Recently in London I not only saw, but experienced, one of the greatest content-marketing-product-marketing combinations I’ve seen in a long time.
And it reminded me that while I continue to stand by the principle that content marketing happens on a drip feed, and takes time, there are also ways to accelerate the process so that it happens more quickly for you than for everyone else.
Here’s how it happened:
- My original plan was to go to Starbucks. Comfortable, assured, confident. I pulled out my app, checked the nearest location, and started striding forth.
- I spotted a chalkboard out front of a shop that said, “I didn’t choose the mug life; the mug life chose me”. I found it funny, and stopped to snap a picture of it.
- I glanced inside and liked the look of the shop. By this point I hadn’t quite connected what sort of shop it was, and vaguely recognised they sold coffee and tea and hot drinks.
- I hesitated briefly but decided to walk on to Starbucks.
- Just as I started to walk on, the aroma of fresh brewed coffee wafted out. It literally stopped me in my tracks. That smelled like good coffee. Really, really good coffee. Good enough to make me consider rejecting Starbucks. And unlike Starbucks, it was right here before me.
- I stepped in. The queue moved incredibly quickly, they took contactless cards, and the whole system went like clockwork. Within two minutes I had a cup of incredibly good coffee.
- I noticed they had a downstairs, so I explored.
- The downstairs was complete with old-wood tables, book-corner-nooks, living plants, fresh music (but not too loud), plugs for my laptop and phone, and a generally old-school-new-school atmosphere. I was sold.
- They also had free wifi. And they encouraged you to check in on Facebook (which I did), but didn’t require it. (Encouragement, not requirement, is an excellent way to bring people on board with your brand.)
- I worked from there for an hour and within that time checked in on Facebook, shared pictures on Twitter, and wrote this blog post. Which you are now reading.
The coffee shop is called Press Coffee & Co, on Fleet Street.
And now you know all about it.
The 10-step process above (it just so happens to be 10) reflects the natural progression that your prospects make when your content marketing stops them in their tracks.
In the case of Press Coffee, it was the chalkboard outside their shop.
What sort of digital chalkboard can you provide that will stop your prospects in their digital tracks, and cause them to, step by step, come further and further in?
Small items that can interest your potential buyer
Some options are:
- A good graphic or GIF on Twitter
- Free webinar or event on a topic relevant to your niche
- Social media poll
- Another kind of survey
- Running a contest (offer something your niche or audience would like to win)
- Asking a question (it doesn’t have to be a business question)
- An invitation to a casual get together at your offices
- Asking for input for your own research
- Exclusive discount or event invitation
- A postcard (actually sent in the post!)
Why do the small things improve your lead to sale?
These very small things can put your content marketing on steroids – because every little connection means another ‘touch’.
One of the most dangerous things to accountants (in terms of lost business) is the presumption that since the potential buyer did not say yes, they are not interested and they will never do business with you.
Your lead to sale cycle for the buyers of accountancy services can be quite long. A potential prospect may just be getting quotes and considering moving accountants, but then change their mind later. They may have a major issue which sorts itself out and suddenly it’s no longer urgent. Or a personal issue may have come up, setting aside any business urgency.
Others may be instantly ready. They may want to fast-track the whole process and go from the small thing, to a download, to direct contact, to a sale, all in one month. Or one day, even!
So the key is to continually be posting your digital chalkboard out for everyone to see – so that the right person, at the right time, notices it and takes action.