This post was originally published in our eBook, Inspiring Customers to Create Content for You: A Marketer’s Guide.
The value of an advocate-driven content marketing strategy
Many brands’ content strategies are heavily based on their value props and product features.
However, when companies don’t go outside their own four walls when it comes to creating their content, they won’t produce truly engaging or valuable stories for their prospects and customers.
At TouchBistro, we sell to restaurant owners and managers. Our content team’s goal is to be the thought leaders in our space.
There’s just one problem: no one on our marketing team has ever owned a restaurant.
That’s why we consult our customer advocates before we start creating content. We rely on them to know that we’re providing truly valuable insights to our audience.
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How advocates can improve your content marketing strategy
Normally, we’d ask our customer-facing teams for customer insights, or research what others in the industry are writing about. We’ve also conducted external market research in the past to gain this knowledge.
However, we usually get a lower response rate than we do from our advocate community. They’re a passionate group that’s ready and willing to answer our questions quickly.
Within one or two business days, we can identify and write about relevant topics that none of our competitors are covering. Without our advocates’ help, we’d be missing half of the content that we currently create.
For example, by polling our advocates, we learned that they were hungry for content about recruiting, training and retaining staff. Even though it’s not a topic directly related to our product, our staffing content has become some of our best- performing assets.
Sometimes, we’ll ask for their opinions on specific topics, or for their biggest pain points, to inspire our content calendar. We’ll also quickly ask advocates to rank our value propositions for new website content or tell us their stories—which often become case studies later.
Why advocates want to be involved in your content marketing strategy
Advocates want to be perceived by their peers as thought leaders. They also naturally like sharing ideas and feedback—if they feel you’re listening to them.
The best way to keep them engaged is to close the feedback loop and let advocates know when their content contributions go live. Seeing their names and insights featured in your content makes them feel valued—laying the foundation for ongoing advocacy later in the content creation process.
For the few advocates that don’t want to see their name in lights, ease them into the process by presenting their ideas without directly quoting them.
Taylor’s top tips for involving advocates in your content marketing
1. Poll advocates to uncover new ideas and insights before setting your content calendar
2. Request tips and opinions before making a bigger content ask
3. Close the feedback loop so advocate know their insights were used (and appreciated!)
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