Mailbag: Keeping top of mind with customers

Content sketch

It’s time to open the mailbag again! Today’s question is a terrific one from Steven: “How do you keep ‘top of mind’ with your customers?”

Keeping top of mind is a question of frequency. How often are you reaching your customers and prospects? How often should you be? The answer is simple: as often as you can provide value.

You can, for example, send them worthless press releases every day, or hit your email list twice a day with garbage, but you’ll be ignored almost immediately. On the other hand, if you are providing them value, then the only practical limit to their attention is how much time in the day they have to pay attention to you. Help A Reporter, founded by Peter Shankman, is the gold standard example of this. The mailing list sends out to over 200,000 subscribers three times a day, but because it’s packed with value for readers, people stay subscribed and pay attention when it arrives.

This is why content curation should be an essential part of your public relations strategy. Unless you have a massive research and writing team able to crank out high quality, useful content on a daily basis, some portion of your shared content must be curated from other sources. In that manner, you can provide value by re-sharing news and ideas that you’ve found valuable to your audience, while reducing the demands on your time to generate consistently great content to what you can manage.

How do you know what’s valuable to your customers? Ask them. Ask them what channels of yours they read, if any (blog, Facebook, Twitter, newsletter, etc.), and what they find most valuable. Ask them in different ways, ask them frequently, and actually listen to the answers they give you.

The gold standard question to ask of the stuff you’re sending your customers comes from marketing expert Jay Baer:

If your marketing was a product, is it good enough that someone would pay for it?

If the answer is yes, then keeping top of mind is simply a question of consistently creating that great product. If the answer is no, then get to the point where your marketing and public relations efforts are good enough to buy.

Thanks, Steven, for the terrific question!

Christopher S. Penn
Vice President, Marketing Technology


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