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Those of us who produce content for a living understand our job is not just about telling a story to engage the prospective customer or just to get eyeballs on our content. Yes, that is important. The real factor that is rarely discussed and even more rarely executed in marketing departments is how to measure content so that ROI is determined. This process is probably one of the most challenging jobs of a marketer. I say this because it's not easy to accomplish and even more difficult to convince your boss that one piece of content is just part of the overall equation of nurturing the customer. Things like blogs and social media posts may seem insignificant, but in reality they all work together along with other initiatives in the marketing mix to help a prospective customer go from the awareness stage to purchase.
A good example of this can be similar to you listening to an orchestra. You see and hear the beauty and majesty of the entire orchestra as you appreciate the music. However, if one or even two of the instruments were removed, the entire experience falls flat and is not as enjoyable. Marketing can be very similar. Everything works together to accomplish the sweet sound of success. Here are two questions you may want to ask your marketing team. Is one part of marketing more effective than a combination of multiple initiatives working together? Is just one of those pieces of marketing completely measurable if it is part of a larger marketing mix? Hmm... Most likely these two examples will prove that not every marketing initiative can operate by itself as a lead generation tool and is not perfectly attributable to ROI. They all help to reach your customer where they are in the buyers journey.
It is important to have multiple marketing initiatives designed to reach and attract customers where they are in their search process.
Typically a customer must be exposed 7-10 times before they make a purchase. This process can be even longer in today's content marketing environment because there is a great deal of content out there, and all of it is competing for the customer's attention. Thus, a customer needs to be exposed more often, and with highly relevant information that informs them and leads them closer to a purchase decision. Additionally, customers don't won't to be sold, they want to be informed.
Typically customers only remember the last touch point they experienced with a company, the most memorable one or the multiple times a company appeared over and over again creating multiple favorable impressions over time.When was the last time you discovered when one of your customers purchased your product or service because:
- They saw your social media post last Tuesday at 3:15pm?
- Your email last week at 8:00am?
- Your video on YouTube today at 6:30pm?
- Or your mobile ad or coupon that appeared at lunchtime?
I venture to say that a high percentage of marketers do not know this answer, and if they think they did, their data may not be as accurate as they think.
Content marketing is one of those disciplines and tactics that takes all forms of marketing, creative, imagery, editorial and interactions and weaves them all together to form a process that attracts the customer. As a marketer, it's a different way of thinking. We no longer push feature-benefits like we used to. We write about the experience the customer wants and will receive when they use the company's products and services. Here are many examples of brilliant content marketing.
The next time you're thinking about how to best reach your customer. Take a look at how big brands are effectively using content marketing and the way they are presenting their message and how they use a specific writing style. Additionally, if you are able, look for ways in which they are doing this through blogs, social media posts, videos, text messages, mobile ads and coupons, display and retargeting. These are just a few ways that can be very helpful for your marketing team to reach your customer and even help to measure the efficacy of how you are using them. Just remember, your marketing is called a "mix" for a reason. It all works together like an orchestra to create the sweet sound of success.