Content marketing is a powerful tool that can do wonders for brand visibility, lead generation, customer engagement, and sales growth. It has two primary techniques - push and pull - that marketers often use.
Push marketing is a strategy focused on "pushing" products or services to the customer. It's direct and relatively aggressive. You're trying to put your content in front of the customer through direct emails, ads, or sponsored posts.
On the other hand, pull marketing involves creating content that "pulls" customers to your business. It's more about attracting customers by creating valuable, engaging content that they'll naturally want to engage with. SEO, content creation, and social media engagement are all part of pull marketing.
Balancing these two strategies is key to a well-rounded content marketing approach. It's about knowing when to promote your product or service directly and when to simply provide value that attracts customers to your brand. Here are five tips for striking this balance.
1. Understand Your Audience
The first step in balancing push and pull is understanding your audience. This involves knowing their needs, preferences, challenges, and how they consume content.
Are they more responsive to direct marketing tactics like emails and advertisements? Or do they prefer organically discovering your content through search engines or social media feeds? Answering these questions will give you a good idea of how to balance your push and pull strategies.
2. Create a Mix of Content
Don't stick to just one type of content. Create a mix that includes both informational and promotional content. Blogs, podcasts, and how-to guides are excellent for pull marketing, while product demos, sales emails, and sponsored social posts work well for a push.
Your content mix should lean more towards informational content. The more value you provide to your audience, the more they'll trust your brand and consider your products or services when they're ready to purchase.
3. Use Data to Inform Your Strategy
Use analytics tools to track the performance of your content. Measure metrics like engagement, click-through, and conversion rates to understand what type of content and strategy are more effective with your audience.
If your push content drives conversions but gets low engagement, it might be time to focus more on pull content to build a relationship with your audience. Conversely, if your pull content gets a lot of engagement but does not drive conversions, you may need to increase your push content.
4. Leverage Social Media
Social media is a versatile platform that can accommodate both push and pull strategies. You can push content through sponsored posts and pull audiences by sharing valuable, engaging content on your page.
Social media is also a great place to interact directly with your audience. You can use it to learn more about their preferences and adjust your push-pull balance accordingly.
5. Consider the Buyer's Journey
The buyer's journey - awareness, consideration, and decision - can guide your balance between push and pull.
Customers are still learning about their problems in the awareness stage, so pull strategies are usually best. In the consideration stage, they're evaluating different solutions, so a balance of push and pull might be appropriate. In the decision stage, they're ready to choose an answer, so push strategies can be effective.
Balancing push and pull in content marketing is delicate, but it's key to a successful marketing strategy. By understanding your audience, creating a mix of content, using data to inform your strategy, leveraging social media, and considering the buyer's journey, you can find the right balance that drives results for your business.