The right piece of content, be it a letter, email, phone call, tweet, e-book, etc., delivered at the right time can shorten the buying process dramatically and even completely convert an abandoned shopping cart into a purchase.
We all know that consumers want information. But where we fall short is identifying the what, how, and when they want it.
To put it succinctly; every industry, product, and process is entirely unique and requires careful attention to details and analytics. It also requires a deep understanding of human decision-making and the challenges we must overcome to get the sale.
Executing the content marketing strategy is best with a combination of automation, triggered events, semi-personalized, and completely personalized activities.
Know Your Audience:
Go beyond demographics and wants/needs that were aggregated by market research. Not all females age 25-40 with liberal arts college degrees, careers paying 35K-60K, living in a specific zip code think the same way – whether they have children, or do not. Nor do they face the same challenges or opportunities.
Stop using demographics and begin using true engagement information.
Digital media allows us to get hyper-specific in attracting audiences that are aligned around actual situations, lifestyle choices, and preferences. We often find that audiences that think and behave similarly have widely different demographics.
Knowing who they are and how they want to communicate is a key aspect to curating content for them. We all want to be appreciated and engage with information that is relevant to us. An easy way to make content feel personal is to make it personable.
Rather than writing content about selling a product (solving a problem they have); one option is to write about how YOU had a problem that was solved by the product. Use the marketing research info to confidently know which problems exist, how they appear, and how solutions are found.
By writing/expressing how you personally had a challenge, you become more peer-trustworthy. Prospects and suspects don’t want to be sold! We want our problems solved – preferably by someone who understands the cost/frustrations first-hand. With this as a start, incorporate your own personality or the ‘company brand’ in ways that are not forced.
Know Your Products:
No marketing tricks or gimmicks will ever replace intimate knowledge of products. This is considerably more than the facts and figures on the brochure and sales materials. It comes from real-world applications and personal stories.
Are you able to explain how the products work – on an engineer level, user level, buyer level, CEO/CFO level? Where do the products provide superior performance, moderate performance, and NO PERFORMANCE whatsoever? How do they compare to top competitors, bottom competitors, as well as their status quo? Be able to share stories of unexpected ways customers have pushed well beyond design expectations .
Be able to navigate between multiple products that are combined together into a cohesive portfolio that allows each one’s strengths makes the others’ weakness non-issues. This works weather you are selling socket sets, wrenches, and pliers; 401k, Roth IRA, Traditional IRA; or application functionalities across phones, tablets, desktops. Make it make sense to the buyer.
Know Your Process:
Understand the various stages of the decision-making process and use them as goals for progress and action. There is a big difference between encouraging someone to exchange contact information, subscribe to marketing automation, attend a free webinar, reserve time for a sales conversation, or close a 6-figure deal for integrating products and services.
Each should be handled differently. Depending on the product/industry, some of these can be automated, while others should be highly personalized. Some should be handled by different personalities, people, or departments.
What is written here is essentially the tip of a proverbial iceberg and there is much more to discuss and customize. Connect with me here and I am happy to have a conversation with you about ways to incorporate this into your marketing and sales efforts.