At Rockstar CMO, we clearly can’t do this without a little help from our friends. And one of our friends, senior content marketer and marketing technology analyst Barb Mosher Zinck suggests that there is more that we marketers can learn from the lyrics of the Beatles.
Quick question – how many pieces of content did you read this week to help you do your job better or make a purchase decision? How much of that content was useful?
There’s a lot of content out there. We’re swimming in it. And some of it is pretty good. Marketers are getting smarter about creating content that their target audiences and customers want to consume. They’re spending time thinking about what to create, for whom, and where to deliver it when it’s most needed.
In the latest 2020 B2B Content Marketing research from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 93% of the most successful B2B marketers said that they prioritize “delivering relevant content when and where a person is most likely to see it.”
88% of those “successful” marketers said that they prioritize the audience’s information needs over messaging about their products and services.
But here’s the thing, everyone organization is not successful at content marketing. In that CMI study, 26% consider themselves successful, 58% moderately successful, and 16% not successful. Of those marketers who said they didn’t consider themselves successful, those same two stats mentioned above fall to 50% and under.
We have work to do.
And so, with the holidays here, I have a wish for all content marketers – I wish we would all stop what we’re doing, take a deep breath, and map out a content strategy that supports the kind of experiences our customers, prospective customers and audiences want.
The question then becomes, how does this happen? How can you stop and listen to what your customers want?
Maybe we can learn a few things from the lyrics of a few Beatles songs.
“Oh, please say to me
You’ll let me be your man
And, please, say to me
You’ll let me hold your hand
You’ll let me hold your hand
I wanna hold your hand”
I’m replacing “man” here with “brand” (betcha can’t get that out of your head now, can you?). What are the Beatles telling us? That we might be a little too pushy trying to win customers. We send email after email – from both marketing and sales, asking for meetings and offering up content that isn’t always relevant in the hopes that we hit the mark.
Better planning with personas and journeys can help develop the right kind of content, and when to deliver it. Rethinking how many emails, LinkedIn messages, and other channel communications you do in a given period will also help reduce the feeling of being hounded.
“Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends”
Here the Beatles are reminding us how much our customers rely on the advice and input of others, whether they are colleagues or connections we make on social media, at events, and other ways. They are not suggesting, however, that you should get high with your customers (unless of course, you are in Canada, then maybe they are. 🙂
When you define your content strategy, think about your target audience as more than your customers. Think about the content you create that will garner the attention of influencers in your industry that can help you bring potential customers to your front door. It’s not all about your products and services; it’s about your thought leadership.
What about content strategy for customers after the sale? Here’s how not to do customer service.
“Try to see it my way
Do I have to keep on talking till I can’t go on?
While you see it your way
Run the risk of knowing that our love may soon be gone
We can work it out
We can work it out
Think of what you’re saying”
Are you listening to your customers? Or talking at them? Are you providing them with content that helps them work with your product? Improve the way they do their job? If you are a SaaS solution provider, are you thinking about what information you can provide your customers as they trial your service? Are you building a content strategy that answers questions you know you’ll get before you get them? Too often, we forget that customers need good content too.
Winning and keeping customers is not easy. It’s an ongoing process that requires content throughout the customer lifecycle.
“And still they lead me back
To the long, winding road
You left me standing here
A long, long time ago
Don’t keep me waiting here
Lead me to your door”
Don’t start the process and then leave your customers and prospects hanging. Don’t let someone download a whitepaper and never connect with them in some way. Don’t hound them, definitely, but they downloaded that paper for some reason – shouldn’t you find a way to continue the conversation with other relevant, useful content?
B2B sales are not fast. They take time and require a lot of nurture. Content is your best tool for nurturing. Relevant, contextual content that brings them back for more.
And finally, to all the marketers trying like hell to support their customers, this one is for you. Win and keep your customers happy and they will return their loyalty and advocacy.
“Yeah, it’s been a hard day’s night
And I’ve been working like a dog
It’s been a hard day’s night
I should be sleeping like a log
But when I get home to you
I find the things that you do
Will make me feel all right
You know I feel all right
You know I feel all right”