That was not a good hot dog

May 8, 2019 5:45 pm

It was the kind of beautiful, clear day when everything seemed just right. My friend and I had been out for a walk, doing a bit of catching up. We decided to grab some food and go sit in a nearby park to eat and continue our conversation. I chose a nearby deli, a place with a reputation for good sandwiches. My friend decided to grab a hot dog from a street cart.

About an hour later, after we had eaten and resumed our walk, my friend said he was done for the day. I asked him why he wanted to cut things short.

“That was not a good hot dog,” he replied*.

When it comes to content marketing, it can be easy to buy a bad hot dog. Poor-quality ingredients prepared without care, acquired in a rush.

That’s something we, fortunately, aren’t called on to do here at Collective Content. We can work quickly, when circumstances require it, but we put care into the work we do, with a focus on quality for clients who care.

But why should they care? Why should you?

Because the people you want to reach have other options.

My friend and I were limited by our location. I chose the deli and he chose the hot dog cart, but they were both on the same 25-metre stretch of street. Your marketing content, however, is only one click away from something else. You have to offer something useful and engaging.

Engagement marketing, as it’s called, is about building a relationship as a trusted source of information or a partner in the success of your customers, both current and potential.

Customers today are sophisticated. They know when they’re being marketed to. Provide them with content that has real value in it – whether it tells a compelling story, or is funny, or gives them useful information – and they’ll spend more time with the content. They’re also more likely to share it with friends, either directly or on social media. With 92% of customers saying they trust recommendations from friends more than advertising, turning customers into advocates can really have an effect.

This applies to B2B customers as well as B2C. Social media, instant messaging, online reviews and competitors’ websites are all just a click away. High-quality content, whether it’s web content, a white paper, a case study or a podcast, can attract and keep customers engaged with an organisation. If the content is really good, shares and tweets will follow. That success, however, only comes when there is real value in the material.

After that day out, I gave the deli a good review online and signed up for their loyalty programme – and I’m always sure to drop in when I’m in the area. My friend recovered and still grabs the cheapest hot dogs he can find. Why he risks it, I don’t know.

* This is not meant to disparage street vendors or their offerings, many of which are tasty and have no deleterious effect.

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