content marketing

Content Marketing

How to get your business to care about Content Marketing

While talking to a prospective client last week, I was asked a question: “How do I get my business to care about content marketing?”

My answer was that in any type of business, those who are overseeing a project or undertaking have to be quasi-pitch men to be successful. If you see something as valuable, you have to pound the table for it. But how do you do that for pitching content marketing?

Well the first thing that needs to be accomplished is to pitch it correctly. Remember to never pitch the product itself, you have to pitch the idea behind it. It’s basically the plot of Inception, but less confusing. However, if persuasive speaking and delivery aren’t a natural fit for you, there are other ways for your presentation to be sticky.

Like everything in business, from sales to link building, “selling an idea” is all about persuasive speech and delivery. But if persuasive pitches are not your forte, you must find other ways to formulate a pitch that will stick in your audience’s frontal lobe?

Just to be clear, this isn’t a “rah-rah” salesman pep-talk about how to be more persuasive, or how to “maximize your delivery”. This is about providing an blow-by-blow game plan on how to develop a pitch that is both convincing and effective so that the big wigs will take content marketing seriously.

It doesn’t matter who you’re pitching to either, whether it is a client, your company, or even if you’re trying to pitch yourself, below is everything needed to make a strong, compelling and effective argument for content marketing.

Step 1: Storyboard

Try to remember the best ad campaign you can think of. For me, it’s Under Armour’s first big campaign. It comes on with a single focus, and ends with an even simpler phrase. “We must protect this house!” Simple, effective, engaging, and speaks to the demographic.

Just like Under Armour engaged viewers through their inclusive slogan and electric storyboard, you too must think about how to storyboard your pitch. By delivering a relatable, overall vision that will help create immediate support for the pitch.

This comes down to engagement. How do you engage your audience? Statistics? Meh. At the root of every good pitch is a narrative, a story. So sketch out that story.

So how do you do that? Well, here’s some tips on how to craft your storyboard:

What is the message of the brand?

Not everyone is blessed with a PR team at their disposal, but making sure your narrative matches up with the audience is key. This is the tried and true empathy approach. First you have to think about your audience. What’s their pain? Better yet, what’s their P.A.I.N.:

P. Pinpoint the audience’s issue to create a subject matter.

A. Acknowledge the audience’s purchasing mode for credibility.

I. Increase the frequency of the message in the format that best suits the message.

N. Note and follow all of the outcomes.

What makes your brand unique? Why would your audience chose your brand over others? There are a variety of ways to accomplish this. Get creative.

Re-purpose The Dialogue
There’s this great line from AMC’s Mad Men that Don Draper tosses out: “If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.”  Think back to the Under Armour campaign once more, what was the tagline? “We must protect this house!”We” must protect it. Instead of comparing itself to much more established brands like Nike or Reebok, Under Armour used a unifying setting (a sports team’s training facility) to show that they aren’t another faceless brand trying to fit in. In fact, Under Armour is saying that “we” are the enviable one. And that we have to protect what makes us different. Under Armour changed the conversation to “us vs. them.” By doing that, Under Armour didn’t squeeze their way into Nike and Reebok’s domain, they made their own house. Then immediately started protecting it.

So think for a second, is there a way to focus your pitch’s narrative on a different angle within market? How do you stand out? How do you distinguish your brand?

Keep in mind, those that make the decisions need to visualize, comprehend, and be willing to fight for your concept if they buy in. You have to sell the overall vision to get there. You need to sell the storyboard.

Step 2: Matchmaker

All About Conversions
Everything else is secondary. That’s why your long-term overall pitch has to be in some ways “I have a plan to help us make more money.” Now, you may not have to be that bold, but you want to get their attention. Once you get it, you have to forecast what you’re going to discuss. In public speaking classes, this would be called the “attention-getter” and the “preview” (I knew majoring in Communications would pay-off someday…).

Remember, it’s about sketching a storyboard. But unlike a regular story, play spoiler: “Brad Pitt and Ed Norton were the same dude!” “Darth Vader is Luke’s father!” “Every M. Night Shyamalan ending!” You gotta start with the ending, (pitch + approval = $$$) then jump back to the start.

Company Performance At A Glace
Showing where a company is under-performing will be enough. Don’t go overboard. If you can match it up with some killer research, even better. Don’t let it weigh you down though, this is a narrative after all.

Don’t say, “Currently we have a high bounce rate on this single page. We should add some content to make it better.” Rather: “I audited our site and found there are over 30 pages where we are getting (statistic) amount-of-traffic. These pages have an alarmingly high bounce rate of (statistic). Which is costing the company ($) a year.”

It’s all about the bigger picture. Content marketing is not some giant linkbait rubber band ball. It is about positioning content inline with a company’s customer base. This is done to ensure that the brand is on the mind of the audience through their purchasing process.

It is about being strategic and cerebral while maintaining a storyline. So a pitch should sound like this: “By improving our organic traffic by (statistic) and bring in ($) more a year in revenue, we will need to really perform well on the SERPs for keywords that are inline with our audience’s purchasing behavior. To accomplish that, we need to do (plan of action).”

In Part 2 of this series we will discuss more about how to develop an overall content strategy. Which may be able to be added into this aspect of the presentation for the variables.

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