Thriving in today’s content-driven online marketing world, demands that you think like a publisher. That’s the battle cry among content marketers.
Just as publishers start by learning everything about their target audience and what information they want, content marketers must realize it is not about them but about their customers.
“Nobody cares about your products and services (except you)” was the title of a blog post written by David Meerman Scott (Author of the wildly successful book The New Rules of Marketing & PR and his new book Real-Time Marketing & PR) back in 2008.
That mindset is even more important today if you don’t want to drown in the deluge of online content.
“Content marketing succeeds through quality, not quantity. The content you produce must be relevant, valuable, and better than the competition’s.” That was the advice from Joe Pulizzi (founder of Junta42 and co-author of Get Content Get Customers) at a Content Strategy New England meetup last year. (View Joe’s presentation on SlideShare).
What does all this have to do with investing?
Think about it, what would persuade an investor to invest in a company over its competition? He/she is inundated with business plans, presentations and proposals but only a chosen few get called back for more in-depth information.
Why? Because the business objectives of those companies are closely aligned with the investor’s goals. The investor is willing to risk his/her money because of high expectations of a healthy return on investment (ROI).
In the same way business marketers need to take their content marketing up a notch in order to raise their ROI from content marketing.
For industrial marketers ROI is typically measured in terms of quantity of high-quality sales leads generated, increase in sales and revenues.
To make that happen, you have to start with the “Why” of content creation according to Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman (Authors of Content Rules).
In their book, they recommend you produce online content to achieve one or more of the following objectives:
- Get higher rankings in search engine results so your prospects can find you easily
- Attract more leads and acquire new customers
- Become the go-to source of information related to your niche and build thought leadership
- Build a larger base of loyal customers and spread the word via social media channels
There is a big difference between knowing and doing. The best way that I can think of bridging that gap is by using a real-life example of a manufacturer that is using content to boost its marketing ROI.
I’m talking about Indium Corporation, a developer, manufacturer, and supplier of specialty alloys, solder products and solder paste. They use the entire spectrum of content and social media marketing.
The centerpiece of their content marketing strategy is blogging, to be more accurate, 73 blogs written by 14 in-house subject matter experts, all engineers.
“My goal was, and remains, to own the space as the “thought leader” for a wide variety of pertinent topics, technologies, etc. This, theoretically, delivers customer contacts on targeted topics – leading to increased sales, as well as insight into future opportunities (technologies, developments, etc.).”
In an article published by BtoB Online, Short said, “Once we become trusted, then and only then will the customer contact us; and that’s what we want—highly qualified, self-qualified and urgent prospects. Our customers are engineers who love talking to engineers, so that’s what we’re giving them.”
The results speak for themselves.
According to Rick, the strategy has helped the company increase its inbound contact rate by 600%, and that the salespeople are very pleased with the quality of those leads.
The company is now the go-to source for specific soldering problems such as “head-in-pillow” defect and search engines are driving very qualified traffic even if they are only a handful.
What is your content marketing ROI?