Content is the power house of any marketing activity. When it is done well it can fuel your social channels, bring energy to your campaign activities and drive better engagement between your sales team and prospects. Creating purposeful, relevant and engaging content should be at the heart of every marketing strategy.
As we believe content to be so crucially important, here are our top tips
Where to start
Listen to your clients and prospects, to competitors, and even to those who didn’t choose to work with you. Ask questions…. What do we do well? What could we have done better? What makes you do business with us? What do you like about us? What don’t you like? You may be surprised by some of the answers. Unless you understand why and how people engage with your business and why they choose to work with you, you can’t create content that is relevant to your audience.
It’s a bit like turning up at a party and just starting to talk about yourself. Far better to show interest, empathy and understanding of those around you and then base your conversation on what you learn.
Never create a piece of content without understanding why you are producing it and what its relevance is to your campaign. Who is it targeted at? Why? When is this information useful to your contacts? What outcome do you want from sharing this content with your audience?
As explained in our Introduction to Content Marketing, your content shouldn’t explicitly promote your products and services, but it still needs to be aligned with your marketing strategy and business objectives – you are conveying trust, understanding, your personality and capabilities.
Don’t lose sight of your primary objective; to add value to prospects, modify behavior, engage with the sales process, and deliver ROI to the business.
When it comes to content generation, be realistic about what you can achieve with your resources. Always prioritize the elements that will contribute the most to your campaign and sales success, and those elements that can be used across the greatest number of channels.
Far better to have well-considered features and take the time to share them effectively across your channels than create more frequent features without purpose.
Work closely with sales and customer service teams
Great content shouldn’t just attract people to your business, it should guide them on the path to becoming a customer and enhance your relationship with them. Content which is closely aligned with your prospects journey can be of enormous benefit to your sales team and will increase the value of marketing in supporting the business.
Work closely with sales and customer service teams to understand what gaps they need to fill within their client communications. When do things go quiet? What information would be useful to put in front of prospects and existing customers, and when? What is missing from their armoury when they are in competitive situations? Which competitor gaps do we want to expose indirectly?
Don’t work in isolation
Whilst we’re looking at how we engage with colleagues, it’s important to remember to include them within your content. Whether are in a dedicated marketing role, or you are looking to create content alongside your day job, it is important to utilise the experience and knowledge of others within the organisation. Great ideas rarely come from isolation. Ask your colleagues what themes and topics they think are pertinent to customers.
There are multiple benefits to this approach. Not only will you be able to access expertise within your team that is beyond your own experience, which will ultimately enrich the quality of your content; you will be able to showcase the ability and experience of your team which in turn will build greater trust between them and their prospects.
Maximising the reach of your content
Use your network
People exist in communities and networks. Word of mouth now drives purchases, far more than traditional sales and marketing. Great content should equip your colleagues, partners and customers to be advocates.
Your customers have their own network of people and social channels within the industry you are working in. One crucial element of gaining trust isn’t just the ability to reference your clients, but in demonstrating your connection to success within the industry. Wherever possible, consider how your content could work with industry partners and other trusted third parties.
Promote your customers’ stories, praise the successes of your partners, and celebrate progress within the industry. Great content should communicate your strength as a leader in your field, you can only do that by having a presence within the wider industry.
Work as a team
It is not the responsibility of one person, or one department, to share content. The most effective campaigns are when the whole organisation supports the distribution. By engaging people within the content generation process, you will already have increased their engagement and readiness to share. Don’t be shy of promoting your work to colleagues and asking for their support in sharing through their own channels. Where appropriate, ask sales and business leaders to set the example. Most people welcome the opportunity to have content to promote and understand the benefits to their own profiles and to that of the organisation.
Remember who you are talking to
If you are communicating with people in different industry sectors and roles, it is important to make sure that your content is relevant to them. When thinking about your campaigns, consider the different personas that you are talking to and design your content accordingly. People in differing roles will have different reasons for engaging with your business – they may have different issues that your product or service aims to resolve. Particularly, for high value products and services where the sales cycle is longer, there is a need to narrow the focus of your content and become more specific as the relationship develops.
We’re always happy to speak to people so if you have any thoughts on this article, please get in touch. Time54 are straight forward, ‘get up and go’ marketing specialists keen to work with companies with drive and motivation to improve. We offer practical marketing advice and a flexible service. Whether you’re looking for social media presence, website development, SEO, PR, events, exhibition stands, video, photography or a full-service marketing plan we are happy to help. firstname.lastname@example.org