Online marketing has become an up and running trend for all kinds of businesses, big and small. Recently people have looked to the internet for information and certain products that they need, which has prompted businessmen to incorporate online marketing strategies.
Content marketing is a form of online marketing that focuses more on communication with the customer, instead of forcefully selling the product or service. Its purpose is to create a content such as articles or infographics that are informative and relevant to the reader.
It creates a certain relationship that widens a consumer’s awareness and knowledge on certain topics, which can sometimes change their behavior towards different issues, products or services. It is believed that if we consistently educate our consumers, they will soon reward us with loyalty to our business.
A Forbes article by Jake Sorofman from Gartner, Inc. discusses how we can all achieve content marketing maturity in five phases. Here are these five phases, according to Sorofman:
Phase 1: This is called the Documenting Capabilities phase. This is where a lot of marketers turn a monologue into a dialogue, meaning it is time for marketing to become more engaging with the consumer. Just throwing random facts about your product like how it is better than the rest or why they should “buy it now!” is not very engaging. Sorofman explains it as a “prattling dinner guest who makes every topic about himself”. Of course it is still important for you to inform them of your offer, but know that it is not the most effective way to engage your consumers.
Phase 2: Mostly everyone likes a good story, so this phase asks you to make your propositions and offerings like a Storytelling session. When people read hard facts and numbers in a very matter-of-factly way, the information may not be retained so much in their memories. However, if you become more creative and make it sound like you are telling a story, consumers will have an easier time remembering and be more drawn to your business.
Phase 3: The next phase calls for you to establish a Differentiated POV. A brand that stands for its own point-of-view speaks volumes about it to the consumer. Some examples Sorofman pointed out are Apple which stands for product design, and Google for innovation. If you choose a strong point-of-view for your brand, you are one step closer to achieving online marketing maturity.
Phase 4: This phase is called the Category Creator where Sorofman explains that you have to “change the buying criteria in your market”. You have to get your consumers to think of a problem and solution separately. You shatter traditional conventions to rig the rules in your favor.
Phase 5: The final phase is where you most likely have become a Thought Leader. Thought leaders are highly sought out for their opinions and points-of-view. These people have already achieved excellence in product, content and operations, they walk the walk. When a consumer or reader needs something, they will usually find works by these thought leaders since they have already well-established their credibility and status in the content marketing world.
Mastering content marketing is no easy walk in the park, it does take a lot of effort to create that perfect content that will really engage your consumers. However, carefully following these phases may allow you to get there in due time.