Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Content Marketing: Engage, Entertain and Inform

As a smart marketer, your mandate is to make sure various channels are populated with content that educates potential customers and helps them make a decision.  This content can be in the form of video demonstrations and interviews, educational webinars, case studies, white papers, blog posts, etc. 
It's not just any content, however, that wields this power.  To be effective, content should engage, entertain and inform.  Only great content does this, and it comes from the heart.  It establishes a direct connection to a reader via emotion.  It offers a story that grabs readers by the lapels and demands their attention. 
So, how do you get there?  What are the elements of great content?  Great content that results in loyal fans can be achieved if you consistently follow a few rules of thumb.  Start with....
Understand your customer.
Envision your ideal customer and think deeply about their problems and challenges.  Really put
yourself in the customer's spot to understand their position.  How do they feel?  What do they
need?  How can you help them now?  How can your product help them down the road to be more
successful, productive or happy?
Create a strategy.
Create a content marketing strategy that ties directly into your company's overall business strategy.  How will your content marketing efforts help you achieve your overall business goals?  What is the over-arching story you want to tell?  What does your company stand for, and how will your content systematically and consistently convey your values and position?  In addition to  a content marketing strategy, craft a mission statement that takes into account your customer's pain points as well as your desired outcome.
Maintain a content editorial calendar.
A content editorial calendar helps you plan for the months ahead, ensuring it reflects your overall business strategy, targets the right audience, and takes into account your contributors, stakeholders, and distribution channels.  It can help you coordinate publication with related events and business milestones, provides an opportunity for brainstorming and research, and help identify ways to build or cross-promote existing or future content. 
Next time: Focus on engage, entertain and inform.

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To share common sense lessons learned with 40-plus years experience in marketing, sales and as a B2B publisher.