This is the fifth in a series of posts on Agile Marketing – the working definition of which is to
“Create, communicate and deliver unique value to an always-changing consumer (or business) in an always-changing market with an always-changing product.”
Even if you’re not shipping today (or next week) you have the opportunity to make it easier for your customers to understand what you do – you can do this by the ABC method – Always Build Content. Read the first Agile Marketing post here.
Agile Marking Principle 5: Sustainable marketing requires you to keep a constant pace and pipeline
What does it mean to Always Build Content? For starters, it means that you can produce information that will help your customer learn more about your product and – in the process – grant more room for unexpected “we won’t ship this week” or “remember that thing we told you about? it changed” moments. Content can take a few forms, and ideally should conform to a calendar with daily, weekly, and monthly activities. The quality and pace of these activities is really up to you and to the needs of your business, but consider these tools when you are thinking about the ways you can continue your Agile Marketing activities at the same frenetic pace as your developers.
Reaching out Every Day Builds Ideas for Content
Your customers are talking to you every day – whether on social media, through emails or phone calls, or in person – and you can gain really valuable insight from them just by making sure you have (at least) a few customer contacts every day. This is an excellent way to find out what people don’t know, and to check your knowledge of where they are encountering problems with your existing product. You might have the best information in the world (but they can’t find it.) You might have thought of a great scenario (that they have trouble mapping to the way they use the product.) Or things might just be harder than you thought. So take it upon yourself to talk to and listen to customers as your content-building pipeline.
Do you think of your content as a Curriculum, and your Customers as Students?
If you think of the customer lifecycle as an arc that goes from no knowledge of your product to total knowledge of your product, you should be building content for all points of the product knowledge/experience continuum. A great place to start is at the top of the funnel, by producing a great, easily digestible “get started in 3 minutes” document and video. This is not meant to replace other forms of learning – it’s just the first place your customers will come into contact with your marketing efforts and it should identify a clear reason they should use your product and demonstrate how easy it is to get started. (If it’s not easy, please break the startup steps into something that seems easy.)
As customers become more familiar with your product or service, they will want more demanding topics. Keep a list of these topics and when you hear them more than a few times, create some content to address that issue. And there’s always the “compilation post” where you explain the content you’ve built already and share different ways to use it.
Today’s content may lead to tomorrow’s sale (or loyal customer)
How many Tweets, blog posts, Knowledge Articles, and Customer contacts will you have today? At least some of the items in that content pipeline will generate future business (you just don’t know which ones will provide the most lift yet.) The Long Tail will help in this regard, and so will some luck (it helps to be both lucky and good.)