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What Is Content Marketing? Everything You Need to Know

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What is content marketing?

The market is shifting, and content marketing is the answer.

No longer do buyers reach out to vendors at the beginning of their search — they do their research online and typically only contact businesses when they're almost ready to buy. In fact, by the time a customer reaches you, they're likely 60 – 90% through the buyer's journey and are proactively reaching out the business that best suits their needs.

It's now a buyer-driven market and companies need to adjust their strategy in order to get in front of the buyer earlier in the cycle when they begin their research. This can be done through content marketing.

If this is the first time you've heard the phrase, you may be asking "what is content marketing?" This is the question we're going to answer today and provide you with everything you need to know to successfully implement a content marketing strategy and reach consumers earlier in the buyers' journey.

Essentially content marketing is an inbound marketing strategy that is a way to get in front of potential buyers by providing them with useful content that will help them in their journey to find the right solution for them — namely, yours. With a content marketing strategy, you want to use your industry knowledge to generate appealing content that potential buyers will use as part of their research. This content needs to be engaging, relevant, and informative in order to generate a powerful and useful connection with the buyer, which would make them see you as the trusted industry leader that they would be comfortable purchasing from. An effective content marketing strategy will help increase your brand awareness, include brand preference, and help you reach more leads at a lower cost.

What content marketing strategy is right for me?

Content in this case is not limited to blogs and articles, although they are among some of the top content types for content marketing, but also social media, videos, whitepapers, and webinars. Content marketing encompasses any channel or method through which you can distribute and share knowledge. The type of content you choose to use greatly depends on your target audience.

Most companies find a blog and a strong social media presence a great place to start. Use the blog to post the content and share it on social media to gain more traction. As your strategy evolves, you may find that incorporating a download aspect may help you gain more leads because typically readers would have to provide you with some information in order to access a specific download. This would directly provide your sales team with leads so they can proactively reach out to buyers earlier in the cycle.

No matter your decided tactics, channels, or amount of content, your strategy should have one main goal: convert leads. Do this by getting your informative content in front of them with the option to contact you for further assistance, free quote, etc. It's important that you always have a way for readers to contact you so your salespeople can reach out to them directly.

How do I get started with content marketing?

If you're ready to start getting in front of your potential leads earlier in the sales cycle by providing them with content to help them make an informed decision while also establishing yourself as an industry leader, then that means two things: you know the answer to "what is content marketing", and you're ready to implement your content marketing strategy.

Take the first steps by creating a blog with simple, informative posts that provide industry knowledge — and don't forget to include a way for readers to contact you! Try sharing your articles on social media in order to gain more exposure.

As you focus on your content, you also need to establish how it'll be shared. As mentioned, social media is a great place to start. If you have an existing pipeline of potential leads, you could also share the content with them through an email drip campaign or newsletter to help them in their buying process.

SimplyCast has a suite of tools to help with the sharing and tracking of content in your content marketing strategy. Contact us today to learn how we can help bolster your content marketing campaign to take it to the next level.

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