The president of the business line was stunned by my response. “This is my advertisement,” she said. “It should appeal to me. Why is that wrong?”
In the early 2000s, Strategic Communications Group (Strategic) provided creative design and advertising services. One of our most profile campaigns was developed for American Management Systems, a global technology company that has since been acquired by CGI Group.
While preparing the creative, we interviewed dozens of customers. We evaluated competitors. We reviewed analyst reports. The result was a strategic and thoughtful presentation of capabilities aligned with user needs.
The president’s initial response: “I don’t like it. It doesn’t speak to me.”
Whether the advertisement speaks to you is irrelevant, I explained. You are not the audience. Will the ad garner interest and attention from your customers and prospects? Does it speak to them?
That same review methodology applies today in content marketing. I encourage you to consider the following when crafting or evaluating a blog post, article, podcast, video or infographic:
- Will this help the customer be more successful? That’s the focus of thought leadership. Share best practices, lessons learned and insight, rather than pitching product functionality or corporate capabilities.
- Is it timely? This is the bedrock of a journalistic approach to content creation. Tie your content to the issues and trends that influence and shape how your customer’s are executing on their business.
- Does it incorporate third-party perspective? Add insight from analysts, partners and users for credibility and to validate your key messages. Here is an example of content created for Reed Technology & Information Services that does just that.
- Is there a call to action so a customer can learn more? Cross-promote related content. Make available a Webinar replay. Offer up a subject matter expert. You want to make it easy for a reader to engage with your organization.
For marketers, the tactics and channels of communication have shifted during the past decade. The process for content creation remains constant. This isn’t about you. It is about your customers, prospects and partners.
Make sure your content speaks to them!