Continuing our theme about this being the year of the customer; I thought that today would be a great time to chat about content marketing. A facet of marketing that crosses seamlessly between online and offline. Although marketers the world over all agree that content marketing is vitally important; not all of them are getting it right.
So where are so many marketing professionals and organisations going wrong?
Quite simply put – they are not paying enough attention to their customer. The customers needs and wants are what should be guiding all communications efforts and there are very specific stages when these needs and wants become apparent.
I like to use the SmartInsights RACE framework as I think it cuts to the heart of the communications mission.
R – Reach
A – Act
C – Convert
E – Engage
These phases of the communications funnel are the stages that your content needs to speak to. Think of it this way: you have a mailing list of 100 clients who have all bought your product or service and have been repeatedly buying from you for the last 3 years. Would you position content to those clients that describes how to use your product that they have been repeatedly buying?! Would you offer them content that describes why your product is better than your competitor?!
The short answer is: NO..!
These are loyal clients who have repeatedly bought a product or service from you – that means they know why it is better than your competitors and they obviously know how to use it! To really engage with these clients you would be sending them special offers – repeat buying benefits. You would be sending them offers to other products that work hand in hand with the product they have already bought.
The same is true for every other phase in the funnel. You need to offer content that resonates with where the customer is in their journey and each piece of content needs to lead them further down the rabbit hole. You want to constantly be teasing them down the funnel – not pushing; teasing. People are naturally inquisitive so if your message is positioned correctly; they will take the action to move down the funnel themselves – as soon as they feel pushed you will lose them!
Conducting persona exercises to literally put a name and a face to your clients goes a long way to understanding what makes them tick. This involves talking to your customer facing employees; analysing buying trends and habits and most important of all – actually speaking to your clients!
Once you have a picture of who you are creating content for and understand what they are looking for; your content has a far better chance of teasing those reading it deeper down into the next phase of your funnel!