In a world of infinite product choices, how does a company seek new customers? Or enjoy sustained customer loyalty for that matter? Content Marketing may be the answer! Traditional advertising is no longer a method of product differentiation; it is becoming less and less effective every day. There is a good chance that hundreds and thousands of dollars will go to waste. The trend is rapidly shifting towards content marketing. Surprisingly, content marketing is not a new thing and I would like to explore one such content marketing success story in this blog. But, before we get into that, let’s look at the definition of content marketing.
According to Content Management Institute (CMI), content marketing is:
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
In other words, the idea is to provide relevant content to my customer leads that would help them solve their issues. The idea is to not look at potential customers from a one-time sales standpoint but to see them as future customers who would buy my product or services repeatedly. It is my responsibility as a marketer to establish a relationship with them. According to CMI, benefits of content marketing are threefold, increased sales, cost savings and customer loyalty.
- 81% of consumers research online before actually visiting a store.
- Consumers spend an average of 79 days conducting online research before buying.
The numbers alone make a good case for content marketing. If my prospect is looking for content, the best way for me to reach him or her would be by posting relevant content, which would increase my chances of making a connection and eventually a sale, plus it costs less.
Given that we’ve had an opportunity to understand what content marketing is, I would like to refer to a specific content marketing success story, The Furrow! The Furrow is a customer magazine run by John Deere and has been in publication for more than 120 years. This magazine utilized the concept of content marketing even before it existed in the marketing world. It is very popular in the agricultural community, according to Contently, ‘it’s the agrarian version of Rolling Stone.’ A content marketing tool that has been around for more than 100 years!
According to current The Furrow publications manager, David Jones,
We’ve always been able to convince the management that the content shouldn’t be about John Deere equipment. We’ve stuck to that over time.
The Furrow’s success can be attributed to the fact that the content is driven to solve issues of the farming community. It makes business sense. They have established customer loyalty among the farmers that spans over a century. Jones further adds:
…I can say that we spend a ton of money on the content—and it makes up for the higher double digits of our budget.
Though The Furrow is a traditional publication that is still distributed in print, content marketing can be in many forms, it could be a YouTube video, a blog, an e-book, a podcast and more. The key is to make the content about the audience and not the company product.
I am a marketing professional with more than 10 years’ experience. I currently work as a Design QC Specialist contractor with Chevron Creative Studio. I have worked in industries such as non-profit, healthcare, oil and gas, real estate, technology, education and consumer goods.
I recently earned my MBA from the University of Houston, BAUER School of Business with a focus in Marketing Analysis. Prior to that, I earned an Associates in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Houston and Masters in English Literature from Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, India.
I was born and raised in India but now consider Houston my home. I am Membership Officer with Prospanica-Houston chapter and Director of Special Events-Marketing with American Marketing Association-Houston chapter.
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