5 Essential Qualities for Content Marketing

Shweiki Media teams up with Marcus Sheridan–president of The Sales Lion—to present a must-watch webinar on the five essential qualities for content marketing that determine the success of a company.  According to Sheridan, in order for a company to have tremendous success and obtain great results, they must first understand and adapt these five practices…

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1. Embrace The Reality of Zero Moment of Truth

The “zero moment of truth” refers to the first time someone contacts a company, and it is the most critical stage of the relationship. Contact can be initiated in many ways, such as filling out a form on the company’s website, calling the company, walking into one of their stores or offices, etc. It is important to remember that 70% of the buying decision is made before the zero moment of truth.  This dramatically impacts the way sales are done, the relationship between sales and marketing, and the way people buy.  Today marketing has a greater influence on the actual sales process than the sales department itself does.

2. Consider Management and Employee Buy In

In the last few years, marketing departments have become frustrated because they want to embrace the power of content, but every time they bring it up with their team members or management, their ideas get shot down.  This is a big problem.  In order to be great in content marketing, management must be brought in along with the rest of the team–especially salespeople–so as to have a unified vision.

Segue Technologies is one example of a company that embraced a philosophy in which all of their employees contributed content in order for the company to become great at content management as a whole.

“If you work at Segue Technologies, you’re in marketing.” Ron Novak, Vice President

Novak did this because he recognized that every department hears questions from prospects, customers and clients that need to be addressed on a company’s website, and—by proxy—each has content to share.   Once everyone became actively involved in the content marketing process, Segue employees began generating a lot of content, and it made a huge difference in the company’s revenue, accounting for at least $4 million in additional revenue.

3. Don’t Overthink The Strategy

A company has a moral obligation to address any and all questions customers may have on its website, whether it’s good, bad or ugly.  If a company does not answer these questions, they are basically conveying that the company does not care about their questions and concerns and inviting the customers to leave. However, by addressing these questions on the company’s website it shows customers that their questions are important to the company.  That is the essence of “they ask, you answer.”

If someone is asking a question on a company’s website, it is safe to assume that thousands of other people have searched online for the answer to that same question.  If a company wants to become a thought leader and a go-to source in their industry, they must address questions they receive every single day through a video, a podcast, or simply something on their website.

It sounds very simple in theory, but in practice, companies rarely do this.  A company must become the best teacher and the best Wikipedia of their space, and it all begins with “they ask, you answer.”

4. Utilize The Power of Insourcing

In order to produce a lot of quality content, one must embrace the power of insourcing. Many companies today outsource their content.  This means that they hire people outside of the company to come in and produce content about the company and brand for the company.   However, it is important to remember that no one can tell your story better than you can.  This is why it is better for companies to insource their content by leveraging the existing talent on staff.  Employees hear the questions every day and are used to answering them.  These employees represent the digital soul of one’s business. When producing content, a business should not have a random person or company representing them, but should instead have the business represent itself. That is the essence of insourcing.

For example, Block Imaging International—which sells refurbished medical equipment all over the world—wanted to become a thought leader, so they held a workshop in August 2011 that focused on incorporating all employees into the content management process. And after August, there was a considerable increase in web traffic for the company.

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5. Have a Dedicated Content Manager

There needs to be one and only one content manager.  Yes, it is important to have every employee produce content, but it is even more important to have just one person in charge of organizing it.

Health Catalyst, a B2B company responsible for data warehousing for hospitals, embraced these five principles in order to get ahead of their competitors, Oracle and IBM. They created a knowledge center on their website that allowed people to consume their content easier. Since starting the knowledge center, they increased the number of visitors to their website from 3,000 to 26,000 in one year. They also signed two big companies, Kaiser Permanente and Partners HealthCare, as clients last year, which was a particularly big deal because they were a virtual David to Oracle’s and IBM’s Goliath.

More information on these principles can be found in Sheridan’s book, Inbound and Content Marketing Made Easy, which is available free of charge at www.TheSalesLion.com.  To reach Marcus Sheridan, one can email Marcus1@thesaleslion.com.

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If anyone would like to read more about these principles, get my book, “Inbound and Content Marketing Made Easy” for free on my website, www.TheSalesLion.com.  Or you can personally email me at Marcus1@thesaleslion.com.

 

 


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Marcus Sheridan

In 2001 and fresh out of college, Marcus Sheridan stumbled across his first business with two friends and began installing swimming pools out of the back of a beat-up pickup truck. 9 years later, and with the help of incredible innovations through inbound and content marketing, Sheridan’s company overcame the collapse of the housing market and became one of the largest pool installers in the US and currently has the most visited swimming pool web site in the world—www.RiverPoolsandSpas.com. With such success, in late 2009, Sheridan started his sales, marketing, and personal development blog—The Sales Lion, and has since grown The Sales Lion brand to be synonymous with inbound and content marketing excellence while being featured in multiple industry publications, including the New York Times where he was referred to as a “web marketing guru.” Today, when Sheridan is not giving riveting and passion-filled keynotes around the globe or consulting with businesses and brands, he generally finds himself on an adventure with his wife and 4 children.

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