Problem: I need to create brand preference. Engaging content marketing creates preference through thought leadership by making you a trusted source of information and education. You can also create preference through relationships, which are strengthened whenever your content entertains or helps your buyers. People are more likely to buy from companies with whom they have relationships.
Don’t forget about your preview text! This is the copy beside the subject line. If you don’t write customized copy, most ISPs will pull the beginning of your email body copy. This is a great chance to provide some explanatory language if you have a subject line that gets creative so that readers will definitely know what’s inside the email once they open it.
Books. Like movies, people often think of books as selling themselves, but savvy marketers don’t sell books just to sell books, they sell books as marketing tools. Michael Port’s sales manual Book Yourself Solid is a great read for entrepreneurs, salespeople, and marketers, and while I’m sure Port enjoys selling his book, the book is a tool for driving customers to his coaching and speaking services. Although with self-publishing it’s easier than ever to publish a book, there is still the perception that it’s difficult and that only reputable professionals can publish a business book. Publish your own, and even if people don’t read it you can still use it as a form of content marketing every time you’re introduced as “Author of…”
Podcasts. Michael Hyatt, author of the best-selling book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, practices what he preaches. His “This is Your Life” podcast is downloaded 250,000 times each month. As Hyatt elaborates on his blog post 4 Reasons You Should Consider Launching Your Own Podcast, “A podcast gives you visibility in a completely different world—primarily iTunes. I have had scores of new people say they had never heard of me until they stumbled onto me in iTunes.” Hyatt gives valuable information and advice in his podcast--all for free. But that podcast leads to more sales of his books, signups for his courses, and requests for him as a speaker.
At HubSpot, we use ... well, we use HubSpot at HubSpot. It comes with a Content Management System (CMS), which allows you to create and publish content quickly in a format that's web-friendly. Whether you use HubSpot or another CMS, you need some CMS so your content marketing team can easily set up a blog, add blog posts, and add website pages without having to get help from IT or developers.
What a great list. I always enjoy your examples and the way you illuminate them with your analysis. I just went to check out Mailchimp’s T&Cs and you’re right, they’re strangely pleasurable. So clear and engaging (!) – their use of “we” and “you” instead of “company/client” makes such a difference to the explanation. Who’d have thought it of T&Cs? I ended up reading the entire page. (I should probably get out more – but I have to go swipe another two or three of these sites first.)
There are many firms that offer content marketing services, often paired with SEO or PR. If you’re simply too busy to do it yourself and aren’t ready to manage it in-house, then hiring a firm may be your best option. But if you want to jump in and do your own content marketing the easiest way is to start blogging. It will likely be hard at first, but the more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. Following tips from websites like Copyblogger you’ll quickly learn how to craft content for your website or blog that will engage readers and turn them into customers or clients. But while technically good writing and the right headlines can help, it’s not the key to creating great content that is the best form of content marketing.
For example, I once got an email from TicketMaster with the subject line "Don't Miss Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band." They didn't order me to purchase tickets by saying "Purchase Tickets Tomorrow for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band," though such a subject line may have performed just as well. The original subject line worked well because it was clear what I could do with the information in that email -- ensure I'm prepared for the 10:00 AM sale time so I could snag my tickets. (Which I did, thanks to that email!)
Don’t think for a second that a boring or technical topic gets you off the hook either — IKEA assembly instructions have nothing to do with gay dating (usually) but we used a visual to help the reader make the connection. Push yourself to add a little creative fiction to your website content writing and see how much more fun it is to read (and write!)
Part of transitioning to a media publishing mindset requires a change in structure and process to create content at the speed of culture. The old model you see on shows like Mad Men is too slow and cumbersome. By the time an idea becomes an ad, it is out of date. Marketers are increasingly co-locating insights, creative, production, legal approval, and placement to increase interaction and speed in producing and distributing content. Marketing content production is transforming from an advertising agency model to a newsroom model.
What does your reader fear the most? Is it bed bugs? Maybe it's the IRS? Maybe it's some other calamity like being in debt or having their house foreclosed or dissapearing from Google's search engine? Maybe something else? Figure it out. To do that, you need to implicitly understand your audience. What keeps them up at night and what drives them during the day?
Most visitors to a website scan through the content as opposed to reading it line by line. Our website content writers are well versed with this fact and are experts at keeping the structure and format of the articles, blogs or webpages such that online readers find it convenient to go through them. We deliver content that readers find engaging, relevant, easily comprehensible and in line with your best expectations.