We’d like you to help us welcome Nancy Zambrano. She’s the newest addition to our marketing team. She has absolutely no experience in marketing, in our industry or in the technologies we use to run our business. She’s never written (or I suspect, read) a white paper. She does have an impressive background as a TV news journalist. Why would we hire her? (I’ll tell you in a minute.) Have we all lost our minds? (Not yet.)
Quality Content Matters
We hired Nancy because she knows how to tell a good story. She understands the process of identifying a topic that might be of interest to our audience, gathering relevant information and putting it into a form that is useful and compelling. In short, she knows how to create quality content. It isn’t important that she understand the ins and outs of the telecommunications industry and know all about VoIP. Who wants to read about that all the time? We also focus on content with information that helps companies adapt to the new mobile, social and distributed realities of the modern work place. Much of this content has nothing to do with phone systems at all. Nancy will help develop articles, blogs and business profiles related to this evolution. (Don’t panic, I’ll still be here if you want to know more about Cloud VoIP Infrastructure.)
Inbound vs. Outbound
In our case the need for this approach is simple. Companies only buy a business phone system about once every six years. Bombarding people with outbound, interruption-based marketing is simply not effective if they aren’t in the market for a phone system. However, when we are able to provide useful business information that they discover through social networks or colleagues, they are more likely to consider us when the time for a new phone system comes along. In fact, we may even be able to convince them that their phone system should be providing more for their business than just dial tone and they may make a change earlier than anticipated. According to the Custom Content Council, 77% of people understand that an organization’s goal for custom content is to sell them something, but are OK with it as long as it provides value.
Data Sheets Don’t Get Shared
I’ve written and read hundreds of data sheets, white papers, product brochures and case studies. Some of them were pretty good. I’ve never once created or found one that I just had to share with all of my social networks. Have you? I didn’t think so. People want to share content that many of their followers will find interesting. Building interest in your brand requires a commitment to telling your story in a way that people find unique, useful and that will help them develop their personal brand and reputation when shared. Dry information about your product won’t get it done.
Traditional marketing isn’t dead. It is still important, but marketers need to understand that the habits of buyers have changed drastically. If you can develop content that people actually want you can open the door to a great long term relationship. Journalists like Nancy are a terrific addition to marketing teams and can breathe new life into your inbound marketing strategy. So, Welcome Nancy!
Have you hired a content journalist? How has your approach to content changed?