It’s not you, it’s me. To be honest, I love the idea of you, but I’m just not ready to commit to a long-term relationship. I hope you understand. Oh, and if anybody asks, I hope it’s cool if I tell them that we’re still involved—I don’t want to be singled out.
Sound familiar? Do you have commitment issues? It’s okay. I get it; you’re scared. Change is hard, like really hard.
And let’s be honest, product-focused marketing is comfortable.
After all, who knows more about our products than us? We’re the experts, we created them and we can talk about them six ways to Sunday.
But here’s the thing, our product-focused messaging is like that blind date who won’t stop talking about their cats…how intuitive they are, how funny they are, how they are just like people, and then spends the next 20 minutes sharing photos of them. Okay, we get it, these cats are amazing. They seem to be gifted, truly beautiful feline specimens. And guess what? We don’t care. We look for any opportunity to excuse ourselves so we can text a friend to save us.
This is the problem with the way we’ve been doing things in marketing, too. Even if we have the perfect product or service, marketing messages are often lost in the delivery. Marketers are trained to talk too much about themselves and how cool their products can be.
Here’s a hint: Stop talking about yourself (and your cats), no one cares. People want to talk about themselves and issues that relate to them.
If you want to get serious about content marketing, it takes commitment—just like good relationships.
As a client-facing member of an organization that strongly believes in content marketing, I spend a lot of time talking with companies about their desire to become more buyer-centric and the internal challenges they face. In fact, I’ve been called a “content therapist” on more than one occasion, because I listen to new client concerns and provide new ways to think about framing their challenges.
Therapy can be incredibly helpful to a relationship, even content adoption. Content marketing and first dates boil down to the same thing: Communication. (Tweet This)
The question you must answer is if the switch to buyer-centric marketing and away from product-centric marketing is important within the company. Does the C-suite value how much this can impact revenue? Do they understand that this is a big shift in messaging strategy and will impact how a lot of people have been doing their jobs? And finally, will they stand behind it when you roll it out?
“I’ve been called a ‘content therapist’ on more than one occasion.”
While content marketing is not as difficult as learning to code in Ruby, it is a change, and that requires support and a thoughtful change management plan.
Think how much better that blind date would have been if you sat down and they said, “Tell me about yourself,” listened to what you had to say, and found areas of common interest. You wouldn’t tune out, send incognito bathroom texts, or look for an excuse to leave. Instead you’d be engaged, interested in learning more, and may even consider a second date.
Your buyers’ journeys are no different.
They want you to address their needs, listen to them and provide interesting, informative or humorous content. Demonstrate that you understand them and they may go on a second date with you. And before you know it, you’ve entered into long-term relationships with more customers than ever before.
Here’s the catch, if you want them to commit to you, you need to commit to them first. That’s what content marketing is all about, putting the buyer at the center of your communications.
So are you ready to stop flirting with the idea of a content marketing approach and commit to it?