There is a major fallacy about the consideration that content marketing and blogging are the same. Yes, blogs have a large part to play in content marketing, but they are just an element of the larger picture. In many cases, blogging is not the most beneficial and productive marketing format when used by itself. Let us take a close look at some of the characteristics involved in content marketing and why online business owners should focus more on this than only blogging.
The Three Stages
For your potential prospect to be converted into a customer, they have to go through a sales funnel, which involves three stages. First the potential customer has to be aware that they have a problem and that you are able to provide the solution. In this initial stage, a blog will be the excellent choice – to transfer that awareness with fresh and valuable content. Secondly, the prospect has to assess the choices that you have made available and the solutions provided by your competition. In this assessment stage, the prospect may not take any action until they reach to the third stage, which is the conversion phase. It is in this phase that you should get the lead first and possibly not go for the actual sales right away because it may not happen this way the first time around. When you have a lead, it moves down the sales funnel where you do follow up emails to turn a frequent lead into a purchaser.
Conversion is not possible until the prospect can understand their problem and your solution. Content is one of the ways that you can do this and not just any content, but value-added information that provides answers and a call to action. The content itself should satisfy the needs of the potential customer at every stage of the sales funnel. At the top of the sales funnel, many prospects don’t even have a clue as to what they need. You have to convince them of that with good content because it is going to be quite impossible to convince a prospect to take certain course of action without knowing the facts.
Content has to be freely available to the prospect and this can start with a blog post, but marketing is a viable tool to draw in the prospect to reading your blog post. You should write content that educates, inspires or entertains (or a combination). In addition to blog posts, you should make the content available through other marketing loopholes such as:
- Social media statuses
- Squeeze pages with forms to capture email addresses for follow up
Use the most prominent social media channels such as:
In summary, the prospect will have to get access to good content on every phase to widen their awareness, give enough information to do an assessment and at the end to convert from prospect to either a lead or a buyer.