PR Insider: Using Content to Stay in Front of Your Audience

In a perfect world, every lead is a customer. Every phone call would turn into a sale, every completed web form a 1-day cycle to purchase, and every business card passed out a guaranteed buy. But in the real world, it doesn’t work quite like that. Instead, customers are busy researching you, your product, even your company before and after having any notable contact with you. Not only that, they’re also researching your competition.

Joy Beachy
Joy Beachy

The question then becomes, “How can I make sure I stay in front of my customers, so they choose me instead of my competition?” It’s a question of not losing a valuable lead, no matter how he or she chooses to interact with your company, but not being so pushy as to drive them away. It’s a fine balance, and content marketing can help maintain it. Regardless of your industry, content marketing can ease new leads into understanding their needs and believing your company, product, or service is what will help them meet that need.

For example, in the employee benefits sector, potential customers knew big changes were coming down the line with government mandates attached, and they knew benefits would never be the same. But many prospects couldn’t pinpoint what exactly was happening in the industry, and how it would affect them. StoudtAdvisors, a benefits provider, recognized this and wanted to be the one to guide prospects through the process to finding the best solution for their situation.

StoudtAdvisors’ powerful sales presentations and product offerings were great in closing leads once they came into the office, but reaching new prospects became a huge undertaking once the media was flooded with information about the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare and Health Exchanges. StoudtAdvisors needed a way to stand out from the noise and a way to guide prospects along their buying cycle, particularly with regards to their exclusive partnership with a private healthcare exchange, Bright Choices. In working with Nxtbook Media’s Strategic Services team, the best solution looked to be a content marketing campaign that not only gave StoudtAdvisors content to share, but also helped prospects in their research process. The campaign focused on three primary stages: first, helping the prospect understand his or her own needs in the changing benefits landscape. Second, proving the prospect can trust StoudtAdvisor’s ability to lead them through the process of purchasing the benefits right for them. Finally, engaging with the prospect once they decide to partner with StoudtAdvisors and Bright Choices.

The first step of the process was the creation of three white papers which helped position StoudtAdvisors as an expert in their field. The white papers gave a progression of information, starting with demonstrating an understanding of the changes in benefits in relation to current events and the affect this has on the client, and ending with proving how StoudtAdvisors can alleviate their prospects’ pain points with their superior solutions and expertise. (See white paper 1)

The second step was pulling out the main points of each white paper. The main points were then arranged into an infographic, which made it easy for prospects to read and understand the content. Infographics are also great to share via social media sites, increasing StoudtAdvisors’ digital fingerprint and reach. The entertainment quality of the infographic means important information is easy to digest and to share. (See infographic below.)

Nxtbook_infog11

The final step was to take the content from the each white paper and corresponding infographic and create an informative and entertaining movie. The Strategic Services team wrote the script, had it professionally narrated, and used animated graphics to create each of the three videos. Each video was uploaded to YouTube so it was easy to find and for StoudtAdvisors to share with prospects. (See video here.)

The strategy behind the content campaign was multi-faceted. By providing three different forms of content, StoudtAdvisors’ potential clients could choose their experience: they could skim the surface of content by viewing a quick video, or they could delve deep into the statistics and research by downloading the case studies. This meant that no matter what stage the prospect was in, he or she could easily find the right content for that stage. The content itself was constructed based on moving potential customers from introducing StoudtAdvisors, to proving they understood the full healthcare benefits landscape, to demonstrating how their company could help customers’ with their health benefits issues. This was achieved by initially discussing broad, industry-wide pain points in the first whitepaper and moving toward targeted, narrow solutions in the final piece.

To help keep prospects moving through the funnel to trusting and partnering with StoudtAdvisors, all of the content was compiled on one microsite, www.buybetterbenefits.com. In this case, as a prospect finished interacting with early stage content and was ready to dive deeper, the next level of content was already visible and ready to download. However, each piece of content could also be distributed across multiple platforms, including social media and email, to help StoudtAdvisors keep in touch with leads that weren’t quite ready to buy.

As a result, StoudtAdvisors enjoys gaining online attention through inbound marketing and searches. The leads get a chance to know StoudtAdvisors by following the path StoudtAdvisors set up, and when they’re ready, leads can easily contact StoudtAdvisors for more information. The content campaign sets StoudtAdvisors apart as the expert in providing benefits and boosts their content arsenal to cater to any prospect’s content consumption preferences.

To view the content pieces all together, visit buybetterbenefits.com or visit our showcase to learn more about the campaign. Your own content campaign might look similar to or very different from StoudtAdvisors’ campaign. The key is a strategic approach, and it’s a truth the Nxtbook Media Strategic Services team lives by. If you’d like to learn more about what kind of strategy would fit your business, audience and goals, give us a shout!

To learn more about what content marketing can do for your brand, subscribe to the bi-weekly Content Marketing Strategies newsletter.

Joy Beachy is the Marketing Maestro at Nxtbook Media, a Lancaster, PA based firm dedicated to brand management, technology solutions, and workplace leaders. You can reach Joy at jbeachy@nxtbookmedia.com. Learn more about Nxtbook Media at www.nxtbookmedia.com.