I was recently having lunch with a friend, a salesperson for a small technology firm, when he mentioned he was having trouble getting warm leads to bite and become hot leads. I began asking him questions about his communication channels, his tone, and content and before we knew it, we had identified three big take-aways for improving his outreach. I looked at the list and realized they were all strategies for good content marketing and something many sales and marketing professionals would value.
The key to a good content marketing strategy is to provide content for leads no matter where they are in their purchase journey. But that means creating a good program to nurture those leads that are not yet ready to buy to help them through their journey and towards your product or service. While the specifics of an effective lead nurturing program will be different for every business, these are three fail-proof ways to nurture every lead until they are ready to buy.
This time of year, I really put that Audible subscription to work. The Christmas rush is over and everyone is out on holiday. I read a lot, so while I search for my next favorite marketing books, check out my list of six books for marketers to read now.
1. Ogilvy On Advertising
I’ve written a few times about why I read Ogilvy on Advertising every year. And this year is no different. Every time I read it, I get something new from it. I like the evidence-based, approach Ogilvy had to his advertising and messaging. And because humans think the same way now as they did then, many of the lessons are still relevant.
Sometimes it’s difficult to understand how all the possible content should fit together. So I’ve put together a quick framework I use when developing my content.
1. Content to Inspire
Show your audience how much better their lives could be if they solved the problem your products or services solve. Videos are a great way to do this. Make it entertaining, not salesy, to draw prospects further into your funnel.
Have you been inundated with webinar invites lately? Me too! Every week, my inbox receives about three invitations every week to various webinars.
I think many organizations are discovering what many of us have known for a while; that a webinar is an inexpensive lead generating tool that can have a significant ROI when done right.
What do I mean, “done right?”
Like all content marketing, a webinar done right is spending most of your time promoting great content rather than creating it.
Luckily, creating great content for a webinar is as easy as looking at what you already have. Below are a few existing sources for creating compelling webinar content. Sources I turn to whenever a client wants to host a webinar. Tell me your favorite webinar creation tips in the comments below.
How often do you crank out content to check a box, adding to the noise we’re all trying to get above? A well-oiled content marketing machine drives news leads, nurtures them and qualifies them so sales departments can prioritize their prospects, reduce their sales cycle times, and increase sales volume. If you have a content marketing machine, now’s the time to refine it so your content produces the right message to the right audience at the right time. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time, money and opportunity.
Are you on Tinder? Uh yeah … me neither. But chances are you’ve heard of it and how users swipe left to expel someone from their dating pool or they swipe right if they want to know someone better. Swiping right is a good thing.
After five minutes of swiping left on profile after profile that did nothing to inspire a rightward flick of my thumb, I began listing all the things wrong with each profile and realized it sounded a lot like critiquing content marketing. It got me thinking about how the rules of Tinder apply to content marketers too. What do you think?
On a recent trip across the country, I piece-mealed my travel between a few airlines and I was struck by how different brands use tone across their content. Tone gives products or brands a personality that people can relate to while simultaneously communicating the brand itself.
For example, T-Mobile’s irreverent tone enforces a rebellious brand and the company’s marketing further communicates through its copy, promotions, and graphics. All align to say, “T-Mobile is not like big cell phone carriers. We’re different. We’re rebels. Choose T-Mobile and say no to big mobile. Be a rebel like us.”
Southwest Airlines is another example of effective tone; from the billboards on the way to the airport, to the wheelchairs in the terminal, the king of the low-cost carriers has a clear tone that personifies an accessible brand takes care of traveler’s simplest needs. And if you fly with them often, you come to expect their cheeky statements and clever puns.
As a content marketer, I know how much time and effort we put into creating the right message, using the right medium in order to deliver specific results. But the only way to achieve those results and to get a return on your content marketing is to promote the content, which in turns promotes your brand, products, services, offers, etc.
Including Flipboard in their social media marketing mix can be an especially effective way to promote your content. Flipboard is an app for your desktop and phone that curates content from across the web. For content marketers, this is a golden opportunity because people self-select what they’re interested in, so you can do a better job targeting content to the right people. So let’s take a closer look at using Flipboard to promote your content marketing.
A few years ago I received an email from a friend sharing the story of how he’d been robbed at gunpoint while traveling through China and stripped of everything, including his wallet. “Been there,” I thought. His email went on to explain that he was emailing me hoping I could transfer money to a hotel he was currently standing in, waiting for his friends and family in the States to wake up. He needed $350 USD for a place to stay until the U.S. Embassy opened.
I responded asking if he was OK. He replied immediately, grateful and apologetic and explained that no one else in his family was awake so early and he just needed me to transfer money to the hotel so we get finally get some rest. To verify his story, I went onto Facebook to see pictures of his trip. Instead of the Great Wall, I saw him with his son skiing in Colorado. The day before.
If you’re into creating content marketing that is shareable, chances are you want to be doing more infographics. Social media, blogs, and PR all love them. But they can be time-consuming to create and difficult to use to tell a compelling story rather than just shooting out facts. That story should be clear and promote your small business’ products, service or expertise.
While working with a client recently, we came up with a quick, easy and repeatable way to create a series of small infographics that laid out their particular expertise and solution. It’s been so successful I thought I’d share what we learned for creating quick infographics. What do you think?
The sheer volume of content required in today’s digital landscape makes it difficult to keep a consistent message to your key audiences. That’s why key messages are more important today than ever before. But rather than an exhaustive exercise, let’s look at a quick way to create key messaging that will keep your content focused on what matters: your business!