Marketing has changed over the past decade. It hasn’t changed because marketers got bored with traditional marketing strategies, like cold calls to prospective customers, or direct mail or print ads. Marketing has changed because consumers have changed. Bombarded for years with advertisements that have now infiltrated the digital space as well, they’ve become less trusting and more skeptical. And CBD content marketing is not new but it has drastically changed.
And because consumers have changed, the old (outbound marketing) strategies don’t work as well as they used to. More than 90% of consumers now fast forward through television commercials, and more than 200 million Americans have registered on do-not-call lists to escape the harassment from telemarketers. Companies that still rely on those strategies are losing a lot of business.
That doesn’t mean consumers have stopped buying, of course. They’ve just stopped buying from companies they don’t yet know or trust. Stepping into the breach, inbound marketing seeks to establish that trust before making a sales offer.
Instead of pushing sales pitches at customers, inbound marketing pulls them into the buying process with useful, informative content—and with strategies like search engine optimization (to achieve higher search engine rankings) and social media sharing. Those strategies are more effective—and more cost-effective—than conventional outbound strategies. Inbound strategies generate about 4 times as many qualified leads, and do so for 62% less, as outbound strategies.
A recent survey from Hubspot found that on average consumers now make their way through 3 to 5 pieces of content before they’re ready to make a purchase. They read content that tells them how to do something they want to do, why one brand is more durable than another, or answers one of many questions consumers face in their buying process. These pieces of content build trust in (and authority for) the companies which provide them. That’s the essence of content marketing, a process Hubspot defines as follows:
“Content marketing is a marketing program that centers on creating, publishing, and distributing content for your target audience — usually online — the goal of which is to attract new customers. The most common components of a content marketing program are social media networks, blogs, visual content, and premium content assets.”
Content marketing has a number of goals, from increasing email click-through rates to amplifying lead generation efforts. At bare minimum, content marketing aims to convert window shoppers into buying customers by distributing relevant content through each stage of the buying process—converting a website visitor into a qualified lead (who’s now actively thinking about buying your products and services), and a qualified lead into a customer.
Consistency is the name of the game. Engaging content for buyers at each stage of their buying process, from brand awareness to loyal advocacy. There is information and sensory overload all around us and especially on the internet. Today, brands must compete for consumer attention and create ways for them to interact and stay engaged.
When we think about the customer journey, and the stages within it, we can begin to analyze the appropriate strategies for each point on the path.
For those who are brand new to you, how do you hook their attention? Well, not always with a 1000 word post. Landing pages, videos and entertaining items like quizzes or games make great choices.
Ok, so you got their attention. But what’s next? Well, when data or what appears to be valuable information is presented in the ways of an infographic or checklist, many will click on the link and even forward it, even if the information is pointless. When data is synthesized into a digestible, visual form, it becomes a powerful way to tap into your consumer’s informational and emotional centers.
Depending on your business and sales cycle, your leads become prospects after a certain point of interaction. Note that there are different types of prospects requiring specific types of content. Engagement is all about building trust in your brand. The industry term for doing this is ‘