How to create effective marketing content for your international trade business

09/07/2013

ContentMarketing

ContentMarketingCreating quality content for our international trade audience has always been a priority at FITT. So we were excited to see what we could learn from Mark Schaefer, internationally-recognized social media expert, author and educator.

Mark was recently in Montreal for a content marketing workshop, and Daniella and I were glad to be there to gain additional value for our international trade training marketing efforts at FITT.

Mark and the digital panel that followed his talk were full of helpful, practical information. Here are some of the highlights from the workshop that can improve just about any digital marketing effort.

  • People nowadays are overwhelmed with so much information that they’re unwilling to spend much time with advertising. They will however spend time with stories and people; content they can actually connect with.
  • Creating content that is shareable in this era of abundant content requires it to be Relevant, Interesting, Timely, and Entertaining. You can read more about RITE on Mark’s insightful business marketing blog www.businessesgrow.com.
  • Mark convincingly explained how new ways of marketing on digital media are not new at all. It’s how business was done until about a 100 years ago. Businesses that have figured out how to market successfully on digital media are not B2B or B2C but P2P—Person to Person.

 

This is one of the basic points I always emphasize. At this point I’ll let Daniella provide her freshly minted perspective on what that actually means.

Person to Person Marketing

Humanity is the trait that is starting to separate the winners from the losers in business. This was my main take-away from Mr. Schaefer’s content marketing workshop.

And while I like to think I am already working on the winning side, I had never really stopped to think about just how important this simple concept is becoming to modern-day sales and marketing. With so few companies actually letting their humanness shine, it’s becoming the best way to stand out from the crowd.

No matter how large your company gets, don’t forget to treat your customers as people. Because if you start treating them as just dollars in your pocket and forget that they are thinking, feeling, hardworking people, you start to lose your humanity.

I do a lot of my grocery shopping at a small store a few blocks away from my house. It’s more expensive than regular grocery stores, it doesn’t have the same range of products, and it doesn’t offer any points or rewards for my purchases. So why do I keep going back? It’s because they know me as an individual. They know my name, they know I like their fresh squeezed orange juice, and the man who works behind the deli counter once bought me a coffee at the café down the street because the café’s debit machine was out of order and I had no cash. That’s just plain old genuine thoughtfulness.

But we live in the same neighbourhood so it’s different, you say. But does it have to be? Even with your customers that live half way around the world, there’s no reason not to reach out and touch their lives when the moment presents itself. There’s no reason not to be thoughtful and human.

Maybe one of your customers is online right now and just tweeted about how they’re having trouble finding your product in the new city they moved to. Respond. Tell them where they can get it! No one sells your product in that city? Send them a free sample as a house-warming gift. Now they know you’re listening and that you actually care. And they’ll be so absurdly pleased that they may even tell all their friends about it, not to mention their 3,000 Twitter followers.

A little extra time and effort and a little bit of thoughtfulness for your fellow man (or woman) and you can gain customers for life and pique the interest of tons of people just like them. And you might even feel good about it.

~Daniella D’Alimonte

Daniella D'Alimonte

In a nutshell, content marketing is about providing your customers with information they need, when they need it. As Mark put it so well, Google is the new 1-800 number today. You want to make sure you are answering the phone, not your competitors.

Are any of you in import-export and international trade using one or more of the above principles of content marketing? Would you have anything else to add about the person to person marketing approach?

We’d love to hear from you, so please do share your links and comments below.

 

About the author

Jacob Varghese

Author: Jacob Varghese

Jacob is the VP of Marketing and Technology at the Forum for International Trade Training. Focused on improving the customer experience. A Content chef; words, images, some code and a healthy serving of web analytics.

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