It’s been almost two weeks since I’ve tackled a “Fast & Easy Friday” column, and I have to say that I’m so happy to be back! Within this time period, I got married, went on a honeymoon to Miami and unplugged from all things content marketing.
As I got back into the swing of things, though, I couldn’t help but make a connection between my personal life and professional life. Over the past two weeks, I’ve focused extensively on forging friendships, bonding with my family, and, of course, spending quality time with my husband. These interpersonal relationships are integral to our individual well-being, and they’re something that I personally treasure.
Can organizations say the same thing about their relationships with customers and prospects? The B2B marketing world as a whole has been talking about buyer-focused content and even account-based marketing for a few years now. Some would argue that these concepts are by no means new, and if you have a strong marketing foundation, they are ingrained in your practices. But I can’t help but wonder: Do we truly consider the magnitude and importance of forging these relationships, or are we merely doing what we have to do to reach our goals for the quarter or year?
So for this week, I’m going to share a few articles I came across that really hone in on the importance of the marketer-customer relationship, and how you can refine your content strategies to create authentic connections:
- 12 considerations for real-time content: Technology, especially social media, has offered us a lot of exciting new opportunities to engage with our prospects and customers. The dawn of the social media age has even led to the explosion of concepts like “real-time marketing” and “newsjacking” — an art and science we have grown especially fond of. To ensure you’re attracting and keeping your audience’s attention, there are a few best practices you should follow. For example, throw the uptight marketing-speak out the window! This article from the Content Marketing Institute indicates that audiences gravitate to natural language and that you should track keywords and terms via social to get a feel for the topics and concepts they gravitate to. Doing so should give you a wealth of insights to improve your real-time marketing strategies.
- Google has new rules for influencers: B2C and B2B brands alike are embracing influencer marketing to expand their reach and connect with new buyers. As they should: Influencers can add clout to your content and can boost word of mouth by sharing your insights via social. But Google has new guidelines that may impact influencer strategies. For example, Google now wants bloggers to disclose it if they receive free goods or money in exchange for reviews or coverage. On the surface, this may seem to impact B2C brands the most, as they onboard bloggers and celebrities to promote their products. However, this article is worth looking at if you plan to start to invest (or up your investment) in influencer marketing.
- Technology helps improve buyer personas: Of course, we couldn’t get through this column without mentioning technology at least once. This article from Demand Gen Report shows how buyer personas have evolved over the past year and how different organizations have implemented, refined and extended them across the entire organization. Promoting the role and importance of buyer personas is key to success. Not only will doing so help different team members understand why you use personas and for what purpose, they will also help you start to see your prospects and customers as people, too. Technology can help you ensure all team members can identify and dig into these personas so they can better understand and communicate with your customers.
- BONUS ARTICLE! Content marketing for customer retention: Acquiring new customers and driving sales is important to any B2B organization. However, engaging and marketing to your current customers is extremely low-hanging fruit in the form of opportunities to drive cross-sells and upsells, and generate ongoing revenue. This article was published in March; however, I think it helps validate the need for marketers to continue conversations with buyers, even after they make a purchase decision.
Does your company have a specific strategy or approach to building relationships with customers? We’d love to hear from you! And if you want to step your content strategy up a notch, register for our webinar on interactive content, which will help you attract and engage more buyers.