Let’s think about traditional advertising for a minute.
It’s typically aimed at persuading those people who are ‘ready to buy’ to choose your business. Using techniques like special offers and discounts, the sole purpose of most adverts is to entice those burning hot prospects to take action.
This approach is known as transactional marketing – in other words, the content is purely focussed on the transaction stage. This limits your target audience to those few prospects who are at the very final stage of the buying cycle:
But what about those people who aren’t ready to buy yet?
They know they have a problem that needs solving or a particular outcome they desire, but they are still at the initial research stage or evaluating various options, which may well include your product or service.
That’s where content marketing – and in particular blogging – comes into its own.
By creating informative blogs (articles on your website about specific topics related to your product or service) that help to uncover how your product or service can help solve their problems, you can target a wider audience than just those few ‘hot’ prospects.
The more useful and helpful content you provide, the more inclined people will be to choose your business once they reach the buying stage because you will have built up a level of credibility.
You’re now moving beyond transactional marketing into the arena of engagement marketing. And there are many more people at this earlier stage of the buying cycle than there are ‘hot’ prospects:
Then there’s a third group of prospects.
Those that are unaware that your business, product or service even exists. They may have an underlying need or problems that need solving, but they’re not aware of you and how you can help them.
By creating educational content that includes keywords and phrases that people are searching for or interested in discovering – and using social media to signpost your content – you can start to reach this even larger untapped category of prospect.
And the good news is there’s even more of these people out there:
Suddenly your target audience is way bigger than those few ‘hot’ prospects on the cusp of making a purchase. The lead times may be longer, but in the long run engagement marketing will pay bigger dividends than being limited to transactional marketing.
So the secret to effective marketing is to start engaging with potential customers who are at the start of the buying cycle rather than purely those who are at the point of purchase.
If you’re unsure where to start with all of this, we can help troubleshoot your marketing.