Are you asking yourself, WTH is he talking about with that headline?
Well today’s post is all about making a point that in my not so humble opinion needs making – success today is more about conversations than content. This post is an effort to provide a bit of context so that you can evaluate the advice you’re reading and hearing on the social webs.
The World Doesn’t Need More Content Marketing
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Digital marketing tools make it so easy to publish anything, anytime, anywhere and for next to nothing. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
The world doesn’t need more keyword rich, epic, newsjacked, trend-jacked, whatever-jacked content designed to win the war with Google and gain more eyeballs on your website by winning the SEO battle.
The world DOES need more conversations. Because today’s world is moving so fast your customer is being asked to do more with less. That means your customer has less time to make the right buying decision and thanks to the Internet, has infinitely more options to consider. So rather than making the customer’s job easier — the Internet is actually making buying harder. Your sales prospect can find a tsunami of potential answers, but in fact, all of that content tends to just cause more questions.
Because most of today’s content marketing isn’t designed to provide an answer. It’s designed to generate a lead. And a lead, to most sales people is a person that has to reach out to you in order to get an answer.
Start Being Helpful.
I get it. You’ve been told to be awesome. To create epic content. Because if you do that your content will go viral and you’ll crush it. Who doesn’t want to go viral and crush it? But outside of ensuring you a spot on page one of Google, all that awesome content doesn’t necessarily translate into more sales.
Sure you may get a lot of eyeballs… you may even get a lot of lead forms filled out — though, admit it, most will be firstname.lastname@example.org because the sales prospect really doesn’t want to be a lead. They just want some free information or an answer to their question. At this point, they prefer to remain an invisible sale. They haven’t yet decided if you’ve earned the right to have a conversation.
If you want to fix that… it’s a pretty simple mindset shift.
Awesome gets shared but helpful gets bought.
So just be helpful.
It’s a heck of a lot easier and you’re far more likely to succeed.
Just ask yourself what your prospective customer needs to know in order to make the best buying decision – even if that decision isn’t buying your product. Then give them the information. That’s right… educate them. Because make no mistake, they are going to self-educate. The only question you need to ask yourself is would you rather that self-education happen on someone else’s site where the prospective buyer will remain invisible or would you rather it happen on your site where you can track the prospect and collect buying signals that you and your sales & marketing teams can use to grow market share and shrink sales cycles?
Helpfully Epic Content
The best thing is that you don’t have to look very far to find examples of helpfully epic content. Here are just a few to get you started:
Every day client side marketers need to justify their investments in social media, content marketing and social selling efforts. They struggle to effectively make the argument to their CEO and CFO’s.
Enter posts like “How Long Before a Social Media Campaign Shows Results” where we shared proprietary data that answered a common question we were hearing from clients and prospects.
This may not seem like epic content to you, but if a Brand Manager can use this post as an outline for a discussion with their CEO or CFO and at least get their boss to relieve them (brand manager) from the weight of proving ROI immediately for investments in social selling and content marketing tactics… that is a HUGE benefit to them. And I’m betting it predisposes them to think of Converse Digital the next time they plan a content marketing effort.
Twitter chats used to be an incredible help asset. While not as popular or numerous as the used to be, they’re still an incredible help tool. Wondering what is a Twitter Chat and how do I get involved in one – just click here. Once you learn how to play along, you can start participating, or you might decide you want to take the next step and host a tweet chat for your brand.
Enter Mack Collier, author of Think Like A Rockstar and host of the incredibly popular #BlogChat. Mack’s a helpful guy so I’ll give him a pass on the headline of his very helpfully epic post Your Brand’s Guide to Creating an Amazing Twitter Chat, where he gives a brand manager a step-by-step guide to recreating his success for their brand.
And lastly, any inbound marketer worth their salt is interested (or should be) in how to apply A/B split testing to their blog, website and landing pages to create more sales conversions. Enter Joanna Wiebe’s super helpful (read Epic) post 6 Proven Ways to Boost the Conversion Rates of Your Call-to-Action Buttons (guest post on Copyblogger) that is seriously one of the most detailed, helpful and educational A/B split testing posts I’ve read.
Epic Content is Like Porn
You can’t always describe it — but you damn sure know it when you see it.
So don’t get caught up in creating content that others define as epic — i.e., goes viral, gets lots of likes, shares, tweets and retweets. Focus on creating content that your customers and prospects will consider epic — content that is so friggin helpful that, as my friend Jay Baer says, your prospective customer would pay for it.
Because when they’re ready to pay for it, they’re ready for a conversation. A real one. A conversation that turns into a customer. And that, after all, is kind of the goal right?
photo by marcberryreid