Not only was I pleased to see that cookies were on the menu, I was also happy to sit, listen and Tweet away as we listened to both Joe Pulizzi and John Ettorre give us the scoop on Driving Consumer Engagement and Conversion through Thought Leadership. All a fancy way of saying: let’s sit for an hour and talk Content Marketing.
As a nerd who continually geeks out about Content Marketing and the advantages of business becoming their own publishing houses, AND as a lover of cookies, I was pretty much in heaven.
Both pros brought great things to the table, with John focusing on using Content Marketing to tell your brand story, and Joe focusing on the benefits of Content Marketing for business. If I could squish the two together (gently), here are the main takeaways from the seminar:
1. Your company has a story, and your customers are demanding more than ever to hear it.
Long gone are the days when your customers would simply wait for you or one of your sales people to explain in person, during a sales pitch, what you do. They want to research you and truly KNOW you before they buy, especially if you offer a highly specialized product or service.
Tell your story online, through multiple outlets (don’t worry, that doesn’t just mean Facebook…in fact, Facebook may not be right for your business. Yep, I said it.), and put a human voice to your story and company.
2. Content Marketing isn’t a niche discipline, but a concept that covers everything you do on the Web.
While the term “content marketing” might be newer, the discipline of Content Marketing covers multiple channels on the Web, from SEO to content to lead generation.
Procter and Gamble understands this concept all too well, and have multiple sites on the Web catering to their many different audiences. They also understand that their customers are already talking about subjects and problems that P&G is able to directly address, so they’ve created content and conversation to better engage their audience (who will, in turn, buy P&G products).
3. It’s okay to give away the “secret sauce”…you’ll find it builds trust, creates conversation and feedback and shortens the sales cycle.
Many companies are fearful that if they give out too much information, the customer will be too well armed and will either a) perform the service or make the product for himself or b) know what to look for when he goes somewhere else. But, as Jay Baer once said (and Joe quoted in his presentation), “Just because you make a grocery list, doesn’t mean you’re a chef.”
What you do as a company is special…but your customer will never know how special until you explain the work and the detail that goes into it. In fact, your explanation will help build trust and belief that, “Hey, you DO know what you’re doing!” It also helps to shorten the sales cycle…you’ll find that by giving out the hard stuff first, you’ll have customers who can mull over the information on their own time, then call to buy…without anymore “convincing” on your end.
All in all, the seminar was a great quick one-hit reminder of why we love our Content Marketing department, and why Content Marketing is a fantastic way to continue to grow your business.