The key to content marketing is to get the relevant information to your chosen prospect, or customer at the right time. How has today’s marketing environment affected that?Read More
How much is the traditional view of British reticence true when it comes to businesses and entrepreneurs?
For SMEs, PR can be an essential tool in how they market themselves, but not everyone is comfortable with the idea of singing their own praises.
Also, this can have its pitfalls, if a business chooses the wrong channels for the tone of voice its PR is adopting.
For example, the business-is-personal aspects of LinkedIn can make it a minefield for companies seeking to spread the news about their achievements.
What, then, are the best ways for businesses to send out positive PR messages about themselves and what they have accomplished?
Where is the Value?
For PR to work there has to be substance behind it, and a buy-in for the channels you are using.
What will make someone want to publish your story, or a journalist to use your PR as the basis for a piece about you?
As with other aspects of marketing, the content needs to work for its intended audience.
Talking up your achievements can only work if, ultimately, there is something of value there for the reader to take away
Also, what is the value of your PR to the publication, website, channel, or to the individual journalist?
They are looking for strong content to attract their audience, just as you are looking for ways to promote your brand.
Build Your Credibility
Credibility attracts and sells.
Media coverage is a means of promoting yourself as an expert and your brand as the answer to people’s needs.
Sharing your expertise boosts your profile but, more importantly, appeals to your audience
However, credibility is not easy to establish, especially through digital channels.
Nowadays, everyone appears to be an expert, from the lone blogger upwards.
You may feel you have bragging rights due to your achievements but this comes back to having something of substance to say: you must demonstrate your value.
Case studies can fulfil this need. Presented in the right way and they can combine documentary evidence with potent storytelling. Be sure to include figures to back up the facts.
Written testimonials make a powerful case for credibility, and video testimonials even more so. You can leverage these further by writing the testimonial for your clients, and asking them to take ownership of it on your behalf.
The Third Party Endorsement
If you are clever and strategic about your PR, you can have others talk about you, rather than doing the talking yourself.
Someone commenting about your brand, or highlighting your views through a credible, recognised third party channel, can add to your authority significantly
Smart PR is not about you doing the shouting, but someone else doing it on your behalf. You still retain your bragging rights, but you are exercising them in a strategic way to help market your brand.
To achieve your bragging rights, through our credible, third party channel, please contact us.Read More
Content marketing is an effective way to attract customers to your business. But what are the rules that you must follow?Read More
Do you consider this a strange question? It is not really, if you understand how the internet works.
When writing content, it is vital that you communicate with ‘people’ rather than ‘search engines’.
Over the last decade or so, Google has steadily been improving the way they respond to and, in turn, value well-written, natural content
We have come a long way from heavily-keyworded content, that did not make any sense whatsoever. These articles were written, in many cases, to accommodate the requests of the search engines.
We can still spot content that has been written “for SEO purposes” but they are sometimes uninspiring.
Grammatically, they may be well written, and contain the relevant keywords and phrases that will attract the search engines. But from a customer’s perspective, they are as dull as dishwater.
Who cares? you may ask. Well as website owners, we all should…
How Valuable is Engaging Content?
Next to unique & relevant content, Google also measures your website’s ‘popularity’.
We recently spoke to a business that was paying an agency for over 20 articles each month, to be published on their website.
On the face of it, this is partly what the search engines wanted to see. But when we looked at how many of these articles were actually being viewed and shared, the results were very disappointing.
From a count of say 50 articles, only half a dozen of them had actually been shared on social media and none of them more than twice.
When you realise that one of Google’s methods of measuring the popularity or ‘value’ of a website is in the number of times others share their content, this is a content strategy that is having a negative influence on their rankings.
Again, the content was informatively written, and served its SEO purpose but, frankly, it was dull.
So, if you are going to get your content written by others, ensure that they aim it at humans and not just at the internet spiders.Read More
The real power in marketing yourself and your business using content, is to have it written and published by someone with real credibility in your sector.
If your prospects and customers can get to read and even see you being asked for advice on issues relevant to them, it can create confidence in you and helps develop real trust. In part, the helps towards their perception of you being a thought leader.
Prospects and customers need to learn about you first, before they consider whether to conduct business with you. They then need to ‘like’ what they see or hear in order to trust you
It is actually your ‘behaviour’ that people are watching, even though many of us do not realise this.
More importantly, the last thing that they want to hear is a sales message from you. Instead, they want to hear and see your expertise.
They just want to hear solid advice and to see your ‘understanding of their business‘ and it will be much more powerful if it comes from an independent and credible source.
Within our portfolio of magazines, we are able to show your thoughts and your expertise with an assured confidence that sits comfortably with your audience.
It is the first step in attracting a customer – showing your expertise in their sector.
One of the most important issues for decision makers is that YOU understand THEIR business sector, not just your own
This is what you must convey to your prospects and customers in your content whether in your articles or on your website.
If you get some third party content, published and positioned elsewhere, in front of your chosen target audience
All that remains is to complete the route to setting up a conversation by using conversion techniques that helps to trigger a response from your target audience.
The marketing activity you do before a business exhibition plays a vital part in deciding whether it is successful. A content strategy is critical to this.
Business events are unlikely to be effective in simply selling themselves. Marketing is essential.
This means putting in the necessary work in advance, and much of this should focus on content marketing.
How Content Marketing Helps Events
The point of content marketing is to use content to raise awareness, both of the event and of its exhibitors.
This content should be shaped, refined and distributed with the aim of changing people’s behaviours and actions, to ensure they attend the event.
To do this, it must work to fulfill certain key objectives, such as:
- Attracting more attendees to the event
- Attracting prospects for the event’s exhibitors
- Driving event attendees to specific exhibition stands
- Cross-selling products or services, or highlighting opportunities on the back of the event
Exhibitions will typically have a broad range of exhibitors, with different target audiences, so it must be clear who this content is aimed at
What Kind of Content is Effective?
Content comes in a variety of forms, including videos, audio and written words. However, one kind of content that works across these different media and is highly effective is storytelling.
Making storytelling a focus for content means finding the hook that will attract audiences to you
This includes discovering your audiences’ pain points and how you demonstrate your understanding of them, and what you can do to ease them.
Content marketing is not about direct sales messages.
Distributing and Sharing Content
Which channels you choose to ensure your content reaches its target audience is also a hugely important decision.
It relies on you developing a clear understanding of your audience and where you’re most likely to be able to engage with them, including the social networks and platforms they use.
A useful way of making content attractive to target audiences is through the use of a third party platform.
This is where someone talks about you, and quotes you as an expert in your field, rather than you addressing your audience directly.
Our portfolio of sector specific magazines offers this kind of third-party platform for content marketing.
What Happens After the Event?
This is as important as preparation before the exhibition, and activity during it.
For following up leads, content can continue to add value by refining and repurposing it to help further engage and connect with leads, turning them into prospects
These follow-ups should be relevant and you should make them a priority.
It is important not to let your content go to waste. Use it as a vital strategic tool in marketing your business exhibition, and to support your exhibitors.
To discover how content can improve your chances of success before, during and after your next business exhibition, please click here.Read More
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.