By Rex Hammock

At Hammock, we believe marketing with content adds value to your product or service all along the customer journey. (We’ve even published a short Ebook on the topic.)

Yet too often I speak with marketers who pigeonhole content’s role somewhere at the very earliest steps of the journey. I agree early-stage marketing content is a powerful tool for lead generation, thought leadership, search engine optimization or sales efforts—all obviously vital to a company’s success.

But what about content for the rest of the journey?

Once customers become owners, subscribers or members, their need for “content that sells” is replaced with the need for “content that helps.”

The masters of this content journey are the folks at Google. Yes, they have unlimited funds to create customer-helping content, but most of their practices are simple enough for most companies to utilize. Here are some ways Google uses content all along the customer journey—and ways you can duplicate them in your own company.

1. Helping users is always the goal, no matter which product or audience is being focused on. Each of Google’s products has a Help Center.

2. Every Google product has its very own blog, forum and tutorials. In fact, Google has more than 100 product blogs when you consider all of the various languages in which they blog.

3. Each Help Center is built on standardized software platforms and hierarchies using the same graphical design and format.

4. Google’s approach to training is to simplify the instruction without being condescending.

5. Training leads to mastery and recognition. Certification in a topic is perceived as a credential that helps individuals advance their careers.

The Bottom Line: While marketing content that helps potential buyers discover your product is extremely important, content that helps the customer after they become an owner is valuable in building long-term relationships.

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