I love hearing about B2B companies that have decided to adopt a content marketing approach. They’ve loosened their grip on the hard-sell, call-now ads and brochures. And they’re now delivering useful and frequent information that customers and prospects actually find interesting.
Ramping up your program, though, isn’t easy. The road to effective content marketing is so often met with skepticism from within the organization: If we’re giving free advice, why would anyone want to hire us?, What if people post negative comments on our new blog?, etc. Fortunately, more companies are getting past the skepticism.
It’s also not surprising that in the early stages of a content program, it can take a while to find your voice and build a cohesive and engaging program. But it’s at this formative stage that a healthy dynamic takes over, and the content marketing mindset inspires companies to:
- Get introspective: Companies aspiring to become industry thought leaders are often motivated to take a fresh look at their own products, services and processes. And they sometimes realize that their approach to solving problems, and even their deliverables, have evolved since their last marketing outreach.
- Tell your story, naturally: When you’re able to brush off the instinct to sell, and just engage on a topic, it becomes much more natural to tell your story in terms that resonate with ideal customers. Soon, industry expertise will become the fabric of your story.
- Join the conversation: Content marketers quickly discover that passion cannot be confined to content on the website. So whether through LinkedIn groups or your Twitter feed, find the conversations and join in on behalf of your company.
- Explore the possibilities: We all respond to different media and messages, and a content program offers many opportunities to get creative: in blog posts, videos, case studies, webinars, special reports, etc. Take advantage and make it memorable.
When your content program is new, it’s an ideal time to step back and find inspiration. The whole mindset of leveraging objective content in the service of building relationships brings endless possibilities. Best of all, content marketing is based on engaging with the industry topics of the day, every day. You’re involved in the communications and actively sharing ideas, not just spectating. So you truly get out of it what you put in.
If you have experiences to share from the early days of your content program, we’d love to hear them!