I was recently in a meeting with a brand new prospective customer who had called me in following recommendation from a local business coach. The overall brief was for me to analyse his marketing spend and help him to achieve a better return in investment.
Usual hand shaking and commenting on the weather over, he asked me a question… “Right, OK Mark, I really don’t understand this Social Media and Content Marketing that you tried to explain when arranging this meeting, so can you give me an overview of what it can do for my business?
Instead of the usual blurb, which of course is all very relevant, I gave him an analogy, and this is what I said:
“Imagine there is a very large stadium, and that stadium is full of your customers and prospective customers, in fact your whole database of customers and many prospects are present,”
Confusion was definitely setting in, but I went onto explain:
“You have total control of the public address system in that stadium, and each person has the choice to either listen to you, or find the nearest exit. However, what you have to say they find very interesting – they ‘liked’ it.
Just a few people head to the exit, but as they were exiting there were even more people coming in who had heard what an interesting place it was to be from their friends. The audience found what you had to say so interesting that when you said time to go home, but why not attend the same time tomorrow, most of them turned up the next day, bringing a few friends with them.
Eventually the stadium gets very full, but each person has the opportunity to come and go as they please. The good stuff you have to tell them however, means they continually come back to listen to what you have to say.
Now imagine that outside the stadium is your shop, and as they leave, through curiosity, and with recommendations from their friends, you see a gradual increase in visitors to the shop.
As long as you keep your conversation interesting, and provide useful information for them, they will keep returning to buy from you and over time, more and more will come to hear what you have to say, and buy from your shop. Indeed, recommendations may be so strong or products so attractive that they may also buy from your shop before entering the stadium and hearing what you have to say.”
“I get it,” he said, “a captive audience.” To which I replied, “Not a captive audience, an interested audience who like you and your products. YOU have to captivate them.”
He then asked, “How can we build this stadium of people?”
Being a football nut, and driving my wife mad watching every game I can, the analogy was very much off the cuff, but so relevant to content marketing. Your customers engage more if you keep them interested in what you have to say. Rather reminds of a clever sales person!
So how does this work?
Content marketing is a complex subject, built on innovative and creative campaigning, education, proactive and reactive marketing. It requires a learning process on what works best and continually split testing your marketing is an absolute must. However, the education and empowerment of knowledge this provides, is invaluable. You can learn a great deal more about your customers than you can ever imagine.
We have created an infographic that provides an excellent overview of content marketing. It shows you exactly how and what you need to utilise to maximise it. We must also add that the other essential ingredient is creativity and leveraged thinking, insofar as your brand allows. We do this extremely well – we have been since the dawn of social media for business.
If you would like to find out more, please contact us on 01206 252378