This part is where many of the premises that the industry has taken for granted for a long time, but today represent the challenge for the paradigm shift, to venture into new market strategies, which are aligned with the "new reality," as is the content marketing.
The challenge is to understand and permeate within the organization how content marketing generates value and how it impacts favorably, increasing demand and developing new and better-qualified leads (MQL).
The old assumptions
To achieve a paradigm shift in the industry, we must start by overturning some assumptions that are no longer valid or current. These are some points with which we could work the change:
- The digital scenario is not necessary for my industry, and my traditional marketing scheme is the one that has always given me results.
- My customers are not influenced by digital content from social networks, are not making new connections through LinkedIn, and are not "googling" everything they need.
- My clients are not buying digitally. They prefer a physical approach and service.
- My "extended" business hours are sufficient to meet my clients' needs.
- I have a lot of information about my customers, and I know them well.
- The important thing about these points is to look at how consumer habits have changed. It is clear that this has accelerated in the last two years, changing the buying processes in companies and facilitating decision-making; digital channels and formats highly influence all this.
The premises change
Contrasting each of the above premises, we will see how the new model requires the industry, and its digital participation, with a series of strategies and actions that will determine its leadership in the market and its position against its competitors.
Some of these new premises to consider are:
- The corporate or business use is always allied to the established buying processes. However, digital content platforms are now commonly used to obtain and form criteria for decision-making.
- Although the initial objective of content marketing is not to promote the sale in the act, it is one of the prominent influencers in the buying process. And it is precisely in the consideration stage where it becomes more relevant, positioning aspects, not of the product, but the company's "know-how" and its position of authority in the topics related to the customer's need. Increasing digital credibility is a "must," inescapable for the industry.
- Customers are now more connected than ever. Virtuality, home office, and digital nomads are aspects that have driven a more digital customer and a greater demand for content through various channels and formats.
- The barrier of schedules disappears more and more. Customers are connected in different geographical locations and with more flexible schedules, working more by objectives than programs. We now have a 24/7 front desk.
- Needed my customer's information online to personalize communication with each customer profile, thus, establishing appropriate conversations according to each Buyer persona, each product line, or each customer's stage of sales maturity.
What a content marketing strategy looks like
To understand the fundamental principle of content marketing, we start from the assumption that digital content is king. Let's see how we can break this down.
Making regular content, with the topics of interest of our customers, will also help us to be valid spokespersons of opinion, developing an expert image of our industry. Can generate this part through various channels, including blogs, webinars, videos, newsletters, e-books, infographics, guides, and even podcasts.
You may be interested in: Start using videos in your marketing strategy.
For example, inviting our prospects and customers to webinars or podcasts where we address topics about improvements in the field or discoveries related to their problems will be of great value to them. We will be talking in their language and not about products.
Now, must plan a content marketing strategy in detail, not only from the point of view of content but also of the elements that will give a clear objective, the resources needed and how we will measure this performance. Here I detail the six components that should consider in a good strategy before you start creating content:
- The first thing is to identify the Buyer Persona we will focus on. The digital content that the General Manager consumes is not the same as what should be done by the purchasing manager; each has different interests, and it is about aligning each content with the audience we are going to develop.
- Specific and clear objectives. Knowing what we seek to achieve with our efforts, we will make a clear north and a way to direct resources efficiently. The more we can quantify these objectives, the better we will be able to measure their performance.
- Define the channels and formats we are going to use. Let's make use of the resources we have within the organization. If we have very technically qualified personnel, it would be great to have articles that we can use as blogs, newsletters, or infographics, and if we have videos or material from our suppliers that can support evangelization content on topics such as good practices, application of international standards, global trends in our industry, etc.; this will help us to define which channels to start with and to set up a strategy to address the issues with our buyer persona.
- The budget we are going to use is another indispensable component. Having a budget line to develop content, hire the appropriate advice in the execution of campaigns, and have an automation tool to support the entire strategy of organic and paid content.
- Straightforward content generation process. This part is one of the essential aspects. The definition of who should generate content, what type of content should be produced, the formats/channels in which will distribute it, who approves the release of content, and course, the publication schedule is part of an orderly process that will allow the organization to keep a good pulse of the strategy.
- Finally, there is the measurement of campaign performance. With a clear objective, ideally, with KPIs, we will be able to take the pulse of the effectiveness we are obtaining to reinforce what is working well and rethink what we find is not being effective. The maxim "What you can't measure, you can't control" applies here.
Read about: Buyer Persona
We have made a tour of the paradigm shift that the industry must face to venture into a content marketing strategy and how to develop this strategy with the first six steps to be considered.
This part is not something simple that is implemented in two weeks and done once. It is a new continuous way of communicating with our prospects and customers, which has to be formally established as a company process, with specific managers, specialized tools, and measurable objectives, for short, medium, and long-term achievements.
Content marketing is a strategic process with many facets and variables to consider and implement, which initially requires time and effort that was not contemplated as a critical activity of the company, but with changes in consumption and digitization, represent a competitive advantage in the market. Many companies in the industry have already adopted it as a formal process in their organizations and have substantially renewed how they communicate with their customers, selling without selling.
If you are interested in learning more about this strategy, you can schedule an appointment with one of our consultants, and they will surely be able to advise you.