Whether it is software products business, IT/ITeS services business, consumer goods, automobiles, housing, banking or utilities, each industry has its own version of marketing strategies. One of the commonalities across these industries is the increasing usage of content marketing and the level of engagement that they have with their potential and existing customers leveraging digital marketing mechanisms.
Clearly there is a reason why content dominates the world of marketing: It allows businesses to leverage their knowledge, exhibit their thought leadership and clearly stand out from their competition. Besides being cost effective, content marketing provides value that quickly builds relationships with both prospects and customers.
It also creates brand loyalty, establishes a business as a trusted industry resource, and helps customers educate themselves to make informed buying decisions. If you can think through the buying cycle of the potential buyer and provide him with useful resources/guides that can make his journey more comfortable.
Content marketing also helps you rebrand your business as it evolves. Consistently delivering fresh content helps your brand keep up with changing leadership, shifting business strategies, mergers and acquisitions, and added products.
Although content marketing is crucial for any business to stay competitive, it certainly isn’t easy. Effective content marketing requires creativity and a well-designed content strategy. A good content marketing strategy helps ensure that all pieces of content are in line with the business model, while making sure content is planned with profitable results in mind.
Whether you’re rebranding your business, or you just want your content marketing to outshine the competition, help is available.
Two recent examples
- 1. Software product suite for managing payroll
I recently met with a co-founder of a business into providing a software product suite for managing payroll. The solution has been well received and provides most of the functionality that any business would look for, from a payroll solution. They have already won over several brands and their target is to start reaching out to the blue-chip companies and start winning them over.
Clearly a sales chase into blue chip accounts is going to be very sequential and will involve a serious sales effort and that too from sales guys who are well accomplished. (not the typical junior sales hunters). Knowing that sales budgets are always limited and most of these chases will also require significant travel, what could be other options that the company can lean on.
Surely they can lean on content marketing, but what can they do that will help position them as a market leader and will help them generate a buzz among their target market.
They can invest in creating a content hub that talks about the common challenges of Finance & HR heads. The content topics used can be the most relevant and trending topics that people care about. The participants can be the very people that they want to build rapport and relationships with. The audience can be the whole wide world.
What you are talking about on the content hub is not self-promotional content, but you are talking about industry pain areas and providing a perspective, from the experts themselves….and of course once in a while, you can always pitch in with what your product is able to achieve and what the company’s vision is, and how that links very well to solving common industry challenges.
Doing this consistently will make sure that they win friends at the targeted prospect they want to convert to customers and will also reach out to a lot more people, who will build affinity with the brand and can start acting as your referral ambassadors, besides of course buying it for themselves.
Of course, I am not able to share too much details, for confidentiality reasons…
- 2. Company in manufacturing of RFID devices
I recently met the founder of a business into manufacture of RFID devices and solutions related to RFID. While they are doing business in some of the sectors like time and attendance tracking, access cards, tracking goods movement, safety applications etc. the opportunities are just tremendous. There are so many industry sectors to which RFID based solutions can make a lot of sense. How should the company plan to expand into existing segments and also venture into newer segments.
Do I hear you saying – Invest in more Sales? – Very expensive and very difficult. You know my answer and certainly content marketing can add a lot of firepower to their reach-outs. One of the first things that they can do with planned content marketing is simplify the relevance of RFID based solutions in different industry segments. This can be done through several content forms including videos or informative infographics or even short content posts leveraging graphics.
Every content piece can focus on some specific and relevant areas, trying to highlight the current industry challenges and how a RFID based solution can address the challenge. Having developed this content, through a focused list building exercise and an organized campaign plan, they can also reach out to several potential prospects with their value proposition.
If they are able to deliver value through their content to the target market, the likelihood is that when the prospects think about doing something to address their challenges, this RFID company will be the first one they will think of and they will call them in.
A lot of organizations have used white papers, webinars, podcasts in the past, but in several instances, these have tended to be self-promotional in nature. It is possible to generate content that will provide resources/value to your target market in some way, and yet not be perceived as overly self-promotional.
At Xenia, through our services in marketing content management & content research, we have been doing that for customers and driving lead generation for them. Our hit ratios are still in the 5-10%, but the rest of the 95% do not get put off. They are only getting gradually closer and building affinity to our customer brands (because we are providing them immense value & not annoying them)
I hope you found this useful.
Regards – Atul Dhakappa
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- 3. Expand your social networks, Listen, contribute, participate