3 soft skills for smart content marketing
Content marketing is an absolutely immense topic. It can span everything from social media to traditional print and mass media and even event marketing. Great content marketing is a grind. Doing it well requires patience, persistence & productivity. To me, customers, content marketing means giving away high quality information, insight & tools to boost awareness, spur a transaction & deepen relationships. Your goals vary depending on where the customer is along her journey with your brand. But ultimately, content marketing helps organizations guide, speed & shortcut that buyer journey rather than only showing up at the finish line.
Great content marketing requires patience.
You must be patient to understand the needs, wants and motivations at different stages of the customer journey. That means paying attention, listening and showing up in all those places where your customers hang out. Are they on bulletin boards or Pinterest? Are they looking up answers on StackOverflow or Recipes on foodnetwork.com. It takes a bit of “customer anthropology” to figure this out. Then realize that different kinds of customers are in different places and each have separate customer needs.
Great content marketing requires persistence.
Your early stage prospects are likely researching you along with competitors. You want to delight & entertain them with insightful content. Infographics, videos and content with a “cool factor” will help you get their attention. Fresh content is important. But remember that freshness is in the eye of the customer. This gives you a key ability to re-use and re-mix your short form content and get it out there. So definitely re-use but never overwhelm. And please don’t make the all-too-common mistake of simply re-blasting content that contains dated material. Statistics, URLs, and events are especially dangerous. So get into the grind and update, update, update.
Great content marketing requires that you are productive.
When customers are ready, provide some more detailed shareable content. Case studies, white papers, customer testimonials and user generated content really shine here. This informs them of the deeper value you provide. When you include user generated content (like Facebook comments, ratings and user group threads) you let your current happy customers persuade. Their voice is always trusted more than yours. But your happy customers are also more willing to listen/read/watch your content. So make sure you are productive with getting great content into their hands and empowering and encouraging them to share it as well. This helps to drive decisions.
Good content can be a grind. Doing it well requires patience, persistence & productivity. Consumers require value not gimmicks. Make lives, transactions & decisions easier. Provide genuine, unique insight. Give to get.
This post was first written for Social Business News in 2012 so some of the information and vendors may not be around anymore.