Maximise your marketing message

Anyone can be a publisher today. Social media, email marketing and content marketing have transformed the way companies find and keep customers.

This is the era of "permission marketing" – a term devised by blogger and author, Seth Godin. Unlike "interruption marketing", such as ads that interrupt our TV viewing or pop up to distract us from web searching, permission marketing is based on a mutual agreement for an exchange of value. In other words, providing good quality content that is useful to your clients and potential clients.

Creating and publishing valuable content is a way of attracting new customers, keeping them engaged and loyal, and generating new leads, sales and profits.

The popularity of content marketing is hard to dispute. Ninety-three per cent of Australian companies – micro, small, medium-sized and large – used content marketing in 2014, according to a recent study, and 81 per cent of respondents are producing more content than they did a year ago.

The vehicles used by companies to deliver content include enewsletters, research reports, ebooks, white papers, videos, case studies, blogs, podcasts, games, microsites, social media content, mobile content and articles on websites.

Unfortunately, only 33 per cent of Australian marketers say their efforts are effective. A deeper look at the results suggests one reason for that: only half of the companies surveyed had a documented strategy for their content marketing program.

Insist on strategy

There is a correlation between strategy and return on investment for content marketing, including social media and email marketing.

The purpose of content marketing is to generate leads and increase sales, yet 58 per cent of Australian marketers saw an increase in website traffic as the most important metric of success. This is quite absurd.

The primary metric for success in content marketing must be increasing subscriptions to a regular email. This is the basis of permission marketing – these emails are the leads that sales and marketing can legitimately follow up with offers for paid products and services.

Yes, your company will increase awareness of its brand, boost its website traffic, improve its organic search ranking, and increase customer loyalty, but unless your content marketing program is primarily focused on gathering email addresses and following up these leads, it will not be successful.

This is an edited extract of an article that first appeared in Company Director magazine.


In other words…

  • Look at the ways content marketing can help attract and retain customers
  • The first rule is to provide useful content that people find valuable
  • Don’t forget to back your plan with a strategy

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