Content marketing changed marketing. Suddenly, a company could appear on the first page of Google just by consistently creating really good content. But if you want to stand out today, it's time to take your marketing to the next level.
Most people are familiar with content marketing, which includes creating blog posts, articles, ebooks, and videos designed to attract consumer attention and entice prospects to spend more time interacting with your company.
By producing and sharing new content on a regular basis, companies can boost website traffic, rank higher in search engines, and create brand awareness. But the real benefit of content marketing is its ability to develop relationships with your prospects.
Content Marketing Starts Relationships
If you're looking to attract new prospects, content marketing is the lure. When used as part of a keyword strategy, blog posts help your website rank higher in search results and entice people to visit your website. Then, gated resources like ebooks help prospective buyers achieve their goal of learning more—while achieving your goal of identifying new leads.
Research has shown that while content marketing costs only one-third the cost of traditional paid marketing, it attracts three times as many leads. That's because most prospective buyers today do up to 60% of their own research online before even talking to a salesperson.
Buyers aren't looking to be sold to, they're looking for information that will help them make their own decisions.That's why content marketing should be part of every company's sales plan.
Contextual Marketing Takes Relationships to the Next Level
Once you've attracted prospective customers though, how do you keep them engaged and help push them towards making a buying decision? That's where contextual marketing comes in.
Contextual marketing is about offering relevant offers to your prospects based on their specific interests and where they are in the buying cycle.
Here is a closer look at four of the many benefits of contextual marketing:
Higher Response Rates: According to a recent study by HubSpot, viewers responded to targeted calls-to-action 42% more than they did to non-specific, generalized calls-to-action.
Greater Conversion Rates: Econsultancy's 2014 Conversion Rate Optimization Report revealed that 92% of global company marketers reported higher search engine marketing conversion rates when they started personalizing marketing
Better Customer Satisfaction: A 2013 national survey by Janrain (now Akami) revealed that 74% of online consumers feel frustrated when websites show content unrelated to their interests. Therefore, websites that cater to consumers’ personalized interests are more likely to report higher customer satisfaction and rates of return.
Boosted Sales: Econsultancy and Monetate recently reported that companies who use personalized marketing see an average 19% uplift in sales.
How to See Marketing Results
In order to make the most out of your content marketing efforts, you need contextual marketing. Here are three ways to add context to your content marketing.
1. Start with Buyer Personas
Think about the prospective customers who you are trying to attract and think about how you can personalize the content on your website.
For example, what if you use Smart Content to react to the people visiting your website? International visitors would see "we create websites for businesses all over the world." People with IP addresses from large companies could see a link to a case study from a Fortune 500 client. Companies from the same city could see text that emphasized your local roots.
2. Create Content for Each Stage of the Prospect's Buying Journey
Contextual marketing is not only about personalizing content to a prospect, it's about presenting prospects with content that fits where they are in their decision-making process.
As you're developing content, ask the following questions:
What searches does this buyer make when they're trying to discover if they have a challenge?
What questions will this buyer have when they're trying to learn about solutions for their problem?
What information will this buyer need to make a decision about your product or service?
For each piece of content you create, ask yourself "What does this buyer need to know next?" Then create a new content offer to answer that question.The key is to think about how you can be genuinely helpful to your prospects.
3. Leverage Workflows
When someone signs up for an offer on your website, it's a perfect opportunity to use contextual marketing to develop the relationship further. Your prospect is indicating where they are in their buyer's journey by the content that they download. That gives you an opportunity to engage further with relevant content.
Here are some actions you can setup a workflow to do:
Send a follow-up email a couple days later asking if they have any questions.
Pass along interesting research that provides further context around the ebook they downloaded.
Reach out at specific points in time that your prospects might be looking to make a purchase, such as the end of the year when they have a use-it-or-lose-it budget to spend.
What you want to do is use workflows to build a relationship with your prospect by sending them content that is relevant and timely.
Content marketing is a powerful tool for marketers, but it should only be the beginning. Once you've gotten in the habit of creating great blog posts, ebooks and other content, it's time to think about how you can engage customers even more through contextual marketing.
Trish Lessard, our CEO, is a fourth generation entrepreneur and co-founder of media junction®—a HubSpot Diamond agency. With over 20+ years of experience in UI/UX web design, her incredible attention to detail has earned media junction® a reputation of building websites that deliver results. In 2015, Trish was named among the “20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management.” Trish has three adult sons, and an English Bulldog named “Ruby” who she adores.