“Company A Acquires Company B.” "Great, I read the same thing in Google," Jim Sinkinson of Fired Up! Marketing once told us about a headline he received. “Your content should not be about the industry per se, it should be about the reader. There are important developments afoot in that acquisition that are going to affect me.”
Do you always have the reader in mind and the value you are conveying to her or him?
According to Sinkinson—who led The Ultimate Copywriting Bootcamp: Emails and Landing Pages at BIMS 2020—you should. “Company A Acquired Company B, and This Is How It Will Affect You,” he rejiggered the headline. “There's a lesson here and we need to be prepared for the next lesson that looks like this. That will take your editorial to a whole other level.”
It was Matt Bailey who told me in September that “the landing page is the critical part that a lot of people forget about in this type of lead marketing or content marketing or even dealing with the [sales] funnel.” So Sinkinson's bootcamp is must-see TV.
Here are five more strategies from BIMS 2020 speakers:
1. Customers want something to change. They spend money and expect something to happen, Sinkinson has said, perhaps even more so this year. "People do not buy your content because it is content. They are not buying facts from you." They want benefits. "Learning is not a benefit, updates are not a benefit. Knowledge is sufficient but it is not enough. It doesn't take you anywhere. You have to tell people what to do with it."
2. Let your subscribers/audience tell stories. MedLearn Media depends on their Monitor Mondays podcast to bring a big audience in. When COVID-19 began, they “invited more healthcare professionals to the podcast to share and tell their stories of what they have been experiencing and seeing each week,” said executive director Angela Kornegor. “The response on the new format was astonishing. Our live attendance to our podcasts increased by 50% which not only gave us great insight and feedback into what our customers were looking for and craving, but gave us intel on topics we could produce webcast topics around.”
3. Build data products. "None of us spend as much time as we need to envisioning data products that solve specific problems," BVR CEO David Foster has said. "Meanwhile, so many new market entrants have figured out ways to process results in real time and then build services around that information. Hearing these stories, with all their buzzwords, can scare niche information companies into inaction… The field remains wide open to provide value by creative analysis by market-knowledgeable experts. It's what we've always done. We best add value to data in the same ways we've always thrived—with superior product plans for content extraction, refinement and delivery."
4. Lead customers to the next level. "What's the last question that you want to leave your client with so they're going to move forward?" asked Leslie Laredo, president Laredo Group and the Academy of Digital Media. "It's really interesting how many people haven't prepared enough to know that question." Laredo said you need to have your "ask" ready. "How are you going to advance the conversation?"
5. Develop a clear 2021 marketing strategy. “You need a full calendar that builds social media posts around what's important to your readers,” Charity Huff, CEO of January Spring, once told me. “You can take the editorial you do and use it in so many different ways. We are helping publishers reach new readers, drive them to their site, and then monetizing them to advertisers and sponsors. Without a strategy, you end up chasing stuff that doesn't matter or turn into revenue.”