Can you imagine a busy newsroom?

Reporters are frantically chasing up stories on the phone.  The place is noisy with the clattering of computer keyboards.  Above all, there is a sense of urgency.

The pages for the next edition must be filled on deadline.

Printers should think of their marketing like writing a newspaper

In one of my blog articles, I explained why content marketing is a vital part of the sales mix.  However, for content marketing to work, printers need to send out relevant content on a regular basis.

Warm_Client_RelationshipIf this is done, customers will come to expect it.  The right content helps form a warm relationship between the prospect and the printer.  That helps build a strong pipeline of leads.  So printers stay in control of their sales pipeline.  They achieve the sales that they want.

Printers who do not provide good content on a regular basis have to work harder to achieve the same level of sales.  They don’t control such a strong sales pipeline.  Their prospects aren’t as engaged with them.  The relationships haven’t begun to form.

To create the right relationships through content marketing, printers need to plan.  They need to make sure that they know what they will be providing their customers.  They need to plan the dates for e-mails and blogs and brochures.  But there is often a big problem.

How do you come up with the right content?

This is the number one issue that most printers raise with me when we talk about content marketing.  They struggle to come up with enough ideas.  They struggle with being able to write enough content.

So here are three ways to come up with content for your customers and prospects.  The first one requires very little work.

Use relevant articles

Remember that you don’t have to create the content.  Customers and prospects may value you distributing other peoples’ content just as much.  (Remember to always acknowledge the original author and link back to their site).

I often mail my contacts with articles that I think they will find useful.  And I make sure that I take the time to tell them why they are useful.

However, some companies prefer to generate their own content.

Write your own content

Some companies have people who are good at creating content.  A good writer will:

  • Be full of ideas
  • Keep to deadlines
  • Write in a way that attracts people

If you are lucky enough to have someone like this on your staff then you should definitely ask them to come up with content for you.

However, not every company has a natural writer.  In this case you have another option.

Outsource your content creation

Often it is much easier to ask a professional to write your content for you.  There is a cost involved, but a good writer will create content that really works for your readers.  For instance, this article is written to appeal to four different reading styles.

You also know that you will have your content on time, every time.  Your copywriter may even upload it into your system and send it for you.

And, yes, please do contact me if you would like to discuss outsourcing your content

Whichever method you use, be sure to do one thing…

Ask your readers for feedback

Ask them how they find the content that you are creating.  And ask them what sort of things they would like to learn about.

That way you can be sure that you are creating relevant content that engages your audience.

Here are three action points to help you start your content marketing

  1. Ask customers what they would like to read about
  2. Plan three months’ content
  3. Consider how to source it – through finding relevant articles, writing it yourself or outsourcing it

Soon you’ll have your own newsroom

And you’ll be sending out stories to your readers which they look forward to as much as (if not more than!) the regular news.

P.S.  If you’d like to learn more about moving away from selling on price you should sign up right now for the Profitable Print Relationships “Buyer’s Insights”.  You’ll receive regular tips about improving print sales from the buyer’s point of view and get your free copy of “Ten Common Print Selling Errors And What To Do About Them” (worth $29).

Want to see more from Matthew? Subscribe to receive e-mail updates of his posts on the MyOrderDesk blog.

Subscribe