Marketing requires communication and action. Communication in written, audio or visual format so your ideal customers can find you and learn about you. Without communication you simply don’t exist.
Marketing action is to help your ideal customers know what they should do next. Creating a seamless flow from dot to dot that doesn't require them to think about it is ideal. Deliver information designed to move them towards buying from you. Make it easy and frictionless.
Communication and taking action need to be part of your marketing strategy. What you do with your marketing helps connect the dots from one step in the customer’s journey to the next from first sight to sales then retention.
The key to high converting marketing content is 5-fold which I review in the below bulleted list.
Keep in mind that content takes on many forms – kind of like a top paying Hollywood actor like Tom Hanks who plays various movie roles to stay relevant and timely (and memorable!).
Now you may be saying “there are so many content forms….what if I know I need to create a podcast but I have NO IDEA what great content looks like?”
Well, you’re in luck! Here are 5 characteristics of compelling marketing content that converts:
1. Fills a knowledge gap – we conduct searches because we need information, we want to learn something or we need to solve a problem. They are looking for 'something'. With that 'something' their view of their world becomes more complete. That’s why it’s so important to understand who you are serving at a deeper level than geography or job title. Understand WHY they need you and you can better provide information to fill their knowledge gap that then takes them to the next step toward staying with you – whether that’s buying from you or learning from you.
2. Help them do their job better – this could be in the form of a checklist, how-to guide, step-by-step instructions with arrows pointing to each step including screen shots. Now THAT’s a great way to learn something new AND help them do their job better! Make learning super easy and it will help people remember you and they'll keep coming back to you. My 6-Steps to Creating Content for the Customer Journey Guide is a resource I developed to help you create content for the various touch points in the customer journey.. Keep in mind that creating content isn’t about me or you – it’s about them (your prospects and customers). How you can do that better FOR THEM is what they will remember. Identify the gap then fill it with information that will make their job better.
3. Make them think differently – if you search anything, you’re likely to get multiple choices. And if you search something in business like ‘small business growth strategies’ you’re likely to get thousands of choices (ok maybe not 1,000s – but definitely hundreds). Then you look through the search results and see the 'sea of sameness'. No one stands out - they all appear to be doing the same thing but presenting it in a different way. But which one makes you THINK differently? If you want to be different, you need to think different. It helps if you have someone like that in your business as well, marketing or otherwise. You’ve heard the expression ‘you’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with’ – does this apply to the X number of partners you do business with? Seems logical and like it would still apply. It’s the ones that make you think differently that will make you stand out and be better. And it’s what will make you memorable. DON’T be like everybody else. Make your own rules.
4. Be timely and relevant – this comes naturally when you know your audience. Create content based on what’s going on in the industry, your market, the season. Putting this into perspective, most business owners and leaders aren’t thinking about their annual marketing strategy throughout the year. They are thinking about it toward the end of their fiscal year – and some even after the new year begins. If that was the only time I was being present, it would be tough to get noticed in the sea of sameness. It would also be difficult to continuously and consistently show up with helpful tools and information in the "off season". Providing a recurring podcast episode, blog, email, video, live stream, etc. is what will keep you top of mind and relevant. Knowing your audience is what helps you deliver timely, high priority content when needed. Having a marketing strategy, content strategy and a content calendar ALL help with staying relevant and delivering timely, helpful, actionable content on a consistent.basis.
5. Combine unrelated things – This is actually a fun and helpful way to engage your audience. Find two things that are unrelated – one can be your product and the other something completely random – to create attention, make someone laugh or be remembered. I’m a huge fan of the Tommy Boy movie. It’s hilarious! I use one-liners and references from this movie to demonstrate how sales needs marketing (and Tommy’s life would have been made easier if he had marketing support). Combining these two things – movie comedies with your business – helps connect the dots between marketing and sales in a more fun and entertaining way that becomes more memorable. This actually supports #3 in ‘thinking differently’, too.
When it comes to creating marketing content – there are different types, formats, platforms, etc. - knowing your target audience is priority ONE. Priority TWO is creating content that creates awareness, generates interest, provokes action and is memorable.
“I could get a good look at a t-bone by sticking my head up a bull’s ass but I’d rather take the butcher’s word for it.” ~ Quote from Tommy Boy
Remember: The goal you’re trying to achieve will determine the type of content you create, the message and call to action you need to include in order to nurture the process from one dot to the next.
What two unrelated things could you combine to create a memorable moment with your brand? Share in the comments below!
Vicki O'Neill is a fractional CMO in Ohio who helps frustrated small business owners grow customers and revenue. She helps connect the dots between target customer pain points and solutions. She founded KenKay Marketing in 2011, started her marketing and sales podcast Connect the Dots in 2018 and launched a 2nd podcast The Power of 3Xin 2019 with her Gen Z daughters. Connect with Vicki on social media wherever you spend time. Join her community and receive valuable marketing tips that you can take immediate action on!