June 1, 2017 | Emily Winsauer

How Content Marketing Is Like a Swiss Army Knife

As a consumer, you experience a constant barrage of content marketing in the form of infographics, videos, blog posts (hint hint), social media posts, and much more. Good content marketing embraces a symbiotic relationship: the buyer comes away with useful or entertaining information, and you, their new favorite brand, leave a lasting impression without resorting to straight up advertisementwhich, for the most part, people hate. 

Gif of a Swiss Army knife opening and closing.

Used correctly, content can be the Swiss Army Knife of your marketing team—that all-in-one tool issued to Swiss troops that can save your life with one end and open a can with the other.

Content marketing does more than one thing, in more than one way, and should be the go-to for every company serious about their online presence and increasing the ROI of their marketing. Here’s a quick guide for using your new Swiss Army content marketing device. 

The Inbound Marketing Tool

"Inbound marketing" refers to marketing activities that attract visitors using their own interests and pain points. Outbound marketing, in contrast, requires pushing your message out to prospects using interruptive tactics like TV ads, direct mail, magazine ads, and billboards—remember? Those things people hate?

Content marketing is a fantastic way to naturally attract visitors without having to interrupt their daily lives. By writing a blog post that addresses the specific questions they're searching, you can bring potential consumers to your site without having to pay for pricey ads. Just make sure your content is fab, not drab, or you risk losing them. Which leads us to the next tool in your Content Marketing Army Knife...

The Buyer Persona Tool

Your content marketing can come to define your brand to an audience—and your audience to your brand. The types of content you put out determine who you draw in. For targeted content marketing to be effective, it’s important to have identified the buyer persona you’re aiming for. Are they the type of buyer that would benefit from a blog on how to make a healthy meal? Or would your ideal buyer prefer a video on how to make the most extravagant birthday cake? 

Either way, it’s important that your content has a high standard of quality. Poorly-executed content can have the opposite effect, pushing away the buyers you worked so hard to attract in the first place.

The Buyer's Journey Tool 

You may have heard of the “Buyer’s Journey,” the steps a potential customer goes through (awareness, consideration, decision) before they commit to a company. In essence, understanding the buyer’s journey allows you to nurture individual leads more effectively. Rather than gear your content just to the person who’s ready to buy (or worse yet, to no one in particular), you can use the buyer’s journey to create content that’s specific to your lead’s needs at an exact stage in their purchase process.

Content is a great way to not only build awareness for your brand, but also to build credibility. Once your audience is aware of your what you do, putting out solid content will only further help your customer during this consideration process—that eventually leads, of course, to their buying decision. 

Just as your customer has a journey to go on, so too do you have a journey to go through with content marketing. If you’re looking for a guide of your own, start with our content mapping worksheet. Decide which content is best for you and your company at every stage of the buyer’s journey, so that you can best use your shiny new Swiss Army Knife of content to its full potential.

landing-page-mapping-the-buyers-journey.jpgBegin mapping your content to the buyer's journey with our worksheet. Fill out this form to get started.

Emily Winsauer

Emily Winsauer

As VIEO's content director, Emily Winsauer was responsible for content strategy for VIEO and our clients for over 5 years. She recently moved to Seattle where she's still creating compelling content in her new role.

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