Tag : 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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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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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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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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