Building Something Rich: Strategies for Better Content Marketing
This year I had the pleasure of getting on stage at The Enterprise Network annual conference. I discussed the campaign Bugaboo launched called Day Trips which helped parents stay active, involving the local community. What really struck me after watching the video was how the Marketing Director described the entire campaign. She said that it was something they built that was beyond advertising, it was about giving back.
She described it as being “something that is so rich and so a part of the company…”
How amazing is that word? Rich. It makes me wonder how much of our marketing efforts could be considered rich. How much time and effort do we put into being something more than just a transaction for our customers?
So, why aren’t we impacting our customers lives like Bugaboo? We’re thinking too small about what we can do with our marketing efforts, or how we could impact our communities. We’ll put more time and energy into a little Facebook contest that might earn us a new “like” and think very little about how we can make our customer experiences better. As if “likes” are really the end goal; not customer satisfaction.
As consumers, we are all sold to everyday. If you want me as a lifelong customer, you better make me feel like you want more than just my money. Emotional connections = lifelong friends.
“All Great Brands Stand for Something, and Against Something” -Terry O’Reilly
People connect with brands who stand for something, which is why it is important to deliver messages from the heart of a company’s true values. If you’re a mediocre brand, you’ll stay in the middle because it’s safe in the middle. You’ll do what other brokerages do, share featured listings, market updates, tips for buying or selling. Basically you’ll be like everyone else. Most likely no one will ever get on stage at some real estate conference and tell the audience why they should be more like your company.
At this year’s Enterprise Network conference I mentioned The Goodlife Team and how they do an impressive job marketing themselves as a company and what’s really important to them. They use critical real estate space on their website to let customers know “Selling homes in Austin is only part of what we do.” The have an entire page dedicated to their manifesto - discussing customer service, agent expectations, technology values, and more.
The transparency of the Goodlife Team is impressive. They value efficiency and one of their goals is to have the highest productivity per agent.
“other brokerages leave technology choices up to their agents. What this means is a lack of consistency…”
All their agents have iPads and they’ve even hosted webinars open to the public on using iPads for real estate transactions. Because they believe in it. They believe in providing the best possible customer experience and consistency. Every brand should ask themselves what they believe in - what is your manifesto?
Stop Trying to DO something and BE Something
After the conference I read this article by Rob Toledo, Don’t Take Your Brand Too Seriously. While I love what he says about bringing humor into your brand, what really stuck out to me was the quote from the book, Hey Whipple, Squeeze This (which is now on my must-read list):
“When a client says 'we want to seem cooler' the answer isn't an ad that says 'we're cool'—the answer is to BE cool.”
Rather than trying to “tweet more” or “Let’s put one of those funny meme things on our blog!” we should strive to be something. Stop tracing the footsteps of your competitors, or even what other industries are doing, and start putting your energy into being cool (or awesome, if you’re ambitious!).
Is there anyone out there that DOESN’T know what Dove stands for after their Dove Real Beauty project? They don't just sell soap; a necessity for our cleanliness. They empower women to see their real beauty and they break down stereotypes of what beauty is suppose to look like. That's powerful stuff! It makes me want to be a part of what they're doing!
Post Conference Highs & Building Richness
A few days after the conference, I’m still running on all the excitement from speaking, meeting new people and getting to know our members even better than before. We really have a great group of people in our network! Moving forward, I’m so excited to help our clients “think bigger” about their content marketing and (hopefully) build something “rich” in their own communities.
I’m really not sure how we’ll top the conference next year. Free iMac or Apple TV perhaps? ;)