Content marketing isn't a one-night stand

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Information about Content marketing isn't a one-night stand
Business & Mgmt

Published on February 21, 2014

Author: TomKuder



Today, it’s tempting to see Content Marketing as the hot newcomer that can satisfy your business needs. But if long term value is important to you, then a one-night stand with the first attractive content to come along isn’t the answer. Instead of temptation, you need commitment – a process – and time.

Content Marketing ISN’T A ONE-NIGHT STAND Looking for Love in All the Right Places

Content Marketing All you need is Love. Love is all you need. -The Beatles

Lonely business seeks customers... As a marketer, your needs are basic: more leads and more customers (thus, more love). And of course those needs are urgent, right? So how about a quick fix? Maybe an enticing piece of content an ebook or a spiffy video - would quench your desire. Today, it’s tempting to see Content Marketing as the hot newcomer that can satisfy your business needs. And maybe it is. But if longterm value is important to you, then a one-night stand with the first attractive content to come along isn’t the answer. Instead of temptation, you need commitment – a process – and time. 2

Here’s your process. (Gosh, that was easy!) At the highest level, a successful Content Marketing process has four core elements: Aim$ 1. Aim first to determine your objectives. 2. Plan your approach by profiling prospect needs, and crafting Plan$ content that will help meet those needs. 3. Pull prospects to a lead form by placing your offers to help where prospects can find them. Pull$ 4. Push more useful content out to known prospects, guiding their buyer journey. Of course, each step of this process has a few steps of its own. But Push$ really, this is what it takes to find love with Content Marketing! 3

Start with the end in mind. If you were to join a matchmaking service, you’d start by defining what you’re after. Think of Content Marketing in the same way. What Aim$ is your Aim (or goal): Qualified leads? Open a new market? Cheeks in seats? Signups or subscriptions? Website traffic? Bigger email list? Social Plan$ shares or word of mouth? Your goal helps you focus your plan and your content strategy. It also helps you measure your results so you can see if you’ve been Pull$ successful. If you have lots of different goals, create separate Content Marketing plans for each so you can perfect your Aim. Push$ 4

Plan: Who, What, Where, Why? Your Plan guides your search for love. Skip this step, and you’ll end up on some really bad blind dates. Aim$ In today’s buyer-centric Internet-enabled world, your prospect knows almost everything about your organization before you ever meet. So it’s a pretty good idea to learn about him or her, too. Plan$ With Content Marketing, you’ll be engaging prospects in conversation, and walking hand-in-hand with them along their journey to a purchase or other key conversion. Pull$ You’d better know who you’re talking to, and why they’re listening. Let’s look closer at what that takes: Who, What, Where, Why? Push$ 5

“Who do you work for?” The first part of your prospect dating plan is to define firmagraphics. That is, who do your prospects work for? What types of companies employ them? This includes: Company revenues, number of employees, geographic location(s), industry segments, forprofit or non-profit This may be obvious to you, but if you’re working with a team they’ll all need this critical information. Of course, companies don’t buy things; people do. So the next question is… Plan: Who, What, Where, Why? 6

“What do you do? The second part of your Plan is to identify each buyer persona. Usually, several people are involved in a Meet$Colleen,$ Crime$Analyst$ business buying decision. Each person is unique, with different jobs and different buyer roles. Consider Colleen. Before you can create content that will interest her, you’ve got to know what she does. What’s her job function? What department or buying center is she in? What job titles might she have? What’s her role in the buying process? What’s she working on? Most importantly, what are her challenges as she goes about her work? If you can help her with those, you’ll have a better chance of getting her attention. Plan: Who, What, Where, Why? 7

“Where do you hang out? “Maybe I’ll see you there sometime.” The third part of your Plan is to find where your prospects spend time online. That’s where you’re going to meet them – with your content. It’s not stalking. Okay, so maybe it is a little bit. But the point of content marketing is to engage prospects in a conversation, so you’ll want to know where to take your opening line: Industry and trade associations? LinkedIn groups and discussion forums? Twitter follows? Favorite bloggers? Facebook page likes? These are the right places to look for love. Plan: Who, What, Where, Why? 8

“Why are you looking around?” Remember those work challenges you identified for each persona? This fourth step is where you Plan how Personalized, Campaign, Personalized, Campaign, Persona,A, “User”, Persona,B, “Champion”, to address them head on. What messages will get attention? How can you show challenges in a new light? How have others handled similar issues? What general solutions are out there? As you plan this conversation, remember it’s not about you. It’s about your prospect. Each piece of content you plan should be aimed at one persona, offering information that is highly relevant to his or her work issues. Helpfulness is attractive. Selling isn’t. And you do want to be attractive, don’t you? Plan: Who, What, Where, Why? 9

Your content map The result of your Plan will be a Content Map. The Content Map will match persona-specific messages to the three main stages of the Buyer Journey. It might look something like this: Education Thought Leadership eBooks( eMail(series( Blog(posts( Twitter(series( YouTube(video( ( Solution Knowledge Webinar( Web(site(content( Video( Briefs(/(White(paper( Solution Value Story Data(sheet( Webinar(/(PPT( Video(demos( Analyst(report( Solution Validation Trials(/(POC( Competitive(Chart( SME(Access( Executive(Briefings( Selection Financial Justification ( (Client(References(( (Case(studies( ROI(calculator( OnBoarding ( Training( Plan: Who, What, Where, Why? 10

Use your best opening lines. With your Content Map firmly in hand, you can begin to invite prospects into a conversation with you. Place your best opening Aim$ lines (offers to help) online where each persona spends their time. You might lead with your most basic (but helpful!) ebook, available free just by entering an email address. Plan$ This is Pull marketing. The idea is to use an offer for valuable information to “pull” prospects to a landing page on your website. Pull$ Push$ 11

Inbound (pull) Teaser& Content& Pull marketing: Content that drives leads Place your offers to help (teaser content) online using social media, paid ads, your website and other techniques. Website Prospects visit a landing page on your website to learn Teasers more. They fill out a short form to download your helpful content. Land Page You’ve got a lead. Your prospect has something of value from you. This could be the start of a beautiful relationship. Lead& HighValue Content Pull: Use your best opening lines 12

Now get a little pushy Now that you’ve had a great first date, you’ll want to develop the friendship and see where it takes you. Aim$ To do this, use “push” marketing - primarily email and direct mail. The idea is to deliver the right content from your Content Map at the right time for each known prospect. Plan$ Although it’s tempting, don’t rush things here. Of course you want marriage (a sale) and children (more sales). But the term “push” in this step refers to your content delivery methods, not your attitude. Pull$ Remain helpful, educational and supportive as you serve up each valuable content element, and your prospect’s love for your business will grow naturally and deeply. Push$ Here’s what the Push-Pull process looks like together: 13

Inbound (pull) Outbound (push) Teaser& Content& eMail Database Website eMail 1 Teasers Lead& Nurture & Qualify Land Page eMail 2 eMail 3 HighValue Content Content Content Content Close& Push: Get a little pushy

Wrapping it up Content marketing can be an effective way to build relationships with Aim$ prospects and customers. But a one-night stand isn’t going to bring satisfaction. It takes commitment, a process, and time. Plan$ Follow the four steps of Aim - Plan - Pull - Push and you’ll be more likely to succeed. This approach works in love. And it works in content marketing, too. Pull$ Go get ‘em, Romeo. Push$ 15

No time like now to get started. Love is in the air. Love is all around you.

Tools and additional information B2B Conversations blog Three tools for creating low-cost but effective B2B videos Lead generation for a medical education non-profit (example) Animated intro video for a CRM data reporting application (example) 17

Entente Marketing At Entente, we love Content Marketing (and marketers). We’re business veterans who help B2B companies comprehend, connect and converse with B2B buyers. We mostly serve software, SaaS, medical and other tech firms. But we’re flexible! We do marketing strategy, content creation and channel marketing really well. Call on us to help you find love (in all the right places) with Content Marketing! WEBSITE! ! LINKEDIN! ! CONTACT

Like this iBook? Ask us to create one for your business. iBooks can be viewed natively on an iPad or Macintosh, or as a PDF document everywhere. WEBSITE LINKEDIN CONTACT (c) Copyright 2014 Entente Marketing. All rights reserved.

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