Tag Archives: Content Marketing

How do I make my content marketing fit with print and social media

Although I do not profess to be either a marketing or social media content marketing strategyexpert I’m often asked by our customers, how do we tailor our content marketing or proposition so it is suitable for print and online?

Whilst I know a thing or two about the importance of personalisation and the part it plays in the customer experience; ensuring your content marketing fits into the physical and digital world are two very different disciplines. iStock_000001004704Small

Personalisation isn’t about adding a customer name at the top of an email message.

Marketing automation coupled with CRM has enabled companies to collect large amounts of data about their customers, which means marketing can deliver customised preferences that match the customer’s requirements.

That’s all well and good if you can afford the marketing software tools and a comprehensive CRM system but if you are an SME it’s not quite so easy.

Whilst the large familiar brands want to convey the idea they are smaller and more personable so they can win more customers; the SME is wanting to achieve the opposite effect.

There is a link between businesses that are successful with branding multichannel marketingthat represents the success of the company, I call it familiarity. But this takes time to build a following and an identity.

Simply adding your logo on to all your printed stationery and social media channels does not make your business stand out anymore than the next.

Pushing the same post or content marketing message out to all your social media channels is not the same as customising the message to suit each of the social media channels.

Customers will use different channels to view your marketing from the physical direct mail piece to being able to view content on social channels, on different devices or a combination of all and will want to see and read different, but, familiar messages. Marketing and strategyEach social media channel has different characteristics and whilst consistently posting good content is important it doesn’t mean it should be identical on all channels.

So how do you go about building the buzz about your business?

Here are some key points to consider.

  1. What does your company stand for? Where do you fit in? Can you define who your audience is and where to find them? Ask yourself and your customers why do they choose you, what makes you stand out? What is the identity of your company?
  2. What products and services do you offer and why does your current customer base choose you for these products and services?

By being able to answer the above questions will help you choose where and what social platforms you should be on to be seen and heard.

3. What drives your business? What are the company values? Are your employees also buying into the company ethos and its mission?

If the people that work in the business perceive that the company lives and breathes by what it stands for then they in turn are loyal, trust the company they work for and are genuinely more heart-felt in the way they deliver to the customers.

This becomes evident when customers talk to your employees.

The best compliment an employee can say is “this is a great place to work” in turn this makes the customer feel comfortable knowing they are working with the right supplier.

4. Understand the customers experience – look at the company through your customers eyes and ask, what are their expectations, how do you think you deliver overall?

If an issue occurs all the customer remembers is the problem they had with your company, late delivery, the support person who was unhelpful. How well you resolve the customer issue shows your true company values and sets you apart from the rest.

5. Your content should be consistent with the same tone throughout, that way your customers identify and recognise that it’s your company –  from the marketing piece delivered to their door through to the social media channels. Keep your messages different and entertaining.

6. Make an impression and be distinctive – carve out your own identity it might be fun and light hearted or serious and measured but above all keep the tone and message consistent with the company profile.

That way customers don’t get confused and think it’s another company.

7. Change content marketing across channels –  it’s easier to post the same message to every social media channel but even harder to know which one works best.

Understanding how each of the platforms work and what they can do is a step forward in establishing if you are likely to find your customer there. For example we use twitter to promote posts, ideas, quotes and industry news.

8. Choose the right channels for customer contact – twitter might be great for sharing news and reviews about your products and services and other content but, YouTube might be ideal for you to demonstrate a product. Pinterest is a great place to organise boards that showcase your imagery – photos, blogs, interests.

9. Think about how you communicate your brand – You might have a product or service that is not mainstream in other words not something you’d talk about over breakfast but by getting creative and promoting a story about how your product/service helped an organisation save time/money etc is a fun way of showcasing how your product works. print word in letterpress type10. Make your printed marketing piece the first customer touch point. Customise and personalise it according to the customer and relate it to the product/service you are promoting. Use context (reasonably) imagery, and give them a reason to follow you on social media sites by making your print more interactive using QR codes and AR. (Augmented Reality)

Customising content across social channels for better response takes time and doesn’t happen overnight.

Consistency is important for an integrated marketing campaign right through from print to social.

Being able to deliver useful marketing messages consistently that delivers on its values and promises, guarantees to win customers, but there is a warning, it doesn’t happen overnight.

What do you do to get noticed?

How do you market your products and services and how well does it work for you?

Share with us what has worked and what hasn’t.

Next time: In my next post how to use print more effectively?

From content personalisation to cross media marketing.

I know, I know.

This post is late by my standards and should have been published back on the 29th December. No I haven’t been caught dog napping.English Bulldog

But without boring you with the details, I’ve decided to post now, better late than never.

As has been customary for the last two years my final post of the year has always been an overview or resource tool for you or the ‘best of’ what I’ve written during the year.

By the best of I mean the posts I’ve enjoyed writing and more importantly generated feedback and good responses. But above all else I hope it provides a useful ‘go to’ for future reference.

So how did 2014 start?


It seems so long ago now doesn’t it but January came in with a flourish and I talked about the importance of document security and how to manage information especially when you are on the move.

With the use of tablets and smartphones it is so much easier to read, respond and write on the move.

But how careful do you need to be?

February and March as is customary in our business focussed on P60’s every payroll department’s worse nightmare and a cumbersome task that still needs to be managed. But outsourcing the process can save time and money. Here’s how.

content marketing strategyAnd then there was no stopping me I was off onto the importance of content personalisation and customisation in just about every working document from payslips to marketing content.

Why? Simple. Because content personalisation has everything to do with print and the physical world as it has in the digital and social world.

iStock_000023869795SmallContent personalisation is key for any direct mail or content marketing piece.

Take a look at your payslip, an invoice, social media messages.

The whole point is to make your message personalised whether it’s a message for an employee or for a customer, make it personalised and relevant and get the the message across in the right way.

March covered hybrid mail – a great way to mail out a few to several thousand letters at less than the cost of a 2nd class stamp and a service which more and more people are climbing on board because there’s no set up costs and no on-going charges. Best of all you can do it all from your desktop.

It was also the time when ‘big data’ was being talked about.

It seems like an enigma but it reality it’s simply a case of having loads of complex data sets but not understanding what to do with it.

That will be the challenge certainly for the bigger organisations in 2015.

April was the month where I really drove home the view of why print needs to be part of your content media and marketing strategy and leveraging the power of print.

Why should print be part of the cross media marketing mix when it comes to marketers planning a re-brand or delivering an important message?print word in letterpress type

May continued the theme of cross media marketing and suggested ways that a print management company can help you with planning your cross media marketing strategy.

Part of that is understanding what your customer really wants.

Mobile devicesAt the start of June I was surprised at just how many of us didn’t know what BYOD meant and how many of us are now working on our own devices at work.

This has a number of ramifications for businesses not least security but how do you legislate how employees use their own devices in the workplace.

I had a lot of fun with this blog post and it really did happen to me. How easy it is for personalisation to go horribly wrong.

What does your content marketing say about you?

Social media conceptHow do we engage with customers when there are so many social media platforms and moreover where do we find our audience?

Having achieved that how do you then get your message read or heard?

I’m regularly asked, Caroline, how can we save money on our print, not just the customary business print but the processing of print like printing and mailing invoices, statements, customer letters, so I wrote a post about it.

The ice bucket challenge was a worldwide phenomenon in August, just about everyone rose to the challenge and had a bucket of ice cold water thrown over them, I was one of them.

Why did it go viral and what did the ice bucket challenge have in common with content marketing? 

Fisheye Man Getting Ice Bucket Dumped On HeadIt’s social and online which is why it went viral and the challenge for marketers is understanding how multi-channel marketing matters in a digital world and how to be successful at delivering it time and time again.

One of my favourite posts was written in November where I talked about going digital completely and giving up the use or need for paper.

People talk about the demise of print and paper but I believe whilst it’s need has changed it still forms an important part of any marketing campaign if used intelligently with QR codes and augmented reality.

My last blog post in December argued the case for businesses needing social media.


Since writing that article I’ve read at least three that have argued the demise of social media, or rather we’ve become fatigued by it.

That it has probably gone as far as it can go and millenials want more instantaneous ways of receiving their content with instant gratification.

What now for 2015?

I’m starting on the NCTJ (national council of training journalists) to develop my career and skills in writing because I enjoy researching and writing on subjects that I’m interested in.

I will continue to do my very best to serve up interesting articles throughout this year and any noteworthy industry news.

Happy New Year Hanging Baubles Blue Bokeh Beautiful 3D

Until next time.

Have a very happy new year and thank you for turning up and reading.






What does content marketing and the ice bucket challenge have in common?

What does the ice bucket challenge have to do with content marketing, personalisation and multi-channel communications? Fisheye Man Getting Ice Bucket Dumped On Head

A lot as it turns out.

I got nominated for the ice bucket challenge on a rather windy, rainy morning on the last Bank Holiday of August but I’m not showing it here.

The challenge has delivered a formula that has made people share and talk about it all over social media. Marketing and sharing mixed with fun gone viral.

That’s when I came up with the idea for this post – content marketing, branding, talking and promoting your businesses should be fun.

If we want people to engage and ultimately buy from us we need to be able show the human and fun side of our business rather than ‘how this solution will work for your customer or how your customer can save money with this’.

In case you didn’t know…

The ice bucket challenge involves a person being nominated by a friend or colleague usually via twitter or Facebook to have a bucket of ice-cold water thrown over you.

It works like this on twitter: I nominate XXX to take part in the #icebucketchallenge in the next 48 hours then you donate to the MND association.

Pretty much the same on Facebook.

How did it start?

In the USA by founding members of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) also known as Lou Gehring’s disease named after the famous baseball player who died from it. In the UK it is known as the Motor Neurone Disease Association. [www.mndassoication.org]

28 million ice bucket videos have been uploaded, commented on or ‘Liked’.

From July 29 to 28 August ALS $98.2 million in the same period they usually receive $2.7 million in donations.

The MND association receives on average £200k a week in donations but from 22-29 August it had received £2.7 million.

Macmillan has also taken advantage of the phenomenon and raised an additional £3 million from challenges. [Source: BBC News.co.uk/magazine]

content marketing and big dataWhat does the ice bucket challenge have to do with content marketing?

The whole point of the campaign is to raise awareness of a hitherto unknown disease that hadn’t got the public’s attention until now.

The fun side of the challenge has made it ‘viral’. A great marketing ploy with an injection of fun to plug a brand, in this case to raise the awareness of the disease that is ALS.

The ALS have been very effective in their marketing, taking a silly idea and making it fun and then sharing it with an audience, many of whom had no idea initially what it was all about – now they do!

How can WE make our content marketing, messages and branding fun?

Think of something unique that your audience can relate to and have fun doing it. Your targeted audience can see the humour and will appreciate your message a lot more.

Whether you sell a service, solution or product no matter how mundane make light of what it is your organisation sells or provides not by ridiculing the product or services but by making the content for your marketing fun and humorous.

For example begin a blog, direct mail or email marketing piece with: “shake it if you get excited about selling widgets…” Or clap your hands if you love industrial machinery… and use a funny image like this:

Robbery C:O fbgags.com

Knowing your audience and personalising the message is important. Providing content that is fun to read for your audience makes them remember you so the next time they need to order widgets they know who to call.

Put yourself in your customers shoes. Most of their day is like yours, too many emails, meetings and not enough time to get things done.

For example if a customer places an order rather than sending an electronic order acknowledgment/notification that says:

Dear XXX

Thank you for the recent order you placed with us.

To make sure we get your delivery right please check the order. 

You could try something like:

Dear XXX

Thanks for ordering our fab widgets.

To say thank you we are giving a 10% coupon redeemable against your next order on any of our XYZ products so don’t forget to use it.

Jan, Pete and George are in the office from xx to xx call us if you need help with any of our products. Call us if you just need an online coffee and to have a chat with.

Add a daft image like this:

Baby chasing cat C:O funny-pictures.picphotos.netHow many times do you get impersonal emails? I get so many I cant count the number that bear no relevance to our company’s services.

An email newsletter that features amazing new updates, why you must buy this XYZ before mid-night. B-O-R-I-N-G.

Often content marketing goes into length about how wonderful the services, products and solutions are by boring the reader to death and then there is the history of the company and the team who work in the company.

Companies are more interested in finding out what it is we can do to help them rather than reading about the history of the company that started in 1066 A.D.

Why not focus on the customer instead.

What are their issues, how have you’ve helped similar companies, show them what they will get if they use your services rather than selling them the proposition.

Send a handwritten postcard to say thanks, it’s personal and it’s personalised and I can speak from experience that it goes down really well.

When you treat customers like people rather than someone on the end of an email the results can be surprising.

The next time you decide on a marketing campaign or write some copy for your company’s products think ‘people’ rather than ‘prospects’ and aim to make the customer laugh.

And Finally…

Why is the ice bucket challenge so successful?

  1. It’s simple, unique and so easy to take part. There’s no long-term commitment and people have fun which is how we want to be perceived, fun to do business with and fun to work with.
  2. Although it is for a serious cause it has raised awareness of MND and people like to share their stories happy or sad. It has the human element and is therefore emotional people want to be part of it and be seen to be doing something to help the cause. When people see that your company means business but also has fun they want to be part of that too.
  3. The call to action is a bucket of water thrown over your head. It costs nothing, there’s no requirement to buy anything, no personal information has to be given over just a straightforward donation to charity.

When customers visit your website, read your blog or follow you on social media if they see you having fun doing what you do that shines through.

People then feel compelled to get involved with you and your company and that is why the ice bucket challenge has been such a great success it’s a people story, human and emotional.

[Facebook robbery image courtesy of Fbgags.com]

[Baby chasing cat courtesy of funny-pictures.picphotos.net]







How to target your audience with personalised communications.

Last week’s post talked about what Digital Print Management do when it comes to delivering customer service.  content personalisation

Knowing your customers well not only helps you deliver a personalised customer service but ensures they get personalised communications suited to their needs.

Most organisations think they know who their customers are but do you?

  1. Can everyone in your organisation define what your typical customer is, what do they look like? Where can you find them?
  2. How does you audience vary according to the services or solutions you offer?
  3. Which industry sectors do you work in and where have you had the most success?
  4. Which industry is most receptive to your business?
  5. Is your audience clearly defined by industry sector?
  6. What other products and services are your customers likely to be interested in?

content personalisationStudying your current customer profile should be a good indicator of the audience you successfully engage with but it will also help you target other companies or sectors that may want your services.

The key to understanding your customers is being able to understand the data you have about them.

This in turn drives personalised communication.

One of the important things about managing your customers is segmenting your audience into specific products or services and establishing if a pattern emerges between the two.

Thereafter you can identify the audience that is most likely to be receptive to any future personalised communications by direct marketing campaigns keeping it targeted and specific.

By understanding and interpreting your existing customer data helps you identify the criteria on which your customers purchased your products and helps you define which prospects you can target in the future.

For B2B customers this could be region, industry type/sector, company size, contact types.

This is all well and groovy but how do you collect prospective customer data on your target market so you can define your content marketing specific to them?

The more information we have on customers the more personalised we can make our marketing efforts.

content marketing and cross media

Who is your audience? Where can you find them? What do they want?

Personal details are crucial for marketing success and brand growth but how do you get customers to share more information when privacy and security are uppermost and trust is prevalent in most buyers minds.

No one wants to be inundated with salesy emails.

The more personal details we collect the better we can market our products and services and increase customer engagement with personalised communications.

Being able to market in a positive and meaningful way to your target customers builds up trust, expertise, knowledge and showcases your companies services and abilities.

customer security and trust

How do we build up customer security and trust?

But how do we build up trust in an online world?

Unlike meeting someone face to face, building creditability in an online world takes time and determination. It is not about blasting out full on sales messages one after another.

Here are five points to consider for building customer brand, loyalty and engaging your audience.

Showcase positive customer experiences

Hi-light case studies where your services have really helped one of your customers.

Digital Print Management used a case study of a big higher education institution who outsourced their payroll processing and printing. This case study was so effective it helped us pick up two large customers.

The customers were so reassured in conversations about our expertise and knowledge and we were able to back it up with good references, they choose us as their main service provider.

This is a good example of a positive customer experience without a typical sales pitch.

Using effective marketing strategies reduces the worry over privacy and security but ultimately builds up trust.

Ensuring your content messages are consistent across all media channels builds up trust, loyalty and familiarity in your brand this helps customers to be more willing to share information across the various channels.

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have.

The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe”. (Anon)

business team standing

I wish I could lay claim to the above statement but I think whoever thought it up nailed it.

Promote brand loyalty

Consumers are more willing to share personal data if they are loyal to a brand.

The more you promote your company beliefs, culture and its ethos the more you are likely to connect with a customers personal beliefs and principles at which point they have the confidence to share their personal details.

Your brand is representative of your company culture and what your company stands for and brand loyalty comes out of your audience getting to know, trust and respect your company culture and its beliefs.

Recommend new products, solutions and services

Customers know that by giving away information companies will showcase new products and services which customers are likely to be excited about because they know they will be the first to view or experience them.

This is where personalised print marketing used in conjunction with cross channel marketing can be a highly effective way of moving the customer’s buying decision along.

A highly personalised mailer with discounted vouchers or coupons is a great way to get customers involved.

Give incentives

Free postage, 10% off the next order, vouchers and limited time offers, free downloads are great ways to get customers to give over their information.

Customers realise they are getting something for free by giving over their data willingly.

Provide location specific offers

Amazon local is a great example of location offers.

They send you an email containing various offers at discounted rates on goods and services in relation to where you live and according to some of your recent purchases.

The increasing use of smartphones and mobile devices makes location based offers even more relevant for targeting your audience and persuading them to give personal details based on where they are or live in return for an offer.

The end goal is to connect with your customers on an emotional level so they are confident to give you the information you need to personalise your marketing content to suit your potential buying audience, which then enables you to start the sales cycle.





Print marketing. 10 ways to get your marketing messages read.

White space, blank, unused and discarded space. Businesswoman using digital tablet with copyspace

White space is one of the things I see most in the various customer applications Digital Print Management process, print and electronically send out from payslips, invoices through to marketing and direct mail.

You name it there is often a great big white space on the document which isn’t being used either for company messages, promotions, new products or services.

Why spend time designing and investing time in a marketing campaign if you don’t capitalise on the space you have available which is where print marketing comes in.

I’m not suggesting you fill your page with information that bears no resemblance to the product or service you are selling but used wisely that white space can be a great print marketing opportunity to say something.

Every transactional document including bills, statements and customer communications are central to the customer experience and every document represents an opportunity to communicate to your customer.

Marketers are missing a great opportunity by not maximising the space they have available through print marketing.

print management and cross media marketing

Why limit it to ‘marketing’ only? Any customer communication requires the same carefully thought out message.

Targeting of the message can be achieved in the same print run and the use of multi-channel print, mobile and online content can all be linked to provide a unique customer experience.

print word in letterpress typeHere are 10 ways to make print more effective.

  1. Make sure your printed message endures – if your marketing looks cheap then the chances are it will be discarded. Cheaply produced items are more likely to be viewed as ‘throwaway’ and have little value.
  2. For your printed message to get maximum exposure choose quality material and if the the marketing message is well designed it’s likely that the item will be kept as reference at a later date.
  3. Designing an overtly funky or trendy marketing item will get plenty of attention on initial opening but unless it has something positive to say or serves a specific purpose is unlikely to serve any practical use.
  4. In a multi-channel market place print still retains a highly respected and effective way of promoting your brand and getting your message out there to your audience so make sure what you have to say is relevant and timely.
  5. The digital overload that at times threatens to lose your audience’s attention and the ROI guaranteed from a direct mail marketing campaign makes print an ideal alternative.content marketing and big data
  6. Print helps you stay on top of a person’s mind and a well written print piece can reach people who have specific interests or needs especially if it is a well placed advertisement in a magazine next to a business article or print ads, brochures, postcards and printed promotional products that ensure your business is kept visible.
  7. Print is a great way to build your brand using business cards, envelopes, direct mail, presentation kits promotional items like pens and mugs. These items are useful, serve a practical purpose and last a long time.
  8. Post cards are a great way of saying thank you to your customers for the recent new business they placed with you or for a marketing message designed to encourage your customers to take up a promotion you might be running.
  9. Print supports a multi-channel strategy and customers are more likely to be responsive if they are reached both offline and online.
  10. Envelopes – use them don’t leave white space, fill it with colour, brand and personalise them with your company details and logos and don’t forget a QR code to drive traffic to your website. It costs next to nothing to have envelopes with colour printed on them. There are some limitations laid down by the royal mail but as long as your mailing house conforms with the requirements there is a lot of white space you can use to promote your message. Envelopes are always the last thing you think about but the first thing you open to see what’s inside. If an envelope goes out without any branding it is a misused white space opportunity.

Optimising white space can turn even the mundane of documents into a more powerful and effective means of communicating with the customer.





How to make your message stand out with cross media marketing?

content marketing and cross media

Who is your audience? Where can you find them? What do they want?

So far I’ve sang from the tree tops about the merits of good content, why personalisation is so important and how print fits into the cross media marketing mix.

But what I haven’t shared with you is how do you make sure your content is read?

I should make one thing absolutely clear, this is not a lesson in how to write great content for the internet, this is about how you get your marketing message to stand out from the crowd.

Cross media marketing combines highly personalised targeted messages across the various types of media to seek interaction and engagement with your niche audience.

Cross media marketing is a specific, targeted and measurable marketing strategy designed to deliver consistent, persuasive and actionable messages to your target customers using a variety of social channels over a period of time that engage and reinforce your company and brand.

But it is becoming increasingly difficult to be heard by your prospect let alone engage when the sheer volume of noise from the various social channels is densely populated with mass messages.

Businesses are further hindered by the number of social media channels to use, which one, or combination of platforms are likely to give the best yield of leads or conversions.

Smaller budgets in the current economic climate with which to carry out marketing are limited.

A successful content marketing campaign combining cross media marketing that delivers content and a call to action throughout the channels simultaneously as an integrated campaign.

Brand awareness is 44% print and 37% online media therefore the importance of your brand consistency is essential and it’s not just about making sure the logo is the same across all media.

What do I need to do?

Cross media marketing and print

Cross media marketing what is it and where does it fit in with social media and print?

1. Ensure your brand is coherent across all platforms including print, website, social media. Does it convey your message, your brand and does it represent what the company, service, product stand for?

By developing a consistent brand that delivers meaningful communication your brand effectively demonstrates a strong, authoritative company that knows what they are talking about and in turn this generates trust in your business.

Branding also gives you and your company an identity and personality so that your audience become familiar with you and what you do.

Ensuring you order marketing collateral from the same supplier will guarantee consistency of your brand in the way it looks, the feel and the overall quality.

Cross media marketing focusses on the audience and not the product or service, it is customer-centric and not product-centric therefore delivery of any content or message has to start with a deep understanding of your customer’s objectives and background.

2. Successful marketing messages start with a plan. By developing a well co-ordinated message, ensuring your customer database is accurate and up to date with names and addresses is key to developing the strategy and the content that will unveil itself across all the social media channels.

cross media marketing

A cross media campaign needs to start with a plan. Who is it for, what does the message convey? What is our goal?

3. Use the information you’ve captured about your prospect, you need to understand your audience and be able to identify which platforms they engage on the most. There’s no point sending SMS or using social media if your audience is 75+ and is more likely to be responsive to a direct mail piece. In the same way delivering a message via social media to an audience who are between 18-25 years is likely to be highly effective but it depends on the message and what you are targeting.

It would be like me sending a mass message about auto-enrolment and payroll to debt collection managers, wrong audience, wrong message.

4. Understanding your audience is paramount in developing engagement. Once that’s been done then personalising the content that takes into account all the information will make the prospect more compelled to read.

Each media platform delivers content differently therefore generating a different response. Printed media provides a physical piece of advertising that the customer can read and physically engage with if this is incorporated with an email campaign it creates a better response rate than email marketing on its own.

Knowing your audience can then guide you as to the type of message you want to deliver and what the call to action will be. As I said earlier consistency and continuity are key, use the same colours, logos, images so subliminally the audience start to associate the colours, or the look with your brand. It does work otherwise marketers wouldn’t do it, the constant reinforcing of the message ensures your audience remembers that message and when the time is right it invokes in us the desire to buy from that brand or company.

Personalising the content on the direct mail piece with a PURL moves the customer to a landing page that is completely relevant to him, by asking him for more information thus making future messages more targeted to suit him.

5. Send a follow up email using the information they supplied on the landing page and provide an offer or incentive to jump to the next stage.

6. Send an automated follow up email to those that haven’t responded to either the direct mail or your email making sure there is a PURL to encourage them to go to their personalised landing page.

7. In each of the steps integrate your social share buttons – facebook, Pinterest, twitter and include it on the printed mail piece, showing how and where your company or brand can be found.

8. Finally don’t forget to measure it. Look at your response rates, open rates on email and compile a simple spreadsheet so you can see who viewed what message and on what platform.

9. Start with a two channel campaign such as a printed direct mail piece with a PURL directing them to a landing page and link to facebook then add a third channel and so forth.

10. Remember the key is knowing your audience and making sure you deliver the right content there is no point in sending an email message to a 45 year old mother of 4 directing her to a 2 seater sports car landing page. She may well desire that very car but she’s practical and needs a vehicle that can carry 4 kids therefore the email message is unlikely to light her fire.

11. What makes content and cross media campaigns so useful is the way in which they can interact with each other thus increasing the likelihood of engagement = leads = customers.

Your message should drive your niche audience to do one action only – visit a landing page, register for an event, follow on a social media channel. Give them or ask them to do too much and they lose interest and the lead is lost along with the potential for engagement.


A successful message is designed to promote your brand, develop customer relationships, show your company’s authority, subliminally seduce your audience in to remembering you so when they are ready to buy they come to ‘you’.

What do you think?

How important is it that the right message gets delivered to the right social media platform?

How relevant does your message need to be?

Why content marketing sucks?

how does content marketing fit in with print20+ years in print has provided me with a good education into what makes good and bad content. Of course this is subjective what might be great content to one is mediocre to another.

I’ve seen how customers got it very wrong and hit the spot by getting it very right.

A direct mail piece containing variable content with no relevance to the product or service, an invoice with the wrong marketing message, often a missed opportunity for suggesting to clients future products or discounts, blank spaces over a page, content that bears no relevance to what the company sells.

Giving your customer the chance to bounce from paper and join you in the digital world by offering them an incentive can be one of the most effective ways of using your content.

Content marketing is the 21st century most used catch-phrase, content is king, content is everything, content is to die for.

Good content, but not any content is a must these days for companies, organisations or brands that sell products, services and solutions.

Let’s start with a definition.

Content marketing is any marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers. This information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos. Content marketing is focused not on selling, but on simply communicating with customers and prospects. The idea is to inspire business and loyalty from buyers by delivering “consistent, ongoing valuable information”. [Wikipedia] What is content marketing

Many believe content marketing is crucial to developing and nurturing new and existing relationships, unsurprisingly, few do it properly.

What do I mean by this?

When companies decide to go down the route of content marketing it is often with little or no plan. It might start with a post card style marketing proposition in an attempt to reach customers and prospects. This is then followed up with a special offer or discount on your next purchase on a social media platform like facebook or twitter.

No planning, no continuity.

Many companies don’t think about the message they are trying to convey or what they aim to get out of the campaign.

Price, quality or a service message isn’t enough to differentiate you from your competitors and so the customer gets distracted by the price and forgets what he/she really wants in terms of a solution, product or service.

In turn this results in content that offers little or no real value to the end user, leads don’t convert into customers and sales are lost even though the brand may have captured the buyer at the first touch point.

Content marketing is about engaging and educating your customers in a subliminal way.

Content marketing is about engaging and educating your customers in a subliminal way.

Content marketing works on the proviso that there is a group of people out there wanting more information on your products and services, the content you showcase might be a solution to a problem they didn’t know they had.

It is providing information about the services and products that your business offers to help prospects that are wanting to purchase but are uncertain about making that final commitment. It is not blatant SELLING.

Content is about providing relevant information over time by creating a positive image of the company, brand or you, equipping customers to make the right decision and buy from you, it is not about lam-blasting public messages into the social media stratosphere hoping that some of the messages will stick. (Outbound marketing)

content marketing and print

Why is content important and where does print fit in to the mix?

Why does content marketing suck?

It doesn’t really I just wanted you to read my post.

Joking aside, print has conveyed this message since the beginning of time. The print industry has always been at the forefront of content. We know about the value of content in a direct mail piece, a brochure or sales letter, because we’ve been talking about it with our customers for the past 30+ years.

It doesn’t matter what the print piece is it could be an invoice as I mentioned earlier or a sales letter, it’s what’s in the content that counts.

The same principle can be attributed to digital media content. Content on the web, blogs, sales articles, email newsletters.

What has changed is the media marketing mix. Up until 5 years ago print tended to be the main vehicle for conveying content and information. Print is now just one part of the social media and marketing mix or as I like to call it part of the multi-channel engagement with customers.

The whole point is to develop interaction and engagement with customers by using all of the channels including print.

Content marketing seeks to answer questions, provide solutions and the social media channels are the mode of transport that allows this conversation to take place.

Where does print fit into the social media mix?

Let’s take a company newsletter, a magazine or a direct mail piece, the chances are it will be kicked around a building way after you’ve deleted that last ‘salesy’ email.

A great example of how paper fits into the marketing mix is the way Google interacts with its prospects and customers using direct mail.

Recently, we received a highly personalised target specific direct mail mini-brochure, about the size of an A6 post card and with 8pp (printed pages). It detailed the number of site visits, adword campaigns we are running and SEO all in a digital colour printed booklet. Targeted, strategic and personalised.

Google using direct mail? – a paper based product to deliver a marketing message. Google a multi-billion pound digital company specialising in internet related services using PRINT AND A DIRECT MAIL PIECE to promote themselves, ironic don’t you think. But, If it didn’t work they’d stop using it.

Understanding the value of print when considering your content delivery and more importantly the creative uses of print, can only enhance the customer experience.

Don’t rule out print as a potential first step in the engagement process with your customers.

content marketing helps you connect

Content helps you connect with your potential customer

Ask yourselves how you felt when you last opened a highly personalised envelope containing an individual sales message addressed to you? What did you think when you read it? If you thought wow I really like that, it’s fresh and different.

Now put yourselves into your prospects shoes, now you get the picture.

How are using print for your content marketing?

How do you see it fitting in with your marketing strategy? Please do share your thoughts, I’d love to know what you think.