Here at ContentRecyclers, we geek out harder on content marketing than a Star Wars fan at Comic-Con. We recently had the pleasure to sit down with a content marketing veteran, Sandra Morgan, and in keeping with that spirit, we asked her some of our readers’ most pressing questions regarding content marketing and she responded in droves.
Here’s how that exchange panned out.
On the subject of the importance of content marketing
CR – Let’s break the ice on this subject by shooting the breeze about the one question we get asked the most. Why are businesses meditating on content marketing?
Sandra – Straight to the point, I see. Well, according to me, more and more companies are working over content marketing because it’s the most competent medium for them to provide truly useful and relevant information to their prospects and customers that will help them address critical challenges.
CR – But why content marketing in particular? Traditional marketing can do that as well, can’t it?
Sandra – No way, no! Content marketing includes all sorts of things like informative articles, e-books, videos, and webinars that answer specific questions people have; things that standard marketing platforms don’t have. Sure, they have sales collateral and other product-specific material, but that just doesn’t cut it for their audience.
Content marketing can help business owners become a trustworthy, authoritative reserve on subjects that matter to their prospective customers. With this, their business is more likely to get discovered by the right market and win their loyalty and trust, which, in turn, can enable their brand to fortify their customer relationships, grow an active and engaged subscriber base, and even maximize their profits. What I mean is that traditional marketing approaches don’t have the sauce to deliver anything close to what an effective content marketing game plan can.
CR – We’re pretty sure our readers won’t be crying out for any further convincing after that answer. Do you normally have to explain the difference between traditional marketing and content marketing, and the importance of content marketing to other businesses in order to bring them round to the idea of content marketing?
Sandra – Um… Every so often, business owners don’t want to know the fundamentals of content marketing. They are more interested in knowing whether it’s a more fruitful approach than direct marketing, like a sales pitch. Accordingly, I have to understand that and present content marketing in terms of what it can address for their individual needs. It’s exhausting, but it’s the only way a viable content marketing strategy is designed.
CR – And that works?
Sandra – It does. But, every now and then, it’s needed that I support what I’m trying to say by pointing to the success other businesses like theirs have arrived at through content marketing. You know, real-life examples make for a stronger line of reasoning than theories and assumptions.
On the subject of bringing in the right audience
CR – We agree with you. Let’s move on. Another common question our readers ask is how does content marketing help businesses bring in more leads?
Sandra – Isn’t that precisely what “compelling” content means? If a business provides content that’s genuinely valuable, acknowledges their questions, or attends to their needs in other ways, I don’t think anyone in the target audience would not want to associate with that business.
CR – Do you think acquiring new leads is the main aim of any business?
Sandra – What I think is that while most people talk about leads, business owners should put more faith in the power of the subscribers. Let me explain. A lead is someone who discloses some information in exchange for something of value – a piece of content, in this typical case. A lead isn’t an absolute gauge of interest in constant communication with a business — as a matter of fact; a lead may not even have a keen interest in their products or services the least bit. But then, a subscriber is someone who signs up to receive frequent communication because they believe the business has something worthwhile to offer them. In other words, they sign up in anticipation of the value they expect to receive in the future.
CR – So, you are saying that subscribers are more valuable than leads?
Sandra – Not quite so! Subscribers are more committed but leads are positively more valuable as they are more likely to buy if properly nurtured over a longer time.
CR – Okay. So, in your opinion, what’s the best way to win over leads with content?
Sandra – I have seen that businesses find the most success with their content by choosing one specific target audience to focus on and a platform for publishing content, maybe a blog or video series, and publishing content consistently for a long time.
CR – How does this strategy work?
Sandra – It’s elementary. If a business is only focused on one content type before branching out, it will keep them from overextending themselves before they really realize the needs of their audience.
On the subject of measuring success
CR – After all the effort, time and money invested in a campaign, how can one measure how it’s performing?
Sandra – In my opinion, before you can gauge how well your content is performing, you need to define what success actually means for you. There are only a few key performance indicators in content that show whether the efforts are moving the needle in the right direction.
CR – But there has to be a standard scale, right?
Sandra – There is. If someone is really uncertain, I suggest tracking subscribers and measuring how their behavior differs from non-subscribers. For instance, do subscribers spend more money on certain products or services? Are they more likely to advocate on behalf of your brand? This is, in my opinion, a standard approach to measure your content success regardless of what success means for you or what you define your long-term goals are.
There you have it!
This interview is designed to give our audience insights and different perspectives on content marketing. Hope, it gave you, our readers, something to take away.