Last month, we introduced the concept of content marketing and discussed the importance of an effective content strategy as part of your marketing approach.
This month we’ll look at how – through social media, expert content like, videos, blogs, case studies, white papers and e-books – a technology organization can use their expertise to position themselves as a powerful contender in the IT industry.
There is a method to the madness of content marketing—a lifecycle that ultimately leads to new business opportunities. And it all starts with the delivery of valuable information.
Eighty percent of business decision makers, according to a survey conducted by Roper Public Affairs, would rather get information about a company through a series of articles than advertisements.
Seventy percent surveyed said content makes them feel closer to a company, and 60 percent said educational materials provided by companies helps them make smarter buying decisions.
But how do you share your content with your stakeholders? Make sure to post it on all of your social platforms, and on Twitter multiple times. Send it to your sales team to email to their customers and prospects with personal notes. Formally communicate it to your entire company and ask them to share it on their social sites. That’s called amplification.
Try some social advertising that leads people to the link or download. You can set a budget for this and monitor it so that it’s as affordable as you need it to be.
There is no question that content given freely adds unconditional value. The recipient appreciates being educated. End result? They begin to associate expertise with your organization.
What happens after you’ve shared your content? Over time, after repeatedly receiving valuable content from you, your stakeholders’ feelings of advocacy may move toward reciprocity—and this is significant.
Why? If you’ve done a good job at providing unbiased value and expertise without selling, they start to spread the word using their own social networks. They appreciate that you’ve given them valuable information freely without being asked for much in return.
Finally, as you maintain the cycle of sharing valuable content, the recipient may feel positive enough about your company to accept a meeting and initiate a business relationship.
A well planned out content strategy allows organizations to socially connect and engage with their target audience to make them sales ready, competitive and opportunistic. Based on how the content is presented and structured to your stakeholders, their perception of what they need becomes influenced. Ultimately, good content will help you to define a buyer’s wants and desires. The fulfillment is up to you.
[Leadarati helps IT firms drive value and increase opportunities through social, digital and online communications.]