Smart content marketing isn’t about you so much as it is about your customer. Today’s savvy customers want you to:
- Speak to them as people instead of prospects.
- Romance, educate, and empower them.
- Fully understand their pain point or goal.
- Take time to develop a relationship.
- Make it easy to try out your product or service.
- Train and support them for the long haul.
- Hang out with them on social channels they frequent.
- Produce brand advocates to validate you and your product.
If your marketing doesn’t do a good job of the points above, use the questions below to turn traditional marketing assumptions on their head and improve your competitive advantage.
- What Does Your Sales Cycle Look Like to Your Best Customers?
- Can everyone in your company name characteristics of your ideal customer?
- Can your sales team tell a good story about your top 5 customer successes?
- How long does it take from a prospect’s first inquiry with you to a sale? Is there a pattern? Can you document and discuss this with all employees? Can you make the steps more user friendly? Can you shorten the lead time?
- What are the top publications, blogs, list-serves, Linked-In groups, google hangouts, etc. that your customers frequent? Are you maximizing your reach into these touch points?
- Do you have brand advocates or rainmakers?
- Does Your Website and Social Channels Make the Grade?
- Use this Hub Spot Marketing Grader to see how you stack up.
- Get critical feedback about your site from someone not familiar with it.
- Do the images on your site tell a good story or are they too randomly placed?
- Do you use infographs?
- Is it easy for visitors to request a demo or materials? Or do you have a LONG FORM that strangles visitor’s precious time?
- Can customers easily write a review of your company or product?
- Are you maximizing stories and testimonials with your customers in the spotlight? Create a simple process to capture stories by giving employees incentives. Add this responsibility directly into an employee’s job description.
- Is Public Relations a Key Strategy?
The act of writing a press release can be an excellent process to orchestrate messaging and earn media coverage if you can tell a good story, plus it’s much less expensive than paid advertising.
- Do you leverage your online news room? Read the research that documents 90% of reporters use an organization’s main or corporate website as their top source.
- Do you have a list of keywords that define your customer, product or service? Keywords with consistent messaging improve SEO and drive prospects to your base.
- Reporters love evergreen stories!
- Do you Streamline Social Media Tasks?
We work so hard to socialize, yet our precious tweets and posts get churned up in a sea of communication noise.
- Team up to maximize your efforts! I’m surprised how often the job of social media falls into the hands of inexperienced staff. An experienced marketer should give direction.
- Use a scheduler like Hoot Suite to save time and plan a clear and consistent strategy.
- Do you Give Employees an Easy Way to Participate in Content Marketing?
It’s disappointing to work with companies whose employees don’t know the big picture or the value of a great customer story. Too often, sales teams don’t know what marketing is doing. Customer service teams aren’t given the opportunity to give input into corporate messaging and no simple process for any employee to identify or uncover customer content. Urgh! This task is easy to do.
- Use an online editorial calendar, like Google docs, to provide employees with a living marketing plan.
- Enable everyone to view it and invite input. Ask for content that you need.
- List important activities, events, trainings, conferences, launches, and goals.
The days of shotgun approaches and “it’s all about you” marketing are gone! Planning long steady strides of multichannel marketing with smart content will land you more loyal and repeat buyers and give you the best return on your investment. Take that to the bank!