Here’s an analogy: The main reason you go to a networking event is to meet people and get to know them. You don’t sit in a corner by yourself checking emails on your phone with your head down (at least you shouldn’t be!). You’re working the room, introducing yourself to people and getting to know them by asking thought-provoking questions.
If you’re clever, you stay away from topics about yourself and what you’re interested in and focus on things that are interesting to the people you’re talking to. The topics that you discuss at the event is your "content." In the online world, content is the articles and information you share to pique the interest of your target prospects and create conversations with them. It includes things like:
- Web pages
- Blog articles
- Case studies
- and more!
Online communication is different because you’re not having face-to-face conversations. Successful content is dependent upon your understanding of the journey your prospects have to go through to decide on your product or service.
You can anticipate their questions and provide content that helps them understand the problems they may be having and the value of doing something about it. And you can monitor what content gets the best responses so you can write more about those topics. (You can monitor by analyzing how much your content gets viewed, commented on, or shared.)
For example, many of the prospects I talk to haven’t (yet!) created much online content. When I first started inbound marketing years ago, I didn’t get what "content" really meant, so I anticipate that perhaps my prospects might not know either.
If I talk to a prospect who doesn’t understand what content is, it makes my job MUCH harder to sell. So, I wrote this blog to help clarify the concept. I want my prospects to get this information at the earliest stage of the buyer journey as possible. They can get access to it from my online promotion - SEO, email newsletters, social media, or inbound links (which are all more blog topics!).
As I talk to prospects and customers throughout the day, I’m constantly evaluating the questions they ask me, and thinking about what kind of content I can create to help clarify the answers. I can then share that content with my whole network because if one person has a question, I’m sure there are many others wondering the same thing!
Start today. After your next client or prospect meeting, brainstorm on what kind of content you can create based on the questions they asked you.