Content marketing is the process of strategically creating, publishing, and promoting useful and engaging content.
It’s strategic. You’re thinking about what you’re doing and when you’re doing it, and why.
You’re creating, publishing, and promoting—in other words, writing content and then telling people it exists.
And because the content is useful and engaging, you don’t have to convince prospects to pay attention. They’re naturally drawn to your content since it’s about their problems and how to solve them.
The goal—especially in B2B (business-to-business) sales—is to attract prospects and move them along the buyer’s journey. Do that, and they’ll become much more psychologically inclined to buy from you. Good content that speaks to your prospects and their needs will make leads more likely to give you their money.
Here’s the truth: your leads have probably already decided what they want—they’re just trying to figure out if they’re going to buy from you or not.
Sure, it used to be that someone would call you up and say, “I don’t even know whether I need a website.” You’d then have to convince them of their need for your services—and why they should choose you.
But things have been different for a long time now.
Ever gone to the doctor’s office and told them you think you need arthroscopic surgery?
If so, you’ll understand instantly that your clients can use the internet to self-diagnose their business problems. There’s so much information out there that people can learn what they need themselves.
But here’s how to flip the script—the companies that teach the most with their content are the ones that get the most business.
By focusing on teaching, you’ll provide useful and engaging content exactly when buyers need it—during the buying process.
Still not convinced? Think about how you buy a TV.
You go to the electronics store after having researched TVs for days. You’ve looked at ten different TVs and can compare all the facts and features. (And now you probably know more about televisions than the 19-year-old who’s working in the store.)
So why should things be any different in a business-to-business context?
In fact, in a B2B sale, there’s even more on the line.
If you make a mistake buying a TV, you can take it back or just decide to live with your purchase.
But when a prospect comes to you about a site, they’re trying to choose whether to spend the money on your offer, or the secretary’s salary, or the rent.
B2B involves a lot more risk and fear than a standard consumer purchase.
That means it’s more important to teach your prospects and tell them what they need to know to buy from you.
In other words, you need to be running a content marketing program.
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