MSN 2019 provides us with the opportunity to put our words into practice.
The expo provides professionals from across a range of marketing disciplines to come together. It’s also an excellent opportunity for buyers and suppliers to connect with different marketing businesses.
We aim to showcase the power of content, and the huge potential of content marketing in raising the awareness of target audiences and helping businesses engage and connect with them
At our Marketing Challenge Breakfast events, we focus on real life marketing issues and use the actual problems that our attendees face as the basis for problem-solving discussions.
At our most recent event, held at The St James’s Club, in central Manchester, our guests had a lively, roundtable discussion looking at how to re-position an events and destination management company.
Why focus on one business’ issues?
Because, by looking at what kinds of issues are involved, and with the help of our marketing partners, we can help shed a light on various aspects of business and marketing strategies.
Making it real makes it more immediate, and accessible, for our attendees.
Our Marketing Challenge events are multi-faceted, not only looking at one business as a case study and discussing possible solutions, but also involving everyone attending looking at how they present their own business offering
Striking the Right Pitch
Another major aspect to the Marketing Challenge event is encouraging attendees to think differently about how they market themselves, and even what marketing means.
For example, what do you understand content marketing to mean? Is it restricted to material you publish or broadcast online or in print, or can it encompass your own, personal business interactions?
What about when you pitch yourself to others? How can you stand out from the crowd?
Our answer: storytelling.
We encourage attendees to look at different ways of talking about or introducing themselves and their business; to focus not on job titles, or overused ways of describing their service or product but using a story about the value they bring to their customers
What challenge did the customer face? What was the result of your help? How did this impact their business?
The idea is to boil this down to something very concise, little more than a strapline, that can hook listeners in.
When we ask our event guests to perfect their own individual story as a pitching device, we’re really asking them to create and draw on their own content, as a valuable, personal marketing resource.
Are You Pitch Perfect?
Our Marketing Challenge events focus on how both business and marketing strategies can work in real situations. It’s not cold and theoretical. Ultimately, it’s about people coming together to learn from each other.
If you want to attend a future Marketing Challenge event, please contact us.
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.
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.
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:
“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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 yieldtangible results.