At some point, every marketer must ask, “Why do we even need content, anyway?” (This question typically arises when waiting for content from a bad vendor, or observing the sub-par quality of that content.)
After all, your company has excellent products.
The product should speak for itself, right? Moreover, the people who love your product will shout it from the rooftops!
Ideally, yes. However, in reality most people do not take to Twitter every time they have a positive brand experience.
The fact is that the content is not for your existing customers; it’s for your future customers, aka prospects. Your content is the bridge between what your brand promises and what it delivers. As such, it’s the third piece to your marketing puzzle.
First, you need a product that provides value. Second, you must clearly define that value in your brand promise to the public. Only then can you connect the two points with content.
The content has to align with your brand promise and prompt your prospects to envision doing business with your brand.
Businesses are people, too
Imagine you’re at a networking event. You meet a professionally dressed man who has great posture, makes solid eye contact, and has a confident handshake. Without saying a word, he exudes the promise of success. So you introduce yourself.
Turns out, that was a big error in judgement.
As you interact with him, he only seems to talk when his mouth is full, and while doing so proceeds to grab every appetizer within arm’s reach. His language is inappropriate, his jokes are distasteful, to say the least, and he doesn’t ask any questions or seem to be interested at all in you or what anyone else thinks.
You look for a way to remove yourself from the conversation, never to return.
The man’s speech and behavior did not align with the image he was projecting. And if that’s his idea of a conversation, you certainly are not interested in discovering what doing business with him would be like.
Build a relationship
Regardless of what your brand promise is, you must align your content with it. Your prospects will appreciate your consistency and your generosity. As they engage with your content, you develop a familiarity that turns into comfort, which eventually becomes trust. When trust is earned–and it must be earned–a prospect will often make a willful transformation into a paying customer.
After the transformation it’s time to deliver on your promise. Whatever industry you are in, your product must bring value.
Your content marketing is a bridge–no more, no less. If you underestimate it, you risk losing prospects before they get a chance to experience your product. The products you work so hard to perfect need relevant and engaging content that connect your prospects to your brand. Great products deserve great content, and the risk of not turning shoppers into buyers is too high a price.