A clever ad hits TV, YouTube or you spot a memorable billboard along the freeway. Remember, Got Milk?
You’re the owner of a small but growing company or a marketing guru and decide that iconic smash hits are out of your league. Not true. Listen carefully to what you say, journal what you’re thinking, and know your value to create a foundation for high impact content marketing.
Spot Outdated Content
Check your marketing collateral and see if it needs refreshing. If your website is more than two years old, write up new headlines and select paragraphs.
What about your print brochures? Sound like yesterday all over again?
Don’t sweat what you’ll say. Try the next step. But first, grab a notebook. I like the one-dollar composition books available the 99 Cents Only stores.
Listen to Yourself
I went on staff with a grass-roots nonprofit and saw the brochure was sorely outdated. When people asked for information on the program, I typed up a new one-sheet writing out what I knew about the program — which was substantial since my family had been involved in it.
I was “listening to myself” not just based on my opinions but based on what I knew to be true about the organization. Listening helped me convey to the executive director our need to upgrade the marketing materials at the time.
Write Your Why, How, What
This is a fun exercise. Why do you do what you do, and why does your company exist? Dig deeper with my article Using Your Why to Create Marketing Messages.
My personality is I like helping others and seeing results. I can do that as a content marketing writer. I ease the worries of marketing managers who need fresh content delivered on time or help companies gain new audience views that lead to sales.
A health consortium may exist to inspire and guide its members into a healthier lifestyle and prevent diseases from spreading.
How do you deliver your products or services?
What are the benefits for your customer?
A manufacturing company may use automation as its how and claim a zero defect rate in goods delivered to its business customers or retail outlets. Distributors enjoy satisfied customers from homeowners who don’t have to return kitchen cabinets or have counter-tops replaced.
I use a Personal Focus Group questionnaire to guide clients in thinking through their why, what they do, how they deliver and the resulting benefits to their customers.
Know the Audience
I have a master’s degree in communication management so I know all about demographics and — I’m finding that demographics are less important to the basic questions:
“How do I save my customers-clients time and money?”
“How do I help them become profitable?”
“How do I ease their worries or make their lives easier and help them to dream and achieve a wonderful experience?”
Answering these questions and delivering content based on meeting these needs is mission-critical. Delivering the answers through video, written text or direct mail can be done in the context of where they live, their income, and their behaviors.
Observe, Jot, Observe, Chat
Use that cheap little notebook to jot down your ideas. Chat with co-workers, vendors, valued customers or those who decided not to do business with you. Find out their opinions and their views of what you offer.
Your mind will start working in a context that can produce on-target marketing messages. And who knows? Maybe you’ll create the next smash-hit slogan.