A Great Example of Creating Content Marketing

A Great Example of Creating Content Marketing

Content that informs

Here’s a great example of creating content marketing that informs and gives a possible audience some interest without selling your own brand. DPA Solar are a distributor of Solar equipment and Swan Hill Solar are an installer of Solar systems. The interview/article talks more about the end customer than it does about DPA Solar or Swan Hill Solar. It talks about why the end customer needed to get Solar.

 

Similar problems to solve

The reason for this is that by talking about the end user it will trigger a similar potential end user. Someone who has a similar problem that needs solving. As I keep saying content marketing is all about offering information that helps. When you offer information that helps someone with a problem you will gain the trust of that person/customer.
Problem – Solution – Trust.

 

Who your audience is

DPA Solar doesn’t want to talk to the end user they want the interest of the Solar Installer.

 

The stategy works

So, the strategy we embarked on is to drive interest in the result, a Solar System. By helping to create that interest DPA Solar will increase the size of the market that they exist in. If someone comes across this article online, they will not only be informed about the Solar System (their interest) but who to get the system from.

The strategy is also a good collaboration between the customer and the supplier.

Nice work all round!

An example of good content marketing

An example of good content marketing

An example of good content marketing.

I was watching this video the other day and came across quite an amazing statement that highlights the importance of content marketing. The presentation concerned a solar installation by Greenwood Solutions, a Melbourne renewable energy company, where they interviewed their customer about the system that they had installed on her property.  Along with why they installed it and what they wanted to achieve, the customer mentioned how the decision was made to use Greenwood as their supplier.

I heard the following statement.

I always do a lot of research before I embark on anything. So, I did quite a bit of hunting. It was hard to find decent information and comfortable information. So, the article I found about you guys was actually a nice little breadcrumb to find, because it actually gave me some information. A bit of a path about what I was wanting to do, and it was a good fit. I haven’t found anyone else, and it was a good fit for what I was wanting to achieve”.

Content Marketing not Advertising.

That’s why content marketing is more powerful than the other “buy now” or “what we have for you” typical of most online advertising. Sure, these ads will put you higher on Google’s placement, but it does not create loyal customers. In other words, the kind of customer that will exclude any other business but yours.

Why? Because you have answered a question before they have even asked it. When the customer is ready to buy, they will have already found a trusted company that they want to work with and not just give them the best price. Now this is profitable business.

The Greenwood Video.

The video is beautifully filmed and crafted. It shows the property and the customer as she talks about the why’s the what’s and the how’s of what she wanted to achieve. There are interviews with the customer and Greenwood staff as they all talk about achieving the desired outcome together. Importantly the company staff do not talk about what they do but more how they worked with the customer to ensure her dream came to life.

The customers content marketing endorsement.

Back to the customer’s comment. “the article I found about you guys was actually a nice little breadcrumb to find cos it actually gave me some information”.

This is the perfect endorsement for content marketing in that one comment. She has now blocked out any competitors. She trusts Greenwood and now will only work with them. Why? Because they took the time to give her some information that will help her achieve what she wants to do. A great example of content marketing.

PNR podcast.

This morning while listening to my favourite podcast “This old marketing” with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose they discussed how many companies are setting up an internal content marketing department within their own operations. These departments have a film crew, writers, photographers, all set up to create content so, I thought how important is content marketing to Greenwood Solutions?

How important is content marketing to Greenwood?

I spoke to Veli Markovic from Greenwood about how important content marketing was to them? His response impressed me.

“It is very important, and we take it extremely seriously. So seriously that we have hired our very own videographer and editor to make sure the videos are done as perfectly as we can get them”.

And from the quality of their videos, it is an investment well spent.

“Having it done internally helps us to control what is created which gives us better branding. If you can’t do it internally try to use an external supplier who knows your industry intimately or is willing to take the time to understand your business”. Veli Markovic, Greenwood Solutions.

Not everyone can do it internally.

Not every business can hire their own content staff but it’s good to see that there are businesses taking it so seriously. There are people who can help you with content marketing, so it doesn’t have to be that great of an expense. The important thing is to do it and do it right.

Content Marketing for the Solar Industry.

Now, I have been spruiking content marketing and its importance for business for many years. After viewing this video and other quality content material that Greenwood Solutions have produced, I feel that the Solar Industry is really getting the idea. Good stories that help and talk about what the customer needs, not just about what your business can do, is what this industry needs. Well done Greenwood!

 

The importance of having good customers.

The importance of having good customers.

How to get good customers, especially when we are just starting out.  We all know that as a small business the first thing we need is customers. Every business must build on its first few sales. In doing this you build both financially and in confidence. However, a bad customer can destroy them both. It is cash flow and confidence that carries a small business through the hard times. Although it all sounds great to have only the customers of your choosing, it’s often the case that you need any customer you can get. However, it is important to note that as you build confidence you will start to understand that there are the right customers to deal with.

What is a Good Customer?

A good customer is one that understands the value that you or your product bring to the transaction. For example, if you sell a high-quality service or product a good customer understands that haggling for a better price is not the best way to approach the transaction. Instead, they understand that quality has a price. Therefore, it is so important to understand what value your business has to the “good customer”.  If you can understand why you do what you do, that message becomes clear. It will then attract the right customer. Back to the example, if someone is after a cheap product then they know they can’t get it from you. They will get it from someone else who sells a cheap product. Once you understand your offer then you can target your business to the right customer.

Finding a Good Customer before the sale

First, you must listen to what a potential buyer is saying to you. The way they approach the transaction will determine the value they place in you. This will give you signs of the way they treat you when they are a customer. Here are a few things to look for before taking on a new customer:

  1. The way they talk about the price – Haggling or giving you quotes from competitors
  2. Are they aggressive? – Do they give threats about the service they require (do this or else)
  3. You give them a price and then you have to justify that your product is worth it. This should have been done before the price is given
  4. They want you to drop everything for them

These are just a few things and obviously not binding on all parties, but if you have had a bad customer remember the way they approached the sale. The saying “something left a bad taste” You must remember what it looked like before you tasted it. There are signs that things will be hard work if they continue. We must remember as a small business who you deal with will affect your whole life, (family, lifestyle, etc.).

How to get the Good Customer

Here are some ways to get a good customer:

  1. Know your offer – understanding exactly what you will bring to a potential customer
  2. Know who your offer fits best – Target the right customers so there is no mistake or misfit.
  3. Have a certain procedure that you must go through before you deal with a potential customer. – It could be a certain set of questions that you ask them before going any further. We use the Why questionnaire as it shows us the level of commitment someone is willing to take to work with us.
  4. Identify the good customers you already have and reflect on the transactions you have with them – what is it about them that makes them so good to work with.

Running a small business is hard work and takes a lot of dedication and confidence. There is really no such thing as a bad customer. There is, however, a certain customer that may not fit your company. This can lead to bad experiences. Gaining any customer takes a lot of effort so if you already have good customers look after them. They are hard to find.

Analysing Your Target Customers

Analysing Your Target Customers

Establishing who is your perfect customer by going through your current customers. If a customer is good to deal with then look for more like them. 9 out of 10 times these customers will be aligned with your own company values. They think like you do. From this information, you can start to work out your target customer. Things to do:

  • Make a list of potential businesses that will fit into what you offer
  • What value will they gain from your business?
  • What are their needs?
  • Does your product or service fit into that need?
  • Can you satisfy or fulfill that need?
  • Continue to add other potential customers who fit into the profile

It is important to note that not all of your customers will be that perfect one. By profiling the good customers, you can find potential customers that are similar. Here are ways to do that:  

Customer What needs do they have? What product or service fulfills that need?
Customer A Need A Product A, C
Customer B Need B Product B

  The next step is to analyse your own products to see what will be able to fulfill these needs.  

Your key Features and Benefits

  Make a list of the key features and benefits that your products/services will offer this potential customer.  

Product/Service Features Benefits
The name of the product What are the features of this product What benefits can be gained from this product
     

  It is always good to make a list of the features and benefits as this will allow you to create any marketing documents that may be used in the selling and promotion of your products. The next step is to take these benefits and features and match them with the customer.  

Customer Needs and Fulfilling Them

Now that we have established what we offer and why we offer it we can now match them with what the customer’s needs are. There is never a successful sale unless the product/service that you offer matches the needs of the customer. Keep doing this until the products are satisfying the needs of your target market. It is important to note that not all products will be perfect for every customer. If your product does not fill the need then do not offer it.  

Customer Need Product to satisfy need Benefit to the customer
Customer A Need B Product B Will satisfy Need B by doing…
       

This process looks complicated but if you know your product and your market, and I know you do, then this is simply a matter of writing it down.  

What have we learned

  • Establish who is your perfect customer.
  • Go through your current customer list and find out who that customer is.
  • If this customer is good to deal with then it is a good idea to start to look for more like them.
  • They will most times be aligned with your own company values. They think like you do.
  • From this information start to design the target customer.
  • Make a list of potential businesses that will fit into what you offer.
  • What value will they gain from your company?
  • What are their needs?
  • Does your product or service fit into that need?
  • Can you satisfy or fulfill that need?
  • Continue to add other potential customers who will fit into the profile.
  • It is important to note that not all of your customers will be that perfect one. By profiling the good customers you can find potential customers that are similar.
Talk to your Customers

Talk to your Customers

Always talk to your customers. There is one thing that I always tell my clients and that is, if you have a customer (or past customers), you should communicate with them. A lot of companies think that if they email or call a past customer they will be annoying them. You won’t. If you have a customer that is satisfied with what you have sold or serviced them then they will be happy to hear from you.

Getting the message out there

I once spoke at an industry event and mentioned this point to the audience. Most of them were small tradies. I told them that they have every right to contact someone who has bought from them. So, do it. I took a call from a member of the audience a few months later and he said that he sent an email out to his customer base and received a great result.

What are you waiting for?

So, if you have a list of past customers and I know a lot of you do, put them in an email list and send them a message. This can be about any product enhancements or updates or even just to keep in touch. Remember if you don’t talk to them someone else will.

Sales Channel Communications

Sales Channel Communications

I have been working with sales channels for quite a while now and I find that there are simple approaches that make it easier to obtain good sales results. The first thing to do is ask what the best channel for your products is. I will in this instance talk about the industrial sector as it is where I have done most of my work. But this does not mean that we are only talking about B2B sales. Many of the industries I have dealt with have a many-tiered approach to the channel. For example a manufacturer, distributor, the retailer then end user.

Knowing this, who do you communicate to? The simple answer is all of them. If you do not let all segments of this channel know and understand your product then it will fail. I will explain why. The key to a successful sales channel is ease of flow. You have to make every stage flow on the next stage with ease. This is done through good communications to every stage.

It is a simple case of the “Chinese whisper” game that we all learned at school. Not so sure on the political correctness of that term these days, but I only remember it being called that. This is a case of every story changes from one person to another. This is human frailty of communication as we will all put our own spin on it so as to find the easiest way to communicate.

The way this works in channel management is:

The manufacturer must train and help promote the product to the distributor to give the best possible chance of promoting your product to the retailer. If he gets any of this message wrong then the message has changed.

The distributor will then train and promote the product to the retailer to give the retailer the best chance of promoting your product to the end consumer. If he gets this wrong then the message has changed.

The retailer will then educate and promote your product to the people who are going to finally put it in their homes or car and so on. Get this message wrong and you lose the sale.

So the retailer lost the sale and tells the distributor that they don’t want their product in their product line. The distributor tells you the manufacturer that they don’t want it because they can’t sell it to the retailer. The manufacturer now has no one to sell their product. How did it all go wrong?

The fundamental issue here is communication. Once you, the manufacturer, tell the next person in the process it is up to them to continue that message. Now it is important to note that there are three steps in this process that involves salespeople. You, the distributor and retailer.

There is something important you need to know about salespeople and that is this. Their living is dependent on one thing only. That thing is getting the sale. Wage, commission, self-esteem the lot, is all dependent on their end goal. They need to be focused on this or they will fail.

Salespeople

This is why I look at salespeople in the following way. I can say this from many years of sales living myself. They are like water flowing down a hill. The water will find the easiest path to get to its goal. The Goal being the bottom. The water will cut through weak dirt, around rocks sometimes over things to get to the end. Now water is controlled by gravity, which builds momentum and forges its way through by the easiest path.

The salesperson has a similar goal, not driven by gravity but in a not too dissimilar way, a need to survive. So like the momentum of water and gravity a salesperson needs knowledge and confidence. So many times have I seen a salesperson sell a product that he knew more about (confidence), overselling an alternative product, even if that alternative was the better item. Thus you need to make his job (flow) easier.

This is done also in a multi-tiered approach. Tell the right message to all stages of the channel. The distributor knows the right message, the salesperson has the right message but the end user should already know about your product. How easy is it for a salesperson to get to his goal when the buyer says “I’ve heard about this particular product and what it can do, can we talk about this product”.

Thus it is not a simple case of manufacturing the product and saying I will let my sales channels do the work of selling for me. It is up to the manufacturer to have control on all the stages especially when it comes to communication. Have your message right so as you don’t create confusion, misunderstanding all of which destroys confidence. Good communication comes from understanding your end user and the reasons why they will need your product. Ask this question: What need does my product fulfill? The answer will define your communication message. The message from this will help the process flow through your channels which will increase sales.

Pin It on Pinterest