Thoughts on Thanksgiving and content marketing

Everyone gives lip service to gratitude when Thanksgiving rolls around. But how often have you heard a ‘thank you’ from a business that seems to take your business for granted even as it thanks you?

Real gratitude extends beyond words.

‘I love my customers,’ you say. As well you should – in many cases, they have shown remarkable persistence to get through the sales cycle and become a customer. But how about the thousands of other who interact with your business – whether prospects, influencers, journalists or others in your industry. Do you take their time and energy for granted?

  • Do you expect them to spending time wading through your website looking for the page that tells them what you REALLY do and how it might be relevant to their job?
  • Do you hoard your useful content behind registration forms, requiring people to give you their phone numbers before they know why they should care about you?
  • Do you spend all of your time talking about your features and industry leadership – and expect them to figure out why that’s relevant to them?
  • Do you think insist on using your own ‘coined’ terminology rather than the words they use everyday?

Michael Brenner wrote a terrific blog post on this topic recently in Forbes: The Most Toxic Words in Marketing. His thought is that the idea that “We’re in this to sell stuff” is toxic to the marketing relationship – and I agree. People often make purchases – even seemingly rational B2B purchases – based on emotional responses. They’ll pick up on the fact that you aren’t respecting their needs and it will color their perceptions of your business.

People value their money, yes — but also their time, their mental energy and their privacy.To be successful, you should respect those factors. Don’t be a turkey.

If you really want to thank your prospects, visitors and customers for their time and attention, go beyond simply saying thanks:

  • Look at your website with an outsider’s eyes and make it easier for people outside your company to find what they need.
  • Take the registration form off your papers or briefs – at least most of them.
  • Create a new resource (research, a guide) for people in your industry and provide it for free.
  • Listen to what people are saying on social media and reviews – and respond authentically.

Is this starting to sound like content marketing? Yep, I thought so, too. Because content marketing is all about being truly helpful to people rather than just shilling your stuff.

And of course, it never hurts to say thanks. On that note – thanks to all who read and comment on this blog!

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