Jun 16, 2010

Generate Future Leads: Engage Your Market with Content

It strikes me that we are living in a golden age of marketing. We have more opportunities to connect with our customers than ever before: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogging, email newsletters, YouTube, you name it. The choices are plentiful, and their potential is immense for brand building and lead generation.

Social media is powerful, because it empowers us to engage and share valuable insights with our customers. It takes us out of a “sell” mode and into a “share” mode.

Customers don’t buy every day

In an earlier post I discussed the 3% Rule. At any given time only 3% of your market is buying, the rest aren’t. Most marketing messages fall on deaf ears, because they are focused on the 3% of active buyers. It makes sense, but it’s also short sighted. Active buyers are only a small portion of your market place.

Going beyond the active 3% requires a different marketing strategy. Advertorials and value propositions won’t work, because non-buyers just aren’t interested in this content. To engage your entire market, you need to develop communications programs that share valuable content on a regular basis.

We all have something interesting to say

The key differentiator of brands online is the quality of their content. Don’t publish boring, run-of-the mill articles and blog posts. They just won’t resonate. More importantly, they won’t reflect the uniqueness and potential of your firm. Take pride in your content, and share really impactful ideas and stories with your market.

When you share content that is relevant and sparks debate, it demonstrates the capabilities of your firm. The quality of your content demonstrates your thinking, your perspective and your attitude. A piece of content is a window into your firm.

Create a living story

One article, one video, one tweet, one of anything is not enough. Building a brand online requires frequency, consistency and relevance.

Coca-Cola’s brand was not built over night. It was built over a century of consistent advertising and promotion. Take that same attitude to your digital content. Select the platforms that fit your audience, and embrace them. Whatever you select will require a long term commitment.

Trust takes time. Relationships take time. So take a long view, and use content to engage your entire market on a regular basis in a consistent fashion. When you do, your customers will call you first when they are ready to buy.

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