Author : David Lomas

M3 Publishing > Articles by: David Lomas
31Oct
differentiationWhat is the Lasting Impact of Differentiation?

What is the Lasting Impact of Differentiation?

Differentiation can give your business a competitive advantage with prospects and customers, but only if you choose the right kind of differentiation and you have the right marketing strategy to achieve it.

For many companies, their focus is on making minor adjustments to products to try and differentiate them in the marketplace. This is very much a “new and improved” approach.

However, it is unlikely to yield lasting results.  In fact it can become a one-hit wonder, and end up negatively impacting how target audiences perceive your brand.

There is a way to look at differentiation differently and to use dynamic content to turn it into something with lasting impact.

 

Raising Awareness and Changing Perceptions

If you tell your story powerfully and differently enough, it can help to attract your target audience while building your credibility.

This is differentiation through strategic positioning, using content marketing as the means to achieve this.

 

Good quality, properly targeted content has the potential to engage and connect with audiences and help build and shape a brand’s personality

 

This is likely to have a more lasting impact than individual product differentiation because it is about your entire brand and what it represents to your audience.

What does this involve?  It means shaping narratives that are appropriate to your target audience, and that identify with their issues, needs, fears and pain points.

 

It is crucial to creating powerful story arcs that emphasise your expertise while focusing on what your audience wants to know

 

It is a measured, consistent process of disseminating information about you, creating a positive impression of you that stays in the minds of your audience.  It is not a hard sales message, nor is it to do with publicising your achievements.

What will differentiate you is depth. The more your audience feels it knows you, the more it will feel it can trust you, and, ultimately, buy from you.

 

What Could Differentiation Mean For YOU?

M3 Media Publishing is hosting one of their regular, dynamic breakfast workshops in Central Manchester on 4 December 2018.

Join them to explore how differentiation can help your business to thrive.

For more information about these events, or to book your place, please watch the video below or click here.

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5Oct
Marketing challenges at the Marketing Challenge eventMarketing Challenges: Should You Think Differently About Pitching?

Marketing Challenges: Should You Think Differently About Pitching?

M3 Media Publishing’s recent Marketing Challenge event, held at The St James’s Club in Manchester City Centre, focused on storytelling as a prospecting tool.

Pitching to prospects, or even starting a conversation, can be an important part of your marketing strategy, and it should involve content.

 

The Marketing Challenges of Storytelling

What sort of introduction should you make when meeting potential prospects?

You might provide an answer that may just be a job title or role.  You may describe the nuts and bolts of what you do.  Instead, you should capture concisely how you help others.

 

The legacy of what you do is what counts. If you have substantially made a difference to a business, or saved or made them lots of money, that will immediately get your potential prospect’s attention

 

How does this translate into a narrative?

It’s like constructing a plot. How many films or books have you seen where they begin with something riveting and explosive? They might even begin with a climactic event, then work back to show you how this event has come to be.

In our recent Marketing Challenge event, we encouraged our guests to look again at how they communicate on a personal level, and how to leverage storytelling to help them become pitch perfect.

 

What Content Marketing Means

One of the marketing challenges is that people don’t always realise that certain aspects of their communication and interaction are marketing activities.

 

Content marketing is not restricted to words or images, or things posted online or put into print, as it can also be about the verbal delivery of content

 

This is one of the ways our Marketing Challenge events set out to challenge thinking: it’s about how marketing is integral to your business objectives.

It’s not simply to do with whether you choose to spend your budget on campaigns, or enlist specialist help.

 

You are marketing yourself whether you intend to or not, by the very act of communicating to others about your business

 

That means that it makes sense to make this marketing activity count.

What marketing challenges do you face?  Contact us to find out how we can help you think differently about addressing them.

Alternatively, to discover more about our Marketing Challenge events, or to book onto a future event, please click here.

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24Sep
business prospectingWhat is Challenging Your Business Prospecting Success?

What is Challenging Your Business Prospecting Success?

Business prospecting has certain things in common with a much older form of prospecting.

The California Gold Rush began in 1848, drawing approximately 300,000 people to what became a frantic scramble for gold.  For many of these prospectors, they relied on basic, labour-intensive techniques to extract gold from streams and riverbeds, such as panning.

Later, more advanced mining technology allowed people to recover the modern-day equivalent of billions of dollars of gold.  However, by the end of the Gold Rush, relatively few prospectors had significant riches to show for their efforts.

 

In business prospecting, competing for the attention of potential prospects, it can also feel a touch primitive, involving lots of energy for little return

 

What if there a was a way of striking a richer seam of reward, using more sophisticated methods to attract prospects?

This is what dynamic content marketing offers.

 

Is There an Alternative Route to Prospecting Success?

There’s a potentially valuable online business audience looking for answers, for guidance and for things that will make their lives easier.

How would you get their attention? How do you attract, engage and connect with these valuable business leads?

 

Like the original Gold Rush prospectors, do you run with the crowd? Are you attending the same networking events as everyone else, or looking for the same kind of contacts, the managers and decision-makers?

 

What if there was an alternative route to success, a different map to lead you to the richest seams for prospecting?  And what if you could use it to partially pre-qualify your prospects?

This is where using powerful content can make a difference.

Content marketing is the map to your gold seam. But there’s a twist.  You supply the map to your prospects, so that instead of you spending all your time looking for them, it brings them to YOU.

 

Will You Take the Marketing Challenge?

What’s the best way of discovering alternative routes for business prospecting, how to use content to attract your target audience, and how to help you build useful and potentially profitable relationships?

M3 Media Publishing’s regular, dynamic Marketing Challenge events, held at The St James’s Club in Central Manchester, answer these questions and more.

The Marketing Challenge event, on 3 October 2018, focuses on how you can avoid the competition when prospecting.  To attend this event, or to discover more about future events, please click below:

 

 

For an accompanying read about our previous events, please visit:

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13Jul
storytelling legacyStorytelling: What is Your Legacy?

Storytelling: What is Your Legacy?

“What do you do?” How common is that question when you’re networking, or in most conversations?

And what is your answer?

Take a pause here, because you can answer that question differently, in such a way that you make people take notice.  This is about the power of storytelling and leaving a legacy that lingers in people’s minds.

This is what we explored in the most recent of our Marketing Challenge workshops, held at The St James’s Club, Manchester.

 

Contains No Nuts

Marketers will reiterate that when you promote a product or service you highlight the benefits, not the features.  The features are not always what your prospects and customers need to know. What they need to know is how what you offer them will make a difference to their lives.

That is why marketing consumer goods is all about marketing lifestyles, aspirations and emotions.

Effective storytelling follows a similar principle. You miss out the nuts and bolts and focus on the stuff that resonates emotionally.

There are two key elements here: pain and legacy.

 

Pain and Legacy

Start with the pain:

  • What problems do your customers and prospects have?
  • What issues keep them awake at night?
  • What could their long-term consequences be without your involvement?

Are they failing to maintain their profit margins, or suffering a high staff turnover? Are their energy bills too high, or their distribution channels too restricted?

Knowing and understanding these pains can be an initial attention-getter.

Then it’s about following it up with the legacy part:

  • What changes have you enabled your customers, similar to the prospect you are addressing, to make?
  • What are the long-term benefits of your involvement?

Boil this down to something concise and it is far more effective than simply telling people what you do.

 

Practical Aspects

While much marketing should be common sense, like all deceptively simple things, it can be hard to tell your stories well.  It’s as much about developing a mindset as following guidelines or rules.  This is what the first part of our recent Marketing Challenge event looked at.

 

Our Marketing Challenge events are informal and friendly, but focused.  They are events with a purpose, enabling guests to attract, connect and educate their target audiences

 

Guest were given a storytelling structure, then we lead them through a dynamic, involving workshop where they developed their legacy stories.

Our aim is to ensure that guests leave with something that not only can they think about, but which they can use to improve their own marketing and engagement with customers and prospects.

That’s our legacy. What will be yours?

 

To read more about July’s Marketing Challenge event, please click here.
To discover more about the Marketing Challenge events or to register for a future event please click here.

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3May
marketing connectionsM3 Media Publishing Event Addresses Your Marketing Challenges

M3 Media Publishing Event Addresses Your Marketing Challenges

While it’s true that marketing isn’t rocket science, it does require clarity and following a strategy to maximise results.

Most businesses engage in some form of marketing, but many don’t have a defined strategic approach, or understand properly why they should be marketing themselves in certain ways.

The concept behind our Marketing Challenge workshops is to get people thinking about broader aspects of marketing for the success of their businesses.  Our latest Marketing Challenge event was held at The St James’s Club in central Manchester.

 

The Effort Behind Marketing Success

In front of an invited audience of entrepreneurs, business owners, influencers and professionals, M3 Media Publishing’s CEO, David Lomas, gave a compelling talk about marketing strategy, content and the power of storytelling.

David talked about the importance of developing a marketing plan and why focusing first on the effort, before any expected results, was crucial.  He explained the value of content, when to use it, and how to use stories to attract, engage and connect with a target audience.

 

david lomas addressing audience

David Lomas addresses the audience

 

Going through M3 Media Publishing’s six-step strategy for content marketing, known as FACETS, David demonstrated how stories, told in the right way, and shaped for a specific target audience, can help pre-qualify prospects and, ultimately, attract new customers.

Taking on board lively feedback from the audience throughout, David illustrated the potency of storytelling as a marketing tool, and how to strip this down to its bare essence for maximum impact.

 

How Did You Do That?

David’s formula for storytelling success is a simple one: it is not about the detail, but rather the leagcy. It should encourage the listener to want to know more about you, and whether you can do for them what you did for others.

A key part of the workshop was to encourage attendees to develop stories of their own, share them, and improve them.

As David explained, people don’t buy from you without trust, and that stories and engaging content are an effective means of building that trust.

To discover more about the Marketing Challenge events, or to book onto the next event, please click here.

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22Feb
linkedin content strategyHow Crucial is LinkedIn to Your Content Strategy?

How Crucial is LinkedIn to Your Content Strategy?

LinkedIn is a social media platform for business. It was launched in 2003, with a focus on career-development for its users. However, since then, things have changed.  What LinkedIn now offers is an excellent platform for B2B content marketing.

However, to use it effectively requires that you first have a content strategy.  If you do not, you risk treating LinkedIn too randomly, casually dipping in and out, without making any kind of impact, or, more importantly, the sort of connections that will mean more business for you.

 

What is Content Strategy?

A content strategy means working out how to use content to engage with others. Your content must have value for this to be effective, and you should be measuring the value of its effectiveness.

What is your strategy for?

 

You should be using content to achieve specific objectives, whether this is raising awareness of your brand, driving more sales or building useful relationships Click To Tweet

 

To meet these objectives with your content strategy requires you use certain tactics.

This is where LinkedIn can play a key role, as a social media channel to help you reach your objectives through the tactical use of content.

 

The Value of LinkedIn for Content

LinkedIn is not the biggest social media network, but it is full of business leaders, professionals and entrepreneurs. It is where you find decision-makers, people who are otherwise hard to reach.

How can you build relationships with these people? By engaging with them.

This is how to use your content on LinkedIn.

 

Your content is an asset, and it’s up to you to use it properly Click To Tweet

 

There are over 500 million LinkedIn users worldwide. On the one hand, that’s a lot of opportunity; on the other it presents a challenge. Where do you start?

The good news is that LinkedIn enables you to develop a targeted reach. Its members have profiles, CV details. You can set your parameters and filters. And you can connect with selected individuals.

Then you can strengthen these connections, and broaden your base, using carefully constructed content.

 

The right content can help position you as an authority in your field and help you attract interest from your target audience by addressing issues they are interested in Click To Tweet

 

Remember, LinkedIn is a platform especially for business people and professionals, therefore your content should be useful to them. Unlike on other social media platforms, business and work-related issues are the main reasons why they’re here. This should give you an in-built advantage with your content and how you shape and distribute it.

 

Visibility and Attraction

Being active means people are more likely to find you. This is a guiding principle behind using content online.  Fundamentally, creating content should give you greater visibility and attract people to your brand.

LinkedIn is a gift in this respect, because the more active you are on it, the more likely it is that prospects will find you.

Content will help them to do this, but first you must get it right.

 

The Tone of Your Content

B2B customers are people too. LinkedIn members are individuals, with emotional responses to content.  Just because LinkedIn is a social media platform for business doesn’t mean you should neglect the social aspect.

 

Your content must be engaging on a human, emotional level. Yes, it can still have weight, carry substance, but keep it readable and, most of all, make sure it resonates with its readers Click To Tweet

 

Posting content that reads like a dull, corporate report will not engage your target audience.  Content that makes them feel something, that stimulates their thoughts, will.

What are their pains and problems? What slant can you take on business issues that will appeal directly to their emotions, that will make them think you understand their needs?

Use your content to share the experiences that will be relevant to your target audience, inform and inspire them with your insight.

 

LinkedIn Users Trust Content

More people trust a brand’s social media content than its advertising, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer report of 2017.  Business Insider has reported that more users trust LinkedIn than either Facebook or Twitter.

People trust the information and advice given to them on LinkedIn. Trust is a powerful element when it comes to building business and winning new customers.

LinkedIn offers the opportunity to help build your reputation and build relationships on this kind of trust.

 

Content and Conversions

LinkedIn is neither a magic bullet nor a fast route to business success. It is, however, a hugely valuable platform from which to launch targeted content which can, in time, lead to sales conversions.

 

LinkedIn isn't about posting a single piece of killer content, but rather the cumulative effect of being consistent, and establishing a trustworthy presence on the platform Click To Tweet

 

This goes back to your content strategy. Treat content creation for LinkedIn as a long-term investment.

Be persistent, and patient, and then you will start to see significant returns.

To discuss how we can develop and turn your content into opportunities, please contact M3 Media Publishing.

 

For an additional read, please visit:

 

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5Feb
brand influencingWhat Will Boost Your Brand Influence?

What Will Boost Your Brand Influence?

Is your online marketing making a difference to your brand’s fortunes? If it isn’t, what should you do about it?

Digital marketing and  social media presents significant opportunities but where should you start? Because, if you want things to change, you must start somewhere.

 

What Does Your Brand Say About You?

Exerting influence is not about blundering in and ordering people about.

Think about how the way a house is furnished says something about its owner’s personality. In the same way, online content says something about your brand and its values.

Taking this strategic approach to building your online presence takes patience, but also, crucially, it’s about finding the right platform to use.

 

Your online audience likes to feel they are thinking for themselves, making their own decisions, so attempting to direct them towards your brand cannot be your sole strategy. You need to let them find you

 

This is why brands increasingly use influencers online. Micro-influencers on social media especially have a grassroots reach, and therefore a potency when it comes to talking about a brand.

The idea is to be talked about, rather than be doing the talking. Micro-influencers are generally just regular online users who can spread the word about a brand to their followers. This creates a more organic sense of a brand’s presence.

 

Be Your Own Influencer

The right kind of third-party content, shared and distributed through the right platform can act in the same way on a brand’s behalf as micro-influencers.

 

Imagine being written about, being quoted as an expert on a subject that is close to your target audience’s interests. Then imagine this being published online in a credible, sector-specific publication with a targeted following

 

In the same way that micro-influencers share and spread content, so this newsworthy content is shared. And it is about you. It builds your credibility, your online presence and, ultimately, your influence.

It is not the whole story when it comes to a marketing strategy, but yes, it does work in attracting, engaging and connecting with your target audiences.

Written and distributed the right way, third-party content can help partially pre-qualify your prospects. And being your own influencer through content can yield tangible results.

To discover how you can use third-party content to influence your audience and generate opportunities, contact M3 Media Publishing.

 

For an addition read, please visit:

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11Jan
content marketingContent Marketing: What is Your Interest Rate? 

Content Marketing: What is Your Interest Rate? 

The internet is awash with noise from the sheer volume of its traffic and content. Everyone is vying for attention, whether it’s via a website or one of many social media channels.

All this competition has generated a certain obsessiveness over search engine rankings. In fact, a whole SEO industry thrives on it.

But the fact is, the internet is not simply the digital equivalent of the market trader’s stall, that is just a lot of banter and customer engagement, based on shouting louder than the competition.

 

The internet is a great generator of interest and continues to have enormous potential to be exploited

 

Content has become something of a watchword. But what does generating content really mean?

 

Generating Interest Around your Brand

Content marketing creates an expanding sphere of interest around something. This isn’t an intellectual exercise, rather it’s common sense.

 

Successful marketing and promotion has always been about telling stories. Content marketing takes this principle, runs with it and in doing so, increases the interest generated

 

The importance of being found on Google is an established fact. The key is in how to be found.

The beauty of generating interesting content is that not only can it result in a higher ranking, but also once users click through, they will actually find something of value to read about. This makes them much more likely to stick around.

 

The Value of Content Marketing

Our clients achieve multiple listings on page one of Google, which can be attributed to the success of the content that we generate for them.

 

It is difficult to measure the actual sales impact of content generation, but given the evolving nature of Google’s search algorithms, and the established fact that online audiences respond positively to meaningful content, it has a clear value

 

The content in our portfolio of digital magazines also has, what we call, ‘currency‘ – it has intrinsic value.

The next time you hear about the possibility of interest rates going up, think about the other interest rate – the interest in valuable content that reflects in Google rankings, attracts clicks, conversions and customers to you.

If you want to attract interest from your target prospects, using content that is valuable to them, please contact M3 Media Publishing.

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30Nov
digital breadcrumbs and your customer corridorWhere Does Your Trail of Digital Breadcrumbs Lead?

Where Does Your Trail of Digital Breadcrumbs Lead?

We all leave digital breadcrumbs behind from our online activity. Some will resonate more than others.  But what if you could determine what was in the trail that you’re leaving, for your target audience to follow?

 

Digital Breadcrumbs and Your Customer Corridor

At our recent Business Connections event held in Manchester, we talked about customer corridors and how, by bringing your prospects towards you, using digital breadcrumbs, you can help them to build a picture of:

  • Who you are, and your behaviour
  • What you did, to successfully benefit a business
  • How you can help them, based on that success

 

This process also pre-qualifies the prospects that arrive at your door.

We think it’s different than a sale funnel because it’s a subtler process, while still routed in a strategy that is designed to generate business.

 

Imagine your customer corridor as an actual corridor. You’re at the end of it and your target audience is drawn along it, prompted by signs and other information about you – your digital breadcrumbs – that encourages them to move further along and deeper into your world

 

In the digital realm, the consumer is king, and people searching the internet like to feel that they are in control of the choices they make.

The process of attracting them subtly and gently, compared with other, more direct marketing activity, will enable them to achieve this.

Most of all, your activities must focus on your target audience, and on their pain points, interests and needs.

 

The Power of Publishing

If you’re going to publish content online – your digital breadcrumbs – that will bring your audience down your customer corridor, how best to do it?

Clearly, you can publish your own blog, and share it through social media channels, to help point people in the direction of your website.  But is this enough? It’s highly competitive out there and somehow you need your content to differentiate you.

What about the platform you choose? What if you could be featured as an expert in a well-respected online publication with a strong digital following?

This works in several powerful ways:

  • it provides you with a solid, third-party recommendation
  • it enhances your credibility, highlighting your expertise in your chosen field; and
  • it addresses your audience’s concerns first and foremost, while connecting your name with the issues they are interested in

 

The prospects you seek are looking for something. M3 Media Publishing’s sector-specific portfolio of digital magazines and distribution channels can help them find it, by you leaving a trail of digital breadcrumbs and bringing them along your customer corridor, towards you.

Discover how, by contacting us.

 

For an accompanying read, please visit Have you Set out your Customer Corridor?

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23Oct
customer corridorHave you Set out your Customer Corridor?

Have you Set out your Customer Corridor?

Imagine a prospective customer walking down your ‘customer corridor’ to reach your office for your first meeting.

Your office is carefully positioned right at the far end of this potentially valuable customer corridor.

This is to ensure that you have some influence over them when they arrive. (Not dis-similar to how the supermarkets work – getting you to follow a carefully-planned route around their stores).

On the way along this customer corridor, your prospects are enticed to follow your route where they will pass by a selection of subtle images and messages about YOU.

 

Written and visual messages can highlight the advice you have been giving to your customers, in turn, letting your prospects know about the things that you understand about their business issues and their sector

 

Maybe along the way, your prospect pictures the ways that other businesses, just like his (or hers) have benefited from your help and guidance in the past.

By the time he gets to your office, how do you think he now may be feeling about meeting you?

This is pure ‘influencing‘ not selling.  And it works very effectively.  Even moreso, if these messages come from a third party – which is a subtle form of endorsement – creating a very powerful content strategy for your business.

We refer to this concept of attracting customers via content, the internet and social media as laying a trail of ‘digital breadcrumbs‘.

 

How Can a Corridor Improve my Sales Conversion?

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. How, after travelling along your carefully-designed corridor, may the picture of what you do, have improved in the mind of your prospect?
  2. As your prospect should now know much more about you, would he (or she) feel that he did this all by himself and did not feel coerced?
  3. How much better are your chances of now getting that sale?

 

The more we know about someone’s business and behaviour, the more confident we are – and more likely – to make a sales decision.

67% of the information prospects gain about you, is found by them, BEFORE they even make contact with you.

Discover how you can create, and stay in control of, what they find, by contacting us.

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