Your Road Map to Thinking Like a Publisher

content marketing mindsetTo develop a content marketing mindset requires a major rethinking of the current approach. It may not be easy, but it is essential. By reading and sharing this blog post, you will develop a content marketing mentality, first for yourself and then for your organization.

You already know how important it is for your organization to act like publishers that offers valuable content that makes you a trusted source for your future and current customers. For instance, the conventional wisdom of publishing says advertising departments must work with journalists and publishers to compete for shelf space in magazines and papers – a mindset that no longer holds true given the demise of traditional print media. Moreover, consumers can get access to free content from blogs instead of paying for magazines or books. Therefore, it’s time to start thinking like an internet publisher and start competing for space on the content shelves of the web. That’s the all important start to developing a content marketing mindset. (Think Like a Publisher). However, publishing has developed via companies over many years, therefor, in order to create the kind of high quality content that emanates from a great publisher, a new media focused skill set is required.

Think Like a Publisher

Invest your time to build credibility with others by sharing your work for them to read and review. This happens when you deliver content that is relevant to your target customers. Bad, boring brochures are only part of the problem with traditional marketing. The Yellow Pages is a classic example. Historically, whether a customer was selling consumer product or business products, they needed to be in the Yellow Pages. That is no longer true. Instead, prospects are first going to the Internet to see information about products and company information. In a competitive market, the Yellow pages usually falls short of most prospects first instinct – the search engine. Therefore, creating a website with positive and sharable headlines, and with important content, is the approach to put yourself at the top of the qualified search results.

Imagine what would happen if small businesses devoted their advertising dollars to creating great websites. Imagine also, that they were driving content to the websites through excellent content and intelligent search engine marketing and approaches to making content go viral.

There are few road maps to steer organizations safely through the marketing frontier, and too few are willing to make the trek. But for those who do so, there is a way in which content marketing can become an integral component of your company’s DNA. This process is designed to make it easier to transition to the creation of valuable and relevant content.

First Understand then Be Understood

You must understand exactly what outcome you require before beginning a successful content marketing strategy. That means knowing what you want to get out of the initiative – sales increase, retention measures, cost saving, lead generation, employee retention, culture building, or something more. Equally important is understanding the needs and challenges of your prospected targets.

  • Behavioral – Everything you communicate has a purpose. What do you want your customers to do? How do you want them to feel? What action do you want them to take? (SHARE) How will you measure their behavior? How will you put them on the path to purchase?
  • Essential – Deliver content that your best prospects really need in order to achieve success, whether at work or in life. What do customers need to know? What will provide them with the most benefit? How can we increase the potential positive impact? What media types must be included?
  • Strategic – Your content marketing efforts must be an integral part of your overall business strategy and corporate culture. Does this content marketing effort help us achieve our strategic goals? Does it integrate with other strategic initiatives?
  • Targeted – You must target you content precisely, so that it is relevant to your buyers. Are the prospects identified? Is there a solid understanding of what motivates them? Are their professional roles understood? Is their perception of the product accurate and understood?

Use these target areas to in order to create marketing efforts that are used by the most innovative newspapers, magazines, TV, radio. By taking the time and committing the resources to answer these questions, you will have the needed information to create a content marketing plan that works for you. Creating original content is imperative for growing and sustaining a profitable business.

Rules to Market By

Businesses who think like publishers are more empowered now than ever before, thanks partly to the rise of social media, which gives marketers platforms to create communities of customers. But only marketers who are willing to aggressively promote themselves will benefit.

The experts espouse these new rules of publishing:

  1. You are in control. You have the power to do your own marketing and the tools to build a community of fans.
  2. Don’t underestimate the power of social media. “You can’t be an author without being a participant in social media.”
  3. A blog is a necessary component of your publishing strategy.
  4. Stay online. No traditional bookseller can compete with the digital world.
  5. Bootstrap. Don’t write a blog post and then market. When you are writing a blog, or thinking about writing one, get started promoting it. Create your layout before the blog post is done.
  6. Keep seeking the new edge. Follow thought leaders.

Figure out how to find readers and give them a reason to follow you. You can entertain. You can educate. But you need to give something away to those who need it most.

image credit: mr lightman/

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