ICM Custom Publishing Solutions offers services that allow any business to leverage the power of content marketing.
The term “content marketing” seems to be all the rage these days, but what exactly is it and how can it deliver positive returns for your business or organization?
Content marketing is based around the idea of creating trust and authority with your potential customers by providing clear and useful information in a non-confrontational and consultative tone. Rather than bombard potential customers with sales pitches and special offers, more and more businesses are discovering that educating and informing is the way to drive growth.
From a tactical standpoint, content marketing revolves around the creation of quality, effective content that is designed to target customers at various stages of the sales cycle and move them closer to making a purchase or signing on the dotted line. That content can take on a myriad of formats and mediums, ranging from simple whitepapers to full magazine-style publications.
While the ultimate goal of content marketing is, of course, to spur sales or add new customers, it’s important to take a close look at how content leads to that end goal. Having the perfect mix of content in a whitepaper or custom magazine is vital to luring in a large pool of potential customers or clients and begin to raise their awareness of your products and services and how they might have a use for them in their lives.
Meanwhile, more detailed content pieces in your whitepapers or magazine will connect with qualified leads and begin to help them making a decision to take action. You’ll also be able to subtly work in your company name for a brand awareness boost while also building trust and rapport with your potential customers.
When it comes time to close the deal, an organization with a solid content marketing strategy will have built the foundation for a trusting, mutually beneficial business relationship. As a bonus, your customers or clients are more likely to have a clear set of expectations, understand which product or service is best for them and feel comfortable continuing to come to you for their needs for years to come.
Compare that to flashy sales tactics that often pressure customers into making purchasing decisions they later regret and it’s easy to see why content marketing can be so effective in starting, building, brokering and nurturing successful business deals that don’t lead to churn, dissatisfaction and abandonment.
Content marketing can also play a key role in your other marketing and communication strategies. An investment in quality content is a great way to spur additional content ideas, social media postings to encourage engagement, boost your search engine rankings and even help provide better customer service and support by having prepared content that addresses challenges and customer objections.
Explore the Custom Magazine Publishing Process
Content marketing may seem like a challenging, involved process, but ICM Custom Publishing Solutions has a solid, proven methodology for creating engaging, quality content that boosts the bottom line.
We’ll help you focus and identify KPIs that you’ll use to gauge your success and drive the strategy from this point forward. Your custom publishing solutions representative will also work with you to identify and fine-tune the target audience and personas you’ll be gearing your content marketing efforts. You’ll also work on identifying which resources you’ll need ICM Custom Publishing Solutions to provide and which ones you might have already on your team.
Step One Initial Consultation
Working with your ICM Custom Publishing Solutions account manager, you’ll first start discussing what your goals are for your content marketing initiative, which helps us create a concrete and effective game plan for your custom publishing project, which will be laid out in a timeline according to your scheduling needs, goals and scope of the project. In general, two months is a good timeframe to have in mind when considering a custom publishing project, but feel free to discuss tighter deadlines with your account manager.
Step Two Content Plan
Next, we’ll get together and create a content plan in a fun, interactive and collaborative meeting that involves lots of brainstorming and creative juices from all sides of the table. We’ll work with you to create a coordinated, cohesive collection of articles, photography, illustrations, graphics and more that will eventually find their way into your custom publication. Each piece will be carefully selected to target specific sales stages or personas.
Step Three Assign Team
Once your needs have been identified, we’ll introduce you to your team of content pros. Depending on what your needs are these may include, writers, editors, photographers, graphic designers or artists.
Step Four Create Style Guide
With the team in place, we’ll now advance to an in-depth study of your existing marketing collateral, advertising pieces and any other visual elements of your brand. This will help us create a style guide that will determine the ultimate look and feel of your custom publication and ensure it has that polished, consistent look of any magazine you’d find on the newsstand.
Step Five Work the Timeline
Once the style guide is approved, it’s time to develop the content. Your ICM Custom Publishing Solutions representative will serve as a point person for coordinate between those team members on both of our teams involved in the project. We’ll clearly communicate deadlines and expectations as well coordinate the timeline and production tasks.
Step Six Proofing
After we’ve completed the content development, design and layout of your final custom magazine, you’ll have a chance to review full color digital and hard copies and provide us with feedback on content, wording, design or images. Since it’s your publication, it’s vital that you be completely comfortable with every word, image and design choice, so we’re also available to answer your questions and offer advice on best practices and determining the most effective presentation methods.
Step Seven Delivery
After we’ve finalized the custom magazine to your liking, it’s off to the press. Our printing, logistics and mailing experts will coordinate the printing and delivery of the final publication, including any direct mail or drop shipping to multiple locations.