Tag Archives: content

Why You Need Content for Every Function of Marketing

why you need contentOver two decades ago, Bill Gates declared, “Content is king.” This statement still rings true so many years later with the rise in content marketing and other forms of online digital media. The average user, consumer and casual internet browser cannot go anywhere on the web without consuming some sort of content marketing – and we’re not just talking about blogs.

Marketers need content in every function of their efforts to be successful in a highly competitive marketplace with potentially desensitized consumers. Here are three areas of your marketing operations where you must regularly churn out high-quality content:

Public relations

While the days of the traditional press release might be quickly fading into oblivion, PR’s credibility is still founded on good content. The general public craves authenticity out of everyone, from their politicians to the retailers they shop at. With this in mind, make sure that every piece of PR content you release is dripping with honesty and excitement.

Lead generation

The reason behind proliferating this area of marketing with content should be a no-brainer. Essentially, if you create high-quality, SEO-worthy regular content on your website, you will start generating more leads. Average consumers doesn’t want to just be told what to buy – they also want to know that the companies they buy from are thought leaders or educators in their particular space.

Product marketing

If you have a product your company is excited about, you need to be posting about it everywhere online. Don’t just send off a few quick tweets or hang up a few billboards. You need to launch full-scale media campaigns in a mixture of different mediums, if you want your consumers to get pumped about your product. Start months in advance to build anticipation.

The Hero’s Journey and Storytelling

As Marketers, we have to tell stories often. But sometimes when it comes to writing, we’ve forgotten what that story is.

hero journey
Some of the best stories involve evocative heroes leaving the known world. He’s given challenges where he overcomes seemingly impossible obstacles. After some successes and at least one defeat, the hero emerges — victorious! Whether the hero gets the girl or guy, or saves the world, the essence of what makes stories great is their ability to simultaneously take your audience on a journey. Essentially, many of the best stories involve everyday individuals overcoming unique challenges, inspiring us to do the same in our own lives.

To get geeky, Joseph Campbell mapped this hero’s journey after discovering that every major culture has heroes. Every culture’s heroes are called to adventure where they overcome obstacles. From Hercules, to Raven, to Luke Skywalker from Star Wars, these heroes are on an epic journey. His theory is that this essential storytelling is so interwoven into our fabric that it’s what we expect. For example, when you enter a movie theater, you generally know — with some exceptions — the good guys are going to win.

Okay, interesting, but how does this impact me?

Marketers can capture this same spirit within their content. While it isn’t an easy feat, there are a few strategies you can follow to craft excellent content stories and inspire your readers.

1. Your customer is the hero

It’s tempting to make your company the hero. That’s a mistake. Instead, your buyers and customers are the heroes. By using your products and services, they have overcome obstacles to victory. Victories could seem as mundane as saving money or as interesting as saving the entire company.

Added bonus: when your customer is the hero, they tell the story, too.

2. Watch your craft

Of course, your stories should be in brand — they should sound like your company. And when done well, these stories can serve in many different places — in your customer testimonials, in your website copy, in your collateral and in your blog posts. Even your salespeople should know these stories, being able to recall them quickly and easily. Not only will this give you content to use in multiple places, it’ll build the stories you tell. It may even convince prospects on the fence. Data and stories, when used together, have a greater impact appealing to people’s logic and emotions.

3. Get your audience involved

Sometimes just the story itself is riveting. That’s great! But when it’s a shared story moving beyond the walls of your office and building … wow. It’s magical. It’s mystical. It’s viral.

So, how do you involve others? You ask their stories. You can do that with polls and surveys or even as a continuted discussion. For example, just about everyone has a story for failing and what was learned. Once you’ve learned it, that in and of itself can help form part of the heroes journey.

7 Sales Trends for 2017

Sales is a constantly evolving field due to continual shifts in the world around it. As it is constantly changing, it’s important to realize key trends that may be shaping it in the near future. Here are the top seven to think about for the upcoming year as we look forward into 2017.

1. Leverage big and little data

Sales has more access to accurate and meaningful data than ever before. With this heightened availability, sales professionals should expect to see even more emphasis placed on analytics and data interpretation in the future, according to Salesforce.

2. The adoption of social selling

While social selling might merely be a buzzword to some at the moment, this strategy is actually incredibly important for salespeople to learn more about the people they are selling to. With this model, you can target companies and even know more about the pain points these individuals and their companies are experiencing.

3. More connection between sales and marketing

This disconnect between sales and marketing will likely lessen in the next few months and years as people began to see the benefits gained from working on the same page. Whether it’s called sales enablement or just doing business, these two departments will interact and engage more.

4. Consumers will want a voice

People want to know who they are buying from nowadays. As a result, consumers want human interactions with the companies where they shop. While automation is beneficial, companies shouldn’t replace meaningful human interaction with it.

5. Content is king

sales trends for 2017Thought leadership content is a huge trend in generating leads and making sales today. For cold prospects, it can warm them up. For people in the funnel, it can provide more ideas and information. Consumers want to know more about what they are buying from perceived experts, and successful content marketing strategies helps sales teams achieve this goal. This content comes from a variety of places, but one of the best converting: webinars.

6. Cold calls will become more irrelevant

With thousands of new solutions and selling strategies available, cold calling is likely to fade in the near future. Consumers rarely are persuaded by cold calls and prefer being wooed over social media or through more personal means.

7. Discounts and loyalty programs will draw in more sales

Inc. reports that an annual survey from the consulting firm BIA/Kelsey of 500 small to medium-sized businesses found that 26 percent of their sales would come from discounts. The average consumer is far likelier to purchase goods or services if they are offered an incentive or discount.

Sources:
https://www.salesforce.com/quotable/articles/biggest-sales-trends/
http://www.inc.com/christina-desmarais/7-emerging-trends-in-sales-that-will-disrupt-your-business.html
http://www.business.com/sales/danny-wong-b2b-sales-trends/

Content Strategy Infographic

If you’re just starting out with a content marketing strategy or you’re looking to improve your current one, we have some suggestions. We surveyed 112 marketing professionals and got some interesting data that provides insight into content marketing challenges and solutions.

For more information on how to make your content smarter, check out ReadyTalk Illuminate.

 

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