When was the last time you were overjoyed to receive a telemarketing call in the middle of a family dinner or Netflix marathon? It's safe to say that the answer is "never." Likewise, it's probably been a while since the thought of receiving yet another email solicitation or another catalog that's destined for the recycling bin puts you in the mood to buy. But we do receive them, and we do want information on many products and services as well as the companies that deliver them, to help us make an informed decision. Content marketing allows prospective buyers in the manufacturing space to get the information they need on their terms.
When manufacturing and enterprise-level businesses reach out to Cain & Company for creative marketing services in Rockford, our work as a content marketing agency is a primary draw. But what is content marketing? In short, it involves planning, generating, and publishing content that helps build credibility, reach, sales, and ultimately loyalty among your target market. What does that look like in practice?
Content marketing is a subset of inbound marketing, where your audience knows your product (or at least your segment), knows that they need something, and is eager to find out more. This is in contrast to outbound marketing, where a customer may not be aware of you or your product, and you've taken it upon yourself to make the introductions.
Put slightly differently, outbound marketing casts a net and sees what comes up; inbound marketing is the bait on the hook that draws your prospect to you.
Content marketing takes many forms. Here are some of the more common choices that are worth exploring.
If you seek the current king of the hill, video marketing has ascended to the throne. Its ubiquity stems in part from its versatility, since it's capable of communicating all the same information as other popular forms of content in a format that's engaging and instantly memorable. As a result, 87% of video marketers see increased traffic, with 80% claiming an increase in sales as a result of their efforts, according to The Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics for 2021 from HubSpot.
WordPress, the most popular blogging platform currently available, accounts for 70 million new posts per month. Equally to the point, it's a good tool for engagement, generating an average of 77 million comments per month. It's no wonder that blogging remains a key component of many companies' content strategies.
Google Images broke new ground for the search giant when it was introduced. Voice and recordings are the next frontiers. Besides getting in on the ground floor of a potential SEO gold rush, podcasting serves another function; for companies looking to build reputation and authority, a well-produced podcast is hard to beat. That's especially apparent with podcasts reaching 100 million Americans per month!
There are, of course, several other tools at your disposal. Not all of these will be used in every campaign, but it's helpful to be fluent in their use so they're ready to be deployed when needed. Your social media presence is vital in maintaining visibility and getting the word out, but there's much more in a content marketing bag of tricks:
How do you benefit from content marketing? In some ways, increased sales are just a follow-on effect. When properly executed, your content marketing strategy is the backbone of effective pay-per-click and ad retargeting. It assists with public relations because you're building and reinforcing an image that is rooted in your brand's most important values. It also helps with search engine optimization, since Google and other search engines will boost sites that have the content their readers are likely to find the most useful and engaging.
HubSpot states that 78% of companies have a team of content specialists. If the size and budget of your company do not allow for a dedicated in-house content marketing team—or if your existing marketing department could use a hand—we invite you to consult with Cain & Company to get your creative marketing services off to a good, and profitable, start!