We live in an era characterized by an unprecedented information overload. Marketers relentlessly bombard us with a deluge of messages from every angle—advertising, publicity and the Internet. In response, we’ve learned how to shut off to the communication barrage to the point that the majority of messages just blur by us, failing to trigger any response and generating zero return for marketers.
In marketing to your key audiences, there is nothing you can do to change the message-overload situation. What you can do is connect to your audience in an intelligent manner by providing them original information that grabs their attention. The secret is to communicate differently. You need to do more than just sell your products and services. You must provide valuable and authoritative content that offers solutions to problems.
Ditch the Sales Pitch
Content marketing is the art of communicating with your key audiences without focusing solely on selling. It involves the creation and dissemination of original and useful content aimed at educating your audiences, rather than just squarely giving them a sales pitch. The ultimate goal of content marketing is to provide information on a proactive and ongoing basis; information that your audience finds valuable and that ultimately positions you as a trusted adviser. This, in turn, will compel them to seek your services, eventually rewarding you with their business.
From Fortune 100 companies to small businesses, companies of all sizes are embracing content marketing for one reason: it works. It works because it is focused on relevancy and value—the two characteristics that separate effective communication from the daily spam we have grown accustomed.
Empower Prospects With Knowledge
A recent study conducted by Information Technology Services Marketing Association revealed that nearly 67% of buyers of products and/or services reach out to vendors only after they have gathered facts and data through their own research, not vice versa. In most cases, before an individual establishes contact with you, she is already armed with information about your firm, your team and the products and strategies you offer.
This new consumer attitude enables financial advisers to leverage content marketing to proactively educate prospects about investment products and strategies, industry lingo and available solutions. Empowering your prospects with knowledge that allows them to pose the right questions and get personalized answers enables you to establish a relationship of trust. That’s what content marketing is all about. In essence, your prospects engage in conversation with you before you even know they are interested in your services.
Effective marketing content causes your audiences to pause, read, get engaged, behave and act. In reaching out to your audiences, focus on creating thought-provoking rather than thought-leading content.
In our information overload times, thought leadership continues to be essential, but it is no longer enough to generate appropriate reaction from your prospects. Your content marketing strategy must prompt them to take action. This could be by simply downloading your newsletter, signing up for a seminar/event, accessing significant articles or white papers or becoming your advocates.
What is your experience with content marketing? As always, questions and comments are welcome.
i-Impact Group Inc.