Legendary results in marketing and sales today requires lasting impact, people-seeking-you-out, top-of-mind awareness. The tables have turned. Once upon a time, customers learned everything they needed to know from a salesperson. Today, not only do customers regularly know more than salespeople, they’re online looking for factors in your brand that align with their values.
My friend and fellow ex-auto retail person, Larry Bruce, likes to say, “You don’t get to “Up” customers anymore; they now have to “Up” you. (an “Up” is car business slang for a fresh customer; it’s also used as a verb to greet one).
“When the only way to see the car was on the lot and the only way to get a price was to go to the dealership, sales was your secret weapon. Now that it’s all online, the decision is made more than 70% of the time before the customer ever walks through the door. How are you going to identify, engage and compel your market to choose you before sales ever gets its shot?”
The auto retail business has changed and is changing at a very accelerated clip. The same is true, on many levels, in every other industry. Even if your business is solely online, change is constant and customers are leaving no stone unturned to educate themselves before they buy.
Content may be the last best way to create a unique experience in a world of undifferentiated products and services.
A Content Driven Experience.
What is a content driven experience? Whether or not you think you’re actually telling a story or whether or not you’re actively trying to tell a story, a story is happening in the mind of your website visitors, your customers, and your prospects.
You need to be actively participating in that narrative in a meaningful way. You’ll never control everything but if you can position yourself within the prospect’s story, of which they are always the protagonist, then you have a shot.
Build an audience, figure out what they want to buy, integrate meaningful media and provide a positive experience.
Lead with Meaning for a Lasting Impact.
Contrary to popular belief…not all content is king anymore. Many brands are still producing boring, low-quality content that delivers little value for SEO and has zero impact on customers and prospects.
With content being dumped online at a furious pace, if you want to have an impact (and knock the content marketing ball out of the park), your brand has to be known for delivering content with meaning, which sticks in the gut of the folks who read it.
Your content must inspire customers in such a way that makes them think it’s written specifically for them.
Be where your prospects are, at the time they need your information, with a message so good they cannot ignore you.
Meaningful Content brings Lasting Results in Marketing (and Sales).
Whether you’re producing content without results or you’re not producing content at all, you’ll never get better if you don’t set a course for improvement and test the waters. A lot of clients contact me because they’re stuck trying to figure out what topics to write about.
Here is a handy checklist to analyze your content ideas and final copy:
Did I say anything new?
If not, don’t expect much from search engines or humans.
Did I say something that will get someone’s attention?
This is marketing – if you’re writing the same old stuff or failing to cut through the noise, you’re not doing effective marketing. Yup – digital has raised the bar quite high.
Is the content part of a strategy?
If you’re posting to get search traffic, that’s not a strategy – that’s a tactic. Tactics chained together with a beginning and an end, with a specific, calculated goal, is a strategy. Strategy will always produce bigger impact with search, social, customers and prospects.
Am I really qualified to write on this topic?
If you’re not, people will know. They won’t share. They won’t comment. They won’t link. Chances are good that you won’t get Google’s attention either. Fill your content with your expertise.
BONUS: Want to become a quality content juggernaut? Crowdsource your content ideas with employees. Everyone has stories to tell. Everyone has their own, unique expertise to contribute.
A Content Driven Experience Helps Your Customers Become the Best Versions of Themselves.
In order to become a seller whose content is sought-after and indeed, clamored for, you must bake meaning into your content. A content driven experience is your last best hope for legendary results in marketing and sales.