Content is the fuel of your marketing fire. It’s the very essence of the every strategic element of your marketing strategy.
Here’s just a short list of where content is vital to creating a successful marketing system:
- Ideal customer consideration. Check.
- Marketing message. Check.
- Differentiation. Check.
- Customer experience mapping. Check.
- Search engine optimization. Check.
- Channel usage. Check.
- Social media engagement. Check.
- Awareness campaigns. Check
- Lead conversion processes. Check.
- Customer delight and retention. Check.
- Referrals. Check.
To further elaborate: Your ideal customers’ desires for the type, style, delivery, and consumption of content should be considered when constructing your marketing strategy.
Your customer experience should be carefully mapped and guided with the supporting content that allows the customer to move through the stages of their engagement.
I could go on and on about the importance of content to your marketing success, but I think you probably get the point: I believe (strongly) that content is a vital marketing asset.
Imagine my shock and dismay when I come across multiple businesses, in the same industry (IT services), in the same city, that had duplicate content.
Not just the same topics. But the same subject lines, articles, and images posted to each of their websites. The same content feeding their social media feeds, with, you guessed it, the same subjects and images. All posted on the same day.
Additionally, some of the content didn’t make any sense. Why would an IT services business have articles on their blog and posted to social media about how their customers should be marketing their businesses better? There was even one article about a specific social media channel that the companies weren’t even using themselves. And I checked scores of sites. I mean, if you are going to have an article about Pinterest on your website you should at least have a Pinterest account.
The IT companies have subscribed to a service that promises them, as we in the South say; Meat and three. The companies get an article on their blog (the meat) and distribution to their social feeds, likely Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter (the three).
Obviously, this is syndicated content.
Similar to a meat and three lunch, if you are buying syndicated content, you get what is being served. Which is fine if you’re more concerned about decent (not great) food quality, cost savings, time savings, and volume over substance. If it’s Tuesday, you better love meatloaf. Friday brings a healthy change in the way of fish or chicken.
Syndicated content is predictable. It’s reliable. It’s also usually mediocre and not very healthy.
But here is the question:
Is syndicated content helping or hurting your business?
If you paid attention to my emphasis on the importance of content to your marketing system at the top of this post, you already know what my answer is going to be.
It’s hurting your business.
Here are five things IT services companies should keep in mind as you replace your syndicated content with something that helps their businesses attract prospects, convert them into customers, and moves them into the role of company advocate.
1. The content you produce and use should have a purpose. That could be building awareness, generating referrals, or owning a keyword, so you rank higher than your competitors. If you want to build awareness around your cloud computing offers you’ll need content that communicates to your audience your approach to the cloud and the benefits your offers provide.
2. The content you produce and use should support your marketing message and brand. If your message is highly personalized service and all of your content is not – you are not building trust, a necessary step in the journey from prospect to customer.
3. The content you use should help to differentiate you from the others in the marketing that say they do the same thing as you. Do you specialize in healthcare IT? Generate content that helps healthcare organizations understand how your approach to securing patient records is different from generalized cyber security and helps them protect their patients.
4. The content you produce should be unique to you and your ideal customer. It’s more of a conversation than simply filling space on your site. The best content you can provide is interesting, engaging, and relevant to your audience.
5. The content you offer should be available to your audience at the exact point in their customer journey that they need it, and the content should solve a particular need or fulfill an expectation. If your strength is in disaster recovery or business continuity provide content that answers prospects questions during their awareness and investigation phase (why do I need email system recovery) or during their consideration phase (what are the service level agreements you provide).
With those five ideas in mind, you can confidently create, post, and distribute quality content. That is the fuel to your marketing fire.
Not sure where to get started? Valens Point offers done-for- you marketing packages that include marketing and content strategy development. We can help you stand up a consistent and integrated marketing system that represents your brand, delivers quality content to your audience, and helps you convert prospects to customers. Want to learn more? Click here
1. Here are a couple of excellent posts about “duplicate content”:
- https://www.searchenginejournal.com/duplicate-content- medium-linkedin-bad-seo/155072/
- http://neilpatel.com/blog/how-to- deal-with- duplicate-content- issues- including-those- created-by- your-cms/
2. I have nothing against meatloaf. My favorite recipe is from Alton Brown and can be found here.