Content for Support Materials

Friday, in my post Content Construction, I discussed what content you should use in creating advertising materials. Today, we tackle support materials. If you remember, I used content to include who you are, your message and supporting imagery. The rest of the content depends on the medium.

  • Websites—These offer you the opportunity for rich content. Web 2.0 technology allows for high interactivity and lots of bells and whistles. It’s tempting to go overboard. Don’t. Create a website that gives visitors the key information they need to make the decision to buy what you’re selling. Use it as a repository of resources. Make it easy to navigate and quick to load. Get to the point, but offer links out to additional items of that may be of interest for those that want to investigate further. If you can make yourself the “go-to” site for your industry, that’s exactly what you will be. Create a blog or some other mechanism that updates your site regularly (at least monthly).
  • Social Networking Profiles—It’s becoming easier to set up business profiles on networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. Use them for content viewers won’t find on your website and that they can view from their own pages. Link back to your main site where people can dig deeper. Keep it clean in appearance and update it regularly (at least every two weeks).
  • Resource Publications—These are more traditional in nature. Where you use brochures as advertising pieces, you would create additional brochures, pamphlets, flyers, what have you, with more detail about the functionality of the product. Again, don’t get too wordy. And don’t rely on images to tell the story. Make it a nice mix, where the images supports the text. Say only as much as you need and refer them elsewhere with additional questions—preferably the salesperson or your website.
  • White Papers—Here is your opportunity to start letting the words run wild. Don’t overdo it, and keep using supportive imagery. But here you are telling success stories. Your are giving specific examples about what your product will do for the potential customer. And you must get to the point. Hiding the answers and details from information seekers will only frustrate them. Put it all out there. It not just your ideas you are selling. It’s your ability to execute them because of your expertise. That is what must come through.
  • Instructional Videos/Demos/Tutorials—First, whenever possible, deliver these electronically. Online is your best bet, and you can use other services like YouTube to host them. Show people how it works in action. Talk through what they are seeing and why. Give additional information whenever possible. Make sure the video supports the message. Stay on point. Offer other resources for additional information or other demos. Don’t jam too much information into one video, but give enough and take enough time for people to get it. Again, they want to know your expertise and ability to execute on everything from the most basic problem they have to a highly complex fully integrated solution.

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about how to develop your marketing message.

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