Where are your prospects and customers going for information? And, what non-commercial information are you sharing?
• Know your audience
As described in our previous post (Part One: Who Cares?), know what your customers want and why they buy. Where possible, augment that with anything more they should know before they buy. Then use all of this in your marketing content.
For example, our client, CAPSYS Technologies, recently published an entire book applying this exact principle. “ECM Buyer Beware: Real Insights and Answers for Decision Makers” encapsulates more than 20 years of knowledge, insights and real-world solutions facing companies trying to manage paper and electronic data using enterprise content management (ECM) hardware and software tools.
The author, Paul Szemplinski, methodically walks readers through the in’s and out’s of many aspects of these systems, sharing truly helpful details on every page. Anyone that manages or makes budget decisions on IT systems will find the book a goldmine. He did it without blatantly touting his own firm, introducing a breakthrough SaaS service from his company only in the very last chapter.
The tone? Educational and forthright. Paul knows the business and therefore shared what he knows, for the benefit of the reader. Period. The reader draws his or her own conclusion. Whether or not numerous new customers result, he has done them all a service.
• Create a program that regularly provides valuable information
The new mantra is value, not just a sales pitch. While we all know the primary purpose of marketing is to sell, in today’s densely crowded marketplace, we simply must give our target more reason to listen to our story.
The obvious example of this: Traditional ads are increasingly ignored. Relevant ads (i.e., Google search) are growing exponentially. If we provide valuable, non-commercial information to both current customers and prospects, we build an environment of trust. People appreciate the expertise, and seek it out when the time to buy comes.
Map out a new program that reaches your targets at least quarterly; or find ways to fold non-commercial content into your existing tactics.
• Let your target talk back to you
Involve your customers in the conversation. Use online and/or social media tools to create a “user community” that talks to each other. With every exchange, you are building your brand.
For tips on brainstorming dozens of valuable subject matter ideas for your company, read the white paper: Information: The New Marketing Currency, Go to our homepage www.rurelevant.com, and click the banner.