Question: What would you say the real importance of content is for businesses? Is there anything more than just lead generation?

The most simple answer that I feel like I consistently give to clients is that the number one purpose of your content should be to educate.

While the outcomes and goals of content marketing and social media may be to drive engagement and earn new leads, by far the best way to do this is to educate your clients about the things that are most important to them in the buying decision.

Most of the time when someone goes out to the internet looking for content, they are at some phase between 0 and 90 percent through the buyer’s journey. This means that they are basically self-educating on a topic so they can have a better idea about what they want and/or need prior to reaching out to a vendor to supply it.

Therefore, by in large what they are hoping to do with the content is get educated. This is why companies that create content for their target audience in a way that is educational and compelling will always have the most success. Again, targeted and educational are the keys.

Once you have the right content and you are driving it in the right direction you are in a position to try and cast a wider net, but getting more eyeballs on content by the wrong audience is really not worth anything.

In the end, your content marketing efforts should be driven toward education. Understand what your buyer’s need to know that will help them move to the next phase of the journey. Hopefully when they get to the next phase they will be thinking of you.

How are you creating and using content marketing to educate?

Image: Creative Commons Via Flickr