Over the last few posts, we’ve looked at how to create a simple, differentiated and consistent message while ensuring the right message reaches the right audience at the right time. But how do you communicate this message? Obviously, there are a number of ways but at the heart of all of this is compelling content.
Content can take many forms and in a lot of cases you can repurpose the same content in multiple formats to appeal to a wider audience. Obviously, a website that is deep in content is a good place to start and a blog can go a long way too. You can also publish collateral, eBooks, white papers, videos and tutorials; just to name a few.
In the last few years, content marketing has become a buzzword that many use to explain this strategy but creating compelling content has always been a core element of every marketing plan in my mind. What is new is the number of different tactics and content types you can create and how this content can be disseminated to your audience and help you get found.
The idea of creating content to get found seems so simple yet many start-ups focus on the latest tactics or feel compelled to try more expensive marketing initiatives and break the budget. Don’t do it. Creating content should be your first strategy and is critical because it drives so many other aspects of your marketing plan:
- Helps you get found: It’s no secret that Google loves new and fresh content so the more often you publish the more likely you will get found. Now, with social media platforms from Twitter to LinkedIn and YouTube to Facebook, the ability to create and share content is easier than ever. When you link to compelling content, you get more likes, favorites, shares, pluses, retweets, etc.
- Provides a strong call to action: Any marketing campaign needs a strong call-to-action so your audience knows what to do next or where to find more info. Offering educational white papers, ebooks, tutorials or other valuable content will drive a lot more conversions. Content is the cornerstone of all successful demand generation campaigns.
- Moves prospects through the funnel: Especially with B2B sales, rarely is the decision to buy made in one meeting or by one person. There is the need for ongoing education and convincing of the prospect and others within the organization. Prospects will continue to engage with you if they see you as a valuable and trustworthy resource.
- Become a thought leader: Creating valuable content will also help you become a thought leader in your industry but you need to focus on communicating how you can help solve your prospects’ problems in a new way. Then share your knowledge by speaking at conferences, writing for industry publications or blogs, becoming involved in organizations, or becoming a go-to person for editors and getting quoted in articles.
You need to create content that is more compelling to your target audience because it is educational not promotional; easy to understand not full of jargon; and helps your customer solve their problems. That valuable content can then be easily adapted to the different media types and spread across the different platforms.
Creating content is not a new strategy but many companies simply do no invest the time or resources in it. Without compelling content, your marketing will not be credible, your company won’t be found and you won’t have successful marketing campaigns. Creating valuable content is THE core element of your marketing success and a strategy you CAN’T ignore.