Not so long ago, there was only one way for business owners to reach consumers: Push Marketing. Back in those days, marketing wasn’t divided into “push” or ‘pull” because all marketing was “push” in nature.   Marketing messages were pushed at consumers using various media options.  The only pull involved in marketing in those days was by using a call to action.

 

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The rise of social media has changed all the rules of “traditional” marketing and helped to create a new genre: Content Marketing.

What is Content Marketing

Quite simply, content marketing involves creating content that a specific target audience finds useful and valuable.  By creating this kind of content on a consistent basis, consumers seek out the business.  So instead of “pushing” marketing messages at an audience, content marketing acts to “pull” consumers to your website.  An added benefit of content marketing is that it’s a great way to build trust with your target audience.  Because they’ve sought you out for the valuable information you’re sharing on your website, you position yourself to be a step ahead of the game when the consumer makes a buying decision. So if you’re engaged in making a Major Sale, then content marketing should be an essential part of your overall marketing strategy.

Four keys to content marketing success

  1. Define your target audience:
    Defining your target audience in advance makes all marketing – push and pull – more cost effective.  However, due to the nature of push marketing message distribution channels, it is not”mission critical” to tightly define your target audience.   You assume when you’re making your media buy that your television commercial is going to reach people who aren’t in your target audience.  Reaching beyond a tightly targeted audience is actually one of the big advantages to running a “traditional” old school media advertising campaign.  If you properly measure your metrics, you can use broadcast media to identify niche markets you can target with your product.
  2. Define your content marketing goals:
    If you don’t know where you’re going – any road will take you there.  Does your business need to build awareness?  Educate potential clients?  Generate leads? Build customer loyalty?  Build your brand?  Each of these is a reasonable content marketing goal, but you’ll need different types of content to achieve each one.
  3. Create useful, valuable content:
    Once you’ve defined your content marketing goals and you’ve got your target audience in the cross-hairs, then you can begin creating useful, valuable content.  Ah- there’s the rub.  The content a 31 medical resident finds useful and valuable is dramatically different than the content a 31 year old mother of four who is homeschooling her children finds useful.
  4. Make it easy to share:
    Social media can super charge a well executed content marketing campaign.  When you target a specific audience,  and create valuable content for that audience, it’s only natural for members of your target audience to want to share that valuable information with their social media network.

Consumers don’t want to be drug through the buying process by pushy sales people.  While some companies are still using hard selling, push marketing tactics the trend is to move away from such tactics.   Consumers want to do business with companies that understand them and connect with them.  This thing called the internet makes information easily accessible – and information is the root of Content Marketing.