Category : Content Marketing

M3 Publishing > Content Marketing
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 hosted one of their regular, dynamic breakfast workshops in Central Manchester, which explored 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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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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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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25Sep
content marketing attractionContent Marketing: What are its Opportunities for Attraction?

Content Marketing: What are its Opportunities for Attraction?

Content marketing has its supporters but some of them, in their zeal to describe its benefits, may be over-selling it. It is not a magic bullet, and it is not the only marketing strategy you should ever consider.

There are lots of hidden benefits to content marketing but one criticism centres on the fact that its ROI comes in the form of increased engagement with target audiences, as opposed to dramatic sales figures.

 

Behind content marketing is the concept of pre-qualifying opportunities by building up a dialogue with them using content

 

While it does represent one strand of what should be a holistic marketing approach, it also has a unique quality in its ability to harness third party authority in pursuit of prospects.

 

The Means of Delivering Content

One of the key aspects of content marketing is the means of delivering it. Plenty of businesses write and distribute blogs designed to attract targeted visitors to websites and landing pages.

However, one of the most powerful forms of content is third party. It marks the difference between you doing the talking and you being talked about.

 

If content is presented in the form of a third-party article, blog or news story, it adds authority and credibility to the subject, and it has the potential to attract a wider audience

 

This brings added value, because along with a target audience, third-party content can attract interest from places you might not have anticipated.

 

Attracting Interest with High Visibility

While it’s true that, in part, content marketing is about devising means of attracting interest from target markets, it has other benefits in reaching further afield.

Earlier this year, we highlighted the growing debate on what should, or could, replace the current business rates system, which many see as deeply flawed.

Our article, on the alternatives to business ratesfeatured Paul Giness from The Beattie Partnership and was published in our Property Aspects Magazine.  The article caught the attention of contacts in both the Houses of Parliament and the Irish Government.

This is one of numerous occasions where our content has brought visibility to tangential links, and helped to crystallise connections.

 

Done well, content has a wide reach, and the potential to help you make powerful, and profitable, inroads into markets which might otherwise be closed to you.

To discover how you can generate opportunities, using third party content, please contact us.

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12Jul
original contentOriginal Content – What are the Keys to its Success?

Original Content – What are the Keys to its Success?

Good content is the key to better SEO rankings and successful social media marketing. You may have already heard this elsewhere.  In fact, you may have heard it repeated lots of times.  But what does having good content actually mean?  The answer is that it needs to be original content.

The actual originality of online content is primarily about uniqueness, and this is where things get interesting.

Writing original content requires an ability to look at things with a fresh pair of eyes and, crucially, get this different viewpoint across to the reader.

 

Taking a Fresh Perspective

There are over 3 billion internet users worldwide and over 2 billion active users of social media. On WordPress there are 56 million blog posts published each month. How original can your content be in this context?

 

We know that the content we write is constantly competing for attention, so it has to stand out. But we can actually help it do this if it is about something people are already expressing an interest in.

 

Alot of the time, publishing original content is to do with taking a fresh perspective on existing issues.  Or drawing from a variety of information sources and putting material together in ways that will highlight particular points.

We are not simply reshuffling the deck.  We are identifying what your target audience is interested in, or can be attracted to, and shaping the content to fit.

 

Upping the Quality Factor

Making original content sound interesting is crucial. Unless you’re blessed with a topic that’s inherently attention-grabbing, talking about any subject requires a degree of inventiveness in order to make the material sing off the screen.

This is not simply some critical judgement about good writing.

 

Google measures the value of content by its uniqueness and quality. Quality is therefore measurable in very real terms, once published, as expressed in Google rankings.

 

We look to find a unique twist to a story or topic, because this is what really pays off, in terms of getting your content noticed.

 

Making it Shareable

What’s going to make your content spread like wildfire across your targeted social media channels? This is where our strategic thinking comes in.  If your content is original, is it also timely?  Does it connect with some burning issue of the day, or a particular trend?

 

Original content stands out and attracts interest. This determines how we write content at M3 Media Publishing.

 

The value of great, original content is not just in its uniqueness alone.  It is also in the when and the where, and the context in which we publish it.

To find out how we can create the right content to reach your audience and build your customer base, call M3 Media Publishing on 0161 922 8571 or contact us.

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9Jul
content marketingCan Content Marketing Build Trust and Relationships?

Can Content Marketing Build Trust and Relationships?

Is content marketing a dubious concept? Some might think so, because it shifts the emphasis away from selling. However, this is precisely why content marketing can be so effective.

Content marketing is an essential means of building trust and relationships with prospects, contacts and customers in a digital age.

Imagine the traditional corner shop. It’s reputation in a neighbourhood may now be something of a cliché, but it can still be a place where the shopkeeper knows his customers well, where he has built face-to-face relationships with them, and where they trust him or her.

Content marketing helps to capture the essence of this corner shop experience and use it to help businesses reach out and connect with their target audience.

It uses three special ingredients to do this: personalisation, customer-focus, and value.

 

Make Content Marketing Personal

The digital experience, as a customer, can feel very remote and impersonal. However, using online channels can personalise what a business can offer, providing they use them in the right way.

Social media provides the perfect, organic marketing platform, providing you have the kind of content that can tap into your audience’s likes, needs and concerns.

Just like the shopkeeper talking to customers over the counter, ensure that your content makes your audience feel like you’re talking to them, directly and personally.

 

Concentrate on the Customer

Rather than attempting to sell something to your audience, your content should be empathetic, offers something of value and sees things from their perspective.

By making your audience know that you understand them, this allows them to build trust in you.

Good shopkeepers ask customers how they are, what ails them, what they’re interested in. It’s about the customer, first and foremost.

 

Give Good Value

If you give something extra, freely, people appreciate this. It’s a proven part of customer service and it works for content.

Content adds value because it addresses issues and recognises problems, and you can offer it as free advice to your prospects and customers.  What do you want in return? Enough to be able to build a dialogue with your audience.

Using certain tools and analytics, we know exactly who is taking an interest in us and, in some instances, know what their pains are before they have spoken to us.  This enables us to have a much focused dialogue.

Content marketing helps businesses build relationships and trust. By explicitly not selling, you’ll be surprised at the opportunities that you can generate.

To discover how content can build trust and relationships with your audience, call M3 Media Publishing on 0161 922 8571 or contact us.

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31Jan
content - wordpressContent: How Can You Convert it into Business?

Content: How Can You Convert it into Business?

Content is a serious marketing tool that can generate considerable sales results.  It is not a luxury or an add-on to your core business if, or when, you have the time or resources for it.

Content adds substance to a business’ online – and offline – presence and does so in such a way that it attracts interest.   It engages and, ultimately, helps to convert people into qualified prospects.

 

Attraction and Retention

SEO can get you ranked higher on search engines and it can encourage clicks onto your web pages.  Once you have attracted your audience to you, does your content keep them interested so that they don’t simply move onto something else?  Online attention spans are notoriously short.

Content works strategically.  It enables you to allow people find you online and, once they have found you, to want to find out more about you.  This provides you with opportunities to engage with those prospects.

 

M3 Media Publishing’s methodology is to combine high quality, powerful, content with psychological insight and the use of social media and other channels to distribute it, to attract customers

 

The essence of great content is storytelling.  This can make your brand and your business stand out from the competition, while exploring the kinds of issues and problems your customers have.

M3 Media Publishing’s sector-specific, authoritative, digital magazines publish stories that highlight business leaders’ expertise and creates powerful third party recommendations.

 

The Legacy of Successful Content

Peter Knight, is an expert property consultant, with Knight Morris.  He explains how the M3’s approach has helped his business.

“I wanted an innovative, creative and cost-effective way to raise my company profile,” he explains. “The results of my strategically-placed articles, in M3’s digital magazines, have exceeded my expectations.”

 

“M3 Media Publishing’s articles, coupled with engagement, offers an excellent return on investment.  One piece of business per year is all it has taken for us to surpass our spend with them”

Peter Knight, Lead Building Surveying Partner at Knight Morris

 

“The original content has allowed readers to explore issues that affect them and seek out my professional help and advice,” concludes Peter.

To discover how content can generate business for you, please call 0161 922 8571 or visit m3publishing.co.uk.

 

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3May
M3 and All Survey StorytellingCan Strong Storytelling Accelerate Business Development?

Can Strong Storytelling Accelerate Business Development?

We talk a lot about the value of storytelling when it comes to engaging with an audience because we know that it works.  And storytelling has real power to open up business opportunities.

Uncovering the Asbestos Threat

All Survey is a business specialising in conducting asbestos surveys. Gemma Voaden is lead asbestos surveyor with All Survey and in this role she has built up a clear picture of the scale of the issue.

At a recent M3 Connections event, she told a story to illustrate her work and how asbestos is a potentially widespread threat. A chain of charity shops asked All Survey to inspect its stores but felt pretty confident that they were in the clear. Gemma and her team went in, and discovered asbestos in 176 of the shops. Three had to be immediately closed for safety reasons.

When she recounted the story, it clicked immediately with her audience. M3 developed and published the story and distributed it through social media.  Gemma continued to use it as a perfect example of the value in what her business does, and how asbestos surveys are very much in the public interest.

 

On the Accelerator

All Survey is one of 80 enterprises involved in the Entrepreneurial Spark business accelerator programme in Manchester. This is being run in partnership with NatWest and KPMG.

The programme recently ran a pitching competition called Acceler8 and All Survey was one of the winners. Gemma’s business is well suited to strong storytelling because it’s key subject matter, asbestos as an ongoing, hidden threat, has the potential to be immediately intriguing.

Gemma’s pitch was a bid for financial assistance in marketing All Survey so that her message about asbestos can reach key decision-makers.

“Asbestos is still around and it’s a deadly, hidden killer that kills over 5000 people per year in the UK today”, warns Gemma.  “We want to set up the first UK Asbestos Register to reach more people with this message”

 

Future Storytelling With M3

NatWest has awarded All Survey a cash prize for its successful asbestos pitch. This will help All Survey to continue its work with M3 in developing its marketing message.

 

“The team at M3 Media Publishing know about storytelling and we have compelling stories to tell”
GEMMA VOADEN

 

“Alongside Entrepreneurial Spark’s help in focusing our energies, we’ll be able to move that much closer to realising our goals”, concludes Gemma.

 

If you would like some assistance in getting your stories to your audience please contact us.  Alternatively, if you fill in your details below, one of the M3 team will get in touch.

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