Content is not the center of a sales and marketing strategy, but it connects you to what is most important.
Content is not the center of a sales and marketing strategy, but it connects you to what is. For years, senior care marketers have used blogs, social media, e-newsletters, online articles, guides, whitepapers, and SEO, (components of content marketing) without executing a well-thought-out plan and strategy. Unless you have a good handle on the purpose of using content in marketing, it becomes puzzling as to how to make content part of a powerful strategy.
The Purpose of Content Marketing
Content, well-written, carefully planned and strategically delivered, positions YOU as the expert. Whatever you sell or provide: Senior housing, Home Care, Elder Law, Healthcare, Technology, Financial Services, or Consulting, content demonstrates your expertise to a target audience.
How It Works?
Sherri Jones wants to be an attorney. She earns the required four year degree and off to law school she goes. Three years later, voila, she has the earned credentials. Sherri’s a legal expert. She hangs a shingle declaring, “I’m an attorney, come to me with your fines, divorces, living wills, cases and what not. Clients are in good hands with Sherri Jones, Esq.” (FYI, content marketing isn’t about earning a degree, although there are schools teaching it.) Sherri claims expertise through earned credentials. Content marketing demonstrates a person’s or company’s expertise through copy, videos, educational material, articles and blog posts, webinars, newsletters—all with the intention to solve problems for their prospect.
How Sherri Builds a Law Firm
She makes a plan to get the word out.
- Participate in professional groups
- Cold call to related businesses (those potentially needing legal advice or having clients with a need) that offer ancillary, non-competing services; financial advisor, mortgage banker, home builder, realtor, other attorneys not related to her specialty.
- Buy a direct mail list and send out an intro letter or direct marketing flyer,
- Advertise in the local newspaper,
- Write an article for the local newspaper or magazine giving tips on how to handle a legal problem,
- Get a website up and running,
- Continue face-to-face marketing
After months and months of shaking hands, playing golf, coffee meet-ups, presentations, donating her time, giving free tips and advice, making phone calls—Sherri’s spending more time at the courthouse defending cases and getting paid for it! Sherri’s plan works extremely well for local and national marketing. But when you can’t be there to shake that hand, you can create content that does the connecting for you.
Reach Beyond Local
Say you’re a home care technology firm or a senior housing provider. Figure out who you’re marketing to. It’s probably older adults and family caregivers, but remember to include long-term care companies and service providers, too. Marketing with content captures people who need your solution, ones living near and afar. An important element of a content marketing strategy is the content itself. Don’t create boring stuff. Make it remarkable and read-worthy! Make it grab hearts and minimize pain. (That’ll be a future post, if Steve invites me back.) Content strategy that builds revenue beyond zip codes:
- Cultivate your network – Find out who has the traffic you want. Figure out what to create that will put you on their radar. It could be an article for a popular blog, the one that has the attention of the audience you want. It could be a local senior resource in your community or state.
- Reach out and build relationships with bloggers and providers, serving your audience. Dig for related senior care leaders like physicians, home care agencies, financial advisors, elder law attorneys, 55+ realtors, and geriatric care managers. They could be in your local territory or beyond. Their readers/people looking for a solution may not be in a nearby zip code.
- Establish strong social media connections: the second customer. They may never buy from you but they connect you to paying customers by sharing your content on Twitter or Google+, linking to your post, or running your post on their blog (which might find you a whole new audience). Guest blogging is fantastic for natural SEO – you’ll get a relevant, natural link on a site that has excellent search engine authority.
- Write a whitepaper or guide for your audience – The simplest way to do something epic is to create interesting, and useful content. Figure out what’s useful to the people you sell to. Whitepapers and guides are a great resource. Answer their questions and solve their pain. Period. Take a look at Healthsense http://healthsense.com/, they offer compelling information that shows their value and worth. Good job, Healthsense! (No, I had nothing to do with those…darn!)
- Have a point of view, think critically about your topic, ask interesting questions and stay informed. No matter how crowded your field, there’s always room for someone to think and speak intelligently about it.
These are few examples but if you don’t know where to start, call me (512) 423-4098. Your company may do a similar strategy like Sherri’s, use phones, email, newsletters, conferences, webinars (maybe), face-to-face meetings, and social media (my guess) for a sales and marketing outreach. Don’t stop that! Keep doing it. Write, plan, and strategically place content that connects beyond the phone, email, handshake, flight, and sales meeting. Unleash the power of content. It works hard for you (when you can’t be there) and that’s what makes it hot!
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