Are you engaged in random acts of content marketing, or are you producing content as an alternative form of advertising? These are just two reasons why your content marketing may not be working for you!
According to a recent survey ‘B2B Content Marketing Trends 2013‘ – 71.3% of companies are using content marketing for lead generation, while only 24.8% are using it for customer loyalty and retention.
Nurturing potential leads from the inside out – work it baby!
While every business should be looking to attract new customers, it is important to do this the right way around. It is overall, much easier to enhance the customer relationships you already have and to up sell to them than to cold-call to new prospects.
In fact research shows us that marketers have found that Customer Testimonials are the most effective tactic in content marketing.
So it would stand to reason then that we should be supporting our existing customers and attending to their needs first. Maximising the value of our existing client relationships should be our number one goal and we should be creating outstanding content that is geared to benefit our existing customers. In fact our existing customers should be seeing real value and should be excited about receiving our content.
Create content that’s good enough to share…
By adding value to the experience that your existing customers have of your organisation, you are entrenching a positive association with your brand and generating the opportunity to gather positive customer feedback. In addition, by creating content that attends directly to very specific needs that customers have, you will naturally create content of real value.
This will then be content that existing customers are more likely to consider as being worthy of sharing and distributing within their own network.
Most people are more likely to buy as the result of a recommendation from a friend or someone who’s opinion they consider to be trustworthy, than in response to promotional marketing material. New leads are more likely to consider a purchase if the general consensus deems a product or service reliable and valuable.
So how do we create content that is good enough to share?
Always place yourself in the shoes of your customer. If you were your customer, what problems would you mull over while stuck in traffic on the way in to work?
Here are a few examples of thoughts in relation to common problems that we all at one time or another have had:
- Why does that estate agent never call me back?
- How can I get my house to sell?
- How can I reduce my phone costs?
- Where can I cut back to cope with yet another fuel hike?
- Why does my flu keep coming back?
- What am I going to feed people at that family function this weekend?
- How can I find a way to make sure my (elderly) mom is safe?
- Where can I find a reliable plumber/cleaner/garden service?
- Why is my content marketing not working?
We all long for answers to our questions. You speak to your customers every day and the chances are that they all ask very similar questions and have similar concerns. Think about what really bothers your customers. Make a list.
Use your content to address their concerns when you are not there in person
to do so.
Lead generation – Content Marketing Bonus #1
You are in business because your company is able to address a need.
The concerns that your existing customers have are the same ones your potential customers will have. By creating content that deals with the concerns of your existing customers, you are automatically dealing with the concerns that your potential customers have.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – Content Marketing Bonus #2
When you create content that addresses concerns, you would typically be including keywords and phrases that customers would use to find a solution to their problem. In this way, you are again automatically creating search engine optimised content which will help to drive traffic to your website. Read this article to find out more about writing content that boosts SEO.
Product / Service Promotion – Content Marketing Bonus #3
As we mentioned earlier, your organisation exists because it addresses a need. In helping your customers to solve their problems, you would naturally be referencing your products or services to do so.
The Scenario: Let’s imagine for a moment that you are a plumber.
You know that your industry may be flooded (that pun was not intended!) with individuals who are not very reliable.
You could write an article that provides specific advise which helps customers to choose the right plumber for their needs and you would definitely need to write a series of articles which offer self-help techniques and maintenance suggestions to help customers avoid common plumbing problems.
Perhaps there are common bad-practices that you encounter in your industry. Without naming and shaming competitors, you could write an article, or even a series of articles that help customers to identify and manage these problems.
The Result: Your existing customers get more from you than what they paid for. They are now empowered with the information they need to maintain their own plumbing – if they have the time or inclination to do so. You have demonstrated the depth of knowledge you have and will undoubtedly not be the plumber who is willing to cut the corners you have identified. The valuable information you’ve provided will solve an existing customers needs, that existing customers friends needs, as well as the needs of the person trawling the internet looking for a reliable solution to their problem or need.
Although we have spoken just about writing an article in the above scenario – remember that content marketing covers your social media posts, links to other interesting content on the internet, video content and marketing materials such as your newsletter.
The final analysis
Content marketing does work – if it is done with the correct intention.
Compiling content to generate website traffic or to attract more leads should be seen as secondary to the real reason to engage in content marketing. If you are generating content to enhance the customer experience with your company, you will automatically create quality content. If you are creating content to simply attract website traffic and new customer leads, the chances are that your content will lack depth and value which means that you will immediately defeat the object of this activity.
At The Formula, we’ve experienced how solid planning and a well thought out marketing strategy benefits our customers. If marketing is not your core function, or your area of expertise, our team is ready to act as your very own marketing department. We are a full service marketing agency that will bring you solid marketing results. Give Garth Dahl or Shiraz Khatib a call on 021 556 5661 or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.