“You need to spend all of your time and energy on creating something that actually brings value to the people you’re asking for money!” Gary Vaynerchuk
When an Organisation creates remarkable content, it benefits the entire ecosystem of the Organisation. The content creation is not only about Google and SEO; it is also about human resource, sales, customer service, customer experience, public relations, customer relations, investor relations, and of course marketing. Only SEO focused content can’t achieve much.
The power of remarkable content created consistently is immense.
Mere marketing material or advertising do not impact the organisation but what makes content marketing distinct is its focus on helping the customer, not merely selling.
Perhaps this is the reason slowly but surely every organisation is focusing on content marketing.
In 2016, 75 per cent of businesses increased their content marketing budget. (Source: Curata)
In two years, Kraft Foods has driven 4x better ROI through content marketing than through traditional advertising.
Though many early movers have misunderstood the concept of content marketing as content for marketing, the best movers are taking the lead and reaping the benefits.
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Content Marketing is not about Marketing. It is about customers. It is about the target audience. It is about helping the target audience in different stages of their buyers’ journey. It is about customising the content to suit different personas. The idea is to create content which is interesting and helping target audience in achieving their objectives.
Its purpose is to create awareness about the brand while helping the target audience.
Brand awareness can benefit the company in;
- Attracting the customers
- Attracting the investors
- Attracting the employees
Helping the target audience can benefit the company in;
- Better customer service
- Better customer experience
- Better employee experience
- Better public relations
All in all, the focus on brand awareness through help approach and not sale approach can do the wonders. The help approach can touch various aspect of the organisation.
But HELP approach is a difficult approach when SALES only approach is in demand daily. Organisations, off late, have started realising Customer Experience is the sustainable competitive advantage, similarly realisation that content marketing is the sustainable marketing will come sooner than later.
Dare to Help? Content Marketing is the way.
Let us see how Content Marketing approach helps the Organisation in different departments.
- Human Resource
You can attract the right talent by your employees’ stories. Your employee experience shared as a story on a regular basis not only attracts the new talent but also inspires existing talent.
Your employees are your first brand ambassadors. Unless companies better their employee experience, better customer experience is impossible.
The uninspired workforce cannot offer inspirational experiences.
In fact, the company’s pursuit for better employee experience could be a reason why your target audience for sales i.e prospects would like to deal with the company.
We are living in the purpose economy. People like good cause pursued by the company they deal with. When they read and know about the superior employee experience your company is creating, wouldn’t they be inspired to deal with your company?
Many a time, they do not enjoy similar employee experience from their employers. This also could be a reason for them to deal with your company and for you to publish stories about better employee experiences.
Better employee experience makes the brand popular. The popular brand not only attracts more employees but it also attracts more customers.
Your Agenda: Create better employee experience; create content to publish employee experiences.
Companies like Cisco, GE and LinkedIn use content marketing to enhance the effectiveness of their human resource function.
Perhaps after marketing and sales, it is the Human Resource function which takes maximum advantage of content marketing initiatives.
- Customer Service
Content created in response to social listening can help the customer in making their experience effortless.
In the book Effortless Experience, based on several surveys the authors suggest people are interested in self-help. If the Web can help them solve their problem, they do not wish to call or send a mail.
When your company creates content which customer needs to solve their problem, it supports the customers. It enhances customer loyalty. It makes the experience effortless, less painful.
When you do active listening, you know what your customers needs. You can create more contextual content which caters to the customer needs.
Your content can answer many of the customer concerns before they encounter them. Content can act as proactive customer service representative.
Make your website content, content created regularly as blog posts, videos, ebooks, and FAQs as exhaustive as possible. Use simple and jargon-free language, make it easy to search. All these will help your customers in easing their self-service experience.
Dell is using content for customer services effectively.
- Customer Experience
This was once considered good to have but now customer experience has become central to every company’s business strategy.
The remarkable content can boost the customer experience considerably. Every piece of content which adds value in customers’ life enhances the experience.
Author Robert Rose and Carla Johnson in their book Experiences, the 7th Era of Marketing, writes;
The value content-driven experiences deliver is separate and distinct from the product or services itself.
This is what remarkable content should do
New marketing strategies must focus on creating an experience that delivers value that goes beyond the product or services.
The content which touches the target audience before they are in the buyers’ journey creates a remarkable experience for them even before they become a customer.
This is how your remarkable content can catch them young. When your content focus is Help, you can make a relation for life. Your content experience expands your customer experience canvas. It covers the pre-buying journey and post-sales stage.
The experiences that you create are the end result of your strategy. That what will keep your content fresh and enticing for your audience and make them want to keep coming back. And its what will transition marketers out of the campaign mentality and into true content marketing.
Your valuable content makes the life of your target audience easy.
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- Public Relations
Public relations are no longer formal department now. Every social action of the company for their customers is for public consumption.
Your website, your social media activities, your customers’ reviews, your response to customer reviews, everything is public relations.
When everything is up for public consumption, your deliberate content can create the required result.
Publish customer stories, new product stories (rather than a mere press release), publish employee stories. This way your targeted public relations improve. This will also trigger the need for more such stories. When good stories in demand more stories will be encouraged.
Your content-driven approach to public relations can do wonder inside the company and outside the company.
General Mills is using Content for PR very effectively. They use their blog to publish news, new products, and company results along with useful and interesting content.
- Investor Relations
One NBFC I had interacted with wanted to use content to reach out to the investor community.
They wanted investors to know about their activities as a potential company to invest in.
With targeted keywords and targeted content, an organisation can reach out to their target audience this case investors or private equity funds.
Start-ups renaissance is happening in India. What could be a better approach than to use a pull strategy to attract investors by creating relevant content?
Trust, authority, and authenticity that come as a result of remarkable content are unparallel. You own the media; you own the message, and you one can own the passion that you possess.
By creating talk of the town, authoritative, and valuable content for the target audience, you actually can attract investors.
In his book, Duct Tape Selling, renowned author John Jantsch recommends sales person to create own platform with content.
He recommends sales person to become an online authority by sharing useful information and creating relevant content.
“Every marketing department and every sales manager should be teaching, encouraging and facilitating active blogging from every member of the sales team.”
He suggests salesperson level content marketing for sales.
The content company creates is for the target audience. When the sales team uses the content proactively to reach out to their prospects, remarkable and valuable content can help them get closer to the prospects.
The content for content marketing is most beneficial to the sales team. Case studies content can be used by the sales team effectively to speed up the sales process.
In fact, the sales team can guide the content team about the kind of content their prospects needs.
One of the crucial purposes of content marketing is lead generation and closing sales.
“These days, people want to learn before they buy, be educated instead of pitched.” – Brian Clark
- Marketing & Branding
This is the purposes for which content marketing initially originated. This is why it is known as Content Marketing.
You can build a brand by creating thought leadership content. When your top leadership is involved in creating authoritative content, they can become the face for the organisation.
You can help the target audience in their buying journey by creating targeted content. Buyers’ journeys no longer are linear. Therefore you need content for all the touch points they can come from. `
Neil Patel in his post 38 Content Marketing Stats That Every Marketer Needs to Know writes;
With no marketing budget, zero connections and a blog that was only a month old, Robbie Richards grew his traffic to 272% in 30 days by creating the right content and promoting it to the right people.
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Content Marketing is more than just marketing. It influences many aspects of your business. Properly understood, supported and executed it has the power to transform the organisation. It re-energises your business – internally and externally.
“Real content marketing isn’t repurposed advertising, it is making something worth talking about.” Seth Godin
If your company is doing content marketing, gradually expand the horizon of its influence. If your company is not doing content marketing, its time you consider its powerful tool for their strategic impact.
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