How many times have you sat down to write something for your website, your blog or social media pages about your OCS offerings and gone blank? Are you getting bored? Losing motivation? Struggling to find the right words?
The good news is that you’re not alone. According to a 2016 article in Inc. magazine, 72 percent of content marketers have made it a priority to create more engaging content, but 65 percent struggle with creating effective content.
Here are three tips that might help you bolster your motivation, and keep your content fresh for your target audiences, including customers, prospects and others who follow your company – both online and off.
Hack Others’ Content
Some people call it “curating content,” but let’s face it – they’re “hacking” others’ content. Doing so is perfectly acceptable, especially when you consider the top dogs in digital and social media marketing, like LinkedIn, actually encourage it.
The best way to deploy this strategy is to sign up for a variety of content-generating resources that cover the coffee industry, OCS, workplace cafes, break rooms – you name it.
Sources can include coffee associations, such as the National Coffee Association, NAMA, Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), even the International Coffee Organization.
Another great source are trade publications, such as Automatic Merchandiser, Coffeetalk Magazine, Barista Magazine, Fresh Cup Magazine, Imbibe (great for consumer ideas) and the Tea and Coffee Trade Journal, among others.
And, of course there are coffee blogs, such as (partial list):
- JimSeven – jimseven.com
- Dear Coffee I Love You (DCILY) – dearcoffeeiloveyou.com
- Sprudge – sprudge.com
- Brewing Coffee Manually – brewingcoffeemanually.com
- Barista Hustle – baristahustle.com
- Coffee Nate – coffeenate.com
- Make Good Coffee – makegoodcoffee.com
- Coffee Companion – coffeecompanion.com
Once you have your stable of great content resources, comb through others’ articles, research, infographics and other published material on a regular, but scheduled basis. Create a “content calendar” for both researching/writing and posting content, and you’re more likely to stick to it.
However, a word of caution: Be sure to attribute anything that’s not original to its source. Otherwise, it’s considered plagiarism.
Write For Your Audience, Not Yourself
According to Forbes.com, “Many content marketers get so focused on pumping out content…that they lose sight of the ultimate goal of content marketing: To build an audience.
“That’s what all that content is supposed to do. Building an audience is also the driver of business generation for content marketing. It works because if you consistently build and engage an audience, when the members of that audience come around to needing your [OCS] service, they’ll think of you first.”
The most critical rule of thumb when writing for a B2B audience is “will this material help my readers/visitors do their jobs better…or achieve their goals…or build their businesses? For instance, you could report on the growing popularity of specialty coffee drinks in the workplace. Better yet, why not write about how your customers can determine what specialty coffee drinks might work best, how to price them, costs vs. productivity ROI, and other points that are important to them.
Embracing a customer-centric approach to content development will require more patience. Yet if you stick with it, your existing and potential customers will think of YOU when it comes to such topics, products and services.
Survey your Target Audience
An August 2017 article in PC Magazine featured the following tools as highly rated digital survey tools for SMBs. They won’t cost you an arm and a leg, and they are easy to use and, in some cases, are intuitive:
- Zoho Survey
- Checkbox Survey
Some sample questions you might include in your target audience survey could include:
- Would you like to read about OCS marketing techniques or OCS sales techniques?
- How to convert an office break room into a workplace café?
- What’s more interesting to you: brewing equipment, specialty coffees, or other aspects of coffee service (please specify)?
- How to build demand among (employees/guests) for your OCS offerings?
- How to reap the greatest productivity benefits from your workplace café(s) among employees?
Finally, for your survey to be most effective, consider segmenting your database by type of respondent (HR managers vs. facility managers), the number and type of questions, survey invitations and reminders, and the survey instrument’s platform (PC vs. smartphone, for instance). Read more about surveys, online tools and other tips at: http://bit.ly/2xM7bBY