Recently, I spoke at Content 360, sharing my thoughts about the current state of the content marketing industry. For us at Novus Asia, it all comes down to the relationship between the brand and their customer.
Great content is a conversation starter. It’s the stories you tell that give you permission to sell. Our biggest takeaway? Brands want true love; customers want a divorce. Why? Because your content is often dry, unengaging and unfocussed.
The wake-up call, then, is that brands need to start giving love back to customers by creating great content. But sometimes, internal stakeholders like the C-suite can’t see the value of content. So step one: get your bosses to understand the value of content. Here’s how.
It’s Not All About You
The problem: Your C-suite only see value in content that speaks to them. Unfortunately, they are often far removed from your ideal target customer. If you’re selling skate shoes to teenagers, it’s not helpful to get blog ideas from a middle-aged exec.
The solution: Define your target persona with research and data. If you can nail that down and say, “We are speaking to the rebellious 18-25 year-old who takes a path outside the norm,” then you can gently suggest to your conservative board that their content ideas don’t quite fit the demographic.
Give Them a Usual Suspects Lineup
The problem: You want to create content that makes you stand out from your competitors (good for you) — the boss wants to play it safe.
The solution: Print out an infographic or a blog from you company and that of your five closest competitors. Can you see the difference? If not, the proof is in the picture: you need to change.
The problem: The suits don’t want to give you much budget to play with.
The solution: Great! Tell them you don’t need much to start with — great ideas come from constraints, after all. Use your limited resources to create a pilot period, and craft content that you know is a sure-fire win. Anything that demonstrates improvement should help you gain trust, along with incremental increases in budget.
Raise Your Army
The problem: Your execs are a unified front, drowning you out when you squeak about the need for content.
The solution: A charm offensive. Meet with stakeholders one-on-one and share how content can help marketing/sales/product teams hit their targets.
Dangle the Carrot
The problem: The nay-sayers don’t see “what content can do for me.”
The solution: Put it in simple terms. Feel free to use this verbatim. “You want to sell more product? That’s exactly what content marketing does — it earns you the right to sell. But only if it’s good.”
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