Marketing Bootcamp

3 Ways to Make Your Content Marketing Shine

3 Ways to Make Your Content Marketing Shine
Image credit: Ben K Adams | Flickr
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You're in a strategy meeting thinking back on last year’s near-wins: all those clients you could have signed, all the partnerships you almost landed and all the potential employees who pursued other opportunities. These near-wins likely leave a lasting impression on you. The problem is that all these almost clients, partners or employees have probably forgotten all about you.

It’s time to win them back with effective content marketing.

Here’s how:

1. Revamp the average "just following up" sales email.

Prospective clients absolutely despise emails from sales reps that say something like, "Hey, remember me? Here's an email that doesn't provide any value to you, but does get my company's name back in your inbox."

The standard "just following up" sales email is ineffective, and it doesn't take advantage of the great content your marketing team is producing. Instead of forcing your prospective clients or partners to read through bland emails that don't serve them or meaningfully advance your relationship, try sending something valuable in your next follow-up.

Our sales team sends emails that look more like this:

Hi Joe,

I hope you enjoyed some rest and relaxation over the holidays!

I remembered from our discovery call in November that you were trying to figure out where to fit our executive branding services into your budget. We recently wrote a blog post ("Which Departments Should Contribute to Your Thought Leadership Budget?") that I thought may be valuable for you. Let me know if you have any questions after reading through this. I'd be happy to set up another time to chat.

An email like this keeps you top of mind by providing value to your prospective customers: an article that will help them better understand and sell your service to their colleagues and managers.

Related: Craft a Great Email Sales Pitch by Following This 5-Step Process

2. Reach out to get a quote for an article.

People love to be quoted, and if you're selling to and developing relationships with knowledgeable, insightful company leaders, you’ll want to quote them anyway. Quoting experts and industry insiders indicates that you view them as valuable source of information. Furthermore, when the sources you’ve quoted share the content with their networks, it expands your distribution potential.

When we were putting together a blog post about why executive branding matters to CMOs, I felt like we needed stronger examples from the CMOs themselves. So my team connected with William Arruda, a speaker and social branding consultant, and Matt Preschern, CMO of HCL Technologies, and asked for their input. While we could have published the piece without reaching out, their insights proved valuable to our readers -- the numbers showed it. The post was one of our most-read pieces of blog content for 2015.

So the next time you're working on a piece of content that could benefit from a few quotes from industry experts, reach out to people in your network with whom you'd like to stay top of mind.

Related: Ask Not What an Influencer Can Do For You

3. Share valuable piece of content directly using Twitter DMs.

Beyond creating gated content that's actually worth the download, marketers are tasked with finding creative ways to get said content in front of the right audience. One solution my team has found is to use this content as a way to reconnect with qualified followers on social media.

Recently, we sent direct messages to about 1,000 of my Twitter followers in the marketing industry and invited them to download a piece of gated content that we thought they'd find valuable. And while I was skeptical at first -- I'd never used Twitter DMs as a marketing tool -- more than 100 people downloaded the content, and dozens personally replied thanking me for reaching out.

Related: 5 Steps to Harnessing the Power of Twitter

Bottom line: Staying top of mind is a difficult task for marketers, but it's made much easier through the effective use of great content and smart distribution tactics.