Leeds Business Week 2015 in October is set to be the UK’s biggest business week, attracting people from across the Leeds City Region to connect, trade and grow their businesses. I’ve spoken at Leeds Business Week in previous years on topics such as employee social media policies and recreating the customer experience online. This year, I’m going to be talking about something that businesses can no longer ignore in 2015 – the need to ‘stay front of mind’ with your customers in a world where traditional sales techniques are ignored by increasingly savvy consumers.

Have you got a content strategy?

Content marketing is defined as “The art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling… the belief that if we deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they reward us with their business and loyalty” (Content Marketing Institute). It’s now the holy grail in customer engagement terms – and yet most brands and businesses still don’t have a content strategy or certainly not one that is based not on what they want to tell the customer, but what the customer wants to know about on an ongoing basis.

What’s the future of customer engagement?

The future of customer engagement certainly doesn’t lie in paying to reach the top of a Google search or generating media coverage. It would be underestimating our customers to think so. People are increasingly ‘filtering out the noise’ by only seeking out, following and engaging with the things they’re really interested in. This doesn’t mean that they’re lazy and won’t read anything longer than a 140 character tweet, it just means that they’re more selective about what they spend their time engaging with. Your content has to be high quality, fresh, topical and endorsed by others.

How can you ‘own’ the customer conversation?

The only way to build visibility, credibility, trust and, ultimately profitability is to produce your own high quality content that drives a captive audience back to your ‘owned’ platforms and gives them new reasons to return on a regular basis – without ‘spamming’ them. Never has it been more important to be able to understand and speak in the language of the individual customer, and never has it been more important to focus on quality over quantity.

In my session at Leeds Business Week 2015 (The Leeds Club, Tuesday 13th October, 10am), you’ll learn how to create and implement a content marketing strategy that is tied into your long term business goals and allows you to both proactively plan ahead and constantly react to your customers’ ever-changing agenda. Find out more and sign up here: http://bit.ly/1HGiJGu