(Photo by Kaitlin Loyal)
As part of Philly Tech Week 2017 presented by Comcast, we held the first ever Content Rescue, an event during which we provided live consulting for five organizations at various stages of their marketing maturity: PromptWorks, MaassMedia, Sabre Systems, Clarifi and eMoney Advisor. These are successful companies that have a good understanding of their markets. For the event, it was our job to provide an external viewpoint and make suggestions that could take them to the next level.
Here’s some of the advice we gave our “rescuees” and the rest of the audience at the sold-out event. This was specific advice for the companies participating in the event, but certainly some of it is worth consideration for many organizations — maybe even yours.
Embrace a new mindset.
Marketing’s job is to make potential customers comfortable. That means you have to build trust with the audience. The best way to do this is to be helpful to the audience, rather than focus on hyping your own product or service. Marketing today needs to be customer-focused; creating content that customers want to consume is the best way to build a relationship with the audience that eventually leads to commerce.
Focus on email.
Social media is everyone’s obsession. Distributing your content and growing a community on social channels has become a default setting for most marketing departments. However, there’s a problem with social media. It’s “rented land.”
In other words, you don’t own it; Facebook does or Twitter or LinkedIn, or whichever platform you’re using. And they can, and will, change the rules. Email is a channel you can own — no one can throttle back its algorithm. People look down their nose at email, but in many ways it’s the best way to connect your audience.
Streamline your social presence.
This second point aligns with the first – your company does not need to be on every single social channel. Yes, brands are having success on Snapchat, but that does not automatically mean that your company should prop up a Snapchat account, and therefore commit to filling it with content and maintaining that presence. Do what you can do, and double down on the social channels where you’re having the most success. One of our rescuees, a B2B firm, said it was getting a lot of website traffic from Facebook even though it wasn’t expending much effort there. If the right audience is landing on your site, it makes sense to put more effort into whatever is pulling them in.
Company leadership often wants to be sure that the market takes it seriously and consequently most marketing teams are pretty uptight in their communications. Typically, this inhibits how well we connect with prospects and customers. However, science shows us that emotional stories resonate with the audience. They are far more likely to be remembered that jargon-filled marketingspeak.
Curate content from others.
There are plenty of small marketing teams out there struggling to create content. One good temporary solution we offered during Content Rescue is to curate content from other trusted sources. You can’t steal it and publish it in full on your website, but you can serve as an aggregator for your customers and prospects that are struggling to find the most relevant content on an ever-expanding internet.
Are any of these strategies right for your company? Maybe.
Perhaps the most important learning from our event is that every organization’s circumstance is different. Don’t pursue any marketing strategy simply because “everyone else is doing it.”
Whatever you choose to do, content needs to be at the center of it – in today’s always-on, information-rich world, your customers will never even know you exist unless you’re creating and distributing content that they can find and consume.