We are now ready to start creating content. We have prepared our strategy, defined our objectives and we have our plan ready. Now we are faced with the question, what kind of content do we want to create?
It´s common sense that not all the content is interesting to all users. We have many different users, who experience our products or services in different ways and they are at different stages of the customer journey. A newcomer is looking for very different information than a regular user. And it will also be different when targeting a potential customer. Many experts recommend creating a buyer persona, but I would rather recommend starting with your customer journey first, as part of the strategy, and then creating different buyer personas to define the specific content to create.
We love to make plans, well, most of us love to make plans. We plan our vacations, what to do on the weekend and, of course, we analyze and plan before we launch into a new business venture. Why should content be any different?
The first thing you should do when thinking about your content strategy is define your goals. What do you want to achieve with all this? It can be something as simple as helping your customers use your products to generate more leads and sales. I always recommend defining SMART goals: they should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound.
When first meet my team in Mexico, working for the Thermomix brand, I soon realized we needed to work on our content. I don´t know if you know the Thermomix brand. It´s a cooking appliance that helps people prepare amazing recipes. So it was important for us that our customers and potential customers were inspired with new recipes and ideas for cooking at home. Our biggest challenge was that we were a small team. The company had started its business in Mexico for a few years and I was asked to come and help promote sales and set up the marketing team and strategy. At that time there were only three of us on the team, and we had to do the same work as other countries with larger teams (and of course more sales).
So, we could not fail or make a false step. We could not afford it. Fortunately, we were a great team, with very committed people, and they knew how to give everything they needed to make our strategy a success.
By now you probably thought that the solution was easy, just make recipes. And you’re right. But you can´t just start making recipes. That’s where the plan and strategy come into play. What recipes do you want to make? If you have read before that we wanted to inspire our customers, you´ve probably thought of a recipe that has inspired you in the past. Some fancy recipe or trendy, the kind of recipe that you can see in Instagram. But if you do it this way, you will have a beautiful content, but it probably won´t help you increase your sales.
When you think about the content you want to create, you should also think about the objectives you want to achieve. I´ve said it before, one of the first things you must do when thinking about your content is define your goals. And remember that they also have to me SMART. So, with this in mind, you can´t just say “I want to create content to increase our sales”. A more realistic approach is to say “I want to create good recipes to inspire new customers, so they can use the device two or three times a week during the first 6 months after purchase.”
Before I continue, let me make a small note that is relevant to understand the previous point. At Vorwerk we used the NPS (Net promoter score) to measure the probability that a customer would recommend us to their friends and acquaintances. I introduce the NPS when I was working for the brand in Spain, and during that time we were able to identify a correlation between the NPS results and device usage. After many surveys and many hours of research, we came up with the conclusion that if a customer used the device at least two or three times a week, the probably to be a promoter was really high. Therefore, it was much easier for us to train the company and the teams around the question of “how many times do you use Thermomix per week” to identify promoters and possible detractors than the core NPS question “How likely would you be to recommend…”. If you want to know more about NPS, I recommend you read the post “The importance of KPIs in achieving medium-term objectives”. Unfortunately, it´s in Spanish, but let me know in the comments if it’s relevant for you to translate it.
Now that we have define our goals, we can start working on the type of content we want to make. To do this, we need to think about the customer journey. Our customers may need different types of content depending on stage they are in. The content that a prospect wants is not the same as the content that a heavy user wants.
If you want to read more about how to adapt your content strategy to your customer journey, please check out the next post.
When you have realized that having the right content is important to promote your brand, your products and get new customers, it’s time to start planning and organize your work. Content creation and content management is not about creating content without a plan. You must think first, and then create your content.
The first thing you need to understand is that create new content is not free. It will either cost some of your time or, most of the time, also some or a lot of your money. That´s why it´s important to have a plan before jumping into the creation phase.
Few days ago, I was talking with a friend who needed help promoting his business. He had come up with an idea to generate more customers with a new service that he could easily implement in his company. “This sound like a good plan”, I told him. “But I don´t know how I can implement it, my customers don´t know they need it”, he said.
This may sound familiar. Many times we come up with ideas about new products and services, good ideas, that we don´t know how to share with our customers. They´re many things you can do to try to solve this, but we are going to talk today about one: content generation and content management.
After many years working in marketing and customer experience, I´ve always believed that the best way to support a sustainable business growth is to develop and implement the right customer experience. For many years, many different companies and industries have been trying to design the perfect customer experience and organizations jumped into the race of accumulating historical customer data. The problem many companies faced is that most of the time no one knew exactly what to do with that data.
A few years ago I shared this post in Spanish and I think it is still relevant today. That is why I want to share it again in its English version.
Since we were children we have been taught that arguing is not good and that it is better to get along. There is a saying that goes «a bad agreement is better than a long fight» and that is what we strive for when we argue with other people.
But it is something that is not right. Some time ago I wrote about the positive of having different opinions in a work team and generating debate around the strategies you want to develop. Teams that allow disagreement and discussion from the original or official idea are more likely to succeed than teams that simply follow a single-minded leader.
I have applied this point of view, I believe, since I was a child. I still remember one of my first jobs, when in a meeting with the top management of the company, the CFO stopped the meeting and said to me «Jaime, tell me what you are thinking because you won’t stop sit still and you are making me nervous». You can imagine that I almost had a heart attack. Suddenly the whole room turned to me wondering who this brat attending the meeting. There was a set of coincidences that led me to participate to provide support on a very specific topic that was to be discussed during the meeting, but my role was basically to stay quiet the whole time. So, all of a sudden, I became the center of attention of the entire board of directors and the top management of the company, who were looking at me anxiously to find out what was so important to stop the meeting.
We can agree that Omnichannel is a trend now and many companies and business are looking for new ways to engage with their customers. I have been working in omnichannel for a few years now and I always pay attention when people ask what I do for a living.
Most people, when they talk about omnichannel, think of companies that offers them the possibility to buy their products online or via app. Few refer of physical stores and only a couple talk about direct sales. But in reality, omnichannel is much more. It starts even before you become a customer.
One of the biggest challenges facing an omnichannel strategy is how to ensure data quality. Today, customers expect brands to deliver individual experiences when behavioral patterns have become less and less predictable.
Imagine you sell sofas. It’s easy to find a customer or a prospect who visit your online shop or website, takes a look around and check out some of your products. Maybe he/she subscribes to your newsletter looking for special promotions. Then visits your store downtown, because before buying a sofa it’s important to sit on it and make sure it’s comfortable (I always do the nap test). Of course, for sure you are not the only option, so the customer keep looking and after a few days/weeks, comes back to your website and make a purchase.
It’s been a while since my last post. Actually, it’s been too long. Also, I’ve taken the decision to start writing in English. This may upset some of the people who already follow this blog, but since I’ve worked for almost 4 years in international environments, it seems like a natural step. Of course, I’m not a native speaker, much less a native writer, so I will ask for your understanding and please excuse me whenever I make a mistake (and I will make mistakes for sure). With that said, let’s get down to business.
Couple of weeks ago I was talking to a friend about how to build and grow his CRM. She was looking for ways to develop a CRM strategy that could drive the growth of her CRM database. Throughout the discussion, I realized that one of her problems was that her actual company misunderstood the topic of CRM. Many companies include their CRM strategy within their Marketing strategy, as it were just a part of the marketing department, disconnected from other areas of the company. Especially sales.