How To Create Exciting Content in a “Boring” Industry

by: Victoria Fields, Copywriter for Momentum Telecom, a cloud-based communications provider based out of Birmingham, Ala.

As a copywriter for a business communications provider, I know all about the challenges of trying to create compelling content in an industry that, well, isn’t always that exciting. My daily content topics around my company’s products like hosted VoIP, SIP Trunking and cloud PBX probably make some people’s eyes glaze over.

While there probably aren’t a lot of you who are doing marketing related to Internet telephony, we certainly all have moments when we feel like our content is just plain boring, no matter what we’re trying to sell.

If you’ve felt boring industry fatigue, fret not. When traditional marketing ruled customers’ purchasing decisions, advertising had to be flashy to try attract as much attention as possible.

Today, inbound has taken over the marketing world as a means to provide customers with helpful, useful content rather than attempting to grab their attention. Being the information hub for your customers is something that you can always do, no matter what you’re trying to sell. And it’s the most valuable thing you can be to your loyal customers and potential buyers.

But how do you create excellent content that really digs deep into the issues your customers want to know about? Here are a few tips for creating exciting inbound marketing content, boring_industryeven in a “boring” industry:

1. Engage

Focus your marketing efforts primarily toward “warm” leads, or potential customers who are already out there looking for information about your products and industry. Warm leads care about the content that you’re producing, so it will never be boring to them. Provide them with the information they need and engage them by answering their questions. They’ll thank you for it by continuing to interact with your brand and seek out your content.

2. Solve problems

Our parents went to a salesperson at a physical store to find out about new products or to get an opinion about the best brand of TV. Today when we have a problem or a question, we go straight to Google to find the answer. That means your company should be first in line to give them all of the information they’re looking for, and you need to attract them with great content that really gets to the heart of their issue. Your goal as an inbound marketer is to gain your customers’ trust by giving them objective, useful insights.

3. Be a newsroom

In the age of inbound, your marketing department should function just like a newsroom. The 5 Ws of journalism should be your best friend (Who, What, When, Where, Why — and don’t forget How). If your audience wants to know how to buy a new house in 2013, answer the questions that they’re going to ask. Where should I go to find the right realtor? What is the typical down payment for first-time homeowners? How will the current housing marketing affect the price of new homes? Content that answers their most basic questions will get them to the next level in the buying process, and help them trust you as a reliable source.

4. Find new angles

Discover new angles for your content when you feel like things are getting boring. Some great places that you probably haven’t thought about include your customers and your sales team. Talk to them about what questions they had during the buying process or what questions they get during the sales process.

Also remember to check news sites for current events tied to industry products or services. Linking your marketing efforts to relevant events and things your customers care about is the easiest way to keep them interested. Maybe one of your buyer personas loves the television show The Walking Dead. Come up with a creative way to incorporate zombies into an article about customer service horror stories around Halloween. Have some fun with this! Staying on top of trends that your customers care about helps you stay relevant, keeps your content fresh and, most of all, lets you be creative.

5. Monitor and measure

As every content marketer knows — your boss is going to want to see that your inbound marketing efforts are working. Be sure to measure page performance, clicks and links to your content. Test different Calls-to-Action (CTAs) and do research about which social media platform to spend time on and at what time of day. If you left, would people miss you? Then continue to test and test again so you can better tailor your content to fit your customers’ needs.

Five Tips on Creating a Next Generation Marketing Program – A TPN My5 Featuring Stephen Saber

CEO of The Pulse Network Stephen Saber shares his five tips for creating a next-generation marketing program to keep you engaged with your customers.

 

  1. Break the Model.  You have to break the model down, fix it and rebuild it.
  2.  Build Your Program on Data. Figure out what your data says and build the program around what the data tells you. This will help you determine what types of targeted messages will be best received by your audience.
  3. Use Innovative Programming. Build your marketing around concepts that people are familiar with. Think of Shark Tank and American Idol and ask yourself: how do these techniques get people excited about your marketing?
  4. Maintain Constant Communication. Stay with your customer constantly. Use content to to give your customers what they want, when they want it.
  5. Bridge Your Offline and Online Programs. Create one experience between the two.

 

Five Tips on Effectively Telling Your Brand’s Story – A TPN My5 Featuring Butch Stearns

Marketers are embracing storytelling as a new shift in how we communicate with our customers. But how can you effectively tell your story? Butch Stearns has  five tips to help you tell your brand’s story.

Begin by asking yourself five questions: Who? What? Why? How? Where?

1. Who are you trying to reach?

Do you know who your target audience is? Knowing your buyer personas will help you determine what kind of messages are going to be best received by your customers and will help you talk to your audience about what they care the most about.

2. What should you talk about?butch-superhero

Once you know exactly who your audience is, you need to talk to them about what they care about. Butch uses the example of Reebok. Reebok’s customers care about affordable, comfortable athletic apparel – and that’s exactly what they talk about to their audience.

3. Why should your audience care?

FOB – Features over benefits. Find something that you do well, and identify why it matters to your customers. Use cool features that have great benefits to improve your customers’ experience with your products.

4. How do you engage your audience?

This will be hard to forget, thanks to Butch breaking out into song. Just remember – E-I-E-I-O.

Educate – Teach your customers something of value.

Inform – Tell your audience something they didn’t know before.

Entertain – Make your audience laugh. It will make you more personable and memorable.

Inspire – Share an inspiring story with your audience. Everyone loves to be inspired!

Offer – Give your audience something! Give them something good and they will want to come back for more.

5. Where do you want your audience to go?  You know who, what, why and how – but where do you want them to go?  Provide efficient calls to action for your customers. If you want to keep them engaged with your video content, use annotations in your videos driving them to other videos that may interest them. Provide easy ways to share your blog posts and articles online by using share buttons and widgets.

B2B Social Media Myths Busted: Can You Effectively Move Online-to-Offline?

How Well Do Social Media Tools Build Offline Relationships?

Social media tools are key in bringing online relationships offline and vice versa.  If you are coming from online to off, it allows for a conversation to start online that in turn will drive face-to-face conversations.  If you are starting offline, social media services and networks allow you to extend your conversation online and create a unique channel for customer engagement.  If you are still unsure of social media’s ability to bridge the gap, check out my talk with Tyler Pyburn on busting the myth that social media is only relevant for online activities.

Check out Part Four on Mobile Myths. Didn’t catch the other parts of the series?  Check them out right here: Part One, Part Two.

Think I missed something on the post?  What some more advice on using the busted myths in business? Let me know by commenting on this post, or by reaching out to me on e-mail: ssaber@thepulsenetwork.com

This is Part Three of a Five Part Series with Tyler Pyburn, Host at The Pulse Network, and Stephen Saber, Chief Executive Officer at The Pulse Network, in which they aim to make plain some of the biggest business to business social media myths.

TPN Finance, First Impressions

 

Tune in every Thursday at 9:40 a.m. ET for TPN Finance where Stephen Saber, CEO of the Pulse Network, roams every topic a business leader could encounter from business ethics to social media’s ROI.
 
 

 

First Impressions Matter

David Meerman Scott wrote a excellent article on efficiency being used as a marketing assest but if one reads more into the message it becomes all about first impressions.  The article serves as a fantastic wakeup call to business leaders; the first interaction with your customer can affect your company more in the long run than anything else.  By all means, a CEO needs to weigh the risk and rewards with the dollars spent that will go into the first communication with the customer but if you can keep the engagement further down the road the investment will be worth it.

 

YouTube Preview Image

 

The clip above was part of a bigger conversation on TPN Finance, watch the full episode here.  In addition, I wrote a blog post on the earlier part of the segment, The Fear of Networking.

Please feel free to comment on the post or reach out to me on e-mail: ssaber@thepulsenetwork.com

 

 

 

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