Personalization, relationships and storytelling – key takeaways from the MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum
I recently had the pleasure of attending the MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum. Three days of learning and listening really resonated and I was able to come home with key takeaways and ideas to put to use in my role. The conference had a strong emphasis on content, and industry thought leaders shared best practices for content marketing to drive ROI. It’s all about what your prospects or customers need, and providing content that hits on those needs.
Here are three items to hone in on in 2016 to ensure your prospects and customers remain your main focus.
Personalization. How can your audience find and interact with your content if it isn’t targeted to them? Answer is, they won’t. In this cluttered marketplace, it’s now more important than ever to create and deliver content specific to your prospect’s need. For example, it doesn’t make sense to provide a product-specific sales sheet as the first touchpoint in an email campaign for a prospect who just opted in, you must nurture them and begin first with educational content, like a blog or issue brief, on a key pain point that directly relates to them.
Ardath Albee of Marketing Interactions believes in becoming an anchor for your buyer. This means being the resource they turn to when they need questions and ideas validated and nurturing your buyer every step of the way with content that can help them address the issue at hand.
Relationships. With personalization and getting to know your buyer comes an increased focus on relationship building. Marketers who make relationships a priority will have a competitive advantage in business today.
Interactive content forms like podcasts and videos provide a good opportunity to engage with your buyer in a one-on-one manner. Kerry O’Shea Gorgone, host of MarketingProfs’ Marketing Smarts podcast, stated that digital marketing tools have a leg up on traditional media forms in that you cannot replicate such experiences through text. Consider delving into more of these types of content to increase engagement and build lasting relationships.
Storytelling. Michael Brennen of News Cred shared the beginning step for marketers is to approach our job with the goal of telling a story. Without an interesting, credible story, you won’t have content pieces that are worth reading to your audience and you won’t be able to guide them through the buying cycle without such valuable content.
Ron Ploof, a professional business storyteller, shared that a focus on empathy is key to reach your potential customer. If you tell your story with your customers in mind and focus on their problems, it will resonate with your audience.
At the end of the day, it’s not about your company and your product, it’s about your customers. I’ll leave you with this valuable insight from Ann Handley of MarketingProfs, “Take your brand out of the story, and make your consumers the hero.”