Drive your competitive advantage with content marketing
It’s the hot new buzzword of the moment in business, but what is it? Why is everyone claiming they’re content marketing experts? Why is there such a vast difference of opinions about what it is and how to implement content marketing? How can you tell what to believe and how do you identify the hype?
Content marketing is the art and science of reaching your customers and prospects without a hard sell. Instead of pitching your products or services, you deliver information to help your buyer make better decisions, especially about purchasing. The essence of this strategic form of marketing is the belief that if we, as tire businesses, deliver consistently valuable information to our buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.
Here’s the official definition from the Content Marketing Institute, the recognized authority on all things content marketing.
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
How to tire dealers can make content marketing work
Tire business owners should take note of three crucial points for a true content marketing initiative.
1) Content marketing is a strategic undertaking based on meeting business objectives.
2) It’s designed to attract a very targeted audience – those that would be in the market to buy your products or services.
3) The goal is to drive profitable customer action by moving customers along a path to purchase, or to foster loyalty with your existing customer base.
There’s nothing new about content marketing. One of the earliest examples is John Deere’s The Furrow magazine. The first issue was printed in 1895. Today, the magazine reaches about 570,000 consumers in the U.S. and Canada, and about 2 million globally, through the same legacy network of John Deere dealers that distributed the original magazine.
Here’s the best part for business owners — when done with strategic purpose, content marketing allows you to create assets for your business that last much longer than traditional advertising or marketing. These assets take the form of things like a website, a company blog, a podcast, a video series or a print magazine to name a few. These assets can be reused, recycled or repurposed over time to extend the life of your marketing investment.
The difference between content marketing and marketing
How does content marketing differ from what you’re currently doing? Traditional marketing and advertising are focused on broadcast messages. Companies talk about their products and services and blast information at the customer, often using mass media with no specific targeting other than circulation numbers or demographic information. It’s largely designed to work as a lead generation exercise. It’s also an expense to your business – when you campaign is done, you have no resulting asset left from your spend.
Content marketing is designed to pull people into your sphere. The idea is that people find you when they’re looking for information. They may make decisions about working with you long before they’re ready to make a purchasing decision because they’ve found your content in their research process. They’ve relied on you to educate and inform them, which helps in building trust. This is an ideal way to demonstrate your expertise and establish your authority on a topic with your customers and prospective customers.
Build customer loyalty and retention
If you want to build customer loyalty, content marketing is super useful for customer retention. People keep coming back to you because you continue to add value by providing additional information. This is often the best way to combat a price war. If your customers appreciate your expertise and feel like you’ve actually saved them money over the years by giving them the right guidance, they’re more likely to buy from you in the future.
As tire business owners face a changing marketplace and increasing competition, even from their own tire manufacturers, the businesses demonstrating added value are in the best position. Helping your customers make better purchasing decisions, showing them your expertise and giving them the best possible information available helps to keep your business front of mind. When they do have to make a purchasing decision, that’s exactly where you want to be.
If you want to know more about content marketing and how you can use it to you’re your tire business, Traction News editor-in-chief Sarah Mitchell is a global authority on content marketing and will be on hand at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas to chat and answer any questions. Come by and visit us at booth 42296 in South Hall or email Sarah at email@example.com.