Is your marketing so useful that people would pay for it? With the right strategies, the content on your Social channels and website could be so compelling that people would pay for it and even show it to their friends like they would their shiny new car.
I read a great blog post from SearchDecoder.com which reported content marketing statistics that clearly show the need for businesses to get into the game with content. Here are 3 stats from TMGCustomMedia that stood out:
- 90% of consumers find custom content useful.
- 73% of people prefer to get information about an organization in a collection of articles rather than in a traditional advertisement.
- 78% believe the organizations behind the content are interested in building good relationships.
Relationships are what bring customers back again and again. We see this everyday and sometimes take it for granted. If you can maintain the relationships you have and develop new ones with custom content, why wouldn’t you? When you offer real-time, helpful content it shows you have more passion about what you’re selling. Without it, you’re not likely to keep the audience you worked so hard to gain.
Make no mistake, maintaining creativity and producing quality content throughout your organization takes leadership and a considerable amount of effort. The reward is an increased customer awareness that you care about delivering the best experience. Never underestimate the power of quality content. Here’s how to avoid 4 common content marketing mistakes that can cost you sales:
1. Confusing Content Strategy with Content Marketing. In our technology-laden world today, relationships are created with compelling information. Content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. Instead of pitching your products or services, you deliver information that makes your buyer more intelligent. Knowing where to share your content, in the ideal places your target audience spends time, is content marketing.
2. Jumping in without a plan. Content strategy is having the mindset, culture and approach of delivering your customers’ information needs in all the places they’re searching for it, across each stage of the buying process. Seems overwhelming, right? It doesn’t have to be. Use this 3-step process that I take clients through:
- The first step in your plan is to conduct a “brand discovery”. Why do people buy from you?
- Next, identify who your ideal customers are and describe them in detail. What are their interests, what problems can you solve, what information are they searching for?
- Finally, outline your objectives and the goals you want to reach with your marketing.
3. Trying to be all things to all people. If you’ve spent the time to develop your strategy, then you know where your target market is. Don’t spend time, effort and budget in places where your content isn’t going to get read, shared, linked to and engaged with.
4. Not designing and implementing a content creation engine where every employee participates. Coming up with quality content everyday to attract and engage buyers is difficult, especially if there’s just one person trying to create it. There are so many things working against you: daily operations, the factory, heat customers, and all the while your head is saying, “I can’t do this.”
There’s a reason why the saying “There’s strength in numbers” became popular – because it’s true! When you’ve got a strategy in place your Social Media manager can brainstorm content ideas with your staff. Some of the most compelling content on Facebook and Blogs is that which is employee-related. Their day-to-day actions at work and even their day-off activities are super interesting to your customers. That type of content actually gives customers more reasons to interact with you. Here’s 3 examples:
- Your salesperson who likes to run 5Ks on the weekend.
- Your service advisor who spends weekends in the desert off-roading.
- Your cashier who volunteers at the local animal rescue.
All of these humanize your brand and create connections with your customers. In the latest Edelman TrustBarometer study, employees ranked higher in credibility than CEOs. Take the opportunity to spotlight your staff and show your customers what it’s like to work at your company.
Avoiding these four mistakes will help you gain credibility, visibility and influence. Tying content strategy and content marketing together and making sure it’s implemented correctly will bring you leads and sales. Are you ready to take action?