Overarching point: Achieve top-of-mind status by engaging prospects, customers, and colleagues though “You Marketing” to create thriving, rich relations. “You Marketing” = quality, personalized content delivered consistently and at the right moments that makes people’s lives better by connecting people with what they value. If you help, opportunities will come.
Content Strategy & Goals
- Determine your content’s core purpose: Usually a blend of brand building & demand generation
- The planning process is an opportunity to think about your target audience, potential topics, distribution tactics, and scaling strategies. You should also be meticulous in figuring out work flows to make ideating, creating, editing, and distributing a seamless process. What will your creative ritual look like? When and how often will you create this content? Who will edit and liaise with external distribution channels?
Knowledge Extraction & Management
- Listen to your target audience is the only way to know exactly what they want
- Invest in executive branding for your leadership entire team, not just for Marketing
- Focus on sharing tactical, actionable, educational content
- Lists of top conferences, top blogs, top publications, top industry trends, etc.
- Always Deliver Value; Limit Obnoxious Self-Promotion
- Be alert and diligent to detect “content triggers”
- Use Knowledge banks = templates, spreadsheets, or software options used to document your team’s ideas.
- Research happens in conversation with clients, partners, peers, and friends
- Don’t be intimidated by the phrase “daily discipline.” By setting up process-oriented workflows and creative rituals, you can make consistent content production second nature.
- You’ll need strategists, writers, and editors
- When you’re working with a content team—whether it’s your internal marketing department or an agency you’ve hired to help—there are two rules for creating engaging content. First, your company needs to do everything it can to develop a strong knowledge bank over time with content from key employees or to create a simple process to extract information consistently. Second, nothing should be published without your final approval.
- When I review content, I look at a couple of things. I ask myself, “Does this make sense?” and “Could anything in here hurt my brand?” “Does it offer substantive insight into issues and topics other than the highlights of your product?” “Does it provide the reader actionable tips and analysis?”
- To ensure that your social efforts are on point, be diligent and thorough in testing your headlines and captions.
- My team has found that combining quotes, stats, questions, and visuals yields the most effective results.
- Before you jump to video or some other trend in communication, I can promise you this: at this moment, there is no better way to scale a top-of-mind strategy at a reasonable cost than written content
- Owned: (a) Your blog (most important) (b) Social Media (c) Email marketing
- Earned: (a) Speaking engagements at events (b) other company publications. When it comes to selecting target publications, bigger isn’t necessarily better. Build your strategy around consistent publishing through a diverse portfolio of external publications. Diversify the sites between marquee, niche, trade, and so on, and see what works. Then go back to the sites that helped you reach the goals you set.
- You’ll need: (a) social media team (b) PR team (c) SEO team (d) SEM team (e) email marketing team
- Leverage your entire staff so they all can share the article through their personal and professional networks and increase the article’s reach with tools such as PostBeyond, Dynamic Signal, and Hootsuite Amplify.
- After it’s live, republish the article on your LinkedIn page, tweaking it so that there’s a direct call to action for readers to engage further with your content.
- Repurpose it for distribution through different channels (SlideShare, infographics, articles, etc.)
- Focus your social efforts on your target audience’s preferred platforms
- Gated content must provide exceptional value
- Don’t forget to target editors, influencers, and other curators of content in your industry in your social media efforts
- Don’t forget to send to current clients. We send our customers a weekly e-mail digest highlighting our best pieces, which helps keep them informed of industry trends as well as developments in our service offerings that can help them better achieve their goals.
- Comment on relevant conversations taking place in online forums and include a link to your post
- Link to published content in e-mail signatures
Building Trust & Likeability
- Trust takes significant time and careful effort to build. Act carelessly with it and you’ll destroy it.
- Trust Plus Consistency Equals Opportunity
- Helpfulness requires authenticity, consistency, and intention
- Consistency: I try to help out most of my important contacts at least once every three months and others at least once a year.
- Help others without expecting anything in return
- Empower others by providing them with knowledge through educational content
- When I meet someone, I end the conversation by asking, “So how can I be helpful to you moving forward?” and give him an example of what I think would be helpful, such as, “If I run into this type of person, would an intro be valuable?”
- Share Resources: You’re likely invested in a ton of diverse resources, from core assets such as talent and infrastructure to luxury items such as season tickets for your favorite sports team. Whenever you hear of an opportunity—whether in the form of a potential partnership, an exciting event, or a journalist looking for industry contacts—you have a shareable resource.
- Provide referrals: Whenever possible, go further than simply sharing information and make personal introductions.
- Offer Transparent Feedback. Although what you say is important, how you say it carries a lot of weight, too.
- Make it a habit that anytime you find out what someone’s needs are, you write them down.
- Recognize People: When I have a good experience with someone from another company, I’ll typically e-mail that person’s boss a quick note about my experience.
- To be likeable, be a (a) fun friend, (b) tough teach, (c) or a combination of the two
- Content won’t generate an overnight spike in sales.
- The real purpose of content is to build an emotional connection between you and your audience—and that’s just not something you can put on a chart and present as hard evidence.
- A page view isn’t really a way to build a relationship with an audience member
- When we publish a piece of content, we’re able to compare it to other content on the same publications and track performance by word count, style, day of the week, shares, and social reach as well as the finish rate on content published on our own site.
Likeability (reference: Jeff Haden)
- Shift the spotlight to others.
- Listen a lot more than they talk.
- Don’t practice selective hearing.
- Are thoughtful simply because they want to be.
- Put their stuff away (meaning they don’t check their phones, laptops, or watches during conversations).
- Give before they receive—and sometimes they never receive.
- Don’t act self-important
- Because they realize other people are more important.
- Choose their words.
- Don’t discuss the failings of others
- But readily admit their failings
- Rather than receiving the entire set at once, a couple of personalized knives come every month, thus regularly reminding my wife and me that he exists and is a great guy.
- When your gifts are expensive or ostentatious, you’re flirting with bribery.
- If you want to secure and maintain a position at the top of someone’s mind, give gifts that are deeply meaningful to that person and come with no strings attached.
- Like the other elements of your helpfulness practice, gift giving is more effective when you do it regularly.
- Paying for a subscription that matches a client’s unique interests is generous and thoughtful and also saves you time.