It’s not easy to spot a company that excels at content marketing, because it often doesn’t feel like marketing at all. Instead of interrupting what you’re doing online, these companies attract you by providing information you’re already looking for. They create online content—“any information that builds trust and authority among your ideal customers.”—that allows you, the consumer, to form a partnership with the company, rather than a transactional relationship.
The following exercise will help you become better acquainted with your company’s personality so you can make your online content less disjointed and “salesy”, and more inviting and intriguing.
Today’s marketers opt for the subtle, relational advertising approach of content marketing. A brewery might eschew a traditional “drink me” ad in favor of a blog post — on oak barrel brewing, for example — that generates traffic to their website.
Have a Drink Together
Whether you’re a business owner, director, or marketer, you can probably envision the type of person your company would be if it materialized on the bar stool next to you. You have, after all, made it your business to know your company’s image, work-style, best (and worst) attributes.
So here’s the prompt: you’re sitting down for a drink of something with your company somewhere. Play it out in your mind. Have a conversation. Don’t worry, your imagination doesn’t have to be unicorn-level “out there”. The main question you’ll want to answer is this: What highlights from that conversation will leave you knowing your company well—and wanting more from your relationship?
Here are a few other helpful questions to guide you through this marketing meditation:
- What would it drink? Drip coffee? Whiskey? Lemonade? Beer? Coca cola in a glass bottle? Plain ‘ol water?
- Where (and when) would you meet? Does your work-hard, play-hard professional company invite you to meet at a downtown bar for happy hour, ties loosened and jackets slung onto barstool backs? Or perhaps your productive persona wants to meet in the early morning, the first two people at a locally-owned coffee shop?
- What are your first impressions? Looks matter for this meeting. Is your guest of honor gearing up for a day on the job site, with steel toe boots and hard hat? Or does it don trendy garb with the latest hairstyle to top it off?
- How does the conversation begin? Imagine your small talk, opening jokes, recounting of last night’s shenanigans, etc. Does your company’s personality immediately start to fill up the room, or is it more reserved, opting to ask you questions instead?
- What aspects of your company’s personality emerge? Does your company strive to entertain you? Educate you? Is it playful? Serious? Pushy? Altruistic? Feel the freedom to note characteristics normally perceived as negative.
- What is your company’s favorite subject? What does it go on and on about? Construction? Cooking? Cats? What is your company’s level of expertise in this area?
- What do you learn? What has your company shared that you didn’t know (you may need to feign ignorance) and that you find to be incredibly useful?
- …See? For example, what did your company pull out its smartphone to show you?
- …Do? Did your company eschew the coffee house in favor of a sports drink shared before a skydiving jump? Or perhaps you did meet in a coffee shop, but spent less time in casual conversation and more time planning your dream home.
- What does your company promote? If your company is in the fitness industry, it can’t stop talking about good eating and exercise practices. If it’s in the finance industry, you receive a snappy rundown on good investment practices.
Now, how are you a slightly better person after having a drink with your company?
This question is the most important. This conversation will help you redefine the tone and style of the content you produce. Most importantly, though, it will help you invite your customers into a partnership by continually creating content that shows them how you can enrich their lives.
Create Content Based on Your Happy Hour Conversation
This is where you get creative and productive, crafting content for your website, blog, and social media channels based on what you just learned. We’ll cover specific ways to do this in Part 2.
We Want to Have a Drink with Your Company Too
If our company were a person, he would talk about Engenius clients, and how interesting, challenging, and ultimately satisfying it is to launch beautiful and effective websites and online marketing campaigns on their behalf. Getting to know our clients and their companies is not only essential to crafting an effective content marketing campaign, it’s one of our favorite things about working here. To have an *actual* drink with an Engenius team member and discuss your company and marketing goals, contact us!