It's about the buyer and their world, not you and your product.
Once have your channels identified. You know your targets. And you’ve aligned them against the buyer’s decision journey. Time to make sure you put the right content in front of the right person at the right time. To do that, you’re going to need one big idea expressed in every relevant channel.
First take a look at your existing content and creative to see if you can use it in your latest campaigns. What content is appropriate for each buyer stage and channel combination? Identify gaps where you’ll need more assets and make a plan to repurpose content or create all-new material. Do you have a ton of blog articles, but no white papers? Turn those blogs into gated thought leadership content. A lot of social ads, but no display ads? A little resizing goes a long way. List all the usable assets for your campaign. (Hopefully, you have a very long list!) Now map it out. Use your ICPs, TALs, buyer personas, and other relevant data to map creative and content to the appropriate channels and buyer stages.
Get to know your audience. Learn their preferences. Is your audience more responsive to ebooks on LinkedIn, and webinar registration on display?
Content is what sets apart a successful campaign from a mediocre hodge-podge. Remember Blockbuster’s 2010 comeback campaign or Radio Shack’s “Do It Together” ads? Yeah, neither do we. Your content – videos, digital ads, infographics, blogs, whatever – must resonate with your audience and bring something new to the table.
Don’t just guess at what’s going to fit the bill. Do your research. Find the topics everyone’s talking about – using keyword research, social media tools, and competitive analysis – and put a fresh spin on them. Have an opinion. Go against the industry grain. Give a new perspective. Just make sure you’re sticking to your expertise so that your content has authority in its space.
A senior creative team should be a part of a brainstorming and strategy session. Be as specific as you can about your goals, point of view, and types of content needed – but leave room for creativity. Give them good customer insight and tell them you expect greatness. And what is content greatness? We’ve boiled it down to Three Truths
TRUTH #1 - The real value of content marketing is your list, not the content.
Content, messaging, and branding are really just proxies for relationship building. Getting inside someone’s head. Literally. You build relationships with the people and accounts on your list. So the content you create must be in service to that relationship.
TRUTH #2 - You must behave like a guide worth following by inspiring and educating.
You are in the behavior business. Relationships are forged via behavior, not just talk. Your company is either behaving like a brand who wants to make it easy to do business, or you are not. There is no middle ground here because your buyers don’t have the time or desire to think for you.
TRUTH #3 - Guides worth following create beacons for information-starved buyers.
Notice we said create beacons, not content. Beacons are prominent waypoints that help guide buyers safely from point A to point B. When was the last time you created a waypoint to help buyers navigate the sale? ABM requires marketers to stop talking about products and services and help buyers all the way to a sale.
When you review creative, use this list: Punchy, helpful headlines – check. Insightful social media copy – check. Kickass imagery and videos – check. Intriguing thought leadership – check. When your team is passionate, skilled, and filled with ideas, they create great content that connects with audiences emotionally, speaks to them intelligently, and shows them your brand personality.