It’s a transaction ― fueled by the powerful intention to grow and expand your business. It’s serving up delicious, enticing, seductive information to your prospects (and suspects) in exchange for their glorious attention and response. You give away something of value to build a relationship that will ultimately lead to something meaningful ― engagement, trust, loyalty, revenue and product/service evangelism.
The concept is not new, but the media models have morphed and changed over the years. Heck, maybe it’s the oldest profession. But today, managing the whole process is a bit trickier. We are our own networks. It’s a potent concept when you stop and think about it.
We can produce our own universes, but there are challenges. We’re concerned with integration, relevance, distribution management and analytics. The secret sauce is in your story ― communicating your value effectively and persuasively. And it all starts with your website.
It’s all about the Blog
This is your publisher. I know it takes care and feeding, but it’s worth the effort. The blog is still the easiest way to connect with your audience and establish thought leadership in your space. Actually, it’s less about “thought leadership” these days ― and more about delivering content worth consuming ― content that teaches something new, entertains, and provides a compelling reason to act. The media may vary, but the blog gives you the framework. Experiment with video, infographics, whitepapers and e-books. Test, test and test some more. Orchestrate the primary elements:
- Landing Pages/Email
- Social Media
And You Gotta Have a Plan . . .
- Define your Decision Makers and Brand Personas
Who makes the buying decisions? Who gets involved and when? Where do they live online? You don’t have to get too targeted in creating specific content for each stakeholder, but clearly identify “product champions” ― and then guide them step by step through the consensus-creation process.
- Articulate Your Key Objectives: Start with the basics, build and quantify.
Objectives might include:
- Generating interest in your products ― and qualified leads.
- Establishing yourself as an expert and preferred solution provider in a given vertical market.
- Generating sales. (online or direct)
- Set Specific Goals: What are your key metrics and priorities ― long and short-term?
- Organic traffic
- Newsletter sign-ups
- Qualified leads
- Create Your Content Strategy
Build a formal six-month, integrated content calendar creating relevant messaging that cultivates each one of your priority vertical segment.
- Case Studies and Success Stories ― Highlight solutions and wins using video, blog articles and press releases that can extend your stories even further to third-party websites.
- Guides and Tutorials — Guides do not have to be 100-page e-books. Give tips or easy how-tos.
- Webinars ― Attract decision makers who are interested in learning from other industry leaders. Then, create a case studies or white papers from the webinar ― extending the life of your content and providing more opportunities for engagement.
- E-books and Whitepapers ― This is where we can get meaty ― really dig into topics and establish your firm as the expert or solution. This can drive lead capture from download requests and provide insight into particular areas of interest.
- Infographics creatively visualize facts and figures and are highly shareable online. http://piktochart.com/ https://infogr.am/ are sites that help facilitate creation.
- Grow Your Opt-In Email List ― Add a sign-up widget to your website. http://optinagent.com/ Put a sign up form at the bottom of each blog post.
- Enhance Social Media Engagement ― Optimize social media where appropriate – integrating Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram, particularly for events — to drive engagement and enhance brand affinity with specific content deliverables.
Finally, connect the dots on all marketing initiatives (print, web, and multimedia) across owned, earned, paid and shared media streams ― to optimize conversions and KPIs. And build necessary resources to execute. Build relationships, not links. Make it matter. Make it count ― with rich, relevant, timely, thoughtful content. Early and often.
Are you ready to tell your story?