The effect of culture on content and why it is crucial for inbound success.
Creating content that speaks to buyers hearts and minds on a consistent basis is a bear of a job. In fact, it is too much for any one person to do alone. And that is a good thing. Why? Because unless you are a soloprenuer, there is more than one person having a conversation with your buyers on a regular basis. Why are conversations and content creation so important? Because Google says so.
So what does this mean to your business and why is culture key? As SEOnomics.com predicted last year:
• Businesses must understand and adapt to semantic search and the knowledge graph.
• Positioning yourself to be the provider of answers that people are seeking.
• Identify intent, needs and problems. Provide solutions and answers. Look at queries and what they really need. Give them what the people behind the queries want.
Culture is to content marketing like DNA is to genetics.
Whether or not you create content, or create good content for that matter, is a direct reflection of your culture. At last year's Inbound conference in Boston, Hubspot co-founder Dharmesh Shah rolled out the Hubspot culture code. In his presentation, there are a few things that jumped out at me as it relates to creating content.
- Solve for the customer- not just their happiness, but also their success.
- Power is now gained by sharing knowledge, not hoarding it.
- Results should matter more than when or where they where produced.
- Influence should be independent of hierarchy.
Tell me a story.
I meet with clients every week and we talk about sales conversations they had. I ask them questions about the reaction to the person who is trying to buy something from them. Not just what questions did the buyer ask, but how did they ask it? What language did they use? How did they react to the answers given? What was their agenda and what is the buyer trying to sell them on? What happened next? What do you wish you had said after you hung up the phone or ended the meeting?
I do this because I know that the golden nuggets of great content come from the sales stories that happen every day with real people. It's one of the things that I love about what I do is to hear and share these stories. It helps me to create dynamic buyer profiles and content offers that actually help and educate people, not just talk about the fluff and features that add to the noise and distractions.
A rally cry to for inbound sales and marketing agencies.
In order for inbound marketing agencies to be the change agents that businesses need to accelerate their growth, I think we have to first be willing to change the way we sell our services. I think that the reason that so many focus on the tactical is because that is what they sell. We use words like SEO, landing pages, buyer persona, or smarketing. We even sell results, increased traffic, increased sales. What we don't sell is culture and change. Very scary words and concepts for anxious business owners.
We have to step in that gap and like the book Switch says, be the rider that motivates and directs the elephant. If we want to make change easier, let's set the expectations for change from the beginning. For example, I ask entrepreneurs how much time they are willing to devote to becoming thought leaders who read blogs, engage on social media, write their own blogs. Do they have an hour a day? Many of them respond like Owen, there is so much to read and so much that I could write! How am I going to get work done? I think that my job is to help them (the elephants) take the first steps with small wins.
What will your first steps be? What if sales people blogged? What if your whole team was sharing and telling people in 1-1 conversations about an article on your blog? Is it a part of their DNA and yours?