When a business is conducting marketing activity – asking for referrals, posting on social media, running a webinar, sending out an email campaign, advertising, etc. – do you ever consider why they are doing it? What is the message they are sending?
- Desperate for new business
- Salesy and trying to take advantage of others
- Services are needed and they are sharing value and information that will help others
There is a very line between each of the above three possibilities. And even if you believe you are operating in number three, it may not be perceived that way.
How do you think your marketing is perceived?
Today, marketing is often done by smart firms to gain quality exposure. The exposure comes from distributing content of value that brings credibility, implies your knowledge, and is done to begin relationships with prospects who could use your services.
What I am talking about is often referred to as Content Marketing. Content Marketing is a strategic marketing process focused on creating and sharing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a target audience. In other words, it is a strategy to utilize content in order to relay ideas & create relationships rather than explicitly selling a product or service. It is often done using the analogy of a funnel.
Moving your prospects though a marketing funnel requires delivering value. Financial Advisors have done this for years through educational seminars. A seminar attendee could gain valuable information (and sometimes dinner too) without ever committing to do business with that advisor. However, that valuable content delivered by a good presenter often results in an attendee determining that they could use the services of someone with all of this knowledge. The same theory is now in play for all sorts of content.
If you haven’t started to implement your own marketing funnel, it may be time to consider it. You can begin by using the funnel above to determine a few of the pieces you could start generating. And, if you are interested in further knowledge, HubSpot has their own Content Marketing Certification that can help to teach you or a team member more about this valuable marketing strategy.