There are several ways to accomplish informing clients of a problem. Traditionally salespeople would contact clients, and if they were good salespeople, they would ask questions that would direct potential clients to tell the salesperson of the problem. Then the salesperson could use this information to guide the potential client to identify the link between the company’s offering and the client’s problem.
Although this sales methodology creates results, it is capital intensive and requires significant time commitments. Additionally, it has a limited reach and requires a relationship between the salesperson and the client. What if there was a more efficient and less costly method for working with leads and learning about the client’s problems? Thankfully, there is, and this strategy is content marketing.
Customer relationships used to be one-sided, companies reached out to customers to provide solutions; however, in today’s economy, this rule of thumb no longer applies. Today’s consumers search to learn about their problems, attempt to solve their issues themselves, and carefully vet the companies and products they consume. It is no longer solely the job of the salesperson, the TV, radio, or print ads to inform the client of problems of company offerings.
To create relationships with customers, companies must anticipate the problems of their customers and discover new ways to have conversations. Companies that generate useful content are likely to establish a relationship that will eventually lead to conversions. The following is an example to illustrate the issue.
Gym owner Johnnie owns five local gyms in a competitive fitness environment. He sends out print ads, has used Groupon and Google AdWords. Business is good, but like his clients, Johnnie believes he can do better. He launches two content marketing campaigns, one on nutrition and the other on the value of weight lifting and weight lifting techniques.
None of the articles mention the gym in the content section, but there is a call to action on the side, very subtle. The content is distributed through several channels, including Facebook, Twitter, email, etc. There is no money spent on advertising; this is an organic campaign.
Surprisingly, both series of articles perform well. Each article is viewed almost 1000 times. The materials create a buzz in the gym among members with a renewed focus on nutrition and sharing with their friends who become interested in joining the gym. Several people read the article online, are interested in the content, and sign-up to continue to receive content via email. Some of these people join the gym, and others enjoy the content.
Johnnie gym owner was able to automate the sales cycle and develop relationships by drafting content that informed his clients about two of their problems: nutrition and exercise. Additionally, Johnnie used the data from the articles to learn about his client’s interests. The insights from the data-guided him in offering new products and service offerings that met client expectations and sold well.
To determine how, where, and why your clients consume content read more about the customer journey here. Understanding the customer journey will guide your content strategy by identifying the different problems your customers are trying to solve as they search for your service. Each issue is an opportunity to provide content and guide customers to your company.