Tag : content marketing

Why is 3rd party content so valuable?

M3 Publishing >
29Sep
content marketing - are you getting it right?Content – Are you getting it right?

Content – Are you getting it right?

For someone who has worked creating and publishing content for over 15 years, I consider content and, may I say, its’ subsequent communication is essential to the success of any business.

However, content is only powerful if it gets seen or heard by the target audience at which it is aimed.

Content comes in many forms, of course. This can include video clips – in both real or animated format and it can include visual content such as images, logos, gifs and infographics.

With sites like Instagram, all these different types of visual images can be a powerful tool, especially for b2c marketers.

Audio content is also an option. e.g. sound bites – maybe your own voice recording or a radio interview for example. Audio clips may be particularly useful if your prospects spend a lot of their ‘research’ time driving in their car.

 

Written Content – Leave it to the experts

Then we come to good old written content. It never goes out of fashion and we can all write it very easily.  Is that maybe not quite true, dare I say?

It doesn’t go out of fashion –  that’s true, and maybe words and styles may change.

Do we all find it easy to write? No, that’s certainly not the case with the majority of people I talk with.

One of my first clients for content marketing asked me the question…

  • Client: “Do I have to write our content?”
  • Me: “No, we will do it for you”
  • Client: “Excellent, we’ll go with that!” he said, very relieved

 

I learnt very soon, that clients did not want to have to write their own content as it was time-consuming and not their area of expertise. They also did not feel very comfortable singing the praises of their own business.

 

Producing good content is one thing but getting the content right is an art in itself

 

What is the Best Type of Content for your Audience?

A recent study into content by global research specialists Nielsen, looked at the three main types of content that we, as marketers, produce.

These are:

  • Branded or company-generated content, which focuses on the facts about a business, maybe including case studies highlighting work being done
  • Secondly, testimonial type content or product reviews from customers
  • Lastly, there is what we refer to as ‘third-party expert’ content.

 

In the survey, it was found that the 3rd-party expert content had the most impact and influence on customers.

 

Why is Third Party Content so Valuable?

The implied endorsement of third-party experts holds much more weight to consumers than anything a company can say about itself.

This content needs to appear on some place other than your own website of course, otherwise it doesn’t quite achieve that critical 3rd party legitimacy. The website also needs to have credibility for your content to be taken seriously by your reader.

This third-party content can therefore be very powerful if used correctly, within your content marketing & communication strategy.

If you can position yourself as a ‘quoted’ expert with integrity, within your chosen sector, your authority and reputation can acquire a real boost.

Contact M3 Media Publishing about how you or your business could feature in one of their digital sector-specific magazines.

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13Aug
public speaking - David Lomas M3 Media PublishingPublic Speaking: What is the Value in Facing your Audience?

Public Speaking: What is the Value in Facing your Audience?

Content marketing has great value, but much of the content we produce can only be effectively realised if you get the distribution right.

There is a wide choice of digital channels through which to distribute your message, but there is one key channel that predates the digital revolution and is one of the oldest means of communication.

This key channel is public speaking.

Facing your audience is a very powerful means of communication, and if you are capable of integrating it into your communications strategy, it can be really effective.

 

Putting a Face to the Name

Personalising your brand, and its’ values, is a desirable, if sometimes elusive goal. The idea is to engage with customers, to attract them. Networking is one way of doing this, but it can often lack focus, and you can be working against the competing noise of everyone else in the room.

 

Public speaking enables you to address an audience directly, with the express purpose of conveying your message to them, without relying on drinks and canapés as props. You are meeting everyone in the room, guaranteed, and you are giving yourself the opportunity to make a lasting impression on your audience

 

Strategically Speaking

Using yourself as a marketing tool by speaking in public should be seen as a strategic move.

Public speaking should not be about ego; it is actually much more about your audience, and in this sense the same rules apply as with other content: address your audience’s needs, give them something of value.

This is also a form of research. By speaking to an audience and interacting with people asking you questions, you can find out more about them. They will tell you about themselves and their needs, which can then help shape your future material.

 

Public speaking is a two-way portal: you are reaching your audience, face to face, and at the same time you are making yourself accessible to them, to their ideas and feedback

 

M3 Media Publishing’s approach has always been to combine personal interaction with digital publishing and other types of content marketing.

M3 Media Publishing’s Business Connections events are a perfect example of this. They are not simply networking opportunities, they are ways of engaging with an audience directly, talking to them and interacting with them, as a key way of doing business.

To discover more about our events, please click here.

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11Jul
twitterTiming is Everything: How Can You Use Twitter Strategically?

Timing is Everything: How Can You Use Twitter Strategically?

Like all social media, Twitter has to be used strategically to be most effective. It is fast and it’s concise.  If you want your message to be seen, and shared, then tweeting it once is not enough.  The life of a tweet is short, under 20 minutes. The other thing to take into consideration is how Twitter works.

The Twitter Timeline Feature

In the interests of improving user quality, Twitter allows users to order the tweets they follow in order of those they are most likely to care about, as opposed to simply the most recent ones. These top tweets appear in reverse chronological order, followed by the remainder displayed as usual.

More than ever, using Twitter successfully as a strategic marketing tool requires building a loyal audience. Twitter believes that users of the new feature tend to retweet, and to tweet more.  This is why shareability of content is vital. But it is also crucial to get your audience’s attention, which is where repeat tweeting comes in.

Repetition and Content

If you’re reliant on Twitter’s standard chronology to get your tweets noticed you may want to think again. Whereas repeat tweets help address the issue of capturing your audience, you now have to take into account whether or not they will opt for the new algorithm preference.

Tweets may end up ranking higher depending on the level that their audience responds to them and interacts with them. Audience engagement is hugely important as interactions can also substantially extend a tweet’s lifespan.

Despite the limitations of the form, tweets are, like other content, dependent on engagement through the way they appeal to and intrigue an audience.

To use Twitter as a successful marketing tool, combine:

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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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26Dec
don't be afraid to shout about yourself using contentContent – Who is writing about you?

Content – Who is writing about you?

At this point in time, we should all know that content writing can either make us or break us, no matter what line of business we are in. We now live in a world of communication where content is what catches the attention of our audience and brings customers towards us.

I have found that the most effective content is that which not only engages the reader but tells them a little bit more about who we are and, in particular, how we behave.

It doesn’t always mean shouting out to the world how great we are but rather telling prospective customers what it is that we are passionate about and what we can offer them.

Yes, it has become a bit of a cliché to hear “Content Is King,” but the fact of the matter is, content really is the supreme being on your website or social media page. Content tells your prospective customers what it is you do, how you think, what your products are and most importantly, what you can do to benefit their personal lives or their businesses.

Having worked in content marketing for over 15 years now, numerous business owners have told me that they find it uncomfortable to write about themselves in a really positive way – I think that is a particularly British thing – that we don’t easily brag about our own achievements. Other business owners just don’t find the time to sit down to write and consequently, have been unable to use content very effectively.

The first thing I do is to tell them they are not alone. No one likes to go about bragging about their victories and of course, most business owners are so wrapped up in the day to day issues of their company that they don’t have their eye on the ball when it comes to content.

Content Marketing – Use an expert to engage your audience

I believe that most, if not all businesses could benefit by hiring professional writers to handle this task for them. In the first place, writers have no qualms about ‘bigging up’ your image because they are not ‘bragging’ about anything they have personally accomplished.

Secondly, some writers are expert at creating content that can ‘engage’ your audience.

Using engaging content to attract and bring your customer to your door is a path that I refer to as your ‘Customer Corridor’. It is the route that a reader takes through your content all the way to sales conversion.

A very good writer will understand how to guide a reader through written content by using a practice known as ‘thought sequencing’ – This is where the reader’s thoughts are influenced as they read your content and they are subsequently prompted to respond via a ‘call to action’.

These are all tools of the Internet marketing sector and something you shouldn’t feel bad about lacking. Connecting with customer is a job that requires a special brand of expertise, so I suggest you let someone else do it for you.

It’s so much more effective when someone else is talking about you and your business and that’s what good writers can do.

David Lomas

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22Dec
write good content to get your message rightAre you Sending Out the Right Message?

Are you Sending Out the Right Message?

Sharing good quality content with any audience surely makes good business sense, doesn’t it?  We all need to give out a valuable message to our audience to first gain their attention, in order to begin to engage with them.

This is similarly true when giving a speech or presentation, or even when we may make our 60-second introduction speech at a networking-style event.

 

It is Not About You

We must always try to grab the attention of our audience with a message or story that resonates with them.

 

If we start by talking about something that is relevant and ‘of value’ to our audience, then it provides us the opportunity, at a later stage, to ask them questions and use our stories to provide the answers that they may bee seeking to their individual challenges

 

The information you give out, initially, must stay relevant to your prospects’ current business issues, in order to catch their attention. It must not be focused or be directly relevant to your own product or service offering.

It is far better not to be talking about yourself at all. In fact the whole focus of your message must be on your prospects, not you!

This is exactly the same way that we should also position and focus our social media activity. Social media works far better when you try to engage with others and take an interest in them. The clue is in the name!

 

The Importance of Content

It is very important that the content that we push out to our contacts via social media has real value to our prospects. It must not be simply a blatant sales message about our products and services – we see too much of that already.

 

In this digital and social media world, asking questions and then sharing valuable information with others is the critical first stage of customer engagement

 

You need to ask the questions first to identify what information can be deemed ‘valuable’ to your prospect.

This sociable attitude will help you to initially discover the VALUE that your prospect will recognise and enable you to connect with them. At some stage they WILL want to hear more, I promise you.

Then, all you need to do, is to ensure that you have a supply of good quality, valuable content for your new audience!

 

David Lomas
CEO, M3 Media Publishing

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13Jul
Content marketing experts need to appreciate what Google are doing to improve results for quality contentUnderstanding Google’s ‘Phantom 2 Algorithm’

Understanding Google’s ‘Phantom 2 Algorithm’

Google has gladdened my heart yet again. This time with their ‘Phantom 2 Algorithm’. As someone who is passionate about good quality content, I would like to commend them in their drive to ensure we all provide quality content for our web visitors.

I will endeavour to explain about their latest algorithm, which has been referred to as ‘Phantom 2’.

This is because the effects were already being seen by some of us in the ‘content-driven’ sector, before it was announced publicly by the guys at Google.

The good news for me is that this algorithm will ensure that those websites containing massive amounts of dire content, stuffed with keywords and providing no discernible ‘quality of information’, will be seriously downgraded.

It also hits the “How to…’ articles that are used by many people as a pre-curser to a sales pitch and, in my opinion, not really providing us with the information that we may need when starting out on our ‘research paths’.

Businesses and brands that want to produce content for it’s ‘value to the customer’ will be rewarded. If they do the job properly, then visitors will be engaged and in turn, will stay on their websites for longer.

The end result being more business and I would suggest, maybe a higher customer spend in the end.

What is Google’s Phantom 2 algorithm looking for?

I have simplified the main things that the latest Google algorithm ‘Phantom2’ looks for:

  • Images
  • Videos
  • A wider use of vocabulary
  • Related words as well as key words
  • A higher word count per article.

Ideally we should write about topics that matter to our customers. – This does not mean that your content must be directly-related to your sales offering – in fact it shouldn’t.

This element of Google’s content strategy fits in perfectly with how we feel about content marketing at M3 Media Publishing. It is something that we have been doing for 12 years.

We believe that the first step you should take is in first getting the customer or web visitor to feel comfortable with you as an organisation. It is then possible to lead them to your door – along what I have previously referred to as my ‘Customer Corridor“.

Well-written content can do this. From there, once you have gained a level of trust with your prospect, you can more easily tempt him or her to find out what you are offering.

This effectively allows you to attract your customers, rather than pushing your message at them.

Perfect!

David Lomas

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23Jun
content marketing expert David Lomas of M3 Media PublishingM3 Connections Event reveals the Value of Trust

M3 Connections Event reveals the Value of Trust

The Value of Trust was the subject on everybody’s lips last night at the latest M3 Connections event, which was held in Spinningfield, Manchester at the offices of RBS – soon to be named Williams & Glyn.

This well-attended event for Directors and business owners was packed with tips and insights on how to value, create and promote ‘Trust’ with your prospects and customers.

A superb presentation from David Lomas on the value of trust and  a workshop which helped to find stories from the audience,  gave insights into the world of content marketing and social media. His talk provided some real in-depth knowledge on how to formulate your ‘Trust Strategy’ in order to influence your prospective customers in advance of your sales approach.

The event was actually broadcast live to the rest of the world using Periscope – an App which connects to your twitter audience in real time. Emphasising the innovative approach that David and his team have to social marketing and communication.

The discussions between the 40+ business leaders in the room continued for long after David’s presentation finished and guests commented on the value of the information they had gained.

The venue, on the 7th floor at RBS Spinningfields, Manchester, overlooks the city centre and provides a wonderful backdrop for a relaxed yet vibrant atmosphere. Many attendees commented that they had made some valuable connections during the evening.
 
If you are director or business leader based in Manchester or the North West and would like to make quality connections at a future event, please call M3 Media Publishing on 08450 519374.

Alternatively, fill in your details below and one of the M3 team will get in touch with you.

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29Jan
Concept of content marketing and Google algorithmWhy is our content different?

Why is our content different?

Many people might ask the question: “As we already have content on our website and on our blog, why is your content going to make a difference?”

It depends whether or not the content you have already written on your website is attracting or, more importantly ‘engaging’ with your web visitors. In many cases where I assess websites, I find the content to be rather dull and uninspiring. Your content should have an impact on the reader and grab their attention with both your words and, of course your imagery.

To create ‘effective’ content, you first need to know ‘who your visitors are’ and ‘where they have come from’. You need to understand what frame of mind they are in when they reach your content.

By this I mean, are they a first time visitor or have they come to you after already having read an article that covers a particular issue?

In other words: Are they just researching or are they now ready to buy from you?

We can’t always know these answers, but if we construct a ‘route’ for our prospective customers to follow, then we have  can better retain the focus of these prospects.

The way we write content is important but the overall solution for a successful content marketing strategy involves the creation of landing pages around your website, which focus on different customer types, or personas, and how to attract them to your door.

Allow me to explain…

Landing pages: How can they help to attract customers?

First you need to ‘connect’ with a possible target customer with a piece of information, a headline or an article, that is of interest to him.

It is critical that this content is published in a place relevant to your ‘chosen’ sector.

Your article needs to show an element of  ‘understanding’ by the writer and ideally it should contain some research, that the writer has done – in order for it to be perceived as credible.

The main focus of your article should be on the issue that is relevant to the customer and it should stay focused purely on this one issue.

I see too many businesses trying to get multiple messages into one article, thereby overloading the reader with too much information, and thus losing his attention.

Within the article, there needs to be some mention of you or your business as someone who understands the particular issue. There should also be a brief illustration of how you have successfully helped other businesses, in a similar position, in the past.

There should also be a link for the reader to gain quick information about you, your expertise and your credibility. (Read my article on ‘The Speed of Influence’ and how it will shape business on the internet in the future)

This is what I mean by ‘effective’ content and it should now have gained the attention of your reader.

Create a ‘downloadable’ document

The next stage is to offer this reader a more in-depth report or ‘whitepaper’ style document about the same issue.

This is very powerful if it is relevant to his particular sector.

This content should be sitting on your website on a landing page that is solely focused on this same sector, so when the customer reaches the page, YOUR expertise in HIS sector is reaffirmed.

This keeps him in the state of mind that ‘you are the person to go to’ as you understand his sector.

Finally, If the headline on your document is sufficiently tempting to him, then he is very likely to give you his contact details in return for a download of your information.

For help with getting cleverly-written content in front of your chosen target audience, please contact me via:  david @m3publishing.co.uk

David Lomas

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27Jan
content - who will see it?Writing Your Content – Who will see it?

Writing Your Content – Who will see it?

At M3 Media Publishing, we take care in writing content for our clients that will actually resonate with their customers, readers and web visitors.

Our journalists work closely with our clients to understand what issues and challenges they face, in order to attract their attention and engage with them.

However, after getting  the content right, if nobody gets to see your articles, all this work may have been done for nothing.

So who can we get to see your content?

Well, YOU can choose who sees your content, up to a point.

Where to publish your content is sometimes down to you.

Most businesses have blogs on their websites and this is the obvious first choice for publishing your own articles.

However, if we can get your content published in other places, then we open up many wider opportunities for others to see what we have said about you.

Linkedin can help you publish content.

LinkedIn gives us all a very valuable social platform to have our articles published – via Linkedin Pulse and via your own and other groups.

Having said that, getting group managers to publish your content is not always easy. We do spend time working with group managers trying to understand what content they want to publish.

The well-managed groups will usually only publish your content if it is industry specific and informative and I applaud them for that.

This is the sort of content that we should all want to write and, more importantly, it is the sort of content that others want to share out!

If you can find the right audience and create valuable content, others will help you share it with all their Linkedin connections.

Social Media is the key to reaching a bigger audience

Once we have created some engaging content about you and your business, we set up a programme of distribution using twitter.

With our established reputation within three main business sectors, HR & Recruitment, Property & Construction and the Business Expertise sectors, we already have a network of content distributors in each sector.

Check out our 3 magazines within our portfolio HR AspectsProperty AspectsBusiness Aspects

This gives us a massive advantage when working with our clients in each of these sectors, as we can use this extensive support network to help them reach a specifically targeted audience.

This is crucial to successful content marketing.

So distributing content can be quite daunting, but I hope this has helped.

For help with getting your message in front of your chosen target audience, please contact me via:  david @m3publishing.co.uk

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