The ultimate goal of your marketing is
– and always has been – to grow your business. Jay Baer, author of Youtility, says there is no right or wrong when it comes to content marketing, only “more right” or “less right.” So many business owners are looking for that silver-bullet methodology that will solve all their marketing and business problems. This is not realistic. The best I can hope for you is that you start asking more right questions, which will lead you to plan for “more right” rather than “less right.”
I’ve been involved over the years with hundreds of content marketing strategies. Every one of them has been different. Each one worked in different ways and for a variety of reasons. Following are some questions or statements that I’ve used to refine a marketing strategy to get to the “more right” of monetizing a content marketing strategy:
1. What is the project’s objective?
Joe Pulizzi, author of Epic Content Marketing says, “Content marketing is all about developing content that maintains or changes a behavior.”¹ Therefore it is imperative to know the key measurements to any return on objective (ROO). This can sometimes be measured by one metric, and other times four or five are needed to show an impact on the organization’s business goals.
The important thing to remember is, it’s not a measurement for the sake of measurement. It’s to answer directly what the project’s objective is. Everything you measure needs to start with an objective:¹
- Build brand awareness or reinforcement.
- Create more effective lead conversion and nurturing.
- Increase customer conversion.
- Achieve customer up-sell or cross-sell.
- Create subscribers.
Once you can show certain trends with your content, then you can begin to do more of what’s working and less of what’s not.
2. Who is your tribe?
Seth Godin in his best selling book, Tribes says, “A tribe is any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea.”
The goal here is to identify your tribe. That is, those people you are uniquely qualified to lead who resonate with you. How do you find your tribe? You do this by being truthful and authentic and telling people who you are. There are people who will only listen to you. They know your voice. You find that tribe by finding a hilltop, planting a flag, building a bonfire and letting them see and hear you.
3. What is your message?
Take the time to craft and hone your message. You have a message, make sure it communicates the essentials of what you want to convey to your tribe. Is your message compelling? Does it provide value? Does it solve a problem? Is your message consistent? Part of the adventure is unfolding that message through your own story. It is not easy but it is worth it.
4. Is your message packaged properly?
This is where most people get tripped up because it looks like marketing. It is marketing! When packaging your message you must have clear calls to action that help your audience solve a problem. Learn to package your message properly so that it brings attention to what’s next for the reader.
5. Can you push past failure?
My favorite Michael Jordan – Nike commercial is a 30-second spot² of Jordan getting out of his car, walking past photographers, and going out a door. There’s no flash and no game winning shot. It’s just Michael … and then you hear his voice.
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
I have learned that many people have a difficult time pressing the send button. I believe it’s because they don’t want to set themselves up for any failure. Finding content goals that ultimately drive your business can be an excruciating and gut wrenching process. It takes determination, passion, and soul searching to truly determine what kind of content you need to create that will have an immediate impact on your audience.
Following are some thoughts to consider:
- “If you can get the right to communicate with permission, you’ve just obtained the right to use frequency; And that, is the holy grail of marketing.”
- Buyers are leveraging new sources of information, rendering the salesperson to a secondary role (or even a non-presence).
- “Your content must be interesting, enticing, or entertaining enough to entice a recipient to forward it to a friend or colleague.”
- It’s essential to clearly understand how a prospect uses information. By gaining that clear understanding of who looks at what, when it’s looked at, and what the action means, marketers begin to piece together the buyer’s digital body language.
Resources and References
¹ Joe Pulizzi, Epic Content Marketing – McGraw Hill Education, 2014
²Michael Jordan, Failure, Commercial HD 1080p, YouTube – http://youtu.be/JA7G7AV-LT8