Content is Currency

Developing Powerful Content
for Web and Mobile

by Jon Wuebben - Founder and CEO of Content Launch

Content Marketing 101 – It’s All in the Neighborhood

I saw something online recently that basically said, “Content IS Marketing”. I thought, wow, how interesting. I had never seen it put quite this way. Its simplistic but I think it really resonates. Why? Because in today’s business environment, whether B2C, B2B, a local company or global firm, its all about how your customer receives and perceives you as a company. And the content you put in front of them will inform that communication like nothing else.

Put a bunch of traditional, “look at us, we’re a great company” content in front of them and you have just done a poor job of marketing. Show them case studies, reports, free information, videos on best practices, etc. and you’re doing a good job. What else would be appropriate? Asking their opinion, getting them to fill out a survey, offering them a free something – all of that is good.

I recently provided some consultation for a company that offers insurance products to consumers. They showed me their first email. They sent it to 150K people. This was the first time anyone on the list had every received anything from the company. They asked me why no one responded.

The call to action/offer in the email? …“Get a Quote”.

Wow. I was pretty blown away. Not so much because this is what they were trying to do – thousands of companies still just don’t get content marketing. But because they absolutely had no idea what they were doing wrong.

Sending an email blast with a blurb about your company and your products and then providing a “free quote” button WILL NOT WORK. And its just bad marketing. In their case it was “Bad Content is Bad Marketing”.

So, ask yourself, what are we doing to address prospect and customer needs? How can we build the relationship by going out of our way a little bit?

How do you do this? Here is a simple way to think about it: Lets say someone new moves in next door to you. Over the first couple weeks, you may notice what they drive, whether they have kids or not and maybe a couple things about their interests based on what you observe. How would you connect with them? Would you hurry over, knock on their door, go into a big spiel about who you are (not asking questions about them) and then ask them to help you with yard work the next weekend?

No, you wouldn’t.

Over multiple visits and encounters, you would slowly build rapport and trust and perhaps offer them a free gift at some point.

I’ll tell you what – in the past twenty years, in the 6-7 places I’ve lived, three neighbors of mine – just three – have come to my door and given me a Christmas gift, a welcome to the neighborhood gift or for no reason at all, brought freshly baked chocolate chip cookies over. And you know what? I will never ever forget it. I would do anything for those neighbors. Without any prompting, they came to me and offered me something nice, something of value in hopes that we would become friends. Its pretty powerful stuff and you know what? It works.

That my friends, is content marketing in action.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa October 6, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Good article about the value of providing useful information to clients. Article marketing seems to have taken a hit with Google’s latest Panda update. Though intended to weed out content farms, it seems to have negatively affected article content marketing as a whole. Do article marketing distribution sites still have value? I’d be curious to know your/anyone’s thoughts on this?

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Judith October 26, 2011 at 5:52 am

Thanks for that tip. Customer engagement and providing value great ways to be remembered.

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