By Ed Pierce, Fleet Industry Marketer
As a regular “Call to Action” column reader, you have seen my oft-times mentions of investing in content marketing. It is the foundation of your marketing tactical calendar! Yes, many professionals these days think of content marketing only in terms of a digital program, but “content” provides fodder for promotional and branding messaging in any marketing effort. Public relations, media relations, direct marketing, email marketing, sales presentations, seminars and webinars, and so on depend on strategic messaging.
Here are some characteristics of a compelling content marketing program to consider:
- Content should reinforce your company’s “go-to” market strategy and brand.
Start by meeting with your organization’s prospective content providers and leadership team to talk strategy. Understand the strategic plan, mission, core competencies, and the competitive marketplace. Then, collaboratively build a list of topics that consistently evoke key salient messages with a constant tone of voice and style. Keep things simple: focus on one major area and find new ways to drive a singular marketing or positioning point of view. Communicate and agree on the direction for promotion across all of your chosen channels. Then, track your progress in its delivery among the target audiences.
- Powerful copy, written for the audience.
One of the common mistakes made by B2B companies, and fleet service vendors are no exception, is to fill their messaging with jargon and fluff, e.g., unnecessary words and phrases that attempt to make the company, consultancy, or executive sound like an expert. Little do they realize that this kind of “made-to-impress” prose often panders to an audience, reflecting poorly on the author. For example, chances are good that explaining telematics or big data technical terms to well-read, informed fleet managers will insult their intelligence. The key to being an effective communicator, especially when trying to be persuasive, is to write FOR your audience, not over its collective head.
- Traffic cannibalization from overdoing the same topics
Point 1 spelled out the need to keep focus with just a few messages and a common theme. However, there is a challenge to this approach: repetition can become redundant. Soon, the audience just tunes out. In the digital world, too many pieces on the same topic and repeated keywords damage your company’s organic results in Google.
Julia McCoy, a serial content marketer, entrepreneur, author, and founder of Express Writers, calls this “keyword cannibalization.” Outdated content depresses rankings of your newer, better piece on the same topic. Overcoming this problem, McCoy notes, is possible by merging old and new copy, redirecting from the old content to the new content, deleting the old one content, “no indexing” the old pages. Remember, however, that the goal is to drive traffic so judicious use of deletion is necessary!
- Content maintenance is a must
As Point 3 suggests, failing to maintain your published content means your older blogs and articles lose value. The good news is that updating older content is a good way to boost the effectiveness of old content.
McCoy points to a HubSpot study that found updating and optimizing old posts generated double the monthly leads. The average monthly search views on old content increased 106%. The biggest stunner? Ninety-two percent of monthly blog leads – and 72% of its blog views – came from older content. Another advantage of updating old content: it’s less expensive than new content creation!
As always, I welcome feedback, questions, suggestions, experiences and differing points of view from fleet product and service providers as well as from fleet managers, corporate buyers, consultants, trade associations, and media representatives. Just send an email to email@example.com or call me at (215) 839-1306.