My first post of the year revealed my three words for the year: customers, content and strategy. A couple of weeks back, I shared my thoughts about customers and, today, I’m going to drill down into content. Content is at the heart of what ColorMetrix and Jim Raffel do. Content is the glue that holds customers and strategy together.
Why content matters
Let’s get started with the fact that content is forever. It can reach hundreds, thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people. You can repurpose the media you create. What starts as a blog post can turn into an e-book chapter. The same subject matter can turn into part of a presentation used during public speaking engagements.
Compare that with time spent making cold calls. Each call reaches one person and when it’s over, it’s over. Please understand that I support frequent strategic calls to existing and prospective customers. Follow up and marketing calls are just another way to keep in touch with a select group of your partners and customers. Phone calls, however, don’t scale well. You can only make so many calls in any given time period. Then, when you get busy with work – generated from the calls, it becomes difficult to make enough calls to make sure you don’t end up with a business slowdown.
Instead, I abandoned cold calling to folks with whom I had no previous business relationship. Besides, interruption marketing is so 90s. Will I reach out to someone who has filled out a contact form on one of my websites? Heck yes. This is the next era of marketing and it’s called permission-based or inbound marketing.
Content is the glue
Say you are in the business of developing strategies that change your industry. Then, you need a conduit to communicate those strategies to your customers. In the case of ColorMetrix, we are using content and media creation to share our vision of a color strategy where all the technological pieces play nicely together. We do this with blog posts, email newsletters, and even a user group meeting where we will provide a full day of information about the topic.
We’ve also created a user group community on Linkedin. We have a Twitter account, a Facebook page and will add other conduits to keep in touch with our audience that make sense. All of our content is designed and intended to convey our strategy message to our customers. The tricky part is to make sure it remains helpful and useful on a standalone basis. You shouldn’t need to be my customer or partner to benefit from the content I create.
Everyone’s content strategy will look a bit different. By mixing and matching the advice above, you can move from interruption-based marketing to permission-based in no time. So, what did I miss? What would you add?