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Harness the Power of "Why" in Content Marketing

The most successful content marketing celebrates a company’s values and beliefs, says Doug Kessler.

Doug Kessler, the co-founder of business-to-business marketing agency Velocity, thinks great business-to-business content marketing should start with “why,” an idea he borrowed from Simon Sinek’s TedTalk.
Sinek wanted to find out what’s behind Apple’s success. He discovered Apple is one of the few companies where executives ask themselves why they do what they do. He found that most companies start with “what” and then focus on “how” but never ask themselves “why.” If you can’t or don’t define the why, you can’t share it with your customers.
The same could be said about content marketing, Kessler writes in his blog. The most successful content marketing celebrates a company’s values and beliefs. Yet, content marketing that focuses on a company’s values and beliefs is hard to find.
Businesses should create content that shares with their customers why they do what they do. To get started, Kessler suggests content creators ask themselves these three questions:

  • What type of content would I produce if I didn’t need this job?
  • What do I dare not say but really believe to be true?
  • What could I say that would actively alienate our worst prospects while attracting our best?

That last question follows Kessler’s belief that the more honest content marketers are the more likely they are to attract the right customers to their products.
Kessler created a slideshow, “The Power of Insane Honesty in Content Marketing,” that tells the story of a restaurant manager who was brutally honest about everything Kessler might not like about her restaurant. Yet, she also explained what she could do to fix those shortcomings. Kessler says he ate at her restaurant and enjoyed his meal because the manager was honest and managed his expectations ahead of time.

The best marketers,expose their weaknesses, show how they’re working to fix them and then provide strategies for minimizing their impact. The reason this works, he says, is the buyers you scare away by exposing your weaknesses are the ones who care the most about that missing feature. They are also the least likely customers to be happy if they buy your product.

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