I asked myself that question several years ago as I sat down surrounded by spreadsheets, looking at my outline marketing plan for the following year. I realised that the company business objectives for lead generation and creating new business opportunities were not going to be met by continuing with my current traditional marketing activities, the stats told me so.
Tradeshows, direct mail, print ads, email, the mainstays of traditional marketing all have a place in supporting brand equity, maintaining relationships and keeping existing prospects and customers informed but with tradeshow audiences in decline, most direct mail ending up in the bin, the ROI on print ads being difficult to determine, stricter spam filters and the ease of hitting the delete keys, I needed to come up with an alternative route to my demand generation problem. I knew we had a lot to offer but how could I get our solutions in front of the right audience?
Over the months that followed I searched for alternatives, the decisions I made took me out of my comfort zone and set me on a journey very different from the traditional interruptive model of marketing I’d grown up with, I discovered that the web and the proliferation of web based tools that now existed had changed buyer behaviour making it far easier for buyers to engage with you on their terms, when they were much further into the buying cycle. Decision makers were less inclined to speak to a sales person until they had carried out their own research into what you (and your competition) had to offer. This meant a completely different, more open and for some, less comfortable approach was required.
And it wasn’t all plain sailing, many of my peers and contemporaries didn’t share my view of the future. The struggle for internal buy-in was fierce and sometimes disheartening. But ever so slowly as this new content based marketing approach I had taken started to reap dividends, resistance diminished.
I started my journey with a bland inwardly focussed website offering nothing more than brochureware and 6 Application Note/White papers. Over an 18 month period I completely re-wrote the web content, to focus on our customer’s issues and the solutions and benefits we could offer to solve their problems. I added to the list of white papers and re-purposed that content into a series of ebooks which I offered as a download to web visitors in exchange for their email address. I introduced a blog and extracted a whole series of blog articles from those ebooks.
- Over 7000 ebook downloads
- A healthy, clean, permission based database
- 100 blog articles published
- Web traffic increased year-on-year by 25%
- 30% increase in leads generated
As I said earlier, my journey started several years ago but inbound marketing and content marketing techniques are still very new to many or in some cases, completely unknown. It doesn’t make any difference whether your business is in the tech sector or you run a hotel or small business in Devon or Cornwall. Content marketing can help you:
- Get found online
- Convert more prospects into paying customers
- Increase the Return On Investment (ROI) on your marketing spend
The purpose of this blog is to provide you with hints and tips that I picked up along the way during my journey of discovery and to provide information sources to generally make your own journey that little bit easier.
If you’re at a crossroad or have taken a similar path, let me know by adding a comment.
At Rame Marketing we work with clients on content driven strategies to help them to grow their business.
Contact us today to discover how an effective content marketing strategy can help your business on 01803 413481 or email [email protected]