Four Commitments to Create a Great Content Loyalty Strategy

A great Content Strategy is not a sprint to the finish line; it’s a marathon. You cannot turn it on and off as you redirect resources to other company initiatives.

A great Content Strategy is not a sprint to the finish line; it’s a marathon. You cannot turn it on and off as you redirect resources to other company initiatives. It is a continuous dialogue between your brand and your customers. Think of it as a relationship that must be continuously nurtured.  To be successful, you must commit your organization.

Commitment #1

Every content strategy professes to build brand loyalty with existing customers. So why are the majority of companies engaged in content marketing focused on top-of-funnel goals like demand gen and brand awareness? According to Accenture Research, 66% of consumers spend more on brands to which they feel loyal. Commit to the goals of your content strategy and stay focused. Do not become distracted by requests from sales for leads. A lead gen strategy is not a loyalty strategy.

Commitment #2

Truly commit to the loyalty strategy. Reports show that marketers committed to using a long-term content strategy were 63% more likely to reach their goal of building customer loyalty. Your best new business opportunity is with your existing loyal customers and the word-of-mouth (WOM) they with generate on social platforms.

Commitment #3

Get comfortable using metrics to improve your work. Access to campaign metrics through platforms like Supermetrics, Google Data studio, and others will provide the data. However, it’s up to you to slice and dice the data for your application. To improve the effectiveness of your content strategy with metrics, be clear on your big picture goals. Make sure you are measuring things that indicated you are reaching your goals. Track performance against these KPIs every month. Create a spreadsheet that tracks marketing goals and KPIs. Regularly review your plan for gathering performance information and who will be responsible for collecting and reporting this data.

Commitment #4

Focus on loyalty. Educate your customers to nurture loyalty. Fill the informational needs of your audience with entertaining content.  Use social media stories, video and blogs to create your brand voice. By focusing on your customer, their wants and needs, your brand will become clear with your customers.

A History of Storytelling

Storytelling is an essential component of the human experience. Rob Dietrich shares a history of storytelling from caves to epic poems to modern technology.

Storytelling has always been an essential component of the human experience. Humans have an innate desire to tell and listen to stories. A child asks her parent for a story before bedtime. A teacher tells his students a story to help make a lesson stick. Friends share advice by summarizing past experiences with each other. Stories entertain and educate us. They help us relive the past and prepare for the future.

From Caves to Epic Poems

The first example we have of human storytelling is on the walls of caves in Chauvet, France. In 1994, archeologists discovered paintings that depict various animals- deer, lions, wooly mammoths- as well as the eruption of a volcano. Researchers believe the inhabitants of the cave valued these illustrated stories so highly that they considered them to have sacred or magic properties. Carbon dating places these illustrations around 36,000 years old.

The ancient Egyptians took storytelling to the next level. Their hieroglyphic language, a series of pictographic symbols, is widely considered to be history’s first example of a written language. Developed around 5,000 years ago, this writing system allowed them to communicate more detailed ideas. Decoding this alphabet revealed ancient Egyptian stories about life at the time, beliefs about the afterlife, kings, wars and plague. The stories also revealed the evolving complexities of storytelling, such as humor and satire.

Around 2,700 years ago, Homer united the ancient Greeks with his epic poems the Iliad and the Odyssey. These stories were recorded and distributed to the surrounding city-states, and have been credited for establishing the Greek culture. It is highly likely that this was the first time humans realized the fantastic power contained by a good story!

“If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” – Isaac Newton

Storytelling Meets Technology

As history progressed, humans took and improved upon the stories written by the generations before them. The ways and types, along with the manner of telling stories became numerous. Shakespeare captured the imagination of the masses with his plays. In 1556 the first newspaper was published in Venice, covering the economic, political and military happenings of the time. Improvements in printing press technology and the spread of community theater allowed a wider circulation of stories and ideas. Then the 20th century arrived bringing the radio, movies, and TV. These media opened up a whole new world of ways to tell and share stories, removing any barriers that lack of education and an inability to read previously put forth. Then, of course, came the Internet and the digital age of storytelling and idea sharing.

While the complexity, styles, manners, and themes have changed over history, storytelling has been around since the first prehistoric humans were able to point and grunt. Whether they’re creating a culture and unifying a nation or lulling a child to sleep, never underestimate the power of a well-told story.

Want some help telling your story? We can help!

When You’re a Marketing Team of One

When you’re a marketing team of one, things get more complicated. Things like schedules and strategies and goals can quickly get usurped for the latest marketing fire unless you’re able to get ahead of the rest of the organization. I should know –  I was a marketing team of one for a good chunk of my career before joining the O’Keeffe tribe.

Here are the top five things I wish I’d known early in my career as a marketing team of one.

  1. Documentation is your best friend.

It sounds like a no-brainer, right? Document things. Easy peasy. But when you’re a team of one, you’re likely juggling priorities across the business and, depending on the history of the organization, and who you report to, you may be dealing with conflicting ideas on how you should move forward.

Hence documentation.

It’s more than just a recap of emails after meetings (although those are essential). Think about how you can best communicate your strategy and your wins across the business. Would a monthly report help? How about a note breaking down wins via email with a why it matters summary? Find ways to bring your leadership and the rest of your organization along on this magical marketing journey with you.

  1. Stay connected within the marketing community.

As a marketing team of one, you will likely be the only person who gets excited when a significant client tweets at you or when you double your open rate on that biweekly email send. Find your local marketing community and make nerdy friends. Sometimes a lunch spent talking segmentation is the boost you need to push out your new content strategy. Your local AMA is an excellent resource for this, but so are Meetups, user groups, and events or conferences.

Make friends, and you’ll always have someone to call to celebrate a big victory or talk you off a ledge when Salesforce breaks.

  1. Keep a roadmap.

Depending on the nature of your organization and whether you’re setting the long-term strategy, you’ll need to keep an eye on your initiatives. Sometimes you’ll be working through a tough time with your sales team, and you’ll need a way to refocus on what’s next. Your roadmap will be your strategic marketing bible and help you cut through priorities. It’s easy to get overwhelmed as a team of one. Being able to reference that roadmap can help your leadership stay focused on where you can make the most impact.

  1. Do the math.

Let’s face it: pulling your monthly analytics isn’t a high priority when you’re managing a giant marketing strategy. But it’s also the one thing that will help you see the light at the end of the long, complicated white paper you’re writing. Being able to see your progress is hugely motivating, and that process of continual optimization isn’t possible without a historical perspective on your efforts. It’ll also save you if you ever want to find a new home because showing concrete results is the best way to land your next gig.

  1. Find time to get creative.

When all of the pressure rests on your marketing shoulders, it’s easy to stay head down and ignore the outside world. You’re just trying to knock out this week’s social posts – there isn’t time for nerding out with a whiteboard and reviewing your personas. The single best way to stop stress and burnout is to stay creative and engaged in your work. Make the time to develop new strategies, review fun ideas, and learn skills that help set you apart. It keeps your brain fresh and your marketing strategy even fresher.

Being a marketing team of one isn’t easy. I’d wager that it’s one of the hardest roles to fill as a marketer. That kind of ownership and responsibility can be insanely fun if you’re able to ride through competing priorities, times of loneliness as you long for a team, and all those conversations explaining just what exactly you do to the rest of the organization.

Did you read this and think, gosh, I wish I had a marketing buddy like the O’Keeffe tribe? We’d love to work with you and help you tell your story. Send us a quick message and let’s talk.

Why Companies Need B2B Content

Businesses in every industry have valuable stories to tell about their products and services. However, many are not utilizing the power of content, and their stories aren’t being heard. I believe it is important that companies incorporate content marketing into their lead generation and sales processes to give customers the information they really want. So, why is content important for B2B businesses? I’ve put together a list of my top reasons.

Quality content builds credibility and authority

Consistent, quality content can help establish your company as a leader in your industry. By writing thought leadership pieces, you are proving your expertise to those who might need your services. Gaining that credibility and authority is important when it comes to strengthening your relationship with current customers, as well as attracting the attention of new ones. The more you write and publish, the simpler it will be for you to convince your target audience that you are an expert in the business subject you’re promoting and selling. Your thought leadership de-risks their buying process.

Buyers are always looking for helpful content

According to LinkedIn, 79 percent of small businesses say that industry specific news and articles are the most valuable pieces of content they look for on social media. 79 percent! This illustrates that companies are out there reading and looking for answers. It’s important that your company is part of the conversation.

The B2B buying journey can take some time

The buying journey for B2B companies can often take much longer than it does for B2C companies. This is because you are building a relationship with your potential customers, rather than asking for a simple transaction. Because the process can often take some time, it is important to stay in touch with prospects throughout their journey. Helpful and relevant content acts as a great touchpoint and provides a way to initiate discussions and ensure loyal follow-up. It also doesn’t hurt that 74% of B2B buyers choose a vendor that’s first to help them with useful content, according to LinkedIn.

Google recognizes quality content

A high SEO ranking is the cherry on top of producing quality material. Marketing is a great way to promote your brand and reach new customers, as well as get recognized by Google, who will award your efforts with a good ranking. You just have to make sure you are publishing quality content consistently. However, while it can be tempting to write purely for SEO purposes, always be sure to focus on writing compelling content about the things your target audience would be most interested in. There is no downside to optimizing your content for SEO, but don’t lose sight of your primary goals when you create and deliver content.

Every B2B company has a story to tell and an audience to share it with, whether it is current clients, prospective clients or industry colleagues. Providing and publishing relevant content can make a major difference in creating a rewarding customer relationship. B2B businesses are embracing the benefits of content each day and are seeing direct results. Make sure your company doesn’t miss out on opportunities that content marketing can provide.