Content Drives Conversions


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Last week, I was at Content Marketing World in Columbus, Ohio, learning about how content-based marketing can make a huge difference for businesses large and small, business to business and business to consumer. Content-based marketing refers to using valuable information to engage customers and prospects, differentiating the company and driving retention and prospect lead conversion.

What kind of information fits that bill?

Primarily information that answers customer questions.

You see, customers do not come to the company first anymore to get information; rather, they go to “the great Google in the sky” to find answers to key decisions that will determine who they will buy from and what products will be purchased. If you are not represented on Google, on the pages that come up first, then, quite simply, you lose. You never get up to bat, because the customer has already ruled you out, before you ever had a chance to come up to the plate.

So if you want to get up to bat, and maybe start with a count in your favor, you have to pay “the cost of doing business” – you have to put key information where those customers can find it, and then use that information build relationships before those customers meet you in the first place.

Where do you put that information?

The answer is simply — everywhere.

Blogs, emails, web sites, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, Flickr, YTouTube — the list goes on. Any you serve up the content in the media that fits the platform, which means blog posts, email, infographics, photography, articles, white papers, podcasts and so on.

What kinds of questions does this content answer?

The kinds of questions your customers have. Marcus Sheridan, a keynote speaker at the conference, suggested topic such as:

* How much does it cost?
* How do I compare alternatives?
* Who do you recommend?
* Who is best?
* What problems do past customers have?
* Product and service reviews
* and so on
Don’t be afraid to give away your secret sauce — in most cases, there is no secret sauce in the first place. Even McDonalds has given away the secret to their Big Mac secret sauce (thanks, Marcus, for this great example).

What does this have to do with data-driven marketing?

If you have followed my posts, you know that I focus on measurement as a critical factor to improve the accountability of marketing, which is a huge issue with CEOs this year. Measuring the content you put into emails, newsletters, sales materials, lead generation programs, etc., can help you gain a valuable understanding of that information your customers actually want to read, rather than what you think they do. In addition, measurement can help you understand the business impact of content marketing, which will help you gain resources and funding.

At this conference, I had a chance to interview two leaders in content-based marketing — Jay Baer, a noted author, speaker and consultant and Kevin Cain, who runs content-based marketing for Openview Partners, a venture capital firm in Boston. Check out my next posts for more information from the front lines of this exciting, growing field.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Mark Price
Mark Price is the managing partner and founder of LiftPoint Consulting (, a consulting firm that specializes in customer analysis and relationship marketing. He is responsible for leading client engagements, e-commerce and database marketing, and talent acquisition. Mark is also a RetailWire Brain Trust Panelist, a blogger at and a monthly contributor to the blog of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Marketing Association.


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