Content marketing is not new — but it’s so effective, it’s here to stay. The advantage over traditional advertising is direct communication with consumers. Content answers questions, sparks imagination, and shows off your knowledge and expertise.
Heading up a content strategy within your organization is no easy task. So many departments will be impacted by a new content marketing initiative…
So how will you get the ball rolling?
Necessity has turned brands into media companies. Marketers are now juggling social media channels, managing reputation and image, and handling a deluge of content. It can all be pretty overwhelming. What you need is a solid content marketing strategy.
Bring the Team Together
Large organizations often have an isolation problem. Marketing is one department, sales is another, and nobody talks to customer service. Content marketing requires integration…and done well, benefits everyone. The challenge is getting everyone on board. The key is in presentation. Getting stakeholders in the game might be as simple as outlining how content marketing is advantageous for all departments. In other words: you have to sell it.
The concept of content marketing might be just what you need to unite your teams and streamline your efforts. Show each team how a content marketing initiative will positively impact the objectives for each team. For example, content serves as the landing page and CTA for marketing efforts, bolsters sales by providing customers still in the decision phase of the buying cycle with reasons to buy, and takes the pressure off customer service by providing in-depth answers to the questions customers most frequently ask. Your social media team will be happy with interesting content to share, and your IT department needs to be on board to build the conversion structure for your landing pages.
Rethink Your Approach
Content marketing is unlike traditional campaigns. It’s designed to create and nourish long-term relationships with customers, not make a single sale. It requires a shift in corporate culture.
You’re always going to go after the shiny new customers to feed your sales pipeline, but content marketing combined with social media speaks directly to existing customers…. your real bread and butter.
- Understand that each department has a unique perspective and different reasons for wanting to participate, and draw them all in using a pitch designed to address those specific reasons.
- Consider holding interdepartmental meetings for all stakeholders to encourage collaboration across teams, brainstorm campaigns, and get the ball rolling.
- Rethink your investment strategy. Traditionally, advertising got the biggest cut of the budget, and content was almost an afterthought, with an average of 10% of marketing budget allocation. Today, as social media lowers the costs of reaching the customer, the quality of your content is more important than ever. Be sure you give your content producers the support and resources they need to produce the results you expect.
- Encourage experimentation. It’s a new ballgame and the old rules no longer apply. Empower your team to try new approaches and share results, good or bad. Thinking outside the box may fail spectacularly or result in a huge success. Either way, you learn something.
It’s Not a Silo, It’s a Circle
As long as you don’t drop the ball, great customer relationships never end. Some companies adapt and grow as the market changes. They pay attention to customer needs and wants, add services, and improve response times. They on board each new technology answer as it arises and they aren’t afraid to ditch old methods try new things.
Oreo cookies is just rocking it on social media and in stores. After a hundred years of same-old chocolate outside and white stuff inside, they saw the writing on the wall and began introducing a steady stream of new flavors, dipped their cookies in chocolate, and collaborated with other brands. Now you can get Oreo pie at Burger King, Oreo ice cream from Breyers, and Oreo Cookie Handi-Snacks from Kraft.
Here are a few of our favorite Oreo tweets.
— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) August 14, 2012
— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) July 16, 2013
— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) June 18, 2013
Other companies decided to take the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach to business. Big mistake. Bye, bye, BlackBerry. The company who pioneered smartphones forgot to listen to their customers.
The lesson here is pretty clear. Adapt with the market, stay ahead of your competition, and never forget your existing customers.
For more information about sustaining customer relationships and implementing an effective content marketing strategy, download our two free guides:
- Growth Cycle Marketing: Are you engaging with your customers before, during, and even after the sale?
- Side Door Thinking: Stop banging on the front door of your customer’s mind …when the side door is wide open!