Good content versus time consumption: Where is the balance?
The nature of the online world we all find ourselves in, has placed a greater priority on content for leisure, academics, social connection, and business. For many of us, we find our feeds and inboxes flooded with content that is difficult to navigate and sort. I find myself constantly asking: Now, later, or never. Is this something I must deal with now? Can I deal with it later? Or the ultimate quick satisfaction win – can I delete this and get it off my desk?
As business leaders, salespeople, and marketers, we ask ourselves: How do I ensure my communication does not fall into the “never” category. If everyone hits delete immediately upon receiving information, it does not further my goal of engagement and connection with customers and prospects.
Marketing CoPilot would like to introduce the 3 keys to success in creating blog posts and content that will drive effective results for your business and answer the questions:
1. What kind of content should I be producing?
2. Will this content create engagement with my audience?
3. How can I create enough content to sustain lead generation and demand management?
1. Emerging from the pack: how to create content your customers care about
Anyone can write a blog post. There are heaps of tools, tips, and tricks out there to help people along in this process. But only you and your senior leadership can write expert level pieces of content about your business and the impact it has on your customers. And, let’s face it, this is all you should be blogging about. No cares about your company picnic or your opinion on the Winter Olympics. (Trust me, I have had to write on both these topics for companies and neither one performs in the B2B space.)
It starts with you
We know that when the owner, senior leadership, or salespeople are involved in blog writing, this content performs better. Comparatively, when blog development is outsourced to an outside writer, we see a decrease in performance levels. The outsourced content may check the boxes with respect to SEO words or volume but content that is first and foremost, you- as the expert on problems you solve for your customers- is content that no one else can write. We call this content. Competition Killers.
Listen to your customers
When you begin to evaluate your company’s blog presence, the first thing you should consider is how your blog content is working to help customers or prospective customers understand your business solution to their problems. The top ten blogs you should write for your website should answer the top ten questions you get asked in the sales process.
To gain a better sense of content you should be producing, sit down with someone who is in the sales process with a prospect and conduct what we like to call, “the five-year-old interrogation”. After every statement about why a customer should do something or buy something, ask “why”. Think about how a five-year-old tackles learning. They ask basic questions and absorb simple answers. This is how you must think when approaching content. If someone knew nothing about your products or services, and you were trying to explain a complex business problem, what questions need to be answered? When you sit down with someone in the sales process, you either need to get information from them, or communicate information to them about your business. Each of these pieces of information should be blog content on your website, written by someone who knows how to interview your people and draw out the right information. Then you need a good writer to take the details and make them resonate with your prospects.
2. Distribution and integration of blog posts into business operations
Once you have facilitated conversations, narrowed down topics, and created an outline of details; what’s next? Now, you need to ensure that this content is effectively optimized and distributed.
Search Engine Optimization
Once you have your blogs written, you need to optimize this content for search. It is important to ensure that every blog post, includes keywords, titles, headings, subheadings, images, permalinks, and more, properly formatted with your keyword strategy in mind. Marketing Copilot has a Blog Post SEO Checklist to help you along in this process.
Socializing content to improve engagement
Once your content is written and housed on your website, it is time to tell people its there. distribute the content in ways that will generate business and help your company. If your top ten blog posts answer the questions which are most commonly asked in the sale process, this should lead to online conversations for people actively looking to solve their business problems. Sending a link to one or several of your blog posts in a sales conversation is an effective way to encourage your clients or potential future clients to engage with your blog posts and use them as resources. If you follow the right steps, blogs become part of the sales process for your business.
3. Re-purpose, re-distribute, re-post
An important factor in creating good content for your business, is that content can and should be re-packaged and distributed in a multitude of ways. Once you have written copy on a particular topic you can produce at least 5 pieces of content to communicate this information.
Some examples include:
1. Blog post
3. Landing page with downloadable guide
4. Social Media Series
5. Email workflow
It's important to remember that when your business distributes content, for example an email campaign, it might only reach 25% of your audience. This means that 75% of your target audience has not seen the information you are trying to communicate. So, in order to reach more of your audience, you need to re-package and re-use this information across various platforms that different groups of people might find to be more engaging.
The Simple Formula
The purpose of blog content is not to get you to page one on a search result (although, if you follow our SEO checklist you will likely be found through a search engine within your local region). More importantly, the purpose of blog content is to communicate essential information about what you do and how you do it, written by your business leaders or subject matter experts, to a relevant audience of people. When blog programs are implemented correctly, they can generate business, be integrated into the sales process, and work to resolve problems in the buyer journey. It's not about generating random content from an SEO writer. It's about valuable information for the prospective buyer.
So, the simple formula for creating business generating content is this:
Take the top ten questions in the sales process and find five different ways to share that content. By following this formula you will have created 50 pieces of content for your business, each one communicating relevant information across a variety of engaging platforms.
Here’s an Example:
Say for example you are an IT company, and the first question you need to know from a prospective client is how many people need to access the IT infrastructure and what kind of hardware and software they are using. Before you can create an IT solution, this is the information you will need to know.
Here is an opportunity to educate your clients on the “why’s” of your business process. There might be a variety of answers for any given “why” within your business. In the case of the IT company; you need to know about numbers in order to address the economies of scale, or understand if there are opportunities to move clients to the cloud in any place, or know whether the client server’s need to be refreshed.
You can see, there are a whole pile of answers to one question of ‘why?’. This example alone could generate written content which could then be turned into a blog post, checklist, resource guide, webinar, and/or email campaign which the IT company could then use to help in the sales process.
It's time to get started on a business generating blog program that will work for your business. The first step is to write down the top ten questions which are asked in your sales process. Check your website and ask yourself, is there content available which covers each of these ten questions?
If you notice you might be missing some pieces to an effective content presence for your business, or you need a hand in getting a blog or content generation program started, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we would be happy to help.