By now, every business, especially ones with an online presence, should be at least somewhat familiar with the concept of content marketing. Visitors to websites don’t want to be bothered with ads anymore and often install ad-blockers so they aren’t even visible in their browsers anymore. This means online marketers need a more effective strategy to reach potential customers by promoting their products and services in a way that they won’t run from and in fact, actively seek out.
The strategy is simple. Create great industry-related content that attracts visitors through search engines and social media that potential customers want to read and share. This can be a blog or social media post, email, video, infographic, ebook, or any other source of content that in some way appeals to a company’s target audience. The goal then is align the piece of content with a call to action that encourages the potential customer to purchase a product, contact the business, send information to the business for a sales representative to contact them, or any other desired action.
Content marketing takes an investment in time and resources, but any company can and should start using it right away. Great content marketing reaps many benefits such as:
- Positioning a company as an authority in its industry
- Driving traffic to a website and converting visitors to leads
- Helping customers to make more informed decisions when deciding on purchasing a product or service
- Enhancing a company’s brand and building a loyal following
These are all outcomes any business should strive to achieve and the following are 3 examples of companies who are currently demonstrating success at utilizing content marketing to its fullest potential. The criteria for what I determine to be a successful content marketer is that they:
- Publish quality content regularly
- Publish high-value, shareable content for their specific industry
- Utilize their content to inform, engage and convert new customers
1. HubSpot Blog
When you sell content marketing software and services, it is essential that you demonstrate the best ways to use it. HubSpot does a great job of establishing themselves as experts in the content marketing industry with their engaging and informing blog. Their strategy is to provide their customers with all the knowledge they need, including articles, ebooks, videos, and free online training and certification with the goal of creating content marketing experts who will in turn utilize their products.
For the home improvement DIYer, there’s the Home Depot blog, full of high-quality and informative blog posts that teach interior and landscape design and construction. Accompanying each post is a “Shop this Project” section that provides links to purchase all the materials and products needed to create each design project presented on the blog. It is an excellent example of providing great value and aligning it seamlessly with a service or product provided by the company.
The blog created by the Cleveland Clinic publishes an impressive 3-4 posts per day. This massive amount of information provides patients of the Cleveland Clinic with a large library of information that is well organized through categories and easily accessible through search. They also provide daily and weekly emails containing health tips and news. The goal of their strategy is to establish themselves as the premiere experts in the healthcare industry by providing their patients valuable online resources for health information.