Clean Underwear and Good Content

June 20th, 2013

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Everywhere you look these days is an article on the merits of good content. In fact, the content marketing community has done an outstanding job of making us aware of the importance of the creation and distribution of online content in successful brand promotion. With virtually no barriers to entry, with more and more journalists hopping the fence in favor of branding, and with the abundance of potential buyers just a click away, it’s no wonder that content is the vanguard of today’s marketing strategy. Yep, there’s definitely a lot of content about content.

Sitting at my computer this evening, my eyes lingered on an old photo of my mother. With summer now in full swing and my own kids eager to go to Camp-Anywhere-But-Here, I was reminded of a day long ago when I was packing for my first summer camp.

“Are you all packed, son?”

“Yes, Mom, I’m ready to go.”

“What about underwear? Did you pack enough clean underwear?”

“Yes, Mom, I have clean underwear.”

“That’s not what I asked. I know that you have clean underwear. You are wearing them. What I need to know is that you have enough clean underwear. You’ll be gone for two weeks. Did you pack enough clean underwear to last you for fourteen days?”

I was twelve at the time, and I thought that the underwear I was wearing would indeed last the whole summer, let alone a couple of weeks. Mom’s interrogation set off an entire new set of alarms in my head – do I even own that much underwear?

Well, that’s my point about content. Like clean underwear, simply having content is not nearly good enough. Do you have enough good content to compel your buyers to stay engaged with your brand while they learn, shop, and decide? Do you have enough good content, segmented by persona type and digital behavior? Do you have enough good content to ensure that your audience doesn’t feel bombarded with a sales pitch? Do you have enough good content being created by advocates, evangelists, and non-marketing employees? If you don’t, then you should.

Look into your “content footlocker” and make sure you have these three items:

  1. Storytellers – folks who sit around the internet campfire, drawing in listeners who want to hear more about how your offering fits their situation
  2. Ingredients – original company content properly mixed in with third-party market influencers and an occasional sales message
  3. Tools – technology that gets your content to the right person at the right time, and then measures how well you’re doing

Don’t worry if you don’t have all of the content you need right now. You’re better off posting excellent content a few times a month than shoveling out mediocre content multiple times a week. Your brand will thank you later. But make no mistake, if you aren't building an inventory of quality content that you can spread among multiple buyer prospects like bread crumbs along their (often long) buying journey, then you will fall short.

Finally, as long as you’re producing quality content and distributing it across multiple digital channels, be sure to make your content easy to share. Put your social sharing buttons in plain, logical sight so that your audience has a quick way to circulate your content with their personal network.

At Sales Engine, we’re fortunate to have a Chief Content Officer and a team of stellar, scrappy content junkies who eat, sleep, breathe, and produce quality content. Our clients rave about their work, and my job in sales is much, much easier.

Oh yeah, wrapping up the story of me as a young camper—it turned out that I actually did not have enough clean underwear to go away to camp for two weeks. The good news? I got three new packages of Fruit of the Loom® briefs to take with me to camp. The bad news? I was in hot water with mom when I returned from camp with two unopened packages. Like I said, it’s not enough to have content—you've got to use it.