Digital resume? Digital introduction? Client Updates? Content Marketing has actually been around for a long time, but it is gaining in popularity, especially with the use of technology. Content marketing means we give the customers something of value rather than just information about our organization, just a product demo; we give them something of value.
The best example of this is walking through the mall when there’s a Chick-fil-A. Someone is going to be standing out in the hall with small pieces of the chicken cut up with toothpicks in them and you have a taste. And then, if you like it and you’re hungry you’ll go in and buy the sandwich. Think about that. If you like it and if you are hungry. This is the key to content marketing. Are we giving the customers something they are likely to want or likely to need? And then they will act. Are we giving them a call to action so that they will, in fact, buy from us?
In order to succeed, content marketing must focus on three principles of sales and marketing.
Thoughts always precede actions. You’ll hear people say, “It happened so fast, I didn’t have time to think about it.” Well, yes you did. Your subconscious mind took over and may have done most of the thinking but in fact your mind was processing the information. For instance, did you ever circle back around to see if you had actually closed the garage door? Yes. And was the door closed? Yes, as a matter of fact, it was. Our mind will do things for us when we are unaware that we have caused it or triggered our mind to do that. So, thoughts always precede actions. Marketing changes the way, or is supposed to change the way, the customer thinks.
Marketing must be universal and not specific. Don’t too narrowly define your marketing message. Make it appeal to as many people as possible.
Avoid first person pronouns. Try to stay away from “I”, “me”, “we”, “us” and instead talk about the customer. It’s okay that you’re a great organization, it’s fabulous that people love you. Stop talking about yourself. If you need to say something about yourself, let other people do it. Use quotes, use referrals, use whatever you can have from your satisfied customers but don’t talk so much about yourself.
Social media is the best way to distribute content marketing. It is a powerful tool. And, it is so powerful it can drive away some of your customers, kill some of your prospects, and shorten your social media list. Why is that? It can be used erroneously and it’s because those three principles are not addressed properly.
Let’s look at them for just a moment.
The first principle is: thoughts always precede actions. Don’t lecture the customer. Talk to the customer, that’s okay. But make it as interactive as possible. This has to be a one-way communication but look at how we’re using it: there is video, there is audio, there are graphics, there are subliminal messages. Make it as multi-media as possible every time you talk to the customer. No more lectures. Ask them questions. Engage them – interaction.
The second: if you would like for your content marketing to be less effective then make it as narrow as possible; only put out offers that will appeal to a very few people. Leave it as open-ended as possible. Even some customers that you would think may not benefit from the marketing will contact you if you’re just close enough. Make it as broad as possible.
The third principle: Talk about them, don’t talk about yourself. If you want to ruin your content marketing just talk about yourself instead of the problems your customers are probably facing; the situations they are facing. Even better: what’s coming in the future? What do you know about economics or about technology or about demographics that could help your customers?
Content Marketing is a powerful tool. Make sure you are giving your customers something of value in every contact with them.
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