In a recent article in Modern Distribution Management, Marketing Strategist Bob DeStefano writes about the importance of online marketing in garnering a strong competitive advantage. Number one on his list of marketing tips to distributors is to: “Become a Content Marketer.”
“The basic economic resource– the means of production –is no longer capital, nor natural resources, nor labor. It is and will be knowledge.”
The first step in marketing your knowledge is, of course, to document and publish your experience; often distributors can do that easier than they think. To that end, here are four easy ways to generate useful, valuable content marketing materials for your strategy that will quickly paint your company as a thought leader.
1. Identify Your “Front-Liners”
Front-liners are people in your company who interact with your customers and your prospects the most. These people are probably your salespeople, customer service reps, and technical experts. Take some time to meet with them and ask just two simple questions:
- What was the last question a prospect asked you?
- What was your answer?
Ask your front-liners if they will share any emails sent with more verbose answers. These emails will be dense with valuable information that you can repurpose until your heart’s content.
2. Audit All Existing Content Marketing Materials
Search for materials that can be repurposed to help your customer/prospect move forward on their buyer’s journey while providing value. In all likelihood, you already have a treasure trove of content packed in storage just a few hundred feet from your office.
Examples of Existing Content Perfect For Repurposing:
- Detailed Documents
- Content Offers
- Case Studies
Explore your company’s archived fact sheets, white papers, or technical documents. You also could use the outdated content for ideas on potential update opportunities. Most importantly, when repurposing this content, keep the focus on your customers and not on yourselves.
3. Investigate Stories & Experiences
Find out how the leaders or founders in your organization share information, get in the middle of that content flow and then repurpose the best of what you find. Sometimes the biggest challenge in creating a content factory isn’t building your digital platform—it’s finding the right stories and experiences to tell and share. Remember, stories sell. More often than not, those stories are hidden right in front of you.
4. Align Your Content With Your Buyer/User Personas
By identifying the personas you are trying to reach, discovering topics of interest to your readers is as easy as exploring their pain points, challenges, or goals and choosing one to write about. Helping your readers resolve their struggles and move forward towards their goals also moves them further on their buyer’s journeyand thus closer to potentially becoming a customer of yours.
Need help creating personas for your business and marketing efforts?
Check out our User Persona Workbook!
Content marketing material generation can be a time-consuming process, but with a good strategy it doesn’t have to be. Get creative and explore your opportunities. Whether they are pieces of old content or the experiences of your leaders and founders, there is always a story to be told.