your Target Audience
First, you need to know the ins and outs of your target audience, including their demographics, interests, challenges, and more. The more you understand your target audience, the more your content will resonate with them.
Developing detailed buyer personas can help you identify your audience. Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers. You can use them to pinpoint the specific needs, challenges, and problems of your audience so that you can tailor valuable content to them. Having a buyer persona is the first step toward guiding your content creation efforts.
A well thought out buyer's persona should include details like age, gender, job title, goals, challenges, preferred communication channels, and more.
Content Ideation and Planning
Content ideation is the brainstorming step of your content creation process. It's where creators put extensive thought into potential topics and ideas for their content. Effective ideation and proper planning impact how content marketing drives sales.
During ideation, you should consider your audience's needs, industry trends, and keyword research. Once you've pooled your ideas together and picked out the ones worth pursuing, create a content calendar to plan and schedule your content so that you have consistent output.
Content Types That Sell
You'll also need to decide what kinds of content you want to create. Here are some of the content types that can yield the best results for creative entrepreneurs.
A company blog will be your biggest information hub for your target audience. Blog posts are tools for sharing industry insights, answering common questions, and showcasing your expertise. They can drive organic traffic to your website and engage your audience.
Videos are probably the most popular form of content marketing. The purpose of videos is to tell a visual story and convey complex information in a digestible format. They're the most engaging form of content and will help build a personal connection with your audience.
Infographics are similar to videos in that they simplify complex ideas for an audience to easily digest. They present data and information in a visually appealing and easy-to-understand format. On top of that, infographics are easy to share online, which can boost your content's viral status.
eBooks and Whitepapers
Readers usually provide their contact information to access these forms of content, which is valuable for lead generation and nurturing. Unlike videos or inforgraphics, eBooks and whitepapers provide in-depth knowledge with comprehensive information on specific topics.
Case studies are where your audience can witness real-life success stories. They're a great option for highlighting how your product or service solved real challenges for your customers. The purpose of a case study is to offer social proof and demonstrate the practical benefits of choosing your business.
Still not sure where to start? Norby can help you better understand how to create compelling content that drives sales.
SEO and Content Optimization
To make the most of your content marketing efforts, you have to use strong SEO techniques. SEO is the practice of making your content easy to find or suggested when someone searches for related topics on the internet.
The SEO-Content Relationship
Strong SEO techniques will help your content rank higher in search engine results. When you use relevant keywords and optimize your meta tags, you enhance your content's visibility and reach larger audiences. Important SEO techniques include:
Keyword Research and Integration
Integrating keywords into your content is a good strategy for improving your content's SEO. It plays into how content marketing drives sales by suggesting your content when someone searches for a specific keyword.
You should research what terms and phrases your target audience is using in the buyer's journey. Naturally integrate these keywords into your content to improve your search engine rankings and appeal to your audience.
On-Page SEO Techniques
In order to optimize your website to rank higher in search engine results, you need to optimize each of your webpages individually. This means including optimized title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags to ensure mobile-friendliness.
In addition to producing compelling, SEO-optimized content, it's important to practice multichannel distribution, as it ensures you'll reach a broader audience. Sharing your content on various channels gives it a better chance of showing up in more searches. Luckily for you, multichannel capabilities are integrated into the Norby platform.
Among the channels you should leverage are your social media platforms. Promote your content with engaging captions and use relevant hashtags to expand your content's reach.
You can also share your content by guest posting on industry-related websites and syndicating content through platforms like Medium or LinkedIn. This not only amplifies your content's reach but also establishes your authority.
One way to measure the success of your content marketing is with key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs include metrics like website traffic, conversion rates, click-through rates, and social shares, which provide insight into the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts. Tools like Google Analytics or social media insights can help you keep tabs on your content's performance.
You should regularly analyze your content's performance so that you can further adjust your content marketing to cater to your audience. Doing so will provide better results when it comes to how content marketing drives sales. Norby has a great customer relationship management (CRM) tool to help you track and measure success.
Driving Sales With Content
You can use your content as a lead generating tool. Gated content like eBooks can serve as lead magnets. To take advantage of this, you need to offer valuable content in exchange for contact information so that you can then nurture your leads and move them through the sales funnel.
One valuable resource is educational content. Educational content that addresses common questions and objections from leads along with nurturing campaigns can guide leads toward a purchasing decision.
If you create content that addresses concerns potential customers may have, you effectively build trust and confidence in your offerings. Sales-ready content should address specific buyer needs and concerns to better support sales teams with collateral that helps close deals.
The Future of Content Marketing and Sales
A major part of how content marketing drives sales is BEING ONE OF THE FIRST. Stay ahead of the curve by exploring emerging trends and crafting your content around them. These trends can include interactive content, AI-driven personalization, voice search optimization, and more.
As the digital age evolves, so too will content marketing. You'll need to adapt your strategy to align with changing consumer preferences and technological advancements.
"Content marketing" isn't just a buzzword — it's a powerful strategy that, when executed properly, drives sales and boosts retention. It's a social experience for your audience that takes advantage of the internet's influence. It's a means to create an ongoing conversation with your audience so that you and your brand will stand out as their go-to problem solver. By creating content that's valuable, relevant, and targeted, your business can attract, engage, and convert leads into loyal customers.
Don't know where to start? Norby can help you unlock the potential of content marketing to drive sales and foster meaningful customer relationships. To experience our beginner-friendly platform, upscale your digital marketing strength, and see for yourself how content marketing drives sales, join today.