If you’ve been reading our blogs, you will have read us strongly making the point about content marketing not being a volume game, but a strategic tool in not only building an audience, but also a sales enablement tool.
We at Ugenie abide strictly to the 3 R principles of content marketing, we just don’t have the time to create mountains of content that we think up in team meetings and then throw out to you as our audience. We need to ensure we are always giving you information that will be of use to you, that will help you to move forward in growing and engaging and monetizing your community, and supports our sales team.
We came across this approach when building our plans for launching Ugenie. At the time we were focusing on a social program with loads of trending tweets and social chatter, and then we looked at our bandwidth to manage and maintain such as strategy – we just had to work smarter. That’s when we paired up with our marketing partner, Brightfly, and they introduced us to the 3 R principle.
Here’s a quick interview with the team at Brightfly about this approach, how to use it and why you should use it.
Ugenie: Why did you come up with a method for creating content in the first place?
Brightfly: The answer is simply volume and bandwidth. At the end of the day, every piece of content needs to serve a purpose when created. It either needs to attract someone to your brand or solution, it needs to help them understand a bit more about the problem or issue they have, then it also needs to help link your product logically with that issue, and then prove how it solves the problem. Your content is doing the job of the old traditional salesman. It needs to ask questions, and see the respondents body language to know what questions or information to give next.
To achieve all that, you need very specific types of content, that keeps to a strict story line or context thread. So the trick is being able to plot out that logic thread, and create a few meaningful pieces that walk a reader down a decision path as they learn more.
Without a model to follow, one naturally ends up writing all sorts of little bits of information that quickly swallow up all your time while swamping your audience. You need a map and a process.
Ugenie: So what do the 3 R’s mean then?
Brightfly: They are for:
Resonance = meaning there has to be some connection between the problem or issue the reader is researching around and your content. The audience needs to understand why that piece of content should be read by them right now, and you know what you’re talking about.
Relevance – online research is a time sensitive thing. When someone is in early stages of researching an issue, they use a certain type of language or vocabulary. Their context is quite generic. Articles that need to have meaning to an audience at this stage need to also speak to the broader context, not the product level at this stage. As the researcher matures, so can your vocabulary, examples and complexity, as would the natural conversation on a third or fourth date. Finally as an audience is ready to make a decision, you can start to present and explain specific products and demonstrate how they solve the problem. The relevance here is about time and understanding – put the right detail at the right time in the readers stages.
There is also the relevancy of logical next step. Consider where you are pointing the person after they read your article. The worst thing is to point them to a generic homepage of your website. You must keep them on the same story line – giving them a next article or a meaningful action step to take that fits with their stage of the purchase journey.
Radiation – this is about creating clever content that has layers. Create one larger article that can be split up into smaller articles (each article must still have a single concept for the reader to walk away with – meaning it must be able to stand on its own legs as a single piece of content, while also fitting nicely into a longer form article). This way you can create a lot more volume of content while staying within the context thread and remaining relevant.
Ugenie – So in a nutshell you’re promoting a model that helps to figure out the logic of what a prospect is struggling with now and how to link that to your solution. Then you need to have a process to produce content that links a reader from a high issue level to a detailed product level, proving that you’re the answer to the problem.
Brightfly – yes that’s it. Models and a repeatable as simple as possible process, that also is trackable.
Ugenie – what do you mean by trackable?
Brightfly – When producing content, it’s important to know what pieces are required, what status of production each of those pieces are (are they in draft, with the client for sign off or live in the campaign, and where they are live).
It is also important to track the use of the content. Remembering we said that each piece of content has a job to do – its important to see how useful it is in its job. This means we need to see how much heat or readership any given article is getting. If it gets high readership, the topic is a hot one, and should be discussed in more similar and related articles. If it is not getting traction, it’s important to test out the titles, and eventually if you can’t shift it – recognize your assumption about the issue the audience has is wrong – and identify more meaningful and resonating issues. Knowing what not to say is as important as knowing what to say.
Ugenie – well thank you for that insight. We know this model works, as we do exactly that – model out the issues of our audiences, write with empathy about the issues and help to unravel the issue and provide meaningful solutions. After all, we are a business with product, and all products are ideally problem solvers. Having a crafted marketing plan is just about us getting to those with the problem and helping them solve it in a scalable and manageable manner.