Content marketing is an exciting strategy for those who need to inform, provide orientation and raise awareness to their prospective customers, especially in industries that need to develop an intense lead nurturing process through digital marketing.
But often, as customers, we find ourselves surrounded with clichés about our given industries, with blogs and information that is “just too common” for someone more experienced.
Here’s some tips on how to make your content a little bit different from your competitors.
Yes, it sounds like a cliché as well. Often, companies tend to focus on their product or service and only those issues that are tightly and closely related to them.
However, buyer personas in the awareness and consideration stage are reading about a range of other topics related to your industry.
Run a little search about the industry.
Remember that your product or service is part of a wider buying process, and it involves pain points, challenges and resistance that may go well beyond your company. However, it all connects as it can affect their interest in your service.
If you’re the sales or marketing manager of software for revenue management or HR recruitment, your buyer persona is not only concerned about revenue and recruitment.
Get out of your product bubble and look at the direct and indirect trends, issues and interests that affect your persona.
Often, small businesses sign their blogs with only one person: the CEO or the head of marketing.
Just as customers may have different reservations about certain topics, they are looking to hear different kinds of expertise in a particular area.
The tone you can use in a content marketing campaign can be very diverse. However, remember that you’re trying to engage a lead and invite him to your home: your website, your company and your brand.
You may be producing different types of content for various contexts, such as a sales presentation, a technical session or an onboarding program. But you may want to rethink your tone when developing blogs, white papers, webinars, eBooks, videos or podcasts.
Your worst enemy when drafting content for the web is your audience’s (lack of) time. If you don’t catch their attention in the first few seconds, people will delete your email and close your page.
Growth Marketer Neil Patel explains that, "according to Koozai, most people scan web content, instead of reading each word especially on the social media channels. People scan content, looking for something that stands out. If they don’t find it, they’ll leave."
"Visual stories and corporate Storytelling can connect the dots and get people to ACTUALLY read your great content and take action. This is the essence of successful media marketing."
That is the wonder of a storytelling technique in a content strategy. Teachers tend to use it when drafting case studies and practical activities. Not only it makes students pay attention and relate the content to the theory. It engages them and, most importantly, but prevents them from falling asleep in class!
In 1959, The New York Times published a brief account of a murder in Kansas. It began:
“A wealthy wheat farmer, his wife and their two young children were found shot to death today in their home (…)”
Journalist and author Truman Capote found a compelling story in that brief news report. He went to Kansas and drew a long research of the murder, after which he wrote “In Cold-Blood”, the first nonfiction novel in history.
What was so compelling about this? The details, the plot and the characters. People could relate with the family and imagine themselves in Kansas.
I’m not asking marketers to become novelists, but rather to draw some inspiration. There’s a story behind your industry, your product or service.
People are looking for a solution to their problems at the office, challenges they need to overcome and situations that they need to go through.
When you link your content with a story mode, you can engage people into relating to what others are experiencing.
Just as readers were eagerly flipping the pages of Capote’s novel in the 60s, your buyer persona will be eager to hear more about people like them overcoming their problems.
Often, those who begin developing a content marketing strategy reduce themselves to writing blogs every once in a while, regardless of their product, industry or buyer persona.
However, the buyer persona is very diverse. They can read your content on the road, during their lunch break, or simply bury your emails in their inbox and twitter feed as they’re cluttered with work.
Blogs are not the only type of content available on the web, and you need to figure out what type of light content or more in-depth offers can your buyer persona digest.
They could be:
Remember that your prospective customers don’t begin looking to buy a product or hire a service.
They are usually seeking someone who can advise them and help them out in a problem they’re facing personally or as a company.
So, go ahead and tailor that orientation in the most convenient package for that persona.
What type of problems do you have when choosing a different content marketing strategy?