It is the best of times, it is the worst of times.
With apologies to Charles Dickens, some days in marketing can feel like that. On the one hand, there has never been a better time to be a marketer, with a variety of tools at our disposal. Whether inbound or outbound, it’s now possible to create content and design campaigns that are tuned specifically for your customer segments.
On the other hand, the same plethora of tools have also created a deluge of content, and it’s becoming harder to rise above the noise. Rand Fishkin summed up the challenge very well:
Whatever you’re doing in content strategy, production and promotion today had better be so runaway incredible that you can earn and own an audience soon, before the world of content (potentially) goes from the wild west, to an overcrowded, hyper-competitive field where standing out to jaded, fatigued consumers is 10X harder than it is today.
At Compile, we are just getting started with telling our story and sharing insights that we feel are of interest. It can be overwhelming to think that you need to create mountains of content simply to get noticed. We decided to take a different approach. It’s based on three rules.
- Clearly define your marketing objective: A clear vision of how marketing can help your business is crucial. Our ask from marketing is simple - help acquire new customers. This may seem too narrow, but we’d like to judge marketing by how it has helped us grow as a company. Whether it’s building the brand through thought leadership, engaging with customers through relevant content or participating meaningfully in our ecosystem, all our efforts in the end should translate to more customers using our service. Some may think this is a crude way of making marketing just an extension of sales. We disagree. Defining it in this way ensures that sales and marketing are driving towards the same objective; they just have different parts to play in the process.
- Align your content strategy to your marketing objective: Having defined our marketing goals, it is now easy to plan our content strategy. For every piece of content we develop, the only question that we ask ourselves is - “Will this be of interest to my customers (current or prospects)?” Asking this question for everything we create also makes us focus on the quality of the content. Rather than try to post 2 blog pieces a day, we’d rather post 2 a week if the 2 we post are customer relevant. Everything else is just noise or content for the sake of content.
- Enjoy it: Finally, enjoy the process. Don’t look at it as a chore or something that must get done. Think of it as a way to engage with your customers and have a real dialogue with them. We have had prospects reach out to us specifically based on some article they read and while they didn’t necessarily agree with everything, they wanted to start a discussion.
There are plenty of guides out there on how to build your content, but the 3 simple rules above are working for us. Perhaps they could work for you too.
By leveraging data-science and machine learning techniques, demand generation teams can now automate the opportunity identification process, completely reshaping how public sector marketing is driven.