That’s Not Content Marketing (Yes It Is)
Are you confused by what is and isn’t content marketing? With all of the rhetoric out there about content marketing, it’s easy to see why there is so much confusion.
Content marketing is a strategy for creating blogs, ebooks, guides, infographics, videos, campaigns, etc. that attract, engage, and convert clients.
As a strategic approach, B2B content marketing does have a large umbrella. Let’s take a look at common misperceptions about what is and isn’t content marketing.
Social Media Updates
It’s true that social media marketing is kind of its own animal, but it still falls under the category of content marketing. Why? Because when prospective or current clients look at your firm’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Instagram account, it tells a story.
If your Facebook page only shows specials, it tells the story that your company is often running specials so potential clients should never pay full price for your products or services. If your Twitter page only shows quotes, it says that your company lacks originality and likely isn’t innovative. However, if your LinkedIn page shows articles from reputable sources, highlights the latest articles written by the experts at your firm, and includes product/service innovations or updates – it tells potential clients that your firm is a resource and the place to go for information on the products or services you sell.
What story does your social media tell?
Does your pricing sheet simply list the prices and features of your services or products? Pricing sheets are absolutely a B2B content marketing piece when they are designed to tell a compelling story.
These sheets are a great opportunity to weave in the story of how your company helps your clients. Even the naming of your different pricing categories should reflect the value intrinsic to each service or product offering.
Rather than listing your services as option Bronze, Silver, or Gold, re-label them according to your company’s story. If your main value proposition is that you save your clients time, think of time-related names for your pricing sheets, such as Timesaver, Have More Time for Yoga, and Use All Your Vacation Time This Year.
Most B2B firms have gathered a list of frequently asked questions and written clear responses to these questions. Did you know that FAQs are also considered content marketing? Here’s why: First you write up the FAQ and post it to your blog. Then you take that blog and redesign it to be a nice visual piece to display on your B2B website. Next, you take the FAQ and create an infographic that you pitch out to related industry resources. Finally, you take that FAQ, prepare it for print, print it, and give it to your sales team to hand out to prospects.
Woah. That just happened.
Yes, an FAQ is often considered part of the sales process, but, as a conversion tool, it tells potential customers WHY they want to work with you. How you answer those questions, how well you understand the right questions, and how you present that information all communicate why your firm is absolutely the right choice to partner with. Check out 17 Clever Ideas on How to Do Content Marketing.
Printed brochures are thought to be the domain of the sales team that marketing just adds some nice graphics too. Brochures are definitely to be considered content marketing as they are given to possible leads you are trying to convert into clients. The main question you need to ask is: Do these brochures tell the same story as the rest of my B2B content marketing efforts?
It’s not uncommon for companies to have a great blogging, social media, email, and overall inbound marketing strategy but have a lackluster capabilities brochure that they’ve been using for years. The brochure often doesn’t match the exciting story the rest of their B2B marketing tells.
A printed brochure should absolutely discuss the capabilities your firm has to offer, but it should also engage and excite your potential clients. If it’s simply a list of services, it will get filed under “Boring” or “Look at Later.” However, if it tells a compelling story of needs being met and exceeded, it will get looked at immediately.
Take a Second Look
Take a second look at what you consider as “not content marketing” in your organization. Sales promo items, brochures, cost sheets, FAQs, case studies, etc. can all contribute to telling your firm’s story – what makes clients want to do business with your firm.
Now that you understand the power of content marketing, put it to work by collaborating with PR to tell your firm’s brand story.