Did you know that about one company in five (20%) does business every day without a marketing strategy for their content? If you add the 50% that have some form of strategy, but without documentation and strict guidelines, you’ll understand that 70% of business owners and managers attempting to make money online have no strategy or a general idea of what content is and what it should do for them.
This means that of 10 companies presenting their goods and services to potential customers online, only three have the documentation, the guidelines, and the quality control necessary to create and use web content that works. The question is, does having a carefully crafted strategy for content and the roadmap to use it make a difference in the level of success for those who do?
The quick answer is, yes, it does improve the chances of reaching more customers who will buy what you’re selling. It’s essential to work with the roadmap concept if you don’t have a content marketing strategy. Don’t take off on this important journey without guidelines and the vehicle you need to arrive safely. Of course, some entrepreneurs have been able to reach a comfortable level of success using the method called “wandering around.” But, that’s not efficient, and it can be a frustrating way to work.
A Few Good Examples
Devote a few minutes to the content in this infographic from Autodoc, for example. If you’re not familiar with the requirements of good content, you may not recognize the concentrated information in three lines at the top, and the clearly stated benefits of having good brakes. The strategy is well developed and addresses the needs and fears of vehicle owners. And, it works.
At a global level, the obvious marketing strategy of soft-drink manufacturers can be summarized in one word – personalized. Attaching a specific name to drinks sold in bottles, by the millions, was a stroke of genius in advertising content. Other soft-drink corporations used similar strategies by telling potential customers their product was for a certain generation or targeting younger individuals who were physically active. They most certainly tested, documented, and measured with every one of these efforts.
Two more examples of content marketing done correctly use two key elements to draw in and hold their loyal customers. One camera company took the digital evolution of single-lens reflex cameras beyond the technology and the “bells and whistles” other companies were selling. Their carefully created and well-documented content strategy focused on the visual quality of the pictures their camera produced.
Another company, in a slightly different industry, built their success in appealing to the emotions of the shopper, engaging them with interactive content. Human beings are, after all, visual and emotional animals who appreciate being included in whatever activity you have to offer. If you don’t want to put all of your marketing eggs in the visual or interactive basket, you can certainly achieve a comfortable combination of graphics and engaging text.
Wrapping up the discussion in a few words; it’s necessary to mention a few key ideas that have applied to marketing and advertising for decades. First, you must have clearly defined goals for your content marketing plan. Don’t stop with a written plan about making more people aware of your brand. You must also achieve credibility. That comes with accurate and useful content.