One of the things I like most about LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook (and Google Alerts, for that matter) is the access these channels provide to thought leadership on so many different topics. I enjoy being able to pick up insights from recognized industry and topic experts and from everyday practitioners that are in the trenches. In many cases, the articles and blogs that people post serve as a useful reminder of best practices in marketing, customer service, and other disciplines. I had such an experience last week.In a world where everyone is a publisher, to paraphrase Christina Katz, we're always looking for new ways to deliver more compelling content. In an interview that Forbes conducted with Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute and the "Godfather of content marketing," Pulizzi reminds us that content marketing should be about building relationships with customers and shouldn't be approached as a campaign.
Successful companies share information that can be useful to customers and prospects. Still, building an audience and relationships with customers through the content a company shares isn't something that happens overnight, says Pulizzi.
Analytics are helping marketers to obtain a deeper understanding about customers, including the types of content they consume and the topics they're most interested in. This includes stories about customers that other customers can relate to, such as a challenge that a customer faced and how the company was able to help resolve the issue for them. Making customers heroes is a great way to engage other customers and prospects.
Just as companies shouldn't look for quick wins with customers, they should also approach content marketing as an opportunity to build long-term relationships with customers. Delivering content that's designed to meet customers' needs and interests is a sure-fire way to strengthen engagement and foster trust.