Buyers today are hungry for content, and unlike in years past when they depended on salespeople and corporate materials for their information, they now have a breadth of resources to sink their teeth into—everything from search engines and blogs to social networks and online communities.
Marketers have always known that appealing content is important. But, today’s buyers want to do their own research and investigation, making relevant and engaging content more important than ever. Incorporating a process for creating and marketing content is extremely useful—content shouldn’t be a part of what your marketing department does, it should be a mindset that fuses everything together. Give your buyers content that will cleanse the palate and get them ready for sales.
Now, most of you are probably wondering where you’ll find the time or resources to produce a wealth of new content. The good news is you already have it; you just need to plan for it.
The key is to repurpose, repackage and extend the life of content. It’s easy to spend a lot of time preparing for a speaking engagement, Webinar or white paper and then quickly move on to the next big thing. All of these pieces of content can be repurposed into more content, however. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Turn that white paper into a series of blog posts and even bring in a third-party expert to weigh in on a particular point.
- Presentations from speaking engagements can be uploaded to SlideShare—tweet these from your personal and corporate handles and you can extend the reach of this content by hundreds, or even thousands, of people.
- Take the Q&A from a webinar and post it as a blog. If Webinar attendees are asking about it, others probably are as well.
When a message is broken up into many different pieces of bite-sized content, it often has a better reach, will encourage more social sharing and ultimately yield stronger search engine results. You can even find content producers within the walls of your own company; an employee passionate about a particular product feature or idea could be a great contributor to the corporate blog.
When creating content that customers and prospects want to consume, it’s important to remember a few other things:
- Remember not to talk at them—listen to what they have to say via social networks, community forums and surveys.
- Then, talk to them the way you would talk to another person, dropping robotic corporate speak.
- Include messages in your email arsenal that are designed to inform, entertain or provide value rather than sell.
This will show a more human side to your company, making buyers more willing to further engage with you.
Once you have all this great content, automation allows you to connect with people in a more personal fashion—it’s manually impossible to respond to the individual needs of hundreds or thousands or prospects in real time. By automating this, you can improve efficiency and give yourself some extra time to focus on other things.
Send emails based on your prospects’ behaviors. It doesn’t make sense to send a buyer information on things that don’t match their interests—automated messages based on Web pages an individual has visited will deliver highly relevant and personalized content that will entice your buyer to learn more. While it may seem ironic, automation makes your communications much more personalized, luring prospects in even more.
All of this content you’ve repackaged and repurposed will be available to further nurture your prospects or provide useful information to your existing customers. Think about how you can be the leading expert in your industry, providing quality content that your customers and prospects want to consume. With a wealth of content at your buyer’s fingertips, they’ll be able to learn about your company and its personality. Before long, they’ll likely be ready for the next course—sales.
1) Tip Sheet: “Getting Personal: 5 Tips for Humanizing Content"
2) Blog: “Marketing Automation: Crawl, Walk, Run”