By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

Content marketing, and what it means to marketers, is in the eye of the beholder. But in our experience at Hammock, it tends to be defined more narrowly than what it is, and more importantly, used more narrowly than what it can do to build relationships.

I go back to this definition: Content marketing is the ability to deliver solutions directly to customers anywhere they are in the life cycle, from your prospects to your most loyal customers, using a variety of media.

Perhaps the most important part of that sentence is life cycle. We have adopted the customer journey infinity loop model to show a customer’s life cycle, from the time they need to research a solution to a problem to the point in time they have the option to buy again, and everything else in between.

Ideally, this customer journey flows freely through that life cycle. If you efficiently and effectively invest in the right content marketing required all along that loop, you can help prospects become leads, convert them to customers, and focus attention on them so you create a loyal relationship.

To one healthcare company, content marketing might mean getting blog posts and assets (such as e-books, white papers, infographics) up on your website, to establish thought leadership. To another marketer, it might mean webinars that are promoted via social media to generate leads. Of course, content marketing is both of those things—and so much more.

Content marketing can also mean sales presentations, customer onboarding kits, member magazines, primary research that becomes the basis of an event presentation, leadership conversations recorded on video, wikis that help explain industry terminology and much more.

There are lots of marketing firms,  but only a few that are focused on content marketing across the customer journey, focused first on getting that customer journey flowing freely, and whatever media are best suited to do the job at that point on the loop.

How do you define content marketing? Is your approach broad enough, and aligned enough, to make you effective across the entire customer journey?

About Hammock Healthcare Idea Email |
This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here. To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.