The world is producing content at an alarming rate. How can marketers of building products – break through that clutter?
By making content that’s irresistible.
The amount of information available continues to grow… while our collective attention span keeps going down. It’s been calculated that if you took all of the content that was created from the dawn of time until 2003, it’s now equivalent to the amount of content being created every two days.
While that figure may be overstated, it’s reasonable to assume that every day, the amount of text, images, video and audio files available on the internet grows by a number that contributes to mental toll, while creating a marketing management opportunity. With so much content available, how can we make sure our content – is what people see, read and interact with?
The best strategy is to make content that’s simply irresistible to target audiences. Here are seven strategies for making content irresistible:
People are naturally drawn to content and messages that seem tailor-made for them. So it’s important for Building Product marketers to get personal with their audiences.
In a previous blog post, we discussed how the availability of data and CRM tools can help marketers send personal messages to customers.
That holds true with content development, as well. Marketers should create their content as though they are speaking directly to specific customers. The more these customers actually interact with your brand, the more personalization you can include.
Of course, most companies have more than one kind of customer. Hopefully, your brand has developed unique personas to help identify who these are… and the journeys each prospect typically travels towards a purchase. Ultimately, every piece of content should be created with a specific persona in mind. Personalization depends on vital data. The more data you have about your prospects, the better the chance to create more meaningful messaging. Metrics utilized can include demographics, preferences, objections and how each persona uses or recommends the products and services you offer.
Avoid content that revels in generalities and broad subject matter which will lack the alignment that each persona craves. And deserves.
Instead, highly relevant subject matter expertise increases the results to attract audiences who demonstrate loyalty with your content. A study by Demand Gen found a 20% increase in sales opportunities when brands use personalized lead nurturing, while a report from Forrester indicates that a full 92% of marketers have already experienced an increase in personalized marketing.
These days, every building products marketer must think like a media company, instead of a mere manufacturer or a service provider.
Companies need to capture their customers’ attention… and of course, that means discussing topics that are interesting to them. More often than not, audiences are not really engaged in the products, services, features and benefits that marketers are trying to sell.
They’re interested instead, in their own problems and challenges. They want to know how to live more rewarding lives. How to do their jobs better and easier. How to get off the jobsite sooner with fewer call backs. And sometimes, they just want to be distracted and even entertained.
By creating content that speaks to those needs, marketers capture customers’ attention. Only then will they be more receptive to messages about your products and services. Only then will a “suspect” truly begin to become a “prospect”.
Nearly every company, regardless of what they sell, can offer some kind of expertise from which their customers can benefit. That expertise may only be tangentially related to the products and services they offer.
But if companies can offer a deep dive into that topic — through a series of blog posts, videos or even a podcast — they can create a loyal following.
Try Different Formats
Speaking of videos and podcasts, another way companies can make their content irresistible is to create content in different formats. Most audiences have a preferred way to consume media and in turn, will get bored if you only put up one type of content. Live stream from your booth at a trade show. Or, demonstrate a project profile from the field if that’s applicable to your brand. Consider infographics and galleries… to even further diversify your formats.
Audiences have different tastes and preferences. Some like to read. Others like to watch videos. Some like long-form content. Others want it in short, bite-sized pieces. Interactive content can drive even more engagement by allowing audiences to actively participate in the content… rather than passively consuming it. Quizzes, trivia, performance calculators, polls and surveys allow prospects to gain tailored results or insights on a topic they care about. Or a challenge they are facing… while having fun in the process.
Through content, Building Product brands should try to meet as many of those needs and preferences as possible. As such, we always experiment with different content formats and styles… repurposing messages in different and unique ways.
That ensures a reach to as broad an audience as possible.
Go Niche with Content
No matter what product or service, likely there is already a saturation of existing content. This means that many of your competitors have been publishing actively in the channel. And yes, the clutter will cause a greater challenge to increase your organic ranking for certain keywords and phrases.
So to address this situation and to better differentiate, Building Product brands are going very “niche” with employee activation to draw in a more specific buyer. You probably have some product engineers — and customer service or sales people — who are passionate about your space and who will welcome the opportunity to create thought leadership on a particularly specialized point-of-view.
Celebrate the diversity of your team and the stories they tell… perhaps in the format of blogs, e-books or whitepapers.
User Generated Content
As reported by Adweek: 85% of people trust content made by other users. How do you take advantage of this strategy? By inviting your audiences themselves to create their own content, to share on your marketing platforms. Why? It will help create “community”. It will give your prospects the confidence that they’re being listened to and heard. And based on a scrupulous community review management program, it will allow for largely positive interactions. In fact, this User Generated Content will tend to impress new arrivals, who’ll want to come back often — to see their new friends and hear what they’ve got to say.
The hardest thing for most companies is to resist the urge to sell their products and services with a steady barrage of features and benefits.
Audiences just don’t want to be sold to anymore. Actually, they probably never did. But now, they are in control… and if they sense they’re getting a sales pitch, it’s that much easier for them to tune it out.