A tricky proposition when it comes to long term content management: teaching your prospects. We’re talking about taking an amateur or a casual user and turning them into an expert, a power user, someone who will spend the extra money for quality products and services.
The big questions that we ask ourselves when considering this strategy: is it possible, and is it worth it?
The answer to the first question is easy: yes, it is possible to train prospects to demand more from the businesses that they support. It’s possible to use your content not only to let them know that your products or services are better, but why they’re better. You can make an expert out of an amateur, or at least get them started on the right path, through content marketing alone.
The second question is the tough one. It’s a lot easier to sell to an existing audience than it is to try and turn prospects into solid leads.
In 1984, Whole Foods was strictly an Austin, Texas store. In more recent years, the company has seen tremendous expansion. If you tried to sell your average New Yorker organic coffee beans in 1980, they might not even know that coffee came in bean form. Since 1980, cable cooking shows and the internet have turned everyone into an armchair five-star chef.
Had Whole Foods attempted an expansion in 1980, along with a marketing campaign to educate people on the value of high quality, organic ingredients, they might have wound up wasting so much money that their 1984 expansion would have been impossible. Instead, they waited for the culture to catch up with their vision, and then they found expansion to be quite easy.
That being said, it’s a lot easier for you to educate your prospects with content marketing than it was for a small grocery store to educate their prospects with print ads and radio commercials. It’s still a lot of work, but the media has changed in such a way that you have access to the exact same channels that have made it possible for Whole Foods to have hundreds of locations around the country.
Some questions to consider:
- Are your current customers willing to pay more?
If your core demographic is the expert, the power-user, then there’s a good chance that they will pay a premium price for a premium product. Raising your prices may be more effective than seeking new customers.
- Is an entry-level product or service possible?
Most people don’t spend $1,200 on their first guitar, but they might spend $200, and a year from now, buy the $1,200 model from the brand they’ve learned to trust. Hooking leads with entry level products and letting them learn on their own may be more effective.
- What’s your marketing budget?
If you want to teach your prospects how to spot quality, we’re not just talking about a few blog posts and a Youtube video, we’re talking about buying your prospect a free education. How much time and money do you have to put into training your leads?
A large part of your business model needs to involve going after existing demographics, whether they’re newbies or experts. With that as your foundation, it is possible to turn a layman into an expert through great content marketing alone, it’s just a lot of work.
Gilbert S lives and works in rural New Mexico with his rat terrier, Kay.