Text Messaging Featured Article

Is Your Content Strategy Missing Its Content?

February 19, 2013

Before I get into this article, let me be perfectly clear on a couple of items:

  1. There are no concrete rules about mobile marketing, except for one: Don’t spam!
  2. The intent of this article is too guide you (my readers) toward improved effectiveness and real net results based on tried and proven methods, not theories to generate whitepaper downloads or sell some books.
  3.  I largely write to a specific audience that consists of the mobile marketer, the SMB to Enterprise, not an enthusiast. The audience I write to understands that EVERYONE in their company is a marketer. Please recognize that this post focuses on those using text messaging (specifically long code) as a form of marketing.

Literally thousands of times per day, text messages are received by people that are marketing related. Typically, these texts are nothing more than glorified ads at 160 characters. The unfortunate truth is that a large percentage of the time, people are unable to find a true reason to connect with that particular brand; its missing a great call to action!

I don't mean the content of the message is missing, but the actionable reason I should respond to it is. Nothing is original when we receive the message, and that makes your content the same as everyone else’s.

 Let me say something very clear: If you largely send out content that looks like someone else's (ex: an ad for shoes and an ad for pizza are still the same thing – an AD) then you are deploying a tactic like everyone else, meaning nothing is original or your own.

In light of this, a few things I suggest include:

Carefully selecting what you are sending in a text message

Ensure there is a reason for the audience to engage to further your content strategy.

Making ads or coupons around 10-20 percent of the max texts you send your audience.

If you are going to be effective with mobile marketing and text messaging, you need to have a strategy, and that strategy needs to be yours. Limit the ads, coupons and discounts you text and ramp up the interaction you want to build the relationships. Have conversations on topics regarding your brand that drive your audience.

Having a content strategy – no matter what

If you don't know what mobile marketing strategy is when using text messaging, are struggling with it or need to make changes to your existing strategy, here is a simple Infographic that may help. Coupled with a mobile content strategy, you should have an effective way to aggregate and handle the content you manage, schedule and eventually text. You should also have a way to respond to those who have engaged with you.

Related example:

I have personally witnessed receiving messages from brands large and small that were nothing but ads and discounts. I have also assisted clients who came in like everyone else wanting to use text messaging to market just like big brand “XYZ” does.

Initially I offer a little insight, but still allow these clients to deliver the content as they expressed; however, always look to stay in touch and see how things are going. Inevitably, I hear how the results are not that great and frustration mounts. I then ask how they know whether people are looking at the messages and how they are responding and find out that there is no call to action leading the audience to respond. This is followed by examples of content where the client is essentially asking the audience for a response. A conversation is created, but more importantly, because there is now a response, our clients have data to know how the relationship is going with the audience.

 The right content is very important, and where you spend your time in the conversation generated is important as well. Many of the large brands who do ads and coupons via text message are not as successful at it as you think. In fact, my experience tells me that many of those brands that blast out these discounts have an audience that has grown numb to receiving the messages and often dismiss them without actually reading or reacting to what is provided.

That is a waste of money, time and resources that a big brand can afford, but for everyone else, I think not – hence the importance of the content and your strategy.

 Don't misunderstand, I love receiving coupons and discounts as much as the next guy, but if I receive a coupon for cheese sticks from “XYZ” pizza and I think they taste nasty in the first place, then I am not going to order the product or use the coupon, and eventually, I’ll stop paying attention altogether to the messages I receive from them because they do not care.

That is deadly for any business.

The moral of the article today is that you must have your own content strategy that includes engaging your audience with content whose intended purpose is to build a relationship. Content you create to have a conversation will open up new avenues of revenue. These things work together to deliver value to your community and establish credibility in your space as a brand that cares and listens. Doing so will result in increased, meaningful conversations, deeper and improved relationships and ultimately a return on investment for your marketing efforts that sustain you through the tough times as well as the good.

Edited by Allison Boccamazzo
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