Today I am delighted to share with you a guest post by Michael Brown of BtoBEngage.
Michael is a talented marketer who understands Internet marketing and brings years of experience to the table. Even more exciting, though, is Michael’s expertise in that mystifying arena of telephone marketing (in other words, he knows how to make cold calling less difficult and more effective).
Here, Michael shares some terrific advice on content marketing. Enjoy!
#1 by a mile … believing, and acting as if, content is king. Content is simply content. Too much content is called “stuff.” Overblown content is called “hype” or “BS.” Misdirected or mistimed content is called “irrelevant.” Instead … pay attention to the information about prospects and customers that already exists in your company’s marketing and sales databases. Pay particular attention to actions v. responses, next steps v. actions, sales v. next steps, and so on … to make sure that what you send in any and all media is relevant AND timely. And of course, do watch for prospects’ and customers’ on-line actions as well, specific via blog posts and general via social media.
#2 … believing one’s own content. Aside from pride of authorship, which is perfectly OK, marketers err when they expect/demand that recipients of their content love it as much as they do themselves. Instead … eschew grandiosity and obfuscation and tell it like it is! Write with clarity and humility. Before posting, ask someone to read your work who knows nothing about the subject. You’ll learn very quickly howpeople will react to the substance and style.
# 3 … forgetting that the purpose of marketing content is not only to inform, but … one would hope … provoke a positive response. Instead … include a definitive call to action or at least a suggestion that the reader/viewer/listener take the next step. Make the next step easy and do-able!
#4 … not applying the rules of grammar, composition, and form that we learned in middle school or journalism class. Some marketing content is so bad, it’s a wonder the word processor didn’t blow up during its creation. Instead … assign really good writers to create your on-line content. (Or hire Alexa Steele!) Not everyone can or should do it.
#5… mis-applying content meant for one medium into an incompatible medium. Especially, using “eye-copy” … that written for social media, web sites, and print … as “script material” for phone-based marketing. “Eye” copy sounds terrible when spoken for the ear. Instead … for phone copy, write like people talk not like they read. Listen to radio news, especially NPR, and do what they do.
The coolest aspect of internet content marketing is that when done well, it enables quick understanding and often expedites the consideration process. But it requires a discipline and editorial review process that marketers ignore at their peril!
But wait! There’s more! (As they say on late night TV.) You still have to talk with people! The Internet and social media notwithstanding, NO ONE has thrown away his/her phone! No one is refusing to interact with people live and in person!
For considered decisions in both BtoB and BtoC, genuine engagement has to include real-time human-to-human interaction. All the linking and friending may be very valuable in advancing toward engagement.
However, such communication does not yet mean genuine engagement … that takes one person experiencing another live, either in-person or at least in dialogue over the phone. Real engagement is how people have advanced human relations and society and business since the dawn of time. Let us keep it that way and not have “engagement” devolve into simply another marketing buzzword. Let’s do Internet, to be sure. Let’s also talk with each other, meet with each other, and prosper!
Michael A. Brown is president of BtoBEngage in Austin, Texas. Via marketing consulting and sales training, BtoBEngage helps companies approach, influence, advance, and sell. www.BtoBEngage.com