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5 Takeaways: Reaching Customers Through Content Marketing, ELFA Webinar

August 31, 2021, 07:25 AM

An introduction to omni-channel marketing, ways to build a content marketing strategy and a case study on bringing these elements together were the focus of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s Aug. 19 webinar, “Reaching Your Customer in a Digital World.” More than 225 equipment finance professionals attended the hourlong, interactive presentation designed for marketers of all levels of experience to achieve more effective customer interaction.

Brittney Weber, Chair of the ELFA Communications Committee and Vice President, Direct Marketing Manager Senior, Huntington National Bank, moderated the event with panelists Monica Bruegl, Marketing Consultant; Katy Ellquist, Senior Global Content Strategist & Marketing Consultant, Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation; and Heather S. Friedman, Vice President Corporate Marketing, GreatAmerica Financial Services.

Weber started by thanking the ELFA Communications Committee for convening the webinar. “We’ve got a great, supportive group of marketing and communication professionals from across the equipment finance industry on the Committee,” she said, inviting those who are interested in joining the group to contact ELFA (see details below).

Bruegl kicked off the presentation with an overview of omni-channel marketing, which provides a seamless client experience regardless of the channel (email, banner ad, video) or device (phone, laptop, etc.). When measuring omni-channel marketing ROI, Bruegl noted that improving the client experience is a top priority for companies today, even outranking other priorities such as price. “This really illuminates how the client journey is becoming a competitive playground for all of us,” she said.

At the heart of omni-channel marketing is content marketing, which comprises planning, creating and sharing valuable content for a target audience to achieve a business goal. Below are five takeaways on the basics of content marketing.

  1. Content should solve problems for customers and educate them about services your company offers. It’s essentially all the supporting content beyond a new product release announcement or spec sheet that helps to drive sales. By sharing relevant content, your company can establish itself as an industry authority and build trust with customers.
  2. Take a simple, methodical approach to get started. To begin a content marketing program, first get informed. There are dozens of free content marketing resources available online to help you and your team learn best practices and new concepts at any experience level. Create a budget, allocate an amount that works for your business, and increase the investment if desired outcomes are met. Set goals for evaluating each piece of content, such as effectiveness in increasing awareness, lead generation or social media engagement, and report, review and refresh as needed.
  3. Content should be simple, consistent and creative. The recommended reading level for general marketing content is eighth grade, and keeping it simple can allow your content to be shared with a broader audience and increase your reach. Establish a consistent tone and voice and maintain it to avoid confusing your audience. Don’t be afraid to push the envelope on what’s acceptable for your industry. Unique content is more memorable and can help you stand out from your competition.
  4. Have multiple ways to use information. Ellquist said, “Everyone consumes content differently, so it’s really important to have a good variety of ways that you share and repurpose some of the same information. This is a time to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and think about what you would want to see.”
  5. Content can take a variety of forms, including blogs, whitepapers, ebooks, infographics and videos. Repurpose and take an omni-channel approach for greater visibility. Potential channels include display advertising, social advertising, paid search, email marketing, online forums and employee sharing/engagement.
  6. Document your content marketing plan. Fewer than 40 percent of content marketers have a documented content strategy, so only 35 percent can demonstrate ROI of their efforts. To track your program, create a content strategy playbook as an overall guide, create and maintain a content calendar to plan initiatives throughout the year, and document your reporting process to enable analysis of effectiveness and gaps in the program.   

In Friedman’s discussion of a LinkedIn case study, she provided social media do’s and don’ts that included not sending mass spammy messages that show little effort or violate the “connections before transactions” rule.

“You’re all in the environment of meeting people, getting to know them and figuring out how and if your company can help them,” she said. “If that’s your approach in real life, it should also be your approach in the social media realm.” The same can be said for a thoughtfully designed and executed omni-channel content marketing strategy.

For a recording of the Aug. 19 webinar and webinar slides, visit  For information about joining the ELFA Communications Committee, please contact Amy Vogt, VP of Communications & Marketing, at

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