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We often get asked the question, “When doesn’t content marketing work for your clients?” Devesh and I have been thinking about this question a lot lately and having looked back through all of the clients that were challenging to work with (or didn’t lead to successful outcomes), the common theme is that they’re always early stage companies. We define early stage companies as: - They haven’t proven that they can market and sell through at least one cold channel - Their positioning/messaging is still being worked out We won’t be working with companies that fit that criteria going forward. The problem with working with early stage companies is that our agency value proposition is tied to helping the company drive leads and revenue, and if a company hasn’t figured the fundamentals like how to market and sell to a cold audience and their positioning and messaging, then all of the traffic in the world coming from the right audience won’t solve those problems. This is not to say that early stage companies shouldn’t invest in content marketing though — In fact, I think quite the opposite. I think that content marketing can be a huge competitive advantage early on.
Marketing is not about pitching to customers; it’s about communicating with individuals. It’s understanding what resonates best with them and why, and delivering value on those terms. It’s not asking them to buy, it’s building trust so that when the time comes for them to make a decision, they willingly choose you. Digital marketing is no different; it’s just that the dialogue occurs over electronic platforms. While the soft skills required for marketing have not changed—communication, curiosity, empathy, for example—the hard skills for digital marketing are slightly different.
Inbound marketing is the practice of creating, managing and optimizing incoming traffic to a site from external sources and channels. Inbound marketing is typically made up of marketing tactics including search engine optimization, content marketing, influencer relations, social marketing and more. Inbound marketing differs from outbound marketing in that it focuses on getting in front of users through organic marketing efforts, where as outbound marketing is typically more traditional paid marketing such as search engine marketing, paid advertising and more.
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