I have a question for you. Do you treat your marketing systems more like a vending machine or a restaurant? A vending machine is pretty simple. People put money in, they get something out, generally overpriced. Usually, it's candy, cookies, chips, drinks, or whatever. A vending machine has to be strategically placed, and you're hoping and wishing that somebody will find what they have a craving for when they are walking past your vending machine.
Restaurants are a bit more complex. People will research them, make reservations, and you're not just buying food, you're buying an experience. A restaurant has to be a more complex set of systems that need to work in concert. On the surface, it may appear pretty simple. You walk in, they seat you, serve you, you eat, you pay, and then leave. But there is a whole concert and ballet of things going on at the same time.
If you think about it, just walking up and getting served, they have to figure out which tables are open and which server to put you with based on their capacity. They have to order food ahead of time and put together the menu. Then there are processes that are working when they are cooking all of your food and getting it out to your table so that everybody at the table gets a hot meal or a cold meal at the same time. There's also the filling of drinks, the cleaning of the table, the payments, and more. These are all microsystems that work together.
The Restaurant System
What I want you to think about is how your marketing is very similar to eating at a restaurant. The first system is the big system. It all has to work as a whole. That means that each one of those systems that I talked about, the seating, the getting food, preparing food, clean up, all have to work in concert in order for your meal to be pleasurable and seamless.
Your marketing systems are basically the same thing. It ends up with people having sales conversations, but there are plenty of moving parts that have to work together ahead of time before you get to the sale. You may need to plan your marketing calendar, create content, distribute that content, measure engagement, and clean up systems that need tweaking.
Food Procurement System
The next piece is the food procurement system. This is where restaurants actually have to figure out how much food they need for the day in order to fulfill what they're expecting to be the right number of plates to match their menu. Then, if they have specials, of course, that adds even more complexity.
In your case, it's the content that you serve up. You have to plan ahead to think about what content you want to serve up this particular day, week, month, or whatever. You need to make sure that you have all the right ingredients, condiments, spices, meaning the right words, graphics, media, and more. No matter what it is, you need ingredients to support your marketing plan.
The next system is the seating system. The seating system tries to match up the right size group with the right amount of servers.
In your case, your seating system is the avatars or the people that you need to talk to. You don't want to just create a buffet where everybody gets their own food and brings it back to their table. What you're doing is trying to find the right person and serve them the right message at the right time.
In a restaurant, you have people that are vegan or want gluten-free, or maybe even some have food allergies. In your case, you want to make sure that you're serving the right brain food to the right audience.
Some people may like seafood, tacos, burgers, soups, salads, or pizza.
You wouldn't want to serve up the wrong food to the wrong person. Why would you do that with your content? You need to identify what those people like, where they want to be served, and serve it up to them.
Food Preparation System
The next piece is the food preparation system or in your case, posting the content. Obviously, when an order is placed, the cooks in the back have to get everything in order. If they cook the meat first and then cook the vegetables next, by the time they get the vegetables on the plate, the meat's going to be cold. There's a way that they do it so that everything comes out equally hot, and then they have to do that for a table of four, a table of eight, table of 16. There's a system based on that.
It's the same with your content. You want to make sure that you're posting the right content to the right social media platform at the right time. It could be on social media. It could be via email. Or, it could be through a direct message.
How you deliver that content, it all has to come in hot, ready, and tasty enough for people to want to consume it. If you served up cold or even worse, rotten food, nobody would eat it. Same with your content. Is your content fresh? Is it timely? Does it make sense at the time that you send it? That's what having a good food delivery system in your content marketing is like.
Customer Service System
The next piece is the customer service part. You probably don't even notice throughout the course of a meal, your drinks are served first, then the appetizers, then the food. During that time, there are bus people looking at your table, making sure your water glass is still filled up, to see if you need napkins.
They'll also be there ready to take your plate away when you're finished and then they'll clean the table and they'll make sure that you get your check on time so you're not sitting there twiddling your thumbs. Plus, it's not that they want to get you out too soon, but they also don't want you to lollygag, either, because when that table is occupied, and they can't sell more food.
It's the same thing with your business. When people are done reading your content or download something, do you have a follow up system? Are you contacting people who are engaging with your content to see if they have any other questions or needs? Are you filling their water glass and clearing their plates? And, are you making sure they're satisfied so they come back?
Clear The Table
The final piece of this puzzle is the cleanup system. Now that everybody's left the table and they paid for the meal, you need to go and clean that table. Do you need to measure how fast they got seated? Did the cooks get the things out on time? Were the systems together and are they working the way they should to optimize profits?
That, in the world of content marketing, is why you need to read your analytics. You need to be able to read the receipts at the end of the day to find out if you made money. You also need to be able to read your analytics, whether it's Google Analytics on your website or social analytics on any of the platforms, to see which content is getting consumed the most.
For example, if you sell a heck of a lot of fish on Fridays but you don't sell any Monday through Thursday, would you order a lot of fish during the week? No. You would adjust your ordering system to make sure that you had the right amount of food in the right quantity to serve the needs of your customers.
As restaurants analyze what foods get eaten on what day they order more or less, the same goes for you. When you're creating content, you have to decipher what people are consuming and when. Then you can do more of what's working and try not to deliver too much of something that's not.
So that, my friends, is how your content marketing systems are like a restaurant system. You've got all of these interwoven parts working together.
Still, many businesses want a vending machine. They want to put up a website. They want to post things and they hope that somebody's going to walk by via Google Search, drop in a few quarters, and buy a candy bar.
Really successful businesses realize that they need to be serving up fine cuisine of great information to the right people at the right time.
Do you really want to take a chance on a vending machine, or should you create a system in place that serves up, delivers, and measures the effectiveness of marketing in your business?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas, or questions about serving up great content marketing. Have you created any systems that are working for you? What worked and what did not live up to your expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?
To learn more about this and other topics on Internet Marketing, visit our podcast website at http://www.baconpodcast.com/podcasts/