Q: It feels like consumers are increasingly harder to reach these days. How can I find new customers in this climate?
Jake Fell: As a specialty menswear store owner or operator, you are always looking for new customers. This is becoming harder to do, of course, as consumers are tuning out ads more efficiently than ever—using DVR, reading news online (circumventing the print version’s ad section), and tossing out mailers without a second thought—creating impenetrable fortresses around their attention.
Traditional advertising is becoming less effective by the minute. However, with the Internet increasingly becoming the place to establish relationships and procure leads, the real question you should be asking yourself is: How can new customers find me?
If that sounds frustrating, it’s because it is. But, rest assured, there is a way to make customers find you, and it’s called content marketing.
By definition, content marketing is, “a 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.”
In other words, it means producing information that your customers (and potential customers) truly want, and which will draw them to you. The purpose is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and sharing valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behavior.
Importantly, content marketing is not about selling. It’s about developing relationships with your customers in which they feel like real people, not merely email addresses in a databank. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. This delights the buyer, which makes them more likely to reward you with their business and loyalty.
It really works, too. According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is being used by some of the greatest marketing organizations in the world, including P&G, Microsoft, Cisco Systems and John Deere. Also, according to the Roper Public Affairs, 70 percent of business decision makers say content marketing makes them feel closer to the company, while 60 percent say that company content helps them make better product decisions.
To learn more about how content marketing works, visit eMarketing Logic’s blog where we continue the story with an example from menswear fashion blogger Lilly Prince.