By Rex Hammock, CEO

Does your company host webinars or an annual conference? How often do you publish digital media like newsletters, how-tos or user manuals?

Do you have a YouTube channel or do you make explainer videos devoted to teaching your customers or members how to best use your company’s products and services?

I could keep going, but here’s the salient question: When your customers want to learn how to become better at their jobs, do they turn first to the content you provide or are they more likely to turn to Google, Wikipedia or—even worse—a competitor’s online resource?

More and more, the most powerful marketing content is the content that provides direction and insight exactly when customers need it. Content that teaches. Content that makes us smarter and solves a problem for both long-time customers or prospective clients.

This kind of content is the type consumers crave. Hammock even published a free eBook on the topic a few years ago titled Content Along the Customer Journey.

Unsure how well your company is doing? Here’s a test. Look at your browser’s history tab and note how many of the sites you’ve visited recently were related to your need to fill a gap in knowledge. To learn something new. To remind you of something you used to know but had forgotten.

Now, look at your own website. Does it fill gaps in knowledge for customers or members who need to learn something?

Here is an example of how content marketing should work:

If you want to know anything about coffee, look at the video content on the Seattle Coffee Gear website. The videos are homespun, but the knowledge of the presenters and the quality of the videos are authentic and convincing.

By teaching their customers how to make the perfect espresso or how to decide between which low-cost coffee maker to choose, the company has created content that nurtures a lasting relationship with their customers.

Whatever your business, your content marketing should focus more on teaching your customers what they want to learn, when they want to learn it. That’s what great content marketing is all about.

Image: Getty Images

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