Producing knowledgeable, creative and thoughtful content is the best way to assert leadership in an industry, generate lasting professional connections, enhance company exposure, and ultimately – witness real revenue growth.
As you structure your content marketing technique, keep in mind it is not only important which gifts of knowledge you choose to share, but to whom, how and where.
1. Establish yourself as an expert (within social media)
With over 60% of companies using social media as part of their business strategy, being recognized as an expert, or better - the expert in your field, is what differentiates you from your competitors. In the B2B business world, providing knowledge that exemplifies thought leadership and depth in understanding creates a foundation for potential collaborators/clients to become aware of your capabilities – and deem you as a trustworthy source for information. The more useful insight you provide, the better response you will have from other thought leaders in your industry and your target audience. The goal is to differentiate, inspire trust, connect, exchange and… profit.
2. Tell a story
Ideally, your content will both educate and entertain. Text, pictorial, video, and infographic content should be original and provide value in a way that situates you (and your company) in a leadership position. To do this within the throngs of social media, you must first grab your audience’s attention. Humans are fascinated with stories, regardless of their profession. Find a way to make your company, experience, opinion, findings or news captivating.
Companies, especially in B2B, often get the reputation of reciting dry material. Give insight that only someone in your position would know, and make the details tasty. Share obstacles your company has overcome, challenges and feats from a personal perspective. We would rather learn from people than robots, thank you.
4. Diversify your content
Great content is not limited to article text; often times the most useful (and memorable) business tidbits are represented through visuals, graphs, and video content.
5. Publish & Push
Social Media Representatives – you should be writing on a corporate blog and publishing articles on public sites that allow you to present your expertise. Once you have one or more platforms to publish your content, push it through the social media networks where your target group resides. Not all companies will target the same people, for the same reason, in the same place.
6. Know your audience
Content should always be directed towards your target audience. Take into account where these people spend their time online when deciding where to direct your content. Find out exactly which social media avenues your group members spend their time and what they do while they are there. Research and determine what they hope to achieve or gain while on each particular site. Provide them with the knowledge they are seeking through your expertise.
This is not how marketing is done in Web 2.0. The goal is to communicate, not to invade. Even if the overt advertising/branding does not arrive in our inbox, remember it is still intrusive on social media.
This goes along the same lines as not spamming. If you want to build a true following, establish expertise, and make viable connections, the communication level must be deeper than SHOUTING NONSENSE ON TWITTER EVERY 5 MINUTES.
3. Think that email lists are enough
Not all email is spam. In fact, having a strong collection of email addresses in which you can send a weekly or monthly newsletter (if they have registered) is a great way to build consistency and trust. However, this is not enough. You run the risk of encouraging ‘unsubscribers’ if you bombard them with content that belongs in a healthy and balanced content marketing campaign, dispersed throughout different networks.
4. Falsely promote
This is a nice way of saying, “Don’t Lie.” If you boast expertise you cannot support, you will lose credibility. One of the chief goals in content marketing is to establish trust; do not blow this with faulty content. Let your expertise establish itself; if you have to explicitly state how great you are, chances are you need to further hone your expertise before claiming it.
5. Lose focus
It is easy to get distracted in the vastly overpopulate world of social media, but remain on top of the issues are that trending in your industry. Follow the actions of thought leaders who are relevant to your business, and (most important) listen to the evolving needs of your target group audience.
For more in depth information and tips on content marketing, click here.