Don’t let the lack of content slow down or stop your business communications.
Creating a consistent flow of high-quality content is a challenge for even the most experienced content marketers.
I can’t even start to count the “lack of content” questions I hear and read about. However, when I get that question, it’s an opportunity for me to help a customer, turn a prospect into a customer or lead them to a source of content. Here’s why.
There’s a roadmap I use when I have a writing assignment. If you are going to follow a schedule, develop a media calendar. I am always writing, so I adhere to every quarter. The larger firms usually schedule for 12 months. A smaller firm can update their schedule every six months.
Whatever you select, break down your calendar into quarters so it is not such a daunting process. If your business has some seasonality to it, that should make it much easier.
For example, in my B2B world, summer is slow with vacations, so I cut down the amount of communications. However, I make sure my communication is relevant so those that I reach, appreciate my content and effort.
When you finish that first long stare at your first media calendar, remember half of the battle is now complete.
Research is definitely the tallest speed bump on your road to a content creation. If you’re a company that consistently communicates with customers and prospects, this is not as much a challenge as you may think. If you use a Customer–Centric Marketing philosophy at your company, that speed bump is no longer an obstacle.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself and others in your company.
- Make a list of all the features of your products or services. Then from this list, what are the individual benefits derived from each feature? Make sure you discuss this with a customer service employee as well as a sales person.
- Go to your competitors and ask them these similar questions. I know what you’re thinking, no competitor in their right mind would tell you jack. Visit their Web site and start a comparison of the features and benefits.
- Look at their testimonials, if any. Sign up for a newsletter if offered. Talk to the customer service department. Check out industry publications, trade show opportunities, and any associations they belong to for the latest happenings and their involvement, if any.
- Use the internet to do even more research. Don’t forget to check out Social Media. Start saving white papers, articles, or just about anything related or closely related to your industry. Be careful, and don’t plagiarize. This information is for research only to help formulate your communications that are relevant to your customers and prospects.
- Deciding your communication channels is simply using the channels your customers and prospects prefer. You can even have similar content for each channel.
- For example, if you have a video that is instructional in nature for a product or even a service, you may want to use your blog to introduce it. If you email a newsletter, consider a landing or QR code that drives the reader to a web page. Don’t forget to add an offer and a Call-to-Action. This link can also be in a press release, an email newsletter, Facebook, or an easy reading post card mailing.
Do you feel pressure to reinvent the wheel time and time again? By that I mean past content. Do you have old content that could be updated to meet the present needs of your audience? When should you create more versions of the wheels you have already published?
The answer depends on how quickly you see change occurring in your industry. Being in the business of direct marketing, change is accelerating at a faster clip each year. Here’s an example.
Relevancy and frequency are important to any communication you decide to use. If you write a monthly newsletter, don’t send it only four times within a year.
Conversely, if you are using email, sending something once a day, unless it is money, could drive your customers away faster than a beehive at your favorite picnic location.
Take some time to read last week’s post on relevancy and frequency. I pointed out that the method of communication frequency by sending out the same message via email or direct mail maybe a waste of money.
Instead, learn what other channels your customers may prefer to read your marketing message. If you use the benefits of Customer-Centric Marketing you may have already determined these other channels of choice.
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