Content marketing: what to keep and what to bin in 2019

It’s January 2019. You’ve got a list of goals in front of you, and probably some leftover mince pies, too. 

We all hate January (poor January) but is a good time to take stock of your content marketing. 

From the Lean Content marketing office in Bristol, we’ve been thinking about content burnout, and why so many businesses think they have to do everything.

In this post, we talk about the ways you can streamline your content marketing strategy for 2019.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Why do people buy? 

First off, we’d love to get into buying psychology with you, but we’ll leave that to the likes of Richard Shotton. You should look him up.  

Whether buying psychology is your ‘thing’ or not, it’s worth doing your research.

Here’s how we look at it. People buy to (a) get closer to pleasure or (b) further away from pain. 

  1. Booze at a party: closer to pleasure
  2. Paracetamol the next day: further away from pain

Figure out if your product/service brings people closer to pleasure or further away from pain. This works for a few reasons:

  • Helps you to find an appropriate angle
  • Helps to define key marketing messages
  • Dictates the type of content you use

We’re not suggesting that you should ignore other research, or that this is 100% correct, but it’s a starting point, and a helpful way to look at it. 

Ask your three latest customers how they found out about you

Concentrate on that, and bin the rest. 

You could spend thousands on ad campaigns and fancy infographics, but you need to spend your energy and money on the content that gets customers through the door.

The best marketing method for shop owners is to have a pavement sign. Why? Because it literally gets people through the door. 

Find the payment sign equivalent for your business, start by asking your customers.

You don’t have to do everything

If social media marketing makes you want to stick your head in a blender (don’t do that), it’s probably because you’re trying to do everything.

Twitter is the office water cooler, Facebook is someone’s front room, and LinkedIn is just about every networking event, ever. 

Each social channel inspires unique behaviours, mannerisms and goals. A quick-witted Tweet get’s lost in a sea of text on Facebook or LinkedIn. 

How to decide which social media channels to use:

  • Find out where your audience hangs out
  • Measure which channels have performed well for you: stick to what works
  • Consider what type of business you are. Does your accountant have Snapchat? No, we didn’t think so
  • Consider your brand’s tone of voice. Is your tone more Morgan Freeman than Joe Pasquale?

Pro tip: don’t C+P content from one social site to another, tweak it to fit the medium, respect the channel.

Don’t get bogged down, grab a copy of our book, Lean Social Marketing now (free throughout January).

Find your warm cookie 

Hmmm cookies, great with milk. But that’s not what we mean.

In the 1980s, it was common for hotel chains to offer treats like cookies to VIP customers. 

In 1987, DoubleTree by Hilton decided to hand out warm cookies to everyone on the premise that every customer is a VIP.  Since 1987, they’ve given away a quarter of a billion cookies. 

Why a cookie? 

“Cookies are warm, personal and inviting, much like our hotels and the staff here that serve you.” – Conrad Hilton.

The lesson is: you never get a second chance to make a first impression. 

DoubleTree by Hilton understands the cookie is not just a cookie, it’s a warm welcome and a lasting first impression.

A warm cookie is a tipping point, the little thing that makes the biggest difference. 

Find your warm cookie:

  • Make it memorable
  • Make it tasteful (or tasty, like DoubleTree)
  • Make sure it’s cost effective (think the price of a cookie)

Final word 

It’s easy to look at your competition and think they’re doing better than you. But what makes you so sure your competitors are doing it right?

Your marketing strategy should be about your customer, not you. Stop looking inwardly and do these things instead:

  • Have a look at buyer motivations and psychology, it matters
  • Get strategic about social media and order a copy of our marketing books
  • Ask your customers where they found out about you
  • Find your warm cookie, the tipping point that makes the biggest difference

Less waffle, more wallop 

We’re Lean Content, a no-nonsense content marketing agency in Bristol. We don’t do wishy-washy, we do straightforward marketing that delivers a clear message—a message your customers will understand. Talk to us about content marketing and strategy, social media management and coaching.