One thing

October 11, 2017

one thingIn the wake of what we’ve been talking about over the last couple weeks, I’ve received a lot of emails asking about this idea of how to define who your organization is, who you best serve and what you do for them. Ironically, this all boils down to doing less, to focusing on just one thing. It’s so counter-intuitive that most business owners and leaders reject the idea. I get it – you want to offer as much as possible to your potential customers and surely more potential customers means more revenue, right?

Actually, no. Our world today is about specialization. In most cases, people have a specific need. I need someone to tune up my BMW not just I want an auto mechanic. I need someone to come to the house to tune my piano not just I need a piano store. I need long-term disability insurance for my company of 43 employees not I need someone who sells every kind of insurance under the sun.

We get it when we are the consumer. We want someone who has a depth of knowledge so we can be confident that they will not only understand my need but they’ve met my specific need many times for customers who have gone before me. But when it comes to the selling side of our world, we somehow forget the value of this distinction and want to sell a little something to everyone.

Here’s why that’s a flawed premise:

Your most profitable sale is the repeat sale: You know the least profitable of all sales is the first one. The sales cycle is longer. The concessions are often greater and the risk of a client mismatch or dissatisfaction is greater. But when you delight someone and meet their need to such a degree that they buy again – there’s hardly any sales cycle, they are happy to pay your price because they’ve already seen the value and they know they’re going to be happy.

You don’t need that many: I think one of the reasons businesses take the generalist route is because they haven’t done the math. If you could secure new customers that were going to be repeat buyers and great referral sources – how many do you really need? The truth is, you can only handle so many new clients. So why not narrow your focus so you only secure the best possible new clients?  Why not focus on the one thing?

Generalists are commodities: If you sell everything to everyone, you become the dollar store of your industry. You have to be less expensive because you are a generalist and generalists have to compete with everyone out there. So it becomes a price issue. Is that really where you want to be?

It diminishes the experience for your team: Being pretty good at a lot of things does not feel the same as being incredible at a few things. Everyone wants to take pride in their work. Everyone wants to be perceived as being best in class. Everyone wants to be appreciated for adding incredible value. With today’s shrinking workforce – you want to offer your team the luxury of being a rock star, not a garage band so that you can attract and retain the best talent out there.

Part of your work in defining your company’s values, mission and vision should be focused on the question “where can we truly over deliver that will add tremendous value to our clients?” Odds are the answer will not be everywhere. What is our one thing? Define the playing field where you have the shot at winning almost every game and refuse to play anywhere else. That sort of discipline is difficult but the short and long-term rewards are worth the effort.

Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Be indispensable to a few who will help you attract more just like them.

 

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What’s your mission?

October 4, 2017

MissionLast week we explored how critical it is for a business to have a clear idea of who they are and what they’re all about –  mission, vision and values. My worry is that few owners have ever taken the time to actually articulate what their business is all about or made the effort to weave it into the fabric of the company.

Hopefully you invested some time last week to really define your core values and are ready to dig into the mission and vision portion of defining your organization’s core.

Many people confuse mission and vision. Here’s how we define them.

Mission — what you do best every day

Vision – what the future is like because you do what you do best every day

No matter what you sell, from legal services to multi-million dollar medical devices – someone else sells what you sell. Yours might be a little better, a little faster or it might last a little longer but it’s got lots of decent competition. Our best clients don’t love us for what we sell but how or why we do it. That’s where our mission and vision come in.

Why would you invest the energy? First, we have to acknowledge that there are no bad customers. But there are definitely bad customers for us. Every dollar is not earned equally. We’ve all suffered from a wrong fit client. Because we’re not in alignment with them – it’s harder to make them happy. We end up investing a ton of time and energy trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. That hardly ever works. We expend an incredible amount of time, money and energy trying to meet their needs when the truth is – we weren’t the best fit for them.

That’s the beautiful thing about really understanding why your business exists and what matters most to you. That clarity will attract right fit customers to you and it will also repel the wrong ones.

Another big benefit of that clarity is that when you define your why, as Simon Sinek encouraged us to do in his book, Start With Why, it also helps you find employees who share those beliefs and will stand along side you as you delight your right fit customers.

So how do you figure out what your mission and vision are? The key to doing this well is not settling for a superficial answer. Remember that your mission statement is what you do best every day. This statement should be from your customer’s point of view.

Why do you work so hard? How are you changing your sliver of the world?

If you’re having trouble articulating what you do best, try this. You know that feeling you get every once in awhile when everything falls into place and deep in your soul you think — THIS is why I do what I do? Figure out what triggers that feeling and odds are it’s a pretty good clue to your organization’s mission.

Unlike the mission, the vision is from your company’s point of view. Why are you putting in the effort? What are you trying to accomplish? What will be true for your organization if you deliver on your mission every day?

The trick to doing this well is pushing past the expected. If most of your competitors could claim your mission or vision – you haven’t dug deep enough. It needs to be uniquely yours, so keep pushing until you get to that level.

When you do this well, it’s evergreen. Just like our personal values and purpose rarely change – the same should be true of your company’s mission, vision and values.

Invest the time to do this well and then reap the benefits of knowing exactly who you are and who you are not.

 

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Mission, vision and values

September 27, 2017

mission, vision, valuesIt’s vital to every business that they have a clear idea of who they are and what they’re all about. Few owners have taken the time to distill it down or made the effort to weave it into the fabric of the company. What do the mission, vision and values for your business look like?

Many people confuse mission and vision. Here’s how we define them.

Mission — what you do best every day

Vision – what the future is like because you do what you do best every day

And the values that your company are built on is what influences your mission and vision. Each of these is critical. If you believe you’ve already sorted these out for your organization– revisit them to make sure they’re still on target and meet the following criteria:

  • Are your mission and vision statements a single sentence?
  • Are your values short enough that everyone on your team could memorize and recite them?
  • Are all three components written in common, easy to understand language?
  • Are they unique to you? Could any other business claim the exact same set?
  • Are they all from the client’s/an outside perspective? Remember this is how you want others to see you.

This kind of work looks simple enough, but the truth is, it’s incredibly difficult to dig deep enough to get to answers that fit all of the criteria.

If you’ve never developed a mission, vision or defined your company’s values, it’s long overdue. Let’s start with your values.

Go someplace that inspires you to clear your head and really do some deeper thinking. For some, this will be a quiet place like sitting by a lake or in an art gallery. For others, it will be putting on some headphones in a coffee shop and immersing yourself in the energy. Hopefully you know what kind of an environment triggers your best thinking.

Most people find it’s easiest to tackle the values first. Make a list of all of the values that you want your company to have. At this stage, don’t edit or censor. Just brainstorm the list and capture every thought.

Now, pick the 5-6 that are most important to you. These are the values you are not willing to compromise on, for love or money. These should not be aspirational. These need to be foundational to your business – you should already be using them as a guide, whether you’ve articulated them before or not.

The finalists should get a yes answer to the following questions (borrowed from Jim Collins in Good to Great):

  • If you were to start a new business, would you build it around this core value regardless of the industry?
  • Would you want your company to continue to stand for this core value 100 years into the future?
  • Would you want your business to hold this core value, even if at some point in time it became a competitive disadvantage?
  • Do you believe that those who do not share this core value—those who breach it consistently – do not belong in your organization?
  • Would you change jobs before giving up this core value?
  • If you awoke tomorrow with more than enough money to retire comfortably for the rest of your life, would you continue to apply this core value to your productive activities?

Rank them in terms of importance. Why does this matter? Because sometimes values are in conflict with one another and you need to know which ones trump the others.

Now, that you have the values defined, are you happy with the words you’ve chosen to communicate each one? This is your opportunity to wordsmith them. After you’ve done that – you’re done with step one. Next week we’ll dig into your mission.

 

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LinkedIn Strategies

September 20, 2017

LinkedInOne of the most under-utilized social networks, from a business and marketing perspective, is LinkedIn. Despite boasting over 396 million users, the truth is that most of the users have no idea what to do with their LinkedIn account besides collecting connections in a random fashion. It’s actually a very robust business tool that you should be using to grow your brand, your network and your social credibility.

I only have space to dig into a couple of the main ways you should be using the tool but even doing these will put you leaps and bounds ahead of most.

It’s difficult to deny the importance of having a great list these days. Most organizations are using digital communication tools to deliver some of their marketing messages. But one of your largest list sources, your LinkedIn database, is missing out on all of those communications unless you have those connections in whatever email marketing tool you are using.

On the flip side, you have many contacts that you’ve made through the years that are not part of your LinkedIn profile. The reason that’s so vital is that some of those people may well be connected to someone you’re trying to reach. If they’re not a part of your LinkedIn network, you can’t leverage those connections to your advantage.

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to easily get both done.

Import your email list into LinkedIn and send connection requests

  • Log into LinkedIn
  • Roll over the “Connections” from the LinkedIn menu and click Add Connections
  • From here, you can enter the password to your email address and LinkedIn will go into your email account and match all of your contacts up with their membership directory. LinkedIn will ask you if you want to send a connection request to all of the people who match up with their directory. The first time you follow this process, you’ll likely add hundreds of new LinkedIn connections to your profile.

Why is this important? As I said earlier, the more connections you have in your database, the better you can truly network and ask for introductions, etc. But beyond that, your ability to see leads in LinkedIn’s advanced lead builder is dependent on the number of people in your network (1st, 2nd and 3rd degree connections). If you expand your network, you will increase the number of prospects you are allowed to see.

Once you have imported your email list, remember to communicate with your connections regularly. You should start sharing articles, your company’s Facebook posts, etc. on LinkedIn. Remember, the more people that you have in your network, the more people who will see and potentially share your content.

Export your LinkedIn connection list and import them into your email list

LinkedIn is the only social media platform that allows you to export the email addresses of your connections. By adding them to your database – you can better lead, score and communicate through enewsletters, etc.

  • Click on “Connections”
  • Click on the gear icon in the upper right corner of the screen
  • Click on the Export LinkedIn Connections link under the Advanced Settings option
  • Click on the blue Export button and you will be able to download a CSV file with all of your connections’ data
  • You should then upload the CSV file to your marketing automation software or email tool of choice

Neither of these action items are a once and done type of a thing. You are adding people to both databases on a regular basis so you need to repeat both the export and import strategies at least quarterly to keep both sides of the system as updated as possible.

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Shhh, we’re secret shopping

January 11, 2017

Secret ShoppingIf there’s one marketing tactic that we execute for clients that always yields incredible results, it’s when we secret shop their operation. Without exception, a secret shopping program will:

  • Provide insights that surprise you (good and bad)
  • Spotlight specific areas where your training and communication have failed and you/your employees are hurting your brand
  • Uncover sales opportunities that you are letting slip through your fingers
  • Identify employees who are brand ambassadors and those who are actually doing damage to your reputation

We secret shop some of our clients every year and even though we’ve done it before – each time produces new insights and results. We always modify some aspects of their customer interaction, marketing, and employee training based on the results of the effort.

Many times we not only secret shop our own clients but we include their competitors as well. This produces an incredible wealth of new knowledge – from vulnerabilities to what they’re saying about their competition (you!) to prospects. Depending on the study – sometimes we don’t tell our operatives who the client is but at the end of the process, we ask them who they would hire/buy from. That’s always an eye opener!

If you’re a B2B leader/owner and are about to dismiss this as a retail marketing tactic – think again. We’ve done it for plenty of B2B clients with the exact same results. No matter what you sell – you interact with people to market and sell your offerings. We’ve done secret shopping on the web, over the phone, via email and in person (usually a blend of more than one throughout the sales cycle) and the learning is huge, no matter what you sell.

Like all marketing – doing it and doing it well are two different things. There are some elements of a secret shopping program that you’ll want to pay special attention to if you want reliable results.

This is not a DIY project: There are some marketing elements that you and your team are perfectly equipped to do on your own. This is not one of them. You need to bring in experienced outsiders who understand your industry but more important – understand how to effectively secret shop and report back the results.

You want to choose a firm who has professionals that are experienced in handling the entire secret shopping experience from initial contact to the final report. They need to be privy to your key messages, brand and sales process or they won’t be able to help you identify how to improve.

Create a safe environment: Secret shoppers often have to share less than ideal results with their clients. If you don’t make it perfectly clear that you’re ready to hear whatever they discover – it may make it difficult for them to be as candid as you need them to be. Prepare yourself – no matter how good you and your employees are – you’re not going to get a perfect grade. There’s always room for improvement.

Consistency is key: For the results to be meaningful, the experience needs to be consistent – all the shoppers need to look for the same things, ask the same sorts of questions, and grade the experience based on the same criteria. This allows you to know that the reported results aren’t an anomaly and should be reacted to – good or bad.

Next steps: The most important part of the secret shopping experience is that the company you hire can help you identify next steps to correct the issues and accentuate the positives. This will probably include employee training, some tweaks to your sales process and it may even include some changes to your product/service itself.

If you want to start your year off with a serious boost – consider a secret shopping program.

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Keep Up

November 2, 2016

Keep UpI was recently asked to give a presentation on what students can do/learn so they can keep up with the ever-changing landscape of business and marketing today. As I was preparing the material to deliver, I quickly realized that my counsel wasn’t just for today’s students. It’s what all of us, whether we are a student or seasoned professional, need to be doing to stay current in this never static environment that we all exist in.

Recognize that your employer is not going to invest in your continuing growth. You need to do it for yourself: I’m not saying you won’t have the opportunity to attend a conference or take a class, but the reality is, no company can afford to provide as much continuing education as we need.

We have to be motivated to keep learning on our own or we will very quickly fall behind and once that happens, it’s tough to catch up. Regular consumption of podcasts, webinars, books, blogs, TED talks or whatever method works for you is critical.

Consume information wisely and quickly: We’ve all done it. You click on one online article and next thing you know, an hour has passed and you are far away from where you started. Today’s information overload can bury us in a blink if we’re not careful. We definitely need to consume information every day but we need to have a plan.

Use tools that help you sort and filter all the information out there to find what you need to keep up. An RSS Feed reader (I like Feedly) is an easy way to sort through huge volumes of data. You can also use customizable news apps like Flipboard to aggregate the latest news in the categories that matter most to your industry and career.

Learn to teach, write to learn: The linear nature of mentorships is evolving into a new model. We old dogs have a lot to learn from our younger, digital-native co-workers and we still have a few things to teach as well. When you know you’re going to be teaching others, you learn at a different level.

One of the best ways to teach is to write. As you do your research and fact checking, you will learn even more. A side benefit is that your writing skills will get stronger as well.

Be productive at the start: Most days, the distractions win. We rarely get as much done as we’d like, simply because of the interruptions and constant distractions that bombard us throughout the day.

But if you start your day in relative quiet and get the most pressing of your work done before you log into email, walk into a meeting or take that first call – you’ll feel less rushed and frenetic. If you include some of your media/information consumption into that morning routine, you’ll also feel more plugged into what’s going on in the world.

Surround yourself with other learners and thinkers: You can’t possibly learn it all. And even tougher – you can’t see it all from every angle. You need to create your own tribe of people who will share freely, encourage you, hold you accountable, challenge you and cheer you on.

Very few professionals make the time to create this sort of mastermind group of their own. But I can tell you from personal experience, it’s a safe place to admit you don’t know something, to ask someone you trust to hold you accountable to a goal or just to compare notes/experiences.

The world is not going to slow down. If anything, the speed of change is just going to accelerate even more. If we don’t master these habits now and develop this ability to keep learning and evolving – to keep up – we may never catch up.

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Disruption – Are you the next Dodo bird?

September 14, 2016

disruptionMarketing is always ripe with buzzwords that may or may not have any traction. Part of our role as marketing professionals and business leaders is to recognize when it’s hype and when it’s important. One of the words/trends that seems to be the new darling is the idea of disruption. This is one we can’t afford to dismiss as hype. It’s a huge opportunity and a huge threat.

Many people misunderstand the term. Disruptive does not mean that your marketing tactics disrupt or interrupt your audience. Instead, what it actually means is that a new technology or product is going to disrupt an existing market or industry and actually create a new market or value proposition. Often this leads to the extinction of the original product or service by replacing it with something better. It’s the ultimate in creativity and destruction, all in one.

A great example is the point and shoot camera. The smart phone crushed the demand for inexpensive cameras and today; it’s tough to even find one in a store. The camera function wasn’t the primary focus of the smart phone, it was simply a feature. But that feature, coupled with technologies that actually made it superior to the original, ended up being a product killer.

Disruption isn’t about making a better mousetrap. It’s about making the mousetrap obsolete. Just ask Blockbuster or Kodak. They’re a great example of incredibly successful and profitable businesses that are now obsolete.

Disruption is fine and dandy, if you’re the one doing the disrupting, but how do you know if a new trend or technology has you in it’s sights?

Keep your perspective broad: Odds are, the disruption won’t come from within your own industry. It’s likely a technology that’s developing in a completely different field. It’s probably an innovation within it’s own category but runs the risk of being a game changer in yours.

Listen to your best users: It’s always a good plan to listen to your customers but if you’re worried about disruption – you need to step it up to a whole different level. Watch for an erosion of their usage or loyalty. Listen to their requests for product enhancements or add-ons.

Track trends: Disruptors don’t appear out of the blue. Typically they’re born from a broader trend or cultural shift. Watch for emerging trends, especially those that impact your super users/customers. If the trend is going to alter their lives, it could well alter yours too.

Explore and innovate: The best way to avoid becoming a disruptor’s victim is to keep evolving. You have to keep experimenting and exploring new ideas for the needs your customers have today and the ones they don’t even know they’re going to have tomorrow.

Measure and monitor: Part of surviving a disruptor may mean knowing when it’s time to pivot because you’re fighting a losing battle. You can’t afford to be caught off guard so now is not the time to get lax with your key performance indicators.

It’s important that we all recognize that we won’t escape disruption forever. It isn’t new and the world has always evolved over time. Think about the impact of the first cars, TV sets, and the personal computer and what they did to carriages, radio and typewriters. Disruption has always been around. It’s just that it’s coming at a pace we’ve never seen before. Technology is accelerating the disruption and that’s not likely to stop.

Your industry might have dodged it so far, but odds are – change is coming. You can brace yourself for the impact, you can see it on the horizon but most of all – you need to be thinking like a disruptor.

How can you evolve your offerings before someone makes you obsolete?

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What’s your halftime speech?

June 22, 2016

HalftimeWe’re a few days away from July and that means the first half of the game is over. It’s halftime.  Are you heading into the locker room to slap everyone on the back and tell them to protect your lead or are you about to give a hell and brimstone speech about digging deep and finding more?

We don’t usually think of business in these terms but just like halftime is a critical element in a football game, we can choose to make this halfway point equally important to our 2016 business outcomes.

One of the reasons why the halftime speech works is because they only have 12 minutes. That’s how long a regulation halftime lasts. There’s no wiggle room or opportunity for a bullet pointed list of topics. Twelve minutes means you need to get to the point and you only get one point.

I think that’s where we get into trouble, don’t you?

By now, your marketing plan (if you ever wrote one) has been blown out of the water by distractions, delays, or determined opponents. Or more likely – all three.

If you aren’t thrilled with the score at this halfway point in the year – I’d be willing to bet that you’ve allowed the distractions, delays and determined opponents get in the way. You stopped playing your own game.

It’s time to get back to that singular focus on the 12-minute halftime speech. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you prep.

How far behind are you? What are the tangible costs/losses?

You have to start by re-assessing your situation and being realistic about what you’ve sacrificed. It also can be very motivating. You can’t make up sales any better than you can make up sleep. You can do better – but it doesn’t go back and replace what was lost.

Are your original goals still viable or do you need to set a new goal?

You can’t win every game. But that doesn’t mean you can’t gain something from it and still call it a win. It’s like the football team that is losing by 30 or 40 points so they start rotating in their second string to give them playing time. That means the game can still provide value. You’ll waste the whole year if you keep chasing a goal that’s no longer viable.

What have you learned about the field of play and do you need to change your game plan?

You may have spent months putting together your game plan but it was based on assumptions. Now, six months into the game, you have plenty of real data and experiences to draw from. Now is the time to adjust based on your game day observations and the pace and tenor of the game so far.

What do you need to neutralize to win?

It might be a consumer perception, it could be that you are trying to do too many things so none of them are being done as well as you need, it might be your pricing structure or your financing model. But something has prevented you from being as successful as you wanted to be at this point in the year. If you don’t neutralize it – the second half will play out pretty much how this first half did. Now it’s time to sum all of that up into a single message. If you can’t describe it and get everyone fired up in 12 minutes or less – you’ve made it too complicated. What’s the new win? What’s in the way? How will you change the playing field to your advantage? What’s in it for the organization if you win? How will you keep score?

It’s time to get out there and make the rest of 2016 an exciting game!

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How are you sharpening your saw?

April 20, 2016

Sharpening Your SawAre you consciously sharpening your saw every day? Maybe it’s just because I’m living through it, but I truly believe that there’s never been an era that has experienced the rate of change that we’re enjoying/enduring now.  It presents us with some remarkable opportunities to explore new tactics and tools but it also presents us with what sometimes feels like an insurmountable challenge of trying to keep current.  With all of this change, how are you sharpening your saw?

A question from a reader (which I love, so keep them coming) got me thinking about all the ways we can and should be sharpening our saw so that we don’t get caught behind the times.

Read: It seems like a good book is published every single day. Even if you only consume a book a month, you’ll be ahead of most. If you can’t get through an entire book, try the audio version. Still too daunting? Then at the very least make a habit of reading a few good magazines. Be sure you stretch your boundaries. Sure, read Fast Company but also grab The Economist for some variety.

Listen: Podcasts have come a long way. Many authors and experts offer their insights in 10-60 minute sound bytes that you can enjoy on your daily commute, while you walk the dog or as a team. One of my favorites is one that’s done by Iowa’s Nick Westergaard and DJ Waldow called The Work Talk Show. Although they’ve put it on hiatus — the existing 100 episodes are definitely worth a listen. Each episode digs into how successful people work – their habits, their tools and how they accomplish so much in a day.

Surf: Of course, you can always go to school by going online. Between all the blogs, free content, online courses, and other sites – you can fall into a rabbit hole that you’d never escape. Find a few reliable sites that focus on marketing and not just digital marketing. But don’t forget to also follow some trending sites and some that focus on your industry.

Watch: YouTube isn’t just for funny videos and previewing the Super Bowl spots. There are some incredible resources that will keep you inspired (Ted.com), on the cutting edge (Trend Hunter’s channel) and informed. Again, be sure to subscribe to a few so you don’t miss an episode.

Meet: Don’t be so overwhelmed by all of the content contained in our technology that you forget that your greatest teachers are probably other people. Seek them out. And don’t be fooled into thinking they have to be heralded experts. Your own peers are a great source for exploration and conversations. Whether you are better about attending conferences, being active in a professional association or just grabbing coffee with a colleague – don’t forget the most interactive teacher of all.

I can hear you now – that’s all fine and good but how in the heck does anyone find the time to consume all of this? I think it’s easier to consume all of this in bite-sized pieces. Find ways to weave the consumption into some new habits. Listening to a book or podcast while you’re on the treadmill means that for as long as you honor your New Year’s resolution, you’ll be learning something new.

One of the best ways to make sure you keep learning is to make it a team activity. It’s the combination of accountability and the camaraderie of learning together that will keep you more dedicated to the task. You can do a book club type of thing or you can create a culture that encourages everyone to not only learn, but also to share what they learned. But however you structure it, there’s value in doing it together.

Honestly, the key to actually doing this is deciding that it’s not optional. Because unless you want to quickly be obsolete, it’s not.

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Should you be a content marketer?

February 12, 2014

Content marketing.  It seems like everyone’s talking about it. But what exactly is it and what can it do for your business? Odds are, if you’re doing any marketing at all — you’re at least accidentally dabbling in content marketing.

But, should you be a content marketer?  Let’s look.

First — it goes by many names.  Some people call it custom publishing or branded content.  Other people slap the label of social or digital marketing on.  And all of those names are accurate.

Content marketing is a broad term for any marketing technique that creates and distributes valuable, helpful and relevant information that demonstrates that you know your stuff.  These tactics draw the attention of people who are already your customers or could be your customers and they consume, share, and value the content.

The ultimate goal of content marketing is to create a sense of trust and comfort that will lead to someone making an initial purchase, making an additional purchase or referring you to someone who’s ready to make a purchase.

The way you build that trust can differ, however. Let’s look at four of the main goals of content marketing and the types of content marketing tactics you can employ to accomplish each.

If you want to entertain your audience, you might:

Make a branded video

  • Create a game
  • Give them a quiz
  • Start a competitions/contests
  • Invent a playful widget or app

If you’d like to inspire your audience, you might:

If you would like to educate your audience, you could:

  • Write an ebook
  • Publish some articles
  • Create an infographic
  • Generate media releases
  • Create guides or how to documents
  • Produce trend reports
  • Record a podcast
  • Send out an enewsletter

In you need to convince your audience, you could:

  • Host an event
  • Create some interactive demos
  • Put on a webinar
  • Create useful calculators or checklists
  • Share some case studies

This list is neither exhaustive nor is it exclusive. A speech can do more than inspire, it can also educate or entertain. A webinar can do more than convince – it can educate or inspire. The subject matter, the delivery style and the intent will dictate the outcome of your efforts. And hopefully, if you produce quality content – it will accomplish more than one of the goals.

But this isn’t something you should just jump into. Like any marketing strategy – content marketing requires forethought and planning, especially because producing a blog or podcast or even putting on a contest requires a significant amount of time and effort. You don’t want to exert that level of effort and not maximize your gain.

The effort and planning are well worth it. Content marketing allows a business to connect with a prospect long before they’re ready to buy. It gives them a sense of your product, service and expertise. It also lets them “sample” you and see if you’re a good fit. Good content marketing tools communicate not only your expertise but it also gives them a very good sense of your brand’s personality. It will attract the best customers for you and, as odd as it sounds, repel those customers who wouldn’t be a good fit long term.

There are a lot of benefits packed into this marketing strategy. Every business can find a content marketing tactic that is the perfect fit for your industry. It takes some time and effort – but the up sides are hard to ignore.

 

 

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