Every business has a story to tell. Content marketing lets you tell your story in a way that your customers can relate to. The role of content marketing lies in creating meaningful connections with your intended audience. By offering quality content, you build awareness and trust and, in turn, generate more leads for your business.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a time-tested marketing strategy that involves creating and distributing relevant and valuable information consistently. The goal is to attract and engage a predefined audience to drive profitable actions from them.
From one-person start-ups and medium enterprises to global brands, content marketing has proved to be a timeless strategy for working on their bottom line. These are the most notable results from content marketing:
- Loyal Customers
- Increased Sales
- Lower Marketing Costs
Ensuring that your brand consistently delivers valuable information can nurture each stage of your customer’s buying journey.
How Valuable is Content Marketing?
A well-crafted content marketing strategy will give you a chance to market your brand to your customers without sounding too salesy. Instead of putting the spotlight on your products or services, you’ll use your business’s story to establish a connection with your market through human sensibilities.
The Golden Circle Framework
Effective content marketing will rest on three pillars—collectively called the Golden Circle Framework. It is a content marketing concept where the business owner or content creator answers three questions:
WHY are you doing what you’re doing?
HOW will this help your audience?
WHAT are you offering?
Your answers to WHY and HOW should make a connection through feelings and human behaviour. In essence, content marketing is storytelling with a purpose.
This is your chance to stand out from the competition: by raising emotions to build trust and loyalty.
Let’s say you own a music school, and you want to stand out from the rest of the schools that offer the same curriculum.
By beautifully articulating your WHY, your audience’s behaviour will be influenced by the foundation of your business’s story. This is the most important of the three. Your answer to your WHY will be the basis of your value proposition which can separate your brand from the rest of your industry.
“I started my music school to give under-recognised talent a shot at living their dreams. I want to give talented yet underprivileged youth an equal playing field with those born into opportunity.”
This is an example of how to answer the why. There should be fire. There should be passion. It should highlight your purpose and the reason why your business exists.
If you manage to make this part resonate with your audience, you’re already starting to influence their decision-making.
To supplement your why, your HOW will tell the story of your business’s unique strengths and qualities. How does your organisation achieve its purpose? How is it any different from the rest of the brands that offer the same?
“Before each cycle starts, we hold scholarship auditions for qualified children. At any given time, 35% of our students are under full scholarships, and they can sign up for any class they want. At the end of each term, we hold benefit concerts and donate the proceeds to our scholars to help them pursue their chosen career.”
By this point, you’ve most probably caught your audience’s interest. They’ve started to see value in what you do, a value that goes beyond marketable products or services.
Moving on to the WHAT is building on top of the value you’ve just presented. This is where you move slightly from the emotional to the more rational. You can now offer your products and services but keep them in line with your answers to your WHY and HOW.
“By signing up for our music classes, you help fund our scholars. You’ll be giving children a chance to pursue a career in music. We offer morning and afternoon classes in voice, classical guitar, violin, etc.”
You’ve just pitched your services without the slightest hint of being pushy. You’ve communicated your brand’s purpose, mission, and products through emotional appeal. And that is where we can find value in content marketing.
Even if your audience is not yet in the buying stage, your resonant story will keep you on top of their heads. When they’re finally ready to buy, yours will be the name they’ll recall.
Elements of Storytelling
Content Writing is storytelling for brands; it’s storytelling with a purpose. And like every other story, it will need a certain set of elements to complete it.
These will be the connection between you and your customers. The protagonist in traditional storytelling will be the buyer persona in content marketing. Your buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer. You can have multiple buyer personas; each one represents a different stage of the buyer’s journey.
Each story is tailored to appeal to a buyer persona. What problems does this character face, and how will my business help solve their problems?
This is the lesson in how the character transforms through challenge. Articulate how your products or services played an essential role in solving the persona’s initial problem.
- Builds Mental and Emotional Dynamics
- Human-to-Human Connections
- Without Conflict, it’s just a Sales Pitch
This is the part where you provide context and emotion for your audience to relate to the story and the whole process the character went through. From a marketing standpoint, this where you suggest the next steps or a call to action.
Storytelling uses conflict to create an emotional appeal, but it’s most important to be authentic. Nothing will turn off an audience more than a fake sob story about your brand. Keep the message clear and concise; stick to the elements of your business’s story which your audience can strongly relate to.
In essence, Content Marketing is a mission with supporting values to help your audience understand your business’s purpose.
How Does Content Marketing Support Digital Marketing?
If digital marketing were a wheel, content will be the central hub with the spokes branching out in the form of social media, paid advertising, and rich media, among other marketing channels.
Content is the heart of every digital marketing venture. You can drive audiences to your website through links and ads, but users will see the value of your pages through the content it holds.
10 More Reasons Why Content is Important for your Business
- Content marketing can generate up to 3X more leads than traditional advertising and costs 62% less. (source)
- 60% of consumers are motivated to check out a product after reading relevant and useful content about it. (source)
- Brands that publish blogs regularly generate 55% more web visits. (source)
- Search engines LOVE well-written content.
- Content marketing costs much less than traditional marketing.
- With the use of mobile devices, more people consume content on a regular basis.
- Well-written content builds trust and authority.
- Conversion rates of content marketing are 6X higher than non-adopters. (source)
- Marketing funnels won’t work without quality content.
- Content is a sturdy platform to set your brand apart from your competitors.
When Bill Gates wrote “Content is King” in his 1996 essay, he was describing the future of the internet as a bustling hub for marketing content. And he wasn’t wrong; more than 73% of companies are now running some form of content marketing strategy.
Why is content marketing so effective? People are probably tired of being bombarded with pushy, salesy marketing messages, which makes valuable and meaningful content that people can consume on their own volition a breath of fresh air.
If you’re looking to start your brand’s content marketing campaign, KDM will be here to help. We are a digital marketing agency that helps businesses of all sizes from all industries with their digital marketing efforts.