As we discuss in S4E5 of the marketing matters podcast, good, sustained marketing requires, good, regular content; new things to say to demonstrate your business proposition and reinforce your position as an expert in your field. With this in mind, I regularly talk with clients about the value of developing their ‘Content Radar’. By this I mean recognising the things that arise in day to day business as having potential as high quality marketing content Here are our top 5 content sources.
Listen to your customers – It is always good to get positive feedback from your customers but rather than simply thanking them and basking in the glory, perhaps you could ask them:
'May I quote you on that?'
1. You will almost always get a positive response which can lead to a great testimonial. Don’t be afraid to offer to write the words (but do make sure you get their approval of them!) Your customer will be thankful that they don’t have yet another job to do and you can be more certain of getting your testimonial ready for when you want to use it. Win-Win.
2. Case Studies – An extension of the idea above, case studies demonstrate how your business has benefited your customer and added value. Case Studies always make great content. They can demonstrate how great your business is without you simply preaching! One issue can be getting sign off & permission from the client to use the case, especially when working with big corporates. It is great to get this approval so you can associate your business with a recognised brand but, in most cases, if approval proves to be an issue the problem can be circumnavigated by anonymising the case, substituting the name for “a key player in the industry” etc.
3. Social Media – If you are using social media, and following organisations that are active in your industry, it is highly likely that other people’s posts will throw up issues that you can comment on. A great tool in this area is Flipboard, an iOS and Android app, that allows you to turn your social media feeds into a personalised magazine, making it easy to review content at your leisure. If taking this approach, never be afraid to reference and link to the source material. Not only is this good practice, it also demonstrates that you are in touch with others in the industry, and removes the need to recreate the entire content yourself.Its also a good idea to sign up for email newsletters within your industry, especially those related to trade journals or news feeds. For example, I subscribe to a newsletter from econsultancy.com. They often publish marketing related content tat givbes me ideas for a blog post or podcast series.
4. Frequently Asked Questions – If you are getting your marketing right, customers are likely to value your opinion on matters where they see you as an expert.In situations where this does happen, often the question is something that would be of interest to others in your market, so why not publish the answer as a blog post.Only yesterday, I was asked about what I considered to be the best CRM system. This is clearly not our core business but closely related to the process of data and contact management which is central to what we do. Watch this space for a future article about how CRM can assist with a joined-up approach to marketing.
5. Don’t forget the trade press – Although we like to think we live in a paperless, on-line age, I am sure that almost everyone still gets printed trade magazines (we must get at least 1 or 2 each week!) Like social media, trade magazines talk about issues that are of interest to your industry, and will often throw up issues that are worthy of comment. If you are using this as a source of content, don’t be afraid to reference and where possible link to the source material.
Once you have made the commitment to deliver regular content, hopefully these tips can take some of the stress out of delivering on your commitment. Got your own ideas on flexing your Content Radar? Let us know