Just in case you are not aware, if your company blogs, tweets, facebooks or produces video, you actually are in the content marketing game and have effectively become a publisher.
According to a study by the Content Marketing Institute: “the biggest challenge for corporate content producers is to actually come up with engaging content all the time”. Due to the overwhelming abundance of content out there and the imminent catching up by competitors or simply better content producers that your company who is giving the first steps, this race can feel daunting.
A great part of content marketing nowadays is a mix of compelling information, entertainment, reach, openness and a big dose of personal touch nurturing that mix you present to your audience.
No one can create 100% engaging content all the time just like no event is 100% satisfactory to everyone; neither is a get-together or any social endeavour. However, your company can take a strategic approach to connect with your target audience and support business goals. Should you aim for perfection? Yes, of course. Even if you know that along the way you will land some nice triumphs, some average interactions and the occasional hiccup. It’s about following a strategy & also making adjustments but commiting to repetition of the core pillars (more below).
Assuming your team has got the skills to produce good content the key is that, according to the business function they represent, these individuals are fully aware of the goals and possible benefits for their business wing so that their creative process is fully in line with the direction.
Here are some ways in which your team may have the business goals present in their minds (obviously the team needs to be creative enough to avoid the hard-sell):
Ask collaborators to produce content in line with the different stages of the buying process. A blog post or video, even pictures can cater for stages such as the consideration stage, comparison stage, closing stage, etc. Think how your possible buyers think and make it easy for them to have questions answered even before they ask them. Have a look at this great article over as Social Media B2B covering more about these stages.
Purer Marketing/ Promotion
Remember about entertainment. Even if storytelling is nowadays a buzzword, it is what the community wants and engages with. Ask your content producers to abandon the hammering announcements and build your messages around stories. I am not asking you to create a sitcom (although if you can, people may like it). It’s down to internalising the story as a vehicle. Let me give you an example before I get too abstract: If you are pushing a new product, change in the company, partnership you can present it to the community in a video/ post that actually walks the viewer through how this novelty came into being. For instance, when we opened our London office we created this video in an effort to escape from the typical written announcement.
Is your content likely to be picked and shared by authorities & influencers? For instance, is it written/ formatted in such a way that it is easy to be grabbed by an important journalist or blogger who may want to write about it? You cannot artificially generate this interest by others but you can certainly ask your content team to keep best practices in mind and also an eye on the type of content your target influencers are fond of. Then, simply be consistent. Thanks to Ivan Walsh for inspiring this thought.
Even though we are all in the customer services department, senior customer services people in your company should probably take the lead on content production. These experienced people should aim to cater for the different stages in your particular customer services matrix. This could come down things such as tutorials or explaining after-sales processes better. Why not bring in storytelling to the equation and showcase how you solve specific problems or a client’s success story with your department? See how Zendesk go about this concept. Ask your content team to also share how you make things better based on complaints (e.g. based on this backlog we have done this and that and rewarded patient clients with X).
Caring about the people who relate to your company has always been a business function. We all know that this has been neglected for years and is now changing back to what it should be, with the help of social media and the consumers’ resonance. Ask your collaborators to listen to what the community wants (literally see what key individuals have “liked” “tweeted” or even criticized). Sense what makes them tick and take a leap to try to meet that need. The more you do it, the better you get. The more you serve them, the more room they will give you to actually present brand new inputs that they were not looking for but they like, because they come from you.
Now go and review your content strategy. Is it supporting your business functions? I know for a fact after writing this post that we have a lot to work on here too. Let’s get down to it and if you feel like, leave a quick comment below, we can all do with your great examples and thoughts 🙂