June 26, 2014

LeBron James is a Free Agent Again. Why Marketers Should be Paying Attention

Four years after LeBron James informed the world he was taking his talents to Miami, it looks like we’re in for another big “Decision.” James has officially filed for free agency, meaning the sports world will be waiting with baited breath to see whether he will stay in Miami, gallop back to his hometown of Cleveland on a white horse, or move on to a new city altogether.

To make matters more interesting, there is also drama building between James and Heat President Pat Riley, who recently questioned James' “guts” as well as his dedication to the Heat. Unfortunately for Riley, James did not cave to his rhetoric and re-sign, instead opting to test the waters of free agency. This means we’re in for a very interesting marketing display as the rest of the NBA competes for the services of King James. Just about every team will line up to try and convince the best player in the game that their business has the total package LeBron is looking for: the right city, market, tools, fans, supporting players and spending room.

Does this struggle sound familiar? As a B2B marketer, you face the same battle as these organizations do every day as you try to convince decision makers that your brand is the go-to solution. Which is why digital content needs to be a critical part of your marketing strategy. Your clients need to be reached through blog posts, Web copy and social media. Consider the fact that 93 percent of B2B marketers are using content marketing to attract clients. If you don’t offer your customers valuable information online, your customers will find it from a direct competitor.

Here are some ways content marketing can help your business stand out from the pack:

Differentiate your brand: Is your brand as popular as the Chicago Bulls, or mired in obscurity like the New Orleans Hornets? If you want to compete and attract top-tier clients, you need to be in the spotlight. On the Web, this means your business needs to be first in the Google search rankings. You also need to maintain a strong presence on social sites like Facebook and Twitter. For this reason, 82 percent of B2C marketers use content marketing to create brand awareness online.

Tip:  Don’t be afraid to be creative! One company, cloud provider SunGard, used a zombie-themed campaign to create brand awareness. As a result of this creative risk, download rates increased by 300 percent. Additionally, email open rates improved by 5.7 percent.  

Show off your talent: LeBron James isn’t looking to partner with a team of D-League caliber players. Likewise, your clients want to see that you have access to industry experts and top-tier talent. Your company blog should feature your executive team as well as guest bloggers who can offer unique and valuable information.

Tip: Best practices call for hiring a team of ghostwriters to produce content for your executives. Your team might be well-informed and full of cutting-edge information, but they might not have the skills to turn their ideas into written words. Hire a team of writers to extrapolate information and transform it into killer copy.

Prove your immediate value: LeBron James wants to do one thing: win. He’s looking for a team that can hit the ground running and produce championships immediately. Chances are your team can do the same thing. But your customers need to see this. Use your content to build your case.

Tip: Case studies and white papers will show perspective clients that your team is more than capable of delivering impactful results. The more copy you can produce indicating your reliability, the more trust you will gain from businesses looking to partner with you. 


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