Although much deserved attention is given to Blogs, eBooks, Webinars, Data Sheets, Press Releases, Videos, and other typical channels when talking about content creation, you shouldn’t forget to include the following touchpoints in your content marketing plan.
1. On-Hold Messages: Ditch the on-hold music and the typical sales pitch for something your customers, prospects, and partners will actually enjoy listening to. Customize the message for each department. Tech support is the low-hanging fruit where you could have a message talking about how to make the most of your product, give a tip that will help them with the product, or talk about a solution for a problem people have been encountering lately. Bonus points if you can actually get customers to ask to put them back on hold to finish listening to the message.
2. Invoices: You may have tried or seen the traditional “invoice stuffers” that come in the form of promotions, new credit card offers, and other junk you typically disregard. In the B2B world this is a lost opportunity, because you could be sending quality content with your invoice (or on the invoice itself) that might get the customer’s attention and continue building trust. Bonus points if you send content that makes the customer smile. Paying bills is no fun, how about making their day a little bit better?
3. Post-Sales or Post-Support Surveys: When you send customers surveys about their sales or support experience with your company, make sure you reward their feedback accordingly. The best way is to give them something they don’t expect and that they will have use for. Starbucks cards can become expensive quickly, so why not give them great content at the end of the survey? Bonus points if you give them a summary (or teaser) before they start the survey and the full thing as they finish it.
4. Welcome Email or Letter: Typical emails or letters welcoming new customers after they purchase a product or service fall short of delivering anything of value. Why not use this opportunity to present the newly acquired customer with great content they can use and share? Bonus points if you customize the content to what they have actually purchased (canned “welcome to the XYZ family” messages are disregarded as junk).
5. Holiday Card: Whether you do a physical or virtual card, email, video, etc during the holidays and send out to customers, you should take this opportunity to give them something different and that will increase their trust in you and your company. Show off your company’s personality, who works there, put a face behind the communication customers usually receive from you. Bonus points if it entices customers to share with others.
6. Confirmation Emails: When someone makes a purchase, or when you send out shipping notifications do you optimize the message for great content or leave it as the standard boring text file? Use this opportunity to engage the customer and increase their trust. Bonus points if you can provide dynamic content based on their actual purchase, shipping status, or whatever transactional message you are sending.
The Forgotten Content Channels
As you can see, there are many vehicles to distribute content. Don’t restrict your content marketing efforts to lead-gen only channels, instead make sure that your content strategy involves every communication that goes out or that is touched by someone outside the organization. Your brand, your message, your company’s image should be reflected everywhere.
What other channels do you recommend adding to a content plan?
Good call! This sort of stuff is absolutely easy. I’ve always considered these brand building opportunities but yeah, it’s not that easy to switch out any of these so you can easily just switch them out for quality info.
I like the hold music one the best. My cable company has a short instruction on how to reset your box… I assume that is probably the most common issue they hear.
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Thanks! Yeah, the whole ‘on hold music’ thing is probably one of the easiest to pull off, problem is that this kind of stuff usually is not on the radar of marketing plans because… it’s always been that way!
These are just some low-hanging fruits, there are other ways to distribute content that we haven’t talked about. The whole idea is that sometimes you have to think beyond what everyone else is doing and come up with ways to leverage channels you already own.
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For the 6th channel, I would say when the customer is actively purchasing products with you or engaging with your brand or website, this customer is actually in the active customer lift cycle.
We should use confirmation emails to increase customer value. http://emailmarketing.comm100.com/email-marketing-ebook/active-customer.aspx