3 Types Of Content Marketing That Turn Customers Into Die-Hard Fans

In the content marketing world, the focus tends to be on creating content that converts – optimizing every possible action a potential customer may take in order to increase the probability that he or she will download something. Once they fill out that form, the marketing and sales machine springs into action with calls, emails and nurture campaigns – taking a more active role in persuading that person to become a paying customer.

There’s no arguing that this process shouldn’t be the focus of content professionals. It’s why content marketing is the top priority for B2B marketers in 2014. When it’s done right, the return on investment is huge.

Once the leads start pouring in, however, it can tempting to simply replicate and reuse the same high-performing assets over and over again – resulting in a kind of content marketing tunnel vision. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – right?

Unfortunately, there are other content marketing objectives that may be overlooked when we funnel all of our efforts into conversion – and those objectives tend to be related to our current customers.

Why invest in content targeted at current customers when they’ve already converted?

Content has the power to transform a relatively happy customer into a die-hard fan of your company, people and product. Not just any content, however – it has to be crafted specifically for the purpose of educating and celebrating your customers, and humanizing your company.

1. Educational content that helps your customers get better at their jobs

Your customers are a lot like you and me: they just want to be the best marketing/IT/accounting/human resources/whatever professional they can possibly be, and that’s why they’re working with you. They want to be more proficient, effective and efficient at everything they do, including using your solution.

Educational content marketing that helps your customers get better at their jobsAnd as millennials continue to dominate the workforce, your customers will be more likely to seek the information they need online first.

They want to soak up best practices, benchmarks and innovative strategies during their commute to work, on their lunch hour and from their couch at home – outside the regular 9 to 5.

(Plus, let’s face it, you probably have customers in different time zones, on opposite coasts or even on the other side of the world – not everyone can attend that one-hour webinar at 10 a.m. Eastern time.)

If you can become their best source of information for advancing their careers, they’ll love you for it. More importantly, however, they’ll also share it with their vast social networks both online and offline, essentially endorsing you as the go-to resource in their area of expertise.

2. Content that celebrates the achievements of your customers

As a former journalist myself, I’m the first to admit that there’s nothing quite like seeing your name in print. Whether you wrote the piece yourself or were simply featured in it, there’s an excitement that comes along with being publicly recognized for your work in one way or another. Well, print is dead, but most people are still excited to see their name in pixels online.

Unfortunately, most B2B companies have a bad habit of creating customer case studies and keeping them locked up for use only by the sales organization. There must be hundreds or thousands of amazing success stories that have never seen the light of day except to push a prospect a little further along the buying process. Worse still, they’re totally company focused – you’d be hard-pressed to find a real name, smiling face or genuine quotation in any of them.

When you feature customers in your content marketing, their mom will put it on her fridgeOne individual moving the needle for their business is newsworthy! Like a community newspaper printing good news from around the neighborhood, companies should be uncovering and publishing those stories from their customer base as well.

Demandbase Senior Customer Success Manager Farkhanda Zhublawar recently outlined how she does this with her customers.

It’s time to dust off those boring, old PDFs and repurpose them into feature-length web stories about real people, their biggest professional triumphs and how they feel about it.

Once they’re featured, your customers will send the blog post, video or SlideShare to everyone they know – including their mom.

3. Content that humanizes your company

Whether you’re a team of 15, 1500 or 15,000, your company is made up of some pretty amazing people with diverse knowledge, experiences and interests. Sadly, your customers usually only get to know one of your sales reps and someone from your customer success team. Even then, they might only have the opportunity to speak to those people a handful of times before communication between them goes totally digital.

People have relationships with people – not companies, not products and definitely not with their email. It’s all too easy for your customers to become alienated and disconnected from what the real people at your organization are doing behind the scenes.

Content marketing can humanize your brand, giving your customers a peak behind the digital curtainThat’s why it’s so important to create and publish content that gives them a peek behind that digital curtain. Depending on the tone of your brand, it might lighthearted, serious or totally silly – it doesn’t really matter.

What matters, again, is that you’re putting the spotlight on real people, their passions and their achievements, and making that information accessible to a much wider audience – including your customers.

One of my personal favorite examples of this is ReadyTalk’s Fame Donuts blog, where the company highlights the achievements of their employees with fun photos as well as a brief overview of what they did to deserve delicious fame donuts.

The best part about all of this content is that, ultimately, it serves a number of purposes. Potential customers will still find it, read or watch it, and get value out of it. Search engines like Google will crawl and rank it. And, of course, prospects will convert on it.

Webinar: How to turn content into die-hard customers

Producing more of these three types of content is just one of the many ways you can create die-hard customers with content. On Thursday, May 1st at 2 p.m. ET, experts from HubSpot, Uberflip and Influitive will share how to improve content performance, generate and nurture leads, and turn your customers into loyal advocates. Register now.
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13 Responses to 3 Types Of Content Marketing That Turn Customers Into Die-Hard Fans

  1. Lead Lizard says:

    […] However, understanding what is compelling to your prospects requires marketers to have a genuine understanding of their needs and passions. “People have relationships with people – not companies, not products and definitely not with their email,” writes Cassandra Jowett of Influitive. […]

  2. […] better website, email list, social media presence and content strategy. Create spaces where you can host your own content and engage your audience and you won’t need to rely on paid media outlets […]

  3. […] from you. User-generated content can add an authentic touch to your content marketing efforts. To get your advocates more involved in your content, use their photos and quotes in blog posts and ebooks. You could also point them to blog posts on […]

  4. […] the entrepreneurs responses to questions, First Round Capital also gives their CEOs “weapons” to handle their business, says […]

  5. […] content can do so much more than generate clicks or shares. Rebecca Lieb, former analyst at Altimeter Group, shared some […]

  6. […] a lot of marketers don’t think about how content can help build better relationships with customers—and drive loyalty, retention and advocacy in the […]

  7. […] or how many registrations you’re getting for your webinars. This will help you adapt your content strategy based on your members’ […]

  8. […] many companies are focused on trying to effectively manage data across the globe. Iron Mountain devised a number of materials to help, including the Guide to Information Governance. The best practices guide, says David, has been […]

  9. […] Brightpearl also asks advocates for help crowdsourcing content ideas. For instance, the brand might get their advocates to vote on the title of a white paper. This helps Brightpearl create more relevant content for their customers. […]

  10. […] Creating content that gives back to your customers and addresses their major pain points is the best way to generate more engagement. “Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and be empathetic,” says Jeanette. She recommends creating content based on what’s going on in your industry—and not just within your company’s own four walls. […]

  11. […] tools to share their knowledge with the Cisco community and celebrated those contributions through blogging and social media (using the hashtag […]

  12. […] just your brand’s messages. “You don’t need fresh content every day, but make sure the content that is there is something they can actually leverage.” This will make it easier for them learn more about your product, and be able to talk about it […]

  13. […] helps our customers feel a closeness to our brand by participating in different opportunities to share content and to share their story with us,” he […]

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