When developing a marketing mix for a new campaign, not only do we need to ensure that each channel's tactics complements the others, but they also need to stand on their own to move the prospect forward to the next step in the process.
Our marketing mix should include every available channel that makes sense for the product. We can choose from: direct marketing (including email, phone, print), search marketing, social media marketing, advertising, public relations and mobile marketing.
Different products require a different marketing mix, but no matter what channels we use, each should lead the prospect to the product website which is "brand central." It's there that we get to tell our story in detail and prove our authentic intention to help customers solve their problems.
It is our use of content that determines success or failure in this process. Successful content marketing focuses on:
- being discoverable
- building authentic relationships
- helping people solve their problems
Every part of the marketing mix should be developed with these goals in mind. Obviously we want to generate sales and build customer value, but the path to this goal requires expertise in content marketing to accomplish our objectives.
So, what does this mean as a practical matter? In order to get and keep the prospect's attention, we must give away some of our valuable content for free to demonstrate that we know what we're talking about (establishing our authority) and that our primary goal is to help them find solutions. We have to prove ourselves worthy of their attention before we have the opportunity to sell them anything.
It is the value of the content that makes content marketing successful or not, and the prospect is the one determining the value. Once a prospect becomes aware of us through one or more of the channels mentioned above, they go to their personal social networks to check us out. The goal of content marketing is to meet prospects wherever they are and engage them there with useful content that establishes intention to help them solve their problems.
Therefore, content = secret sauce.
The balance of power in the marketing and sales process has shifted to the consumer. They are the ones who initiate the sales process by determining whether our content meets their threshold of value.
The more robust and valuable our content, the more likely we are to engage the customer. The value of our products have always been the proof of success, but the process by which we get to demonstrate our value has changed.
This is why the content of our content marketing programs is the secret sauce that determines our success. It has to be of real value and helpful in a measurable way so we earn their trust.
How are your using content as your secret sauce to achieve marketing success?