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Content Marketing 101: What’s in it For Me?

Posted by Jane Litchfield on Nov 3, 2014 11:28:00 AM

Content Marketing 101: What’s in it For Me?

It has probably happened to you. You meet a guy at a conference or party who starts talking about himself and within 15 seconds you’re looking for an escape.

Guess what? The same thing happens when we send an email about our brilliant products or services. But we don’t even get 15 seconds – we get about 4 – and the escape route is ‘delete’, ‘unsubscribe’, or ‘mark as spam.’ The solution? Don’t be that guy.

Why did they sign up?

Digital marketing should be a conversation, but if you’re talking about yourself, it’s a lecture. Frame your conversation by asking yourself why your subscribers signed up.

Did they subscribe so you can tell them you’re “a leading service provider” or so they’ll know when you form a new partnership? Not likely. Most subscribers are with you because they thought there was something in it for them. So make sure there is. Not only every email or blog post, but ideally every paragraph or sentence should include a clear benefit to your subscribers.

What did they sign up for?

Next you need to know what they signed up for. Developments such as Google Inbox make it more important than ever to be relevant to your readers. Do they want offers, or information, or some of both? Check your data, or ask your subscribers to update their preferences.

7 ways to be more customer-centric

Here are 7 more ways to ensure your digital messages are about your prospects or customers, and not about you:

  • Use words like “you” “your” or “your business” instead of “we” or “our”
  • Make the “what’s in it for me” (WIIFM) clear in subject lines, headlines and calls to action
  • Use your data to targetcontent and offers and to suppress those who aren’t interested
  • PersonalizeCustomers expect it and 78% of marketers predict that in the next 5 years all email will be personalized 
  • Show that you feel their pain, and explain how you can solve a problem or fulfill a desire
  • Emphasize benefitsof your product or service, not features
  • Use testimonialsto let customers tell your audience how great you are instead of you telling them

It’s not about your boss, either

Toughest of all may be persuading your boss or other departments that you are not writing or designing messages for them. (The “me” in WIIFM does not refer to the VP of sales!) You may need some A/B testing to convince them.

Remember, in the hyper-connected world of digital marketing, there are lots of people at the party, and if you keep going on about yourself, you’ll be stuck in a corner alone.

To learn more about Email Engagement download our infographic - 6 Ways to Increase Email Engagement 

Topics: email engagement, Content Marketing, Email Marketing

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