When marketers use the term engagement, we mean trying to create an on-going dialogue with your customers. This strategy focuses on delivering personalized messages and interacting with customers across whichever channels they prefer. Those channels include email, direct mail, your website, social media and more.
Ideally, excellent customer engagement is a two-way conversation. Your content is the primary medium for initiating and maintaining the conversation.
Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience. The intention is to engage, entertain, educate, inform or inspire the target audience. The goal is to guide them through the buyer’s journey, with the objective of driving profitable customer action. Profitable action may include a new sale, a renewal, leaving a good review, or referring other customers.
A great example of a company that utilizes content marketing is Dataman Group Direct. Yes, I am practicing what I preach. And, yes, it works. (You’re reading this, aren’t you?)
I email all the water quality dealers on my list every two months. I could do this more often, but I do not want to be annoying. My emails keep to a similar style so you can recognize me. I use a combination newsletter/advertorial, offering my followers a lot of free valuable marketing advice. I include articles published in the trade press, white paper downloads and provide pertinent links to my site. I give out e-books and hard copy books. I share copies of power point presentations, free scripts and sample artwork. All sorts of “things” I believe my followers would appreciate.
My hope is that when you are considering your marketing or lead generation, you will call our office. After all, if you’ve read even 10% of the content I share, then you know that we are experts in marketing and lead generation for the water quality industry. I also hope that if a colleague asks for a marketing referral, you will pass our name along.
So, I continue with this engagement strategy of content marketing. You may want to consider this strategy in your own dealership.
Types of Marketing Content
Some of the types of marketing content you might want to share include:
- Books or ebooks
- Case studies
- White Papers
Think mobile-first. Many consumers are consuming content on the go.
The #1 Secret
Add value. That’s the #1 secret in creating engagement through content marketing. Of course, it is not really a secret at all. None of us has time to waste. We want to make sure the content we consume is worth our time and effort. Don’t you love the phrase “consume content”? It’s very visual. That is the marketer in me.
What has value to your customer? Information about the latest state of water in their zip-code? Can you communicate area boil water notices? What about legislation that impacts the local water district?
Can you share information about World Water Day or National Drinking Water Week? Think about distributing materials about these events to local schools.
What Can You Do Today?
It is back-to-school. This also means the start of youth leagues. Can you create an infographic or Tip Sheet about Hydration to share with parents? Many parents would consider that valuable content. Give them an opportunity to download or share with others. This may also extend your reach.
Another example of content that might inspire conversation might be a contest for a replacement or upgraded system.
Ask customers to submit a video that shows someone who has just worked out quenching their thirst with water. Then, have people vote for the winning video. Even if only 10 people participate, that is 10 people who have become engaged with your company. 10 new people clicking into your website. It would be a great start. Your followers do not need to know that only 10 people participated. They only need to see and enjoy the top winners.
And, this can move across channels. Repurpose it. From email to YouTube to social media. Content does not have to be heavy-duty all the time. It can also be fun.
If you are not sure how you can add value through content marketing, ask your existing customers for help. They can tell you what kind of content you can offer that would be helpful to them now. Or, that would have been helpful to them when they were looking for your product or service. They will tell you.