As marketers make a mad dash for relevant content sources to keep their company’s name swirling in the blogosphere, we caution against any sort of “rinse and repeat” content sources that may weigh against your content marketing efforts. So, where, you ask, do we find recent, relevant, authentic content? The answer is probably closer than you’ve considered.
Every day your company does something new, different, or remarkable. Granted the stale doughnuts in the break room don’t always show proof of that, but it’s true. Did you restructure internal teams for productivity? Upgrade the features of your mobile app? Resolve an issue affecting a large part of your customer base? The truth is, most of the activities that we see as “day-to-day” internally are all opportunities for you to further connect with your customer base.
It’s All About You
Connecting the dots may not always be easy for some business models. Where are your customer touch points? Maybe you have too many points to narrow down into one content piece. Take your company apart piece by piece and analyze where your customers could benefit from detailed information on a particular segment of your business.
An infographic on how your noise-reducing curtains can improve sound quality in the average home and decrease the risk of hearing loss is an example of how a high-end furniture retailer can focus on one unique piece of content and still relate to the complete business model of furnishing the entire home.
The same furniture retailer can just as easily look at how they’ve integrated a popular design software into their mobile app that allows customers to visualize a new living room in real time. Give your development team the credit it deserves by providing your customers as much detail as you can on this app, its features, and benefits.
You owe it to your own efforts to tell the complete story. Don’t be afraid to be a little self-centered when curating content. Today’s informed customers want to make themselves part of your success story.
Give a Little, Get a Little
The ability to reward your customers has always proven to be a great marketing tactic, but did you know you could turn these strategic initiatives into creative content? Let’s look at this in detail.
Image via Flickr by nickjdamico
Say your company sells commercial light bulbs, not easily the most exciting topic to draw content from. However, your company has recently decided to reward its top customers with Go Pro HD cameras over the last six months and the response has been outstanding. Customers are even sending you videos of your lighting systems in place using the new cameras. See what you just did? Not only did you create a killer rewards program that creates instant testimonials for you to use in your sales pitch, but you’ve also given your content team a great story to tell.
Opportunities like this are just hanging around your office, like the guy who’s always at the water cooler with bad jokes about obscure sci-fi movies. Science fiction aside, where else could you be missing some great content opportunities? Look at the things (big or small) your company has managed to accomplish in the last 3, 6, or 12 months and create a narrative around those achievements. They may have some direct impact on your customers’ buying decisions.
Add Some Character(s)
For years, your digital marketing strategy has consisted of messages structured to be delivered in 140-character increments so that you can increase your friends, fans, and followers. Now that you’ve built this network of interested social media users, what do you have left to tell them? Everything. Look back at what got them interested in your brand in the first place. Expound on some of your most popular social media posts.
Remember that tweet about your new interactive ordering system? Of course you do, you wrote it. Well, take your audience a step further and tell the story of how you arrived at this system. What hurdles did you overcome? How does this improve their experience with your brand? That company photo from the latest industry trade-show got several thousand likes, fantastic! Give a complete recap of the show. Go into detail about new industry practices, update your customers on new technology, and give insight into your future events.
Social media engagement tools such as Hootsuite, Hubspot, Buzzsumo, and numerous others can give you detailed information on how people are reacting to your social media efforts. Fill your content calendar with exciting narratives and rich-media driven versions of stories you have already told. By giving your audience a mixture of facts and folklore you can create feature-rich content that drives engagement and promotes your brands ability to remain relevant.
It’s Not Always About You
Image via Flickr by Sayasatria
So you’re still struggling to find 500 words or more about your own company. Let’s turn the lens around and look at external moves your company may be making. Explore some of your company’s B2B relationships. What companies have you recently aligned with that can help improve customer experience? Maybe your company has recently taken new steps in community involvement and wants to create customer touch points that both entertain and inform on a critical issue.
For instance, your dental practice has elected to participate in free oral cancer screenings for uninsured patients. Go you! But don’t stop there; why not create an infographic that outlines the causes, symptoms, and long-term risk factors of oral cancer? These graphics, when created properly, allow you to connect with potential customers on a relevant issue and create trust in your knowledge of the subject. Your external marketing strategy can give you countless pieces of customer-focused content that strengthen your brand’s reputation.
Stay off the Wheel
Feeling like you have a good grasp of where you’ll be able to create content for your blog, infographic, or interactive? Excellent, but remember to continue challenging yourself to be creative in developing the content you produce for your customers. Use available resources such as feedback from customer-facing employees, social media metrics, and industry innovations to avoid the hamster wheel of revolving content. Chances are if you are bored with a topic, you will have a hard time exciting your customers about it. Find things to get excited about. Your company is fascinating and your customers deserve to know every captivating detail.