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The Best Kind of Marketing Content

We've all heard that content is the new king of marketing. Amazon lists thousands of "content marketing" books to help you figure out how you can put the magic of blogs, e-books, videos and the rest of the content royalty to work for your business. Since each of those books has a different perspective, it doesn't really simplify your decision of which kind of content will help you fill the pipeline.

As I've suggested in this blog many times before, the best kind of marketing is the kind that you will consistently do. Marketing theory and the best of intentions are meaningless without consistent execution.

Before you commit to any content program, think hard about whether you can really keep it going. Even if you outsource, you have to stay involved in the process -- it's your content.

Align Content with Buying Process
Beyond that advice, how should you decide which types of marketing content will help you attract your target audience? As you plan your content strategy, align it to the buying process of your prospects.

Buyers hold most of the cards these days. They are searching online for information to help them make the right decision. Whatever your vehicle, create content that supports their research every step of the way.

Consider where the content you plan to create fits in supporting the progress of the buying process. For example:

  • Blog posts: One of the strengths of blogging is that you can appeal to all stages of the buying process over time. Blog posts should address your subject from high-level overviews down to the fine details. (Not in one post, please.) Help your writers walk in your prospects' shoes to answer all the questions that they'll ask as they evaluate solutions to their problem.

  • Whitepapers and e-books: Historically written for the technical buyer, whitepapers and e-books can serve any purpose now. Break subjects into small bites, keeping documents at five or six pages. Write about your prospects' challenges and the solution -- not about yourself.

  • Infographics: Infographics do a good job of introducing a subject or providing a high-level overview of a complex subject. Used early in the buying process, they can provide a roadmap for your prospects' journey.

  • Videos: Different types of videos can be useful at every stage of the buying process. Demos are great when the prospect is comparing solutions. Customer testimonials help prospects as they focus in on choosing a vendor.

  • Case studies: Case studies are overrated in the technology industry. Prospects know that they are not objective. They are usually formulaic and intensely boring to read. Better to put together a compendium of example projects as an e-book or whitepaper.    

Don't Ignore the General Overview
Many people will still want an easy-to-compare features and benefits .PDF of your products or services at some point in their decision process. But that doesn't mean is has to be boring. Add some industry statistics that support the value of your services. Use charts or other graphics instead of stock photos. 

Show Some Personality
As buyers control more and more of the purchasing process, you need to find creative ways to insert personality that sets you apart. People still want to do business with vendors they like. It takes time to get comfortable with a more personable approach, but it will help you connect with prospects. Lighten up and have some fun with your content.

Your prospects are looking for information to solve a problem or improve their business by searching online. The best kind of marketing content helps those prospects understand the issues and consider alternative solutions. Choose the content vehicle that you are most likely to follow through with and be there to support your prospects' journey every step of the way.

How are you connecting with prospects? Add a comment below or send me an e-mail and let's share the knowledge.  

Posted by Barb Levisay on May 08, 2013 at 11:57 AM