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Content marketing surges

STOP SELLING, START HELPING

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Panelist Rachel Foster, CEO of content development company Fresh Perspective, urged marketers to concentrate on developing content tailored to the early, middle and late stages of a prospect's buying cycle and to focus on solutions for specific audiences. “Stop selling and start helping,” Foster said. “That's the essence of what content marketing is all about. And pay attention to people beyond the ultimate user of your product or service, including procurement and the C-suite. The number of b-to-b decision-makers can get as high as seven to 10 people, all involved in the buying process. At some point, you have to answer each of their questions in your content.” The crafting of marketing content also was the focus of panelist Ardath Albee, CEO of content consultancy Marketing Interactions. She agreed that problem-solving is at the core of effective content. “If content isn't creating activity to solve a problem or customer pain point, it isn't doing what it needs to do,” Albee said. She said this can be accomplished by establishing the company's position statement and developing solutions surrounding that statement aimed at various customer personas. Albee cited major content mistakes that marketers make, including talking too much about their own company, distributing content across the wrong channels and not addressing troubles their customers are having. “Your company's distinct value drives your content themes,” she said. “That allows for a pivot for all your offerings.”

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