By Mark Itzkovitz | Guest Columnist
Over the past several years, technology has played a key role in how businesses approach marketing.
It’s no secret that the new marketplace is digital. Clearly, mobile devices have taken over. Not only do the vast majority of shoppers make purchases online, but a quickly growing percentage of those online purchases are done from a mobile device.
Suffice it to say that one of the biggest challenges businesses face today is how to effectively communicate with and market to their customers and potential customers in this rapidly changing digital environment that has become the primary marketplace for buying and selling products and services.
Buyers now do their research online and typically don’t reach out to a make a purchase until they are well educated and much closer to making a buying decision. A buyer who reaches out in today’s market is typically ready to purchase or is far along in the buying cycle.
Consequently, businesses are looking for ways to connect with and establish online relationships with buyers earlier in the sales process. This is called content marketing, its goal being to provide useful, meaningful content about products and services that is easily accessible through all digital channels, such as a website, social media, email marketing and ad campaigns.
By consistently publishing new and relevant content, a business will establish relationships with potential buyers. It will also become an online knowledge base for the product or service being sought. A buyer ready to make a purchase will be much more likely to purchase from a source that has established credibility.
There are many variables that play a part in the process. Here are some pragmatic additions to any digital marketing strategy:
- Having a clear plan for what content to provide and a clear understanding of exactly how potential customers find you and what information they are seeking.
- Making sure your content is mobile-friendly and can easily be consumed by buyers on a mobile device (quick load times, clean and simple designs, etc.).
- Making sure your content is search-engine-friendly and optimized for search.
- Making sure your content is organized in an intuitive manner and easy to navigate with clear calls to action.
- Making sure your message is clear and consistent through all digital channels.
- Making sure you track and analyze the results of your efforts to understand what works well and what needs additional effort. Digital marketing lends itself to measuring and tracking success, much more so than traditional marketing. Businesses now have the ability to more clearly understand how their marketing efforts are being received and how buyers behave. We can easily react based on usage data to improve the results of your online marketing efforts on an ongoing basis.
Content marketing is an ongoing effort. A long-term commitment is required to gain the best results for your organization. The online marketing landscape is ever-changing; one of the biggest challenges businesses face today is staying current with new trends in technology and marketing.
Many small businesses don’t have the resources in house to accomplish these efforts, but the market is saturated with agencies and consultants who specialize in digital content marketing.
Here’s an article with some things to consider when finding a content marketing partner.
Mark Itzkovitz is the president of WebTech Marketing and can be reached at 404-348-4921, ext. 101. He started WebTech after 10 years in corporate information technology with Georgia-Pacific and has used his technology experience and digital marketing knowledge to help hundreds of businesses in Atlanta grow.