In turbulent times, many businesses naturally respond by cutting back on their marketing budgets. Why could this be a damaging move?Read More
Marketing Show North 2019 (MSN 2019) was previously known as Prolific North Live, and is the largest marketing expo outside London, which covers the broad interests of marketing and media.
That makes it an ideal fit for M3 Media Publishing to partner with them, via our Marketing Aspects Magazine.
The Importance of Content in Marketing
We talk a lot about the importance of content, but that’s because it really does matter.
One of the topics we’ve discussed is the way that content and expos complement each other, and how digital and physical marketing activities dovetail to maximise opportunities.
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
In this, we have our own unique publishing platform in Marketing Aspects Magazine.
At the expo, you’ll find us in the Media Partner Zone.
About MSN 2019
Marketing Show North promises to be an unmissable opportunity for anyone connected to – or interested in – marketing and its various strands.
Expect to see key figures representing leading brands in the world of marketing. There’ll be seminars and workshops to attend, along with expert speakers and dynamic demos.
For its networking value alone, MSN 2019 is a key event in the marketing calendar, and a dynamic destination for making new contacts and meeting potential prospects and clients.
Marketing Show North runs for two days, on 27 and 28 February 2019, in EventCity, next to the Trafford Centre, Manchester.
For more information about Marketing Show North 2019, or to register, please visit marketingshownorth.co.uk.Read More
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.
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.Read More
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:
- M3 Media Publishing Affirms the Power of Storytelling
- Marketing Challenge Event Explores the Power of Legacy
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:
- Can Content Marketing Build Trust and Relationships?
- Original Content: How Can it Generate Business?
- Content Marketing: What are its Opportunities for Attraction?
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.Read More
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?Read More
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:
- How, after travelling along your carefully-designed corridor, may the picture of what you do, have improved in the mind of your prospect?
- 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?
- 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.Read More