The sweet spot for content distribution may be “inside the box!”

 Sweet spot inside the box....get it?  :-)

Sweet spot inside the box....get it?  :-)

As marketers, we often focus our creative energies on cooking up engaging, visually rich content that tells our story, shares information and knowledge, or could produce a lead as a result. We share this through all the major channels of social media, our website, email nurturing, newsletters and so on. The external audience must be fed, and we must target them on a regular basis! 

But have you considered another channel that is often overlooked and could be your best champion? The internal sales/partner channel of your organization! These are the people who’ve committed their careers to selling your solutions, telling your story, being part of your organization. But in many cases, they were overlooked by the marketing team during the launch phases and don’t have access to the creative tools being developed for the end users. 

“Why did my customer bring this offer to my attention before my organization did?”

“When did this promotion start?”

 “Where can I find information that can be shared by email with the prospects/customers I’m working with?”

When you have an announcement, launch, or new message, consider the internal sales and partner channels as your first “go to” team. This group is hungry for cool stuff with which they can dazzle their prospects and customers! It’s a way to open a conversation with them about something they may want to know, or learn from.    

Consider developing content that is multipurpose and targets both your customers and your sales teams. Take a two-pronged approach of internal-and-external audiences (thinking both inside and outside the box).   

Tools that work well for your customer/prospect audiences, also work well for your sales channels!

--> Podcasts:  Who doesn’t love a podcast during drive time or while waiting for a flight? They’re great for quick consumption of information and updates. Deliver an executive-level podcast to taret those audiences who don’t have time for lengthier material. Share it with your sales teams, who are always looking for solid, useable, and effective information on their industry and issues.

--> Web-based videos: Serves the same purpose and allows you the visual component to increase interest – short consumption, deep impact, and retention with your audience. 

--> Interactive infographics: Still a fan favorite with many, infographic formats are a great tool for delivering top data points, figures, imagery, and, on occasion, can be interactive in design.  They’re flexible for web use and can be easily shared for distribution. 

This may seem like a simple and logical approach, but it's a "boots on the ground" way of ensuring you have a committed sales force that has direct ties to marketing, understands the work taking place by that team, and can help create an open stream of information between marketing and the customers.

Whenever I bring this into the conversation, it's a moment of clarity and untapped opportunity – make it your “aha” moment and leverage the great content within your organization to see how well-received and leveraged this content can become!

Podcast: Interview with Rakhal Ebeli, CMO Newsmodo

Podcast interview with Rakhal Ebeli, CMO Newsmodo

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Deep knowledge and expertise almost always lies at the core of every successful company and organisation, yet often, that wisdom remains largely untapped, unexplored and underutilised.

Through the sharing of theories and best practices, it’s known that end users are more inclined to be attracted to you, develop trust, and then logically be willing to do business with you in the future too.

A great example of this was when Schneider Electric leveraged an innovative concept that utilised online learning as a mechanism for reaching new audiences, which, in turn achieved an enormously high rate of new leads and ultimately increased revenue. This uncommon method of reaching end users captured the attention of thousands globally and achieved over $13 million in associated business over the course of 12 years.  

With the help of Susan Hartman, who was the Global Director for Content Marketing at the time, we’ll be unpacking that case study and learning how to tap into existing expertise and resources of an organization… then market that knowledge base to add value to our customers and leads.

Newsmodo CEO Rakhal Ebeli talks to Susan about what you could be doing to identify unique and valuable knowledge lying just below the surface of your business, and then how to plot a path to share that wisdom with your customers.

Source: http://newsmodo.com/2017/10/30/knowledge-m...

“Knowledge marketing” isn’t a new thing….

 
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In fact, it’s been around for awhile, but not something most companies or organizations think of as a marketing tool. 

Let me explain….

Eleven years ago, I was brought onto a team tasked with developing a series of online courses based on the company’s in-house experts.  They were about to launch the program in an externally-facing learning platform with the idea that this would become a free resource to end users over time.  The key to the courses is that they focused on theories and best practices in the specific industry and would be free to anyone who registered via an online form that provided some basic information.   Vendor neutral courses although we were transparent about who was delivering them.    

Offering the expertise of the company was thought to be a radical idea at the time, and offering it for free seemed even worse!  But we pressed on and launched the program.  One year later, we’d achieved thousands of new names and users in the site, 6 major industry associations had endorsed or promoted it within their membership, and we had helped to identify 3,000 new business opportunities! 

Eleven years later, as the evolution of the program continued, more association recognition, global sustainability awards, strategic corporate relationships, and translation into 14 languages helped us achieve 1 Million courses taken and 600,000+ registered users! 

So here’s what we learned over time:

  • The Thirst for knowledge is strong—despite the level of education or experience, professionals are continually seeking new ways to learn and grow, and to have a “hands on” experience that is relevant to their jobs. 
  • Gaps in learning are everywhere---all countries, all levels of an organization, and in all company sizes.   Some countries can’t get access to formal learning, or don’t have the resources, so the free online access leveled the playing field for many for the first time.
  • Talent and skill in practical form is needed ongoing and isn’t always found in formal education---users come for career advancement, promotion, to remain competitive, to keep up with their staff, to learn where the industry is moving and learn the most current theories and practices in their industry.   
  • People naturally look to organisations with high levels of expertise and knowledge—if your company or organization is a well known brand, this is a great way to leverage relationships.   If you’re brand isn’t known as well, this is how you can build it!   
  • The program is offered free of charge--This may not work for all companies, but consider that you can gain greater value in offering some portion of your knowledge for free before charging.  The greater upside was based on trusted relationship building and developing an educated consumer base. 

Explore how you can utilize the in-house knowledge or expertise of your organization and reach audience in a uniquely different way.   The brand that wins the deal in a comparative analysis is the brand that made the effort  to share their expertise and gain a trusted relationship long before the buying stage.   You want to be that brand.    

If you’d like to learn more, reach out and let’s talk!

 

"Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith." --Margaret Shephard

 
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And so it was that after spending 11 years working in a global marketing organization running a brand awareness program and building a content marketing methodology across multiple business units … I decided it was time to make a leap of faith and find new ways to share my experiences and work with new organizations as a marketing consultant!

From theory to results

The idea of stepping into this role had been brewing for some time, and in this age of diverse opportunities and changing skill sets, it seemed like the right time to take my show on the road.

I've worked for six Fortune 500 corporations, collaborated with marketing teams in over 20 countries, trained marketers and salespeople globally in person or via WebEx delivery, launched new programs and products and built marketing strategy plans around them, and navigated the excitement of an Internet IPO. 

It’s exciting to look back across your body of experience and realize that just when you think you’ve seen it all, something new always comes along!

What’s new and fascinating about marketing are the directions it’s taking these days: the innovative ways we identify with our audiences, create messages that speak to what people need and want, and deliver information and knowledge that was previously unshared with our customers. There are so many creative tools available to help develop and distribute these messages and knowledge—visual, dynamic, interactive tools!

When organizations embrace the concepts of content marketing and change the structure of the conversation with their customers, the upside is enormous.

Real-world examples

In the coming weeks, I’ll share more about some of these innovative companies, as they are part of the Content Marketing World conference taking place September 5-8 in Cleveland OH. It’s a week full of energy, ideas, and innovation that I’ll try to capture and pass along.

I’ll also be presenting a session on a topic that’s been dear to me during my time at Schneider Electric: the idea of using an e-learning platform to deliver your organization’s knowledge and expertise, and, as a result, creating huge brand awareness and trust with your customers. I’ll post the presentation and worksheet following the conference, but feel free to contact me anytime with questions about this topic!