In his book “The new rules of marketing and PR”, David Meerman Scott indicates how to set a good targeted content strategy. The use of social media is giving the organisations different channels to communicate with customers, but as David says “Content is valuable if someone reads it” and “you are what you publish”.
Some companies just bombard their customers with useless content, but following the approach described in the book and creating personas will really help any organisation to boost revenue, loyalty and the best of all you will be at the first places in any web search engine.
This book highlights the concept of educating your audience in order to increase sales, and although it may be in the long-term it creates a reputation for your brand. This includes all forms of social media, going beyond the traditional concepts presented on Twitter and Facebook, but the conversation that can take place on Podcasts and YouTube videos.
These are his top 10 powerful rules:
- Content Drives Action [Give people content, not a sales pitch]
- Marketing is more than just advertising [be aware of ROI]
- PR is more than just bombarding a media audience
- People want authenticity
- People want participation, not propaganda [permission marketing]
- New relationship [Give people control of what they want]
- Use Blogs [be interactive, be involved, be in the game, get in touch]
- Focus on niche markets [mass markets are going extinct]
- Communicate with the public directly [don’t depend on the middle man]
- Accommodate searching and browsing [SEO]
Scott’s essential message is that you can now bypass the traditional marketing channels and reach out directly to customers, provided you have a worthwhile offering and message.
Scott recommends that contemporary marketers think like a publisher and publishers consider all the following questions:
- Who are my readers?
- How do I reach them?
- What are their motivations?
- What are the problems I can help them solve?
- How can I entertain them and inform them at the same time?
- What content will compel them to purchase what I have to offer?
Useful content is central to Scott’s strategy, because content attracts links from other sites, and content provides value to visitors. Content can arrive through blogs, PDF white papers and ebooks, polls, research studies, cartoons, graphs and charts, games, contests, video, wikis, emails, text messages, forums, podcasts and slideshows.
My personal experience is that used properly, online marketing can be much more effective than traditional marketing. The challenge is that online marketing is neither easy nor free. Success requires knowledge, imagination, experimentation, and the right technical skills. It also takes time and patience to succeed. And any campaign needs to be backed by the traditional marketing concepts of segmentation, positioning, branding and communication strategy.