The power of content in online marketing

No matter what business you are in, buyers are constantly seeking information…They are not just waiting for just the right campaign to come along …..with an offer they cannot refuse.

So said Michael Brenner is a recent blog and it was quoted at a very interesting webinar I sat in on given by Carmen Hill and sponsored by Aprimo.

The webinar was about the value of social media in B2B marketing but what I want to talk about specifically is the value of content in marketing.

The internet has changed marketing, that is so obvious as to be trite, but it is easy to forget that some of the fundamentals have changed.  The biggest one is that push has given way to pull.

Prospects actively go looking for information relevant to whatever stage they are at in the buying process and it is the job of the marketer, especially the online marketer, to ensure that their information bobs up in front of the prospect just at the right time.   That should perhaps the new definition of ‘visibility’.

Now search engine rankings are of course a vital opportunity to deliver visibility and in the whirlwind speed at which the online space is developing, that has become the traditional route – and  no less important for that.

But increasingly traditional SEO is not enough.  Social media may be flavour of the month – my heart sinks every time another email drops into my in box offering to solve all my problems with social media – and I suspect it is to some extent a bubble about to burst.  It is not a magic bullet but it is here to stay and will become, if it hasn’t already, a valuable tool in the marketing arsenal.

SEO and social media is not enough.  We need newsletters to provide content once the prospect is further into the buyer process, or has bought before and maybe will buy again.  We need blogs so that our information bobs again when our prospect is researching in a favourite forum.

We need our content to appear wherever our prospect might be looking.

And all this content needs writing, herald the rise of the copywriter.  When the web started being used seriously by commercial organisations, which is only a mere 10-15 years ago, web copy was the poor relation.  Design and image was all.  Now as they are fast becoming equal partners, at least by marketers that have really embraced where the web is taking them.

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