Speak with almost any CEO of a small to mid-sized brand, and they will tell you that inbound marketing is an important communication component in creating and maintaining brand preference. However, ask them what resources or processes are in place dedicated to inbound marketing content, and the answer will tell you that this is usually more wishful thinking than reality.
Why is this? Small and mid-sized brands are resource-challenged. Their employees have a wealth of knowledge to share but usually there is no process in place to capture content.
Content mining: content that adds value to the brand
Authentic content has a point of view and provides thought leadership or hands-on practical information.
Every department in the company has something to share. It is vital that content development is viewed as everyone’s responsibility, not just the function of the marketing or PR department.
When the CEO leads the way, resources are sure to follow.
Many times the most authoritative content originates from the CEO. The CEO provides leadership and the high altitude point-of-view about the brand, such as:
- Its current direction
- Challenges to be faced
- Opportunities on the horizon
- Industry disruption from new technologies
- How the brand can contribute to the betterment of the industry
Creating marketing content is everyone’s responsibility
The engineering staff also contributes to developing content. This group has a unique perspective on innovation, new technologies, and production processes that contribute to solving customer problems.
The production department contributes by providing content on best practices, achieving optimal product performance, or tips on prolonging product life cycle.
Customer Service also contributes; they are the first to field customer concerns, complaints, and frequently asked questions. This group can be the conduit between engineering and production in identifying product flaws, delivery shortcomings, and inefficient interaction between departments.
Marketing’s job is to determine the most efficient process to capture the content and optimize it for different uses. Usually an employee is identified as an expert in their field and is asked to create a rough draft on a particular topic. From there, working in collaboration with either an internal or external journalistic resource, the content is edited and polished so it is suitable for publication and optimized for web use.
In addition, once the content is formalized, it becomes part of an e-library. This e-library can serve as a quick reference to customer requests.
Inbound marketing requires a commitment of time and resources to be successful. The pay-off is a stream of authoritative content that can be used across social media platforms, publications and customer service that supports brand leadership.
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