Filling the Content Pipeline with a Blog

Everyone hates marketing. After all, it is just heaps of unexpected interruptions, isn’t it? Every marketing piece is like shouting in your face trying to grab your attention.

It’s true, to some extent, if you associate marketing with certain type of advertising.

Marketing in reality is much more than advertising. In fact, every point of contact with your prospects or customers is marketing.

Now, here’s a good news.

Marketing doesn’t have to be such a dreaded word.

Let me introduce you to content marketing. Some people call it educational marketing.

With it, instead of interrupting your audience with unsolicited message, you attract people through useful content.

People are always in need for good quality content. Here’s a simple example. When they are looking to grow roses in their garden, they are looking for information on how to do it, preferably in a professional manner.

If you happen to be provider of the content, you have the chance to introduce them to your product or service. This happens after the audience knows that you are for real though.

Well, I admit. It is an oversimplification of the process. You need a way to drive people to your content but that’s another post.

Let’s get back to content marketing. Now that you understand how it works basically, you need to think about the right thing the prospects are mostly interested in.

It’s a no brainer to bloggers. You use blog content to communicate with readers. Every new post is a chance to start conversation or educate them about something.

As a blog evangelist, I educate and interact regularly with my readers and other bloggers. None of my posts contains any pitch so far, but all of them are there for a purpose.

Let me tell you about my own business. My intention with this blog is to increase the awareness about the necessity of contribution, relationship and value creation in blogging. Through practical tools and advice, I expect to help mediate development of your blog strategy and make it as a fun and rewarding experience as possible.

As a geek (I mean it in a proud way), overcoming technical challenges is also my cup of tea, so you’ll also find information about that here.

Who do I attract with this type of content? Obviously, people who are interested in strategic and technical information about blogging. Not necessarily to like it, but perhaps overcome problems related to it.

See how it works?

“This strategy doesn’t apply to my business. I’m creating and selling software.” I hear you say.

A typical excuse but one of the most common strategies for selling software is by giving free trial. Many software companies underestimate this. Done right, free trial offers are known to reduce cost per acquisition, increase conversions and boost customer retention.

With free trials, you are giving an opportunity to gain hands-on experience with your software. This is just one psychological reason why it works.

By asking email address first before giving access to the free trial, you are able to follow up through many of the lead nurturing strategies to convert them into customers.

A blog may help in many ways in the process to:

  1. Announce company news. If you already use a blog, you may announce the free trial offer or any news through the blog.
  2. Educate readers. Tell them why your product is superior, how existing customers have used it successfully.
  3. Nurture the leads. Even you follow up through email, it is possible to drive subscribers back to your blog to discuss issues and ask questions.
  4. Give special offers. It is possible to send coupons to RSS subscribers.
  5. Provide customer support. Answer questions and help solve customers’ problems.
  6. Increase customer retention. Provide after sales support.

There are certainly more possibilities but you get the idea.

Content marketing model allows you to create desire out of curiosity, want, or even the slightest need.

What do you think? Is it even ethical to do so? (Yes, some people question it from the ethical perspective.) Is it part of human nature that we want something badly when we know true value?

How could you possibly use content marketing (with a blog or other tools) for your business?

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