We have covered the value of creating content marketing to allow prospects to find your website and you for quite a while now. One way to lead your competition and establish yourself as an industry expert is by creating engaging content in a variety of media. You not only bring valuable attention to your brand, but also gain recognition as you rise above the competition.
Content marketing is nothing new. Neither is the concept of being a market or industry leader. Leading your competition may not be your goal, but driving business should be. Content marketing IS the way today.
Actually, it gets its humble beginning by way of the earliest of human beings; telling stories around a campfire to get a point across. Storytelling is the way people relate information to themselves, remember important things and develop deeper relationships with those telling the tales. Content marketing is the same, except for the age of storytelling, and the delivery.
Companies across the globe are taking content marketing seriously, and the concept is gaining worldwide traction. Don’t take my word for it, take a look at reports featured on the Internet from CMI, the Content Marketing Institute. Their recent report on Business to Business (B2B) marketers states that more than 90 percent of them are invested and utilizing content marketing to drive their brands and draw prospective clientele. Also, when it comes to content, more than 86 percent of Business to Customer (B2C) share the same enthusiasm for the practice of providing engaging content to drive leads and their brands.
If that doesn’t convince you check out MarketingProfs, another industry leading organization, wherein their recent reporting reflects similar data. Additionally, these reports indicate that more than fifty-four percent of each type of marketing focus expects to increase spending next year.
Leading your competition will take some doing, but if you never start, you will never know if and how it works. Here are three tips to seriously consider.
Lead the Field
CEO’s must become the champions for change. If your company is not currently utilizing content marketing as the primary marketing strategy, yet you have a website, you are missing the boat. Change is difficult under any banner, from redirecting a team project or changing the way your business operates. Big or small, change is tough, but in this world, change is the only constant in business. Simply put it is grow or die.
Candidly speaking, professional service firms such as lawyers, accountants and CPA’s, the medical profession and others are not known for their poetic prose or compelling storytelling. In fact, these professions are filled with industry jargon, or even the use of Latin to avoid the average person from understanding them. Doctors and lawyers have very specific language that sets themselves apart from the rest of the world, and that is just fine for conducting business. If you are using the same terms in your marketing, it is no wonder why most do not have much success with lead generation from the public. If people cannot understand what it is you are saying, how can they develop a relationship with you?
Content marketing is only picking up speed, and the technologies to provide multi-media content is growing by the day. If your competition is not on the cutting edge along with you, why not get out ahead of them. After all, articulating what makes your firm different and stands out from the crowd is how we succeed.
Tell Great Stories
Pull a team of content experts together from your internal staff. If you don’t know marketing, you had better learn. Marketing is everyone’s job, from the front desk attendant to the CEO. Your customer service area is a great place to start, due to its natural interaction with your customer base.
What are some of the comments and stories they hear that can be used as a basis for a victory over a problem they faced that only your business made successful?
How did someone on the staff go out of their way to make the customer happy? An interesting bit of history about the early days of FedEx reflects just a tale, as made legendary by Tom Peters: FedEx and the Helicopter
It seems a blizzard in the California Sierras took the telephone lines down, leaving the local FedEx office without phone service — or any way of connecting with customers.
So a junior FedEx staffer decided to rent a helicopter to fix the problem. Without asking permission from his managers, he put the helicopter on his personal American Express card and instructed the pilot to fly to the top of the mountain where the failed equipment was located. There, the employee jumped onto the snow-covered mountaintop, trudged three-quarters of a mile in chest-deep snow and fixed the line to get FedEx back in business.
(An excerpt from: HOW YOU CAN UNLEASH THE POWER OF STORYTELLING by Ann Wylie)
FedEx was perhaps one of the earliest corporations to utilize storytelling as a way to grow their brand and gain new customers. They have become famous, and infamous for their ability to take customer or company actions that affected customers and turn it into compelling, engaging content. Every business across the globe has these type of stories to share, they must unearth them and begin to use them for the sake of marketing.
Evaluate, Analyze, Rinse and Repeat
In order to know what affect your content is making on your business, it is critical to develop a set of metrics and evaluate routinely. By analyzing your content inventory by type (video, white papers, multi-media, articles, blog posts, etc) or topic (customer success story, improvements to make people’s lives better etc), you will understand what aspects of the individual pieces have on your business marketing. Does your audience prefer articles to multi-media? Do particular topics resonate better than do others?
Doing so will not only keep you abreast of your marketing efforts, it can lead to re-developing existing content into a different or expanded version in another medium. Perhaps you have a series of articles from six months ago that can easily be updated and converted into a white paper or eBook.
If all of this sounds overwhelming and too much to consider, you may be right. What you have to do is evaluate the above and then evaluate your goals and your competition. Is this going to get you where you want to be financially, and will this separate you from your competitors? Carefull consideration and some planning will allow you to answer these questions.
We at Zen Marketing have the expertise, the talent and the tools to conduct a marketing analysis, develop an affordable plan and set you on your way to leading the field. Or, if you do not have the time to invest, we serve as complete marketing departments for a number of clients.