So you’ve decided to take your Content Marketing to the next level over the next 12 months…
Where do you start? What can you expect?
Here are a few things we’ve learned with our content marketing plan at Connect 365 and five mistakes you can avoid.
Mistake #1: Not Having a Content Marketing Strategy
Seems obvious but the #1 pitfall that entrepreneurs experience with content marketing is doing NO content marketing.
Here’s why this is a big mistake.
In a recent Edelman study, 89% of decision-makers say that Thought Leadership can be effective in enhancing their perceptions of an organization. (Edelman Thought Leadership Study)
In other words, the reason having a content strategy can be so powerful is because it strategically positions you as an expert and an authority in your prospect's eyes.
Showing off your expertise is THE BEST way to gain your prospect’s trust and respect. This is important. Your prospects are busy. And the higher caliber of prospect they are the busier they are likely to be.
They only want to talk or work with someone who knows what they are talking about. If you are not sharing content online you give them no way to know how great you are.
When utilized and positioned correctly, a Top of Mind content strategy will begin to build the “know, like & trust” factor that is needed to warm prospects up to take a call with you.
And by implementing a regular content strategy that focuses on what your prospects care about, you’ll improve your organic traffic from search results.
Mistake #2: You Won’t Win With Content Alone
The #1 recipe for wasting your time with content marketing is this…
Lots of Action, No End Game
You can create all the content in the world, but without a strategy behind that content or a way to transition someone who sees that content into a sales opportunity… there is no point to it.
So what do you do?
The best play is to combine your content marketing with a more direct channel like personal email or LinkedIn to send personal messages to the prospects in your network.
This is what this looks like in practice…
Want to learn this system? Sign up for my upcoming online LEAD Blueprint Workshop. Get the details and register here.
As you can see above the point of this strategy is to surround your prospects with YOU.
They get on Facebook and they see a post from you about something relevant to them.
Then they go to their feed and see more posts that dive into an exact pain point they are currently dealing with themselves.
They start to think of you as an expert.
Then the next day they get into their inbox and you (or someone from your team) have sent them a personal email with more advice and asking if they had a minute for you to show them exactly how you can help them fix their problems.
At this point, you’ve shown yourself as an expert and reached out directly offering to help.
They respond to your email saying that they’re interested. They know you know what you’re doing so it's worth investigating further.
In no time at all you’ve gone from complete stranger to trusted advisor.
You’ve built TRUST. An essential element of any business deal or sale.
Marketing executives at B2B and B2C service firms rank “trusting relationships” ahead of “low price” and “superior innovation” among their customers’ priorities. (The CMO Survey)
Think of it like this.
Say you buy a new house and are going to have a housewarming party so that everyone can come check it out.
So you text, email, invite a bunch of your friends and family but don’t include your address.
Sure, they’ll be happy about your new home but they won’t show up to your party. They have no idea where to go.
Your prospects are the same way.
You need to have an endgame in sight, and a strategy to get there.
Mistake #3: Thinking Your Prospects Care About “YOU”
What good is content that your audience doesn’t care about?
And I hate to break it to you, your prospects don’t care about you or how great you are. They don’t care about how many features your newest product or service includes.
Before they know who you are, all they care about is information you know that they can use to help themselves. They haven’t even considered that they could hire or buy from you.
That’s because the vast majority of your content should not sell. It should introduce you. Introduce your philosophy. Introduce them to what a potential solution MAY look like.
Big picture: They care about content that is relevant to them, their business, and their current thought process.
If you can’t provide content that is relevant to your audience (or the audience you’re trying to reach), there is a good chance you’ll never attract your audience in the first place OR they’ll leave your site before they’ve even had the chance to see what you offer.
Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes.
What problem are they ultimately trying to solve?
There are a million ways to decide on the content you’ll publish but for starters:
- Look at your FAQs. What questions do you hear in sales conversations, email support, Facebook messages, on community forums often?
Provide the answer in your blog. Or on your social media channels.
- Determine what your audience is searching for.
You can use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner (free) or SEMrush to determine the phrases your audience is actively looking for.
Note: Know that the content that you share does not have to be original. You can get similar results by simply sharing content that other people put together. Not everyone is Gary Vaynerchuk and has a camera following them around 24/7.
So if you are feeling overwhelmed reading this just start by sharing content that you think is good. Just showing that you are paying attention to the industry is a fantastic way to show that you are not a pretender.
Mistake #4: Not Having a Long-Term Commitment to Your Content Strategy
Good things come to those who wait…
Consistency is important when committing to your content marketing strategy.
But what we’ve found is that patience is most important.
If someone told you they have a strategy to gain thousands of followers overnight… it sounds too good to be true, because it is.
A thousand followers from people who you would never work with means nothing.
Building a long-term relationship with your audience that will take multiple interactions over a given period of time will lead to long-term sustainability.
I’ve mentioned it hundreds of times over the last few years…
For a prospect to feel comfortable moving forward with you, whether that be accepting a meeting or signing on as a client, you have to catch their attention over and over again.
Before you can gain trust you must be memorable.
Before you can be memorable you must be recognizable.
Before you can be recognizable you must be visible.
And before you can be visible you must start content marketing the right way.
Sign up for my upcoming LEAD Blueprint workshop to see how.
Mistake #5: Content Marketing is King, but Distribution is Queen
What good is having the perfect content for your audience…… but not having the tools to distribute it properly?
It’s simple… it’s not good.
Content is King with regards to your content marketing strategy, but your distribution strategy is its Queen.
The two are equal partners that need to be aligned properly if you are going to have success.
What’s that saying?… Happy wife, happy life.
It’s a corny saying but it couldn’t be more true here.
You need to create good content.
And you need people to see it.
Share it on social media, share it to your email list, let your clients know, and encourage them to spread the word.
Again, content isn’t an overnight strategy, but if you’re in it for the long-haul you will see massive gains for your business.
Sign up for my upcoming L.E.A.D Blueprint Workshop
Creating a solid messaging strategy is only one part of an effective lead generation strategy.
I’ve recently developed a new workshop that goes step by step through the process that has been so successful in our clients’ businesses -- the L.E.A.D. Blueprint.
In the workshop, we’ll be teaching:
- Exactly what an Authority Leadership Platform is and how you can leverage our Authority Amplifier process to position yourself above the competition, putting your business in an entirely different playing field.
- How to target high-end prospects using online platforms (social media + email) in a unique way that builds instant trust by doing the polar opposite of what most ‘salespeople’ try
- How to develop real relationships online using a highly-personal Multi-Touchpoint Messaging Campaign to naturally guide the conversation towards an appointment
- The right way to automate processes that build trust, improve credibility and increase responsiveness in your campaigns.
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