Content Marketing is an Investment

Your customers are looking to buy your product or service, but why should they choose you? As a responsible consumer, they do research online, read industry magazines, and ask their colleagues and friends about it. They have narrowed their search down to you and your number one competitor.

Imagine they visit your competitor’s website and your competitor gives them the basic manufacturer specs or product details. The site contains stock photography and a few generic sentences about performance as well as links to a few customer reviews.

You could offer the same. Or you could contrast your competitor’s site with a content-rich website. What do I mean by this? Your site includes a full write-up of the benefits of your products and how they perform. Your site includes professional photographs taken from various angles as well as user submitted photos of customers using your product or benefiting from your server. You’ve written several articles about the capabilities and created a call-to-action through an “act now” discount.

Which website will likely gain the consumer’s business?

Creating custom content for a website is crucial to a successful marketing campaign or product launch. It helps to define your site as a leading authority in the industry. Anyone can slap manufacturer’s specs on a generic template. Today’s technology can have you up in literally minutes. Only an industry leader would take the time to ensure their customers know exactly what they get for their hard-earned dollar.

It is important to understand that content is not automatically defined as the written word. Content in marketing encompasses a wide variety of mediums including pictures, videos, graphs, infographics, white papers, podcasts, newsletters and magazines. Content in marketing is defined as persuading the decision-maker or adding value by solving a customer or a prospect’s problem.

Content can be used to generate brand awareness and sales leads. However, in order for a content campaign to succeed, it is important that it be original. As with the case above, specifics trump generalization every time. Your content must be fresh, inventive and ever-changing.

Content should provide relevant information to the consumer in a way that is easy to digest. The idea of quality over quantity applies. A thousand word review regurgitated from the parent site is nowhere near as powerful as a concise, high-quality infographic demonstrating important features without overwhelming the reader. Content should demonstrate the total value of the product or service as defined by the seller and establish the business as the best.

It is important to create content relative to the industry while still targeting the specific product. This lends credence to your claim of “leading authority” while demonstrating the foresight necessary to ensure your customers are aware of their options.

Content marketing is a vital component to any successful marketing campaign. Persuading consumers that you are the best in the business provides a basis for trust and future patronage.

Do you have this type of content supporting your brand’s website?

  • List of benefits
  • Infographics
  • Competitive reviews
  • Top 10 reasons you need ______ today
  • Customer reviews
  • Video customer testimonials
  • Video demonstrations
  • Regular related blog posts
  • Customer service via social media
  • FAQ page
  • Guarantees or trials

Social Media is Complicated [Infographic]

As introduced to us by Business Insider, Buddy Media’s Social Enterprise Software is a suite of products is “designed to help brands build and maintain relationships with consumers to accelerate their business.”

Why do brands need help with this? Well, it’s complicated.

To demonstrate that complexity Buddy Media created this image that shows all of the brands/companies involved including: analytics, social scoring, ad networks, facebook apps, content curation, twitter apps, photo sharing, social TV, and URL shorteners… to name a few.

Click the image below to enlarge.

Buddy Media Social Marketing Infographic

So what does this mean to companies and marketers who want to break into the social media space and start utilizing this industry without getting overwhelmed?

  • Start small – if you’re just starting to test social media and determine if it’s appropriate for your clients or business then pick a few partners and go from there. Start sharing content and use social media as another channel to amplify it. Remember, social media is a conversation used to build relationships. It’s not a shouting match between competitors.
  • Stay informed – as you can see there are a lot of moving parts and companies that are either becoming a social media network themselves or helping enhance the use of those sites. Stay productive, but also stay up-to-date on the latest case studies of companies that are doing a great job in social media – Zappos, American Express, Allstate, Oreo, NBC #TheVoice, Xbox… to name a few.
  • Jump In – stop wondering if you can benefit from social media and just do it. Follow the leaders in your industry or blaze your own trail. Build champions in your company and get them on-board. Show them how they can distribute content, connect with fans, and measure results.

6 Insightful Blog Quotes for Marketers

Below are some useful quotes for marketers who are looking to put all the marketing pieces together. Whether you’re a blogger, a small business entrepreneur, or a corporate CMO, you’ll find some value in these articles by some smart people.

 

 

1. On Success Through “Thinking Small” with Content Marketing

Somewhere, we got away from this notion and started to embrace a “bigger is better” philosophy with regard to publishing (and now content marketing). We need to swing the pendulum back the other way, and start atomizing our content. convinceandconvert.com

2. On Staying a Healthy as an Entrepreneuer

I believe that taking care of oneself only fuels our ability to dig deeper, to persist longer, and to give more to our co-workers, community, and causes. Exercise in fact might be the best investment you’ll ever make towards the success of your startup. – under30ceo.com

3. On Making Money By Blogging

If you want to make money with your blog for the long haul you MUST help as many people as you can succeed with their blogs first. You must sell YOU… selling you gives you full control of your product with no surprises in the future. – johnpaulaguiar.com

4. On Growing Your Twitter Followers, By Thousands

Grow your following organically by producing sharable tweets that people want to pass along to their own followers. When your tweets get re-tweeted and, thus, your twitter handle shared, it acts as an advertisement for you. This free, word-of-mouth buzz will help keep you attracting new followers. – ann-tran.com

5. On Telling Your Story

Good copy not only introduces a product or service to the audience, it creates a relationship between the product and the audience, and compels that audience to act.  Stories help you connect with your audience in a meaningful, natural manner. – bizziwriter.com

6. On Public Relations Damage Control Planning

Key to managing issues is to be plugged into media and the environment in which your company does business. Be aware of what regulators such as government officials are doing, and understand that even though you may manage issues well, a crisis will happen. – getsocialpr.com

Digital Content Created Every 60 Seconds [Infographic]

I recently attended a digital marketing conference where they showed this very interesting infographic as a slide in their presentation. I found it so interesting that I’d thought I’d write a post and share it. The infographic was created by a web design company called Go-Globe. It summarizes all of the activities that happen online in 60 seconds.

Some of the more interesting stats include:

  • 12,000+ new posts on craigslist
  • 98,000+ tweets
  • 100+ new LinkedIn accounts
  • 6,600 Flicr pictures uploaded
  • 695,000+ Facebook status updates
  • 695,556 Google search queries
  • 168 million emails sent
  • 60+ new blogs created
  • 1,500 blog posts
  • 70 domains registered
  • 13,000 iPhone apps downloaded

See entire infographic below:

We’re living in an unique time where everyone is empowered to create, interact, and share with the entire world. I’m amazed by just how many blogs and domains hit the website every minute. There is no shortage of content and people developing that content, increasingly in the mobile environment.

I’m also interested in the stat of how many people are posting on Facebook (695,000+) compared to how many people are searching Google (694,445+). Google used to be the center of everything someone did online. Even if I knew the domain, in some cases by habit, I’d simple search it in Google’s browser plugin. It just seemed easier. Now it seems that more people are “living” in platforms such as Facebook and connecting with others through it. If you search inside of Facebook it automatically populates with web results powered by Microsoft’s Bing. Clever on Bing’s part to drive up their usage.

As a digital marketer, three thoughts come to mind.

  1. People want to share. We’re living in a modern information age in which people are sharing and communicating quickly and frequently. It’s easier than ever to get your message across multiple devices and across platforms, and it spreads like wildfire. People want desperately to have their voice heard by their peers and uniquely demonstrate that they are innovators.
  2. People connect with brands they like. Companies are able to leverage this movement by putting their products and services in front of their customers. Their customers are willing to share these messages and develop a “relationship” with companies. Companies in the New Economy are becoming personalized and connected. I don’t just buy an MP3 player, I like the Company Page, I review the product, I share the features, and I connect with customer support.
  3. Your message has a lot of competition.  With all this content being generated, it’s easy to see that people’s attention span has some competition. Your message can’t just be louder than everything else, it needs to be more targeted and personalized. It’s expected that you know something about your customers. Use that to give them exactly what they need when they need it. Leverage your CRM and marketing automation tools to message them and measure those conversions.

Another infographic I found by Go-Globe shows some more interesting stats on the hardware and product side. Did you know that every minute 81 iPads are sold, 11 Xboxes are sold, or 1,100 acres of land are farmed in Farmville? Interesting…