symbiosisSuccessful content marketing strategies combine know-how and skills from different disciplines, as we all know that ballyhooing advertising promises do not work anymore in the social web. Today, loyal customers, fans and followers are gained with attractive content, making relevancy, utility and entertainment value to the three postulates of content marketing. The combination of PR, sales and marketing knowledge, along with some basic SEO techniques, is the solid foundation of an effective content marketing strategy.

For both consumers and business decision-makers, the Internet has become the main source of information and with the help of content marketing the sales process begins precisely with this first phase of search for information on the web. Companies that succeed to get the attention of their target audience exactly at this stage are on the right path to turn prospects into customers.

The information search almost always begins in a search engine, as people are looking primarily for topics and solutions instead of products or brands. They run a search for answers to their questions and for solutions to their problems, such as "How to you write press releases; or “How do you kick-start a social media marketing campaign?"

The allocation and publication of relevant content is the basis to convince prospective customers - with know-how and expertise.

Content is King: Relevant content offers convincing arguments

Indeed, content marketing is a strategy that is designed to retain existing and to attract potential customers with informative and useful content.

Though content marketing has a commercial background, still, in the foreground of the contextual presentation isn’t really the company or the product, but the customer and his need for information. With interesting and useful web content customer loyalty increases automatically and grows ultimately the customer base.

An important requirement for the development of target group oriented content is listening – especially in the Web 2.0 arena. The ongoing discussions in social media provide useful information on customer interests, needs, questions and concerns. An analysis of customer conversations and feedback give essential insights into the language and terminology of the customer. Both factors are important building blocks for the design with regards to content and linguistic for customer-centric content marketing media.

Development of relevant content: Cooperation of PR, marketing, sales and SEO

The best foundation for the development and implementation of relevant content for the target groups is to combine a company’s know-how and expertise from various customer-oriented departments: Sales and customer service, for instance, usually know quite well the problems and challenges that customers have to deal with during and after the purchase decision process. Both departments know the hurdles and obstacles that prevent customers from buying a product or from operating it properly, too. The core competence of company communication has always been in sharing themes and content, the foundation for the editorial creation of the content media.

A successful content marketing communication, however, should incorporate the important elements of lead generation and customer acquisition in the content media, too – since successful web contents are always written for both people and machines.

Basic elements of search engine optimization support a good visibility and traceability of content in the search engines. Thus, in the text development not only sophisticated editorial work counts, but rather the knowledge of keyword relevance, keyword density and link building.

The inclusion of links in text documents creates a connection between the content marketing media and the company's website, while the targeted use of deep links to specific landing pages can support the generation of qualified leads and prospective customers.

Bringing together the know-how of PR, marketing and sales, in conjunction with some basic techniques of search engine optimization, is the essence of a successful content marketing strategy. A central editorial office for different departments and areas of expertise can ensure that all the important aspects of content marketing are considered in the media.

By Daniela La Marca