How Partners Can Leverage Content Marketing to Attain, Retain Customers
In today’s hugely competitive environment, partners must always be working to attain new customers and retain existing relationships. This means doing all the things you are already doing, providing purpose-built solutions and excellent support. But it also means content marketing.
The basic idea of content marketing is clear: Provide content that is relevant and appealing to customers and potential customers to build awareness of your organization and your organization’s value. “Whether you strive to increase leads or retain customers, your content needs to give the audience what it wants,” notes the Content Marketing Institute. Putting that idea into action, however, can be challenging, especially for organizations with little to no dedicated marketing staff.
Too many companies, for example, publish what amounts to advertising and call it content marketing. The trick to successful content marketing is developing content that builds awareness of whatever (or whomever) you are trying to promote without hitting people over the head with it.
Here are some best practices for developing content:
· Put yourself in your customers’ (or your potential customers’) shoes: What are they most concerned about? What do they need to know about? What’s happening in the news that will affect them? Focusing your content on these issues will help ensure wide appeal and engagement.
· Provide thought leadership, not product promotion: Sure, it’s easy to write a blog post or develop an infographic that discusses a particular product or service, but people are less likely to open and read this type of content. You’ll engender trust and respect, and better establish your company’s brand, by offering expert insight into a timely and compelling topic. You can always direct readers to specific offerings through embedded links in the post and/or through a call-to-action at the end of a post.
· Promote your people: The success of any company is built on its people, and you’ll build your company’s value by building up the reputations of your internal experts. Identify the people in your organization who can speak to compelling topics and recruit them as authors. Technology leaders are more likely to engage with content that comes from a trusted source—ideally, an author with a technology background and title.
· Put all kinds of content on the table: There’s the classic blog post, of course, but consider developing “listicles,” how-to’s, infographics, and so on. The idea is to match the content type with the content’s purpose, but also to think about the potential readers’ needs: Give them a good reason to open, read and share your content.
· Share and share alike: Content marketing shouldn’t end with the publishing of a blog post. Once the post has been published, share a quick summary with a link over your social media accounts and invite your followers to comment. Speaking of comments, don’t just let them lie—especially any negative comments. Customers and potential customers will respect the fact that your organization is engaging in an ongoing conversation—especially when that conversation is challenging.
Of course, all of this is much easier said than done, especially if you do not have a marketing team (or even a single person dedicated to marketing) in-house. And, no matter how good the content is, it won’t be useful unless you have a way to analyze performance and ultimately turn engagement into leads.
It’s critical that partners establish a digital relationship with prospects and customers. To bridge the content gap, Oracle offers digital campaign content across a few mediums. Oracle produces Partner Marketing Kits comprised of fast-start documents, customer facing call-to-action resources, (datasheets, analyst reports, white papers, videos), eblast source files, presentations, and copy blocks to equip partners with content that matters.
To complement this effort, Oracle goes one step further by providing a simple and secure cloud based platform – Oracle Channel Marketing Automation Service. This service provides a suite of integrated digital marketing applications to help partners deliver successful Oracle marketing campaigns and content directly to your customers. All content is customizable and ready-to-execute, fully designed to enhance your go-to-market strategies while boosting awareness and generating leads.
This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.