Breaking Though Fake News with Real Content
Most agree on the value of content marketing – which leads to the challenge with content marketing – everybody’s doing it.
And, our content competes with Facebook. Buzzfeed. National “news” that’s increasingly stranger than fiction. And the 16 webinar invites arriving before breakfast. How can we ensure content investments make an impact?
We presented on this dilemma at the 2017 Health IT Marketing Conference, alongside Nancy Ragont, senior manager of customer insights, CDW Healthcare, and Jen Sorenson, head of communications, Dell EMC Global Alliances.
Ragont emphasized you must find your niche – curate content and stay focused on the message. Otherwise, there’s no way to stand out.
Facts Not Fluff
A best practice is to simply provide the facts. Real facts, based on credible research, that share new insight and build credibility. Rather than sharing your organization’s point of view, research-based programs deliver insights from your customers’ peers. Sorenson noted that research-based marketing content stands apart from the oceans of marketing “fluff.” This helps vendors and service providers build credibility as a partner focused on progress and collaboration.
Ragont shared that CDW views research-based programs as a foundation for talking to customers about new ways to solve problems – and the data can be put into action across many tactics.
Who Wears it Better?
But, many IT companies are promoting research-based data, so how can you ensure your insights capture attention – especially if they’re focused on an over-played topic?
(A Google search for “cloud computing report” returns approximately 10 million results and that was before the horse of the same name entered our lexicon!)
Consider the news cycle. Fit your message into a broader story/trend/event that’s top of mind. Keep a calendar of events, milestones, and deadlines – and not just those that are IT related. Go deep and look for landmarks in your industry or sector – scientific feats, like the completion of the Human Genome Project, or monumental legislation, like the Americans with Disabilities Act or the next Olympics, an event with a tremendous focus on health and fitness.
The tie-in adds a human connection that might make the difference in a reporter using vs. ignoring your pitch, or a prospect opening vs. deleting your email. Smart marketers look at issues from different points of view and explore the business and mission impact, which makes the resulting insights more interesting to senior-level stakeholders. Consider why the information matters to your target audience. How will it help get the job done better, faster, more efficiently?
Help Us, Help You
One good study can fuel content for months – infographics, white papers, blogs, social posts, sales presentations, webinars, speaking engagements, web site content, email campaigns, and more.
Smart marketers focus time upfront creating a strategy to ensure the sales team finds value in and will use the resources created, and ensure the resources are in a sales-friendly format.
Sorenson noted Dell has found infographics to be an excellent format to communicate research results to executives and sales teams and encourage and amplify use.
A short video sharing research highlights can serve as a good meeting follow up and help secure interest in a deeper dive. You can also play the video on a loop at events, helping to drive interest in learning more with content that’s customer focused and “not all about me.” Which brings us to the real value of these programs.
Thought leadership and demand-generation programs often fall into distinct budget buckets. They need to come together. Facts are the new black – they go with everything and are never out of style. Programs that make our customers smarter make us more credible and ultimately, more successful.