You've got what it takes. Now put it all together.
Some people think content marketing is just the flavor of the week. They say it’s a passing fad, the latest shiny object in the marketing world that will lose its appeal when the next shiny object comes along.
Before I tell you why they’re wrong, let’s define content marketing. In a business-to-business application, it’s essentially about education. Consider your customers. Most aren’t looking for a product. They’re looking for a solution to a problem. Their questions are, and always will be, answered with information.
Can you provide the useful, problem-solving information they seek?
Of course, you can.
You’ve got the material. Here’s how to put it all together into a content marketing program.
Change your perspective.
When customer prospects aren’t ready to buy, don’t try to sell them. Stop the aggressive marketing and start thinking like a publisher. Give them something useful, something of value — information to help them solve a problem. Make the info easy to find. Optimize it for Google searching.
When your prospects start to see you as a problem solver, it’s easier to start making them think about your products as part of the solution.
Maximize entry points.
Your prospects aren’t all at the same point in the purchase process simultaneously. They have different informational needs at different times. Make sure you have a suitable variety of content. That way, they’ll always get something relevant from you.
Start with the basics. What questions can you answer before they’re asked? Creating content based on frequently asked questions is a good start.
Then, tap into your salespeople. Find out what they’re hearing from customers. Chances are good that if one customer is asking about something, others will, too. Make this a regular part of a salesperson’s customer reporting and you’ll have a constant stream of topics to create content about.
Finally, check the trends your customers are subject to and the issues they’re dealing with. Make those key content areas. Electrification. Connected vehicles. Car sharing. Crossover growth. Wherever your expertise lies, make that expertise obvious to prospects. If you can start a conversation or pique someone’s interest, you’re one step closer to a sale.
Leverage your knowledge base.
There’s a lot of knowledge in your company. And while not everyone was born to write, many of your people are experts in their fields. Sit them down with your in-house writer (or hire one) to turn their knowledge into poetry prospects will eat up like frozen Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Your company’s thought leadership can be an asset to anyone looking to solve problems.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Progress as a thought leader doesn’t happen overnight. It needs commitment and steady, long-term nurturing to stay fresh and relevant. Don’t think of it as a campaign or a program, think of it as the creation of a culture.
It may seem daunting at first blush, but building a content program should be an essential part of your marketing mix.