Your relationship with your customer starts long before they hand over their money, or at least it should if you’re a good businessperson. Clever businesses know that the relationship they build with a prospect prior to a sale not only impacts the outcome of that transaction, but also the chance of further sales down the track.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint

For many industries, particularly in business to business (B2B) transactions, the sales cycle is a long one. When dealing with high priced items, you don’t see customers googling what they need and instantly hit the buy now button. Customers for these items like to research first, so if your competitors have a great online presence your potential customers are reading all about them and not you.

Cultivating relationships over a period of time is what gives your competitors the edge. People spend an impressive amount of time researching online before making a big purchase, but that’s not the only time they are seeing your competitors. Their solid content marketing strategy ensures your competition is constantly being seen by the market.

Posting fresh content online not only means it’s available when people go searching for it, it also allows for social media sharing or automated newsletters consistently hitting your potential customers’ inboxes and news feeds. If this information is coming from your competitors, it means they are being seen where you are not. That hurts your business.

Regular content gives your competitors an early lead

When your competitors constantly publish content that the market finds useful, they are slowly but surely luring your customers away. Even before the transfer of money, a relationship or trust is starting to develop.

Businesses who often create valuable content are not-so-subtly stamping themselves as an authority in the market. That’s attractive to potential customers. Customers want to know they are dealing with a market-leader whenever possible. If that’s not your business, you’re missing out.

Google what you do, not who you are

Often people google their business name and are impressed to see themselves appear on the first page of results. That should happen, especially if you have a fairly unique business name.

A better test of your online presence is to google what you do, or a question your customers often ask of you, such as, How many solar panels are needed for a standard house rather than Barry Robertson and Sons Electrics. It is likely you will be much further down the list, or maybe not on it at all, if you aren’t investing in valuable, knowledgeable content creation.

Potential customers may not have heard of your business, so they are more likely to search for what they need rather than your name specifically. If your competitors are consistently showing up when you search for things you do, your business would benefit from putting some work into a content marketing strategy.

Want a more in-depth understanding of content marketing?

Download our ebook, Content Marketing: The Key To Business Growth, and learn the fundamental concepts of content marketing and the ways it can be used to accelerate your business’s growth.

Content Marketing Ebook