Content marketing has grown from being the hot new kid on the block to becoming yet another way for marketers to justify spending time and money on stuff.
This happens because content is “stuff” that is countable, and if you produce more “stuff” you must be doing a “better” job. So goes the thinking of a typical marketer.
But that’s not you. You know that this approach nets nothing but wasted marketing dollars on pieces that fall flat and fail to generate any impact for the business. But if you look around, most content simply has little value, aside from occupying a slot on an editorial calendar somewhere.
Maybe the measurement of success, or value, in content should be how much it helps your prospect or customer?
To develop solid content assets that will get your prospects to pull the trigger, you’ll have to get creative and make sure that the value is always front and center.
If you spend too much time simply trumpeting how awesome your company is, you’ll quickly find yourself playing to an empty house.
The trick is to strike a balance between touting your services and providing value. Here are three ingredients to get you to the close.
Focus instead on crafting relevant content that speaks to the right people, and give buyers a shortcut to what they want
Give your IT network managers a new tool to evaluate their business. Give demand gen managers some sweet email templates to follow for maximum engagement. Provide the C-suite with information to calculate the impact and savings of your solution. Structure your content in tone, format, and message to make an impact with each specific audience.
It’s hard to do and it’s traditionally something that companies won’t let outside their walls — but it’s absolutely the only way to truly create buyer-driven content.
Check the value of your content with the “so what?” test
You might remember this one from English class.
Realize that your prospects are busy. They don’t have the time, nor the inclination, to waste time reading content that delivers no payoff. Look at much of the content floating around these days and you’ll see that much of it simply calls attention to problems without actually solving them. As a result, it gets the delete key quicker than a Trump statement gets media coverage.
To create valuable content — and build anticipation for future pieces — solve your customer’s problems, and be clear in your communications about how you’re solving them. You’ll win their trust and their business.
And then use the content to get customers to act
It really isn’t enough to ask the buyer to take a certain action; you need to spell out the dire toll they’ll pay if they don’t. Hit those emotional triggers. Not sure how to do that? Run a Google search for “trigger words.” Incorporating this approach is the real secret ingredient that sparks countless conversions. Build trust, ask customers to act, and then tell them the cost of not acting. Great content does this in spades.
So, don’t be one of those marketers who just creates content for content’s sake. We’ve all seen it. Use the above tips to solve your customer’s problems, and show them what happens if they don’t act. It’s a winning recipe everyone will enjoy.
Meet Leah Byrd
As bookworm with a tendency to wander, Leah collects stories everywhere she goes. Seeing the world as an ecosystem of stories has enabled her to bring an authentic approach to marketing that drives connection and advocacy. With a background in education, marketing strategy, and content creation, she is dedicated to creating unified, seamless experiences that maximize ROI. In her free time, you’ll probably find her reading a book with a sleepy chihuahua in her lap, rummaging through an antique shop, trying desperately not to kill her plants, or serenading the dashboard with her husband on yet another weekend road trip.