Sales and Marketing Advice for Florida business
How to get your audience to discover your content
Content is an interesting word. Most of us hear it and think about the creation and sharing of information used to acquire customers. It comes in all forms. Video, brochures, ebooks, blog posts, printed how-to guides, infographics, case studies, articles, and many more.
Yet, one of the definitions of content is “something that is contained”, as in the contents of a box. Whoa! Content is something you want to get into the hands of prospective customers, not contain.
Unfortunately, that’s what happens all too often.
In content marketing there’s a tendency to focus mostly on the first part of the process -- producing materials and then posting it somewhere. It’s sort of a build it and they will come kind of mindset, particularly for businesses with a heavy online emphasis.
Having relevant and valuable content for your audience is just the first step. A very important starting point indeed, but there’s much more to it. You need a post-production game plan too. Think of it as your content amplification plan.
After all, great content needs to be seen, read, and acted on. And, it doesn’t happen all by itself. Your goal is to get any content you develop, online and offline, the greatest amount of exposure possible.
Otherwise your content is contained, never seen by potential customers, the press, or others that can help you grow. No matter how great your content is, if no one is reading it, it won’t have an impact. How can you ensure your content is reaching your market?
Pre-production game plan. You know that creating content is a good thing, but laying out the objective first is a critical first step. Is your goal to build awareness of your brand, sell a recently launched service, get media coverage, have influencers talk about your offering, educate and support existing customers, drive traffic into a tradeshow booth, or maybe attract new employees? Be specific. Before you kick your new content out the door audit it for brand and messaging consistency. Make sure it matches the purpose and confirm that the call-to-action is clear.
Get your story in front of the right audience. It’s all too easy for your content to get lost in the competitive noise. It’s not enough to have valuable content and simply rely on search and social -- you need to amplify it to the audience it’s intended for. Lock in the distribution channels that make sense for the particular content you’re about to launch and your budget. Lay out a delivery plan -- think like a publisher and schedule deliberately. For social media publishing a tool such as HootSuite makes it simple to manage different portions of your network and publish targeted messages that can be customized, reblog popular content, and more.
Amplify visibility online and offline. All of your channels need to work efficiently. Once you have a piece of content ready to roll use all possible distribution methods to drive engagement and encourage content sharing. Tie it all together everywhere you touch your target market, including partners and third parties that share the same audience. At live events, in direct mail pieces, and other printed marketing material add QR codes and exclusive web links for easy click through to a valuable download or special discount offer on your website. Use social media, email newsletters, and news releases to let people know your company is at an event and why they should meet you. Consider amplifying the reach of your earned media with paid media using your most popular content through LinkedIn sponsored updates, Twitter promoted Tweets, and Facebook promoted posts. Be an active participant in content promotion and join in any conversations happening around your content.
Measure how your content is performing. Determine what metrics support your pre-production game plan goals. Sure, it’s all about making more sales, yet content marketing is focused not so much on selling, but on engaging people with relevant, quality content that solves their problems. Monitor what content draws users in to refine what you will do moving forward. Gauge responses to blog posts, requests for your free offer, pre-sales activity such as inquiries, event attendance, keyword referring data, and of course conversions. Use the feedback to modify your content marketing campaign, both for your online and offline content. Leverage that information in all future marketing campaigns.
Your content needs an audience. Help move people to your brand.
Get greater visibility with social influencers. Shape your content to the different personalities of each of your channels. Share your story across multiple types of content -- ebooks, infographics, webinars, SlideShare presentations, case studies, research reports, and much more.
Do you have a content amplification strategy?
Ron Stein is President of FastPath Marketing (www.marketing-strategies-guide.com) and the author of the Rapid Impact Marketing & Selling Playbook. As a speaker, coach, and consultant he works with small business owners helping them to accelerate the path between their vision and the actions needed to reach, win, and keep customers. Ron is the creator of the FastPath to More Customers Now! 7-step marketing system based on more than twenty years as a successful business owner, corporate CEO, business development executive, and salesman. He is also a mentor at two nationally recognized business accelerators. Ron offers one-on-one and small group mentoring, conducts seminars, and consults. He can be reached at 727-398-1855 or Ron@FastPathMarketing.com.