Let us understand one thing, whether you are a small business or a huge conglomerate, you are doing content marketing in some or the other capacity. Even though people debate about the effectiveness of content marketing, it is still the nucleus of digital marketing. It is now the mainstream marketing method, which attracts a large amount of investment and reminding the management team that there are better things than just monitoring ROI on your marketing budget. So the million-dollar question is, how does content marketing work? and further, what are the benefits of formulating and implementing a content marketing strategy. Let us look at how does content marketing work for lead generation and we will also highlight something called Real Time Marketing.Talk about engaging content, graphics, design, and what not- but everything boils down to one thing, sale of your product and return on investment in content marketing.
Marketing Heads and the executive team will finally look into the numbers when it comes to the amount of time and money they have spent in content marketing. Hence it is imperative to know how content marketing effectively generates leads and does it do on a real time basis. Through content marketing, organizations are attracting visitors to buy their product. It may sound simple but it is not because there is a whole range of process like an underwater current which essentially people don’t notice.
You have a product that needs to be sold and you want to attract visitors to come to your website, inquire about the product and then purchase. Your marketers will start creating content for various marketing channels (videos, social media, newsletters, email, etc. For every channel, the content will be dynamic and unique but having the same meaning – product features and benefits. In some of the channels, they will also provide some freebies in the form of a research report, whitepaper (in the case of enterprise B2B products) or some discount coupons (in the case of B2C products). These incentives lure the viewer to inquire about the said products and then purchase it down the line. So what makes the visitors come to the website? It is not just the features and benefits of the products, but it is the message that communicates the value of having this product. The visitor reads the message and immediately relates the value to his or her problem statement. However, this does not happen in a real-time basis, because for every action and reaction there is a turnaround time factor which needs to be taken into consideration. Hence in such scenarios, content marketing does not generate leads in a real time value.
However, there are some examples which are testimony to the fact that content marketing can generate leads/increase sales of products on a real-time basis. Let us take one such example. Back in 2013, during the Super Bowl black out at Super Dome, Oreo created an amazing content that literally saw a surge in the product immediately. It created a message that was to the point and in line with the situation during the match time.
This is a classic example of real-time marketing where content played the most important role in generating opportunities and increasing product sales. Even though, the definition of real-time marketing changes from company to company, the core objective is to create instant opportunities and then cash upon it. The idea is to grab the attention of the large audience, create a buzz which will cause a surge in inquiries or opportunities for selling the product.
During the Grammy Awards in 2014, when Pharrell made his appearance wearing a hat, Arby’s made a teasing tweet stating, “Hey @Pharrell, can we have our hat back? #GRAMMYs”. If you have noticed the hat that he was wearing and the logo of Arby’s – both resemble the same. This tweet spread like a fire and soon people started noticing Arby’s.
In both the cases, the content did create a series of opportunities, but there was one common factor – an event, a live event. Today, companies need to be in the event to ensure that they can leverage the messaging element to create a buzz which in turn generates leads/opportunities for them. Yes, it is a daunting task because you need to be prepared to take on the large volume of inquiries that suddenly will flow in and have your SWAT team ready to tackle all questions. But, this definitely helps in boosting sales and increasing revenue.
If we go by the definition of real-time marketing, as put by Content Marketing Institute –It is the strategy that incorporates near-time insights to create and deliver relevant, engaging marketing.
During the 2015 Super Bowl, McDonald’s had conducted a massive campaign where they gave away prizes which were tagged to each commercial. Each time a person tweeted, they included a call to action where people were encouraged to retweet a complimentary message about one of the other advertisers, for a chance to win anything from Xbox One to a Mercedes vehicle.
Hence, if you look at these cases it clearly indicates that content marketing can generate leads or opportunities in a real time basis. The crux is to be prepared and most importantly to be ready to invest heavily in the promotional campaign. It cannot be done on a regular basis, hence as a business, you need to plan out very meticulously.