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3 Tips for Customer Focused Content Versus Self-Serving Content

customer-focused contentThere is a lot of buzz about content. However, there is a critical difference between relevant content focused on your customer’s needs versus content that is sales oriented and self-serving.

The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as "a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience - with the objective of driving profitable customer action." 

Here then are 3 Tips for developing content that will be welcomed by your customers and beneficial your company.

Tip 1; Your Employees Know Your Brand & Your Customers. Empower Them To Develop Content. 

By tapping into internal resources, YouEarnedIt, an employee recognition and reward software company, has created a unique strategy that’s paying off for their BtoB content marketing.

The company empowered its employees to get involved with the company blog, newsletters, videos, website, outbound emails and social media. According to Tim Ryan, Director of Marketing, “Employees] understand [that] if we can collectively boost overall reach, we'll see more eyeballs, leads, press and, ultimately, customers… You'd be surprised how [employees] will help get the word out if you make it easy for them….provide …some sample tweets or posts for them to customize…. We're getting many more visits, leads and customers."

By getting employees involved in the company’s content, YouEarnedIt has experienced:

  • Organic website traffic has growth of 380% in one year
  • Social audience has growth of 96% in one year
  • 33% of new leads coming in from social media channels, referral traffic and the company blog.

Tip 2; Get Your Content Organized & Strategized.

According to Marketing Sherpa, 60% of B2C marketers who rate themselves as most effective at content marketing have a documented content strategy.

By understanding what information customers want from your company, you are in a better position to deliver on those needs. How do you determine what customers want? Monitor call centers and customer service calls, social conversations, incoming emails, purchase trends and information derived from your preference center data.  

Per Marketing Sherpa, 72% of B2C marketers said they are producing more content now, compared with a year ago. So, marketers need to be sure they are developing content that’s a conversation starter, not a “glance and bounce” content filler.

Tip 3; Collaboration with Focus is Key.

Given the profound marketplace challenges of the past 12 months due to the economy and empowerment of consumers, it is essential to gain a deep voice of customer-based understanding of how your customers want you to provide deep levels of value based on how they perceive your brand.

 "Expedia has a great dialogue with bloggers and the media world, and the common need we find is compelling photography to illustrate a story and to connect with the readers on a deeper level," said Sarah Gavin, Expedia's Senior Editor. "After launching the Expedia Viewfinder Travel Blog over a year ago…consumers have been coming to us as a resource for travel tips, suggestions and more.”

With more than a dozen dedicated travel bloggers who represent a wide spectrum of travelers, content is developed that speaks directly to Expedia customers and keeps the brand current in terms of the resources it provides.

Additional Takeaways For Successful Content Development
Following are additional takeaways to help you develop truly successful content:

  1. Be Relevant to Customers …(Not Just Relevant to SEO). Most content is developed around SEO goals. That is understandable, but…there is a huge difference between just getting traffic and getting quality traffic that wants to do business with your company.
  2. Be Brand Focused Not Just Keyword-Centric. Articles that address keywords not brand messaging may temporarily get you position in search rankings until bounce rates push you back down due to content that is not interesting to readers. Sure you want people to be curious enough to click and read your articles but, if they don’t stay on your site to learn about your company or make a purchase, is it really valuable content?
  3. Outsourcing Without Informing is a Problem. When you handover your messaging to bloggers or an agency, your core brand, products and messaging must have a clear and consistent point of view. If your blog or website suddenly goes off in a new direction it is confusing to customers. No matter who is writing for or about your business, make sure they have the right information to develop content that reflects your core brand message.

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