Most of us in Marketing have, at some point, heard the phrase “Content is King.” We may even have what we believe is a top-notch content strategy already in place. But do you know which type of sales and marketing content is best for getting the results you want? Read on to learn about three different types of content for sales and marketing, and discover which one will take your lead generation and brand amplification to the next level.
The Perfect Storm
Around 2010, Internet use began to skyrocket and it generated a whole new set of marketing technologies. I personally believe that our current marketing technology environment is the product of the perfect storm.
A global recession that was strongest in the United States combined with the massive and fast expansion of global internet access caused people from all parts of the world to enter the technology marketplace.
Marketing technology was an easy focus because of businesses high demand for smarter, more efficient tools and desperate demand for more revenue.
Like most areas of our lives, that which is easiest is not necessarily the best. So, it is and was with marketing technology.
I characterize the vast majority of technology that was designed to “help” companies grow their revenues as “Push” technology. This is technology that helps people say things, share messages and push their brand to other people.
Think about all the email technologies.
Think about all the social posting technologies.
What do they have in common?
They are all about publishing posts; Curating RSS feeds that automatically get converted into a social post and then automatically scheduled to publish daily on all your social accounts. All in the name of gaining brand recognition and ultimately, increasing revenue.
I actually invested in a company in 2010 that was just like this. I thought it was going to revolutionize online marketing. I was so wrong!
In the current digital selling and digital marketing environment, there are 3 types of content that teams should produce, and one in particular that you absolutely must produce if you are not currently doing so. Let me introduce them to you!
Three Types of Content for Sales and Marketing
Brand Content is content that is focused on your company’s outward facing brand.
Most companies seem to be decent at this because it is easy to talk about yourself.
They share content about awards, events, new hires and new products. This is content about the brand and really is only about “me.” Honestly, no one really cares.
Curated content refers to using content that other people have written or created to share with your network. It’s not bad to use other people’s content, so long as you provide credit back to the original source.
A couple things you should consider.
- When you share someone else’s content, unless you say something about it yourself, it’s really just a post and sort of just noise. If you promote a blog article in social media that you did not write, and you don’t say why you shared it, what you liked about it or any opinion or comment at all, I don’t believe it gives you much value.
Your network will not attribute any value to you for the post. It is a post they will most likely just quickly scroll past.
If they do click and read it however, it is very unlikely that they will think about you should that article adds any insights or value to them. You did not say anything about it. You did not have an opinion, so you really did not contribute any thought leadership to the article.
2. Be diligent about whose articles you share and what is really said in an article. In this digitally accessible world, anyone can write anything.
Anyone can claim to be an expert. Anyone can have an opinion and write a blog, create a graphic or record a video.
When you use curation tools, they tend to pull articles for you to share based on titles and tags. That does not necessarily mean that you want to share the “meat” of the article. Just be aware and cautious.
Likewise with the previous comment. You could share content from your competitors. Several content curation tools have features to help you avoid sharing your competitors content by eliminating certain urls from your feeds. But, what if your competitor has an article shared on Forbes.com or Medium.com or other content sharing platforms? Always check the source.
This is the most important type of content you can produce. Please hear this.
In today’s environment where there is so much content competing for attention, customer-centric content WILL help you stand out above the noise. I promise.
Let me tell you why!
I define customer-centric content as content that answers questions that your customers have.
I tell my team that we need to produce content that address the questions and stresses that our best customers have when they go to bed at night.
Why is this style of content so important?
Here are four reasons why you should sit down, right now and create content that answers one of the biggest questions your customers are asking today!
- When your customers scroll through the social newsfeed, what do you think will most likely capture their attention? You guessed it! They will most likely stop and give attention to information that can help them solve their most stressing business problems.
- Customer-centric content speaks directly to them. Remember that everyone’s favorite topic is themselves. If you provide someone content that is about them, it will most likely intrigue them to read it.
- Customer-centric content helps establish you and your brand as thought leaders and subject-matter experts more than any other type of content. It has this value because it is content that offers insights, innovation and opinions. This type of content helps establish your expertise in your industry.
- This type of content tends to get shared most often. Think about the value of this type of content to a person. When people read content that adds value, offers new insights, or helps them understand something from a new perspective, they want to share it with those they know too. This is a great way to get free, word-of-mouth awareness and traffic to your website.
If you never wrote another piece of content about your company, you would be just fine. If anyone wants to learn about your company they can go to your website and learn about it – most likely they won’t.
Why is that?
It’s because what your customers really want to know is who can help them solve their business challenges or help them reach their goals.
When you create Customer-Centric content that appeals to them, they will pay attention.
Go write an article now and tell me how it works for you. While you are at it, how about sharing this article for me?
If you’ve read it, you have probably been trying to figure out how to best use content to increase leads and grow your business.
Tell your network what you learned. They will appreciate it, and so will I.
Thank you for reading, I hope this article provided some information that you found valuable. We’ve spent a lot of time looking at content, the various types and how to create content that will attract an audience. However, creating content that your audience wants to read is only half the battle – you also have to get your team to share your content, consistently.
Our software enables a marketer to easily create and manage Brand-Hubs for an entire sales team. A Brand-Hub is a mini-website, personally branded for each sales rep. They allow you to deliver articles, eBooks, videos, events and social posts, while providing professional branding for individual sales reps and decreasing your pipeline through brand amplification.
Watch this video to see how it works.
Interested in learning more about FunnelAmplified’s Brand-Hubs?
Thanks for reading. I typically write about modern selling, virtual selling, prospecting, sales reps reputation and how content helps all of these with modern buyers. My primary audience includes CEOs, CROs, CMOs, and other executives responsible for increasing bottom line. Post your questions in the comments section below and let’s discuss this!