Content marketing strategy has gained popularity over the past couple of years as companies look for ways to move beyond a traditional “smile and dial” approach to generating new business.

Content marketing is not easy.
It takes work and ongoing effort to be successful.

Understanding when a content marketing strategy may not be right for you

1 You need results now

Content marketing strategy is one for the long haul. It is a very effective approach, but one that needs to build over time. If you need to drive traffic immediately you’re better off with a more traditional promotional approach.

2 You sell through distributors and are invisible to the buyer

Content marketing is about building a relationship with researching buyers during their buying journey. This is usually before they’re ready to talk to sales, when they’re trying to learn everything they can to make a smarter decision. Great educational content can draw these buyers to you. However, if you’re totally behind the scenes, content development is likely to be a poor spend of your time and efforts.

The one exception is if you’re trying to build a buyer community where users can share and learn how they can do their job better with your products/tools. Here content marketing can help plant the seeds to get the community started.

3 You own a “lowest cost” strategy for new sales

Content marketing is all about building a premium value position by demonstrating knowledge and expertise. If the only reason your buyers are coming to you is the lowest price guarantee then you‘re better off with a coupon strategy to grab attention of budget conscience consumers.

Knowing when content marketing strategy is right for your business

1 You’re in a competitive industry, but your advantage is your teams’ knowledge

The magic that makes content marketing go is the ability to answer questions and point to new solutions that will help your buyers overcome their challenges. This is the raw material of great content that will be in high demand because it solves problems.

2 Your buyers are a dispersed group that can be tough to get in front of with a traditional sales approach

Content marketing is perfect for drawing in buyers as they are looking for answers to their questions. If your potential sales universe is broad, but your qualifications are high, content marketing can help you build a much bigger top of the funnel net than a traditional sales only strategy. You can then qualify them with well-defined lead nurturing workflows.

3 You have a long sales cycle with buyers doing their homework before they purchase

Being able to effectively nurture buyers till they’re ready to purchase is a perfect use of content marketing. Not only can you use content to draw buyers to you, it also provides you the tools you need to keep them engaged till the time is right to convert them to a new customer.

Developing a content marketing strategy can be a powerful tool for a business. However, it’s not right for every business. Know which one you are before you make the shift.