Content Marketing

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

Transparent Marketing is Risky Business

This blog post will help you understand how to use customer-centric content marketing to make a quicker sale and build a better relationship with your client.

Customer-Centric Messaging


While wearing see-through clothing is sometimes risqué, doing see-through marketing is always risky.

Clients don’t want to see through messaging that is truly a sales or marketing message—especially when they are initially looking for help. You know, the upper-funnel kind. They want information that will start an authentic conversation to help solve their problem or act on an opportunity.


By clouding up the selling and marketing approach, you are obfuscating the customer’s buying journey and delaying your selling process. So, it’s time to introduce a little clarity into your messaging strategy—delivering the right message at the right time on the right channel.

Three Statistics Supporting Your Customer’s Need For Customer-Centric Content

  • 65 percent of senior executives feel that preparing to make a purchase decision is “hard,” “awful,” “painful,” “frustrating,” and “minefield,” as reported in the Harvard Business Review—indicating less pitching and more up-front education might lessen their pain.  (Source: CEB)
  • 86 percent of B2B decision-makers say proactive, prescriptive approach that guides them through decision making increases the likeliness of purchase ease and decreases the likeliness of purchase regret—suggesting the role of the providing the right content at the right time.
  • A Content Marketing Report (CMI) report shows that 68 percent of tech content marketers say creating content appealing to multiple customer roles is their top challenge. 

So, what’s the answer? Take a look at these ways to sell better with content and messaging.

13 Ways To Win Your Client’s Heart with Transparent and Buyer-centric Marketing Messaging 

Consider the following comparisons the next time you work on your sales and marketing message. Whether you deliver your ideas via email, thought leadership content, or social media, it has to be helpful and authentic. This list will help you determine the most effective approach to provide customer clarity and close the sale with content.

  1. Selling vs. solving 
  2. Advertising vs. advice
  3. Commercials vs. thought leadership
  4. Pitches vs. questions 
  5. “I think” vs. “I know” 
  6. Proposals vs. discovery
  7. Audience vs. community
  8. Always-on messaging vs. one-off sales campaigns
  9. You-centric vs. customer-centric
  10. One-off posts vs. conversations 
  11. Entertaining vs. being smart
  12. Talking to vs. talking with
  13. Listening vs. hearing

Well, it’s about time to strip down your sales and marketing messaging to be a bit more helpful—especially early in their buying journey. Or, you’ll find it’s risky business out there.

I’d love to know how you use content marketing to break through to your clients. So, please comment below or reach out to me at moran.gerry@gmail.com.

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

10 Rocking Social Media and Content Marketing Insights

At the end of the day, our marketing strategy depends on connecting with the reader with the best content to incite action. Like buying from you — right?

Here are ten social media, content marketing and customer experience facts and insights to help you put the ‘I know’ behind the ‘I think’ as you develop and activate your marketing plan this week.

10 Social Media & Content Marketing Lessons

 

10 Rolling Stones Songs To Inspire Your Social Media Strategy

Just because you are a B2B marketer does not mean you cannot create inspiration from the most unusual places. Including — the most famous rock and roll band in the world! Source: MarketingThink.com

10 Top Job Skills You’ll Need In 2020

You can’t create content or a customer experience for tomorrow if you don’t develop and hire for tomorrow’s skills, right? There’s no mention of content, social or connection in this skill list. But, those listed are critical to being successful in your plans. Source: World Economic Forum

It Takes 8 Cold Calls To Make A Connection

Sales and marketing need to integrate communication and content marketing programs — so cold calls can become ‘warm calls’ to get your brand in the door sooner. Source: TelNet and Ovation Sales Group

30% Generate More Sales With A Better Customer Experience

Create a shorter and more buyer-centric journey with your content marketing and you will make it easier for people to buy more ‘stuff’ from you. Source: Cognizant

51% of Marketers Expect An ROI From Content Marketing

More brands are creating more content, and more customers have more content to choose from to educate themselves. It’s time to have a social media plan to repurpose your content to develop a profitable buyer relationship. Source: Blue Fountain Media

40% of Buyers Complain Promotions Are Not Relevant

More brands are creating more content, and more customers have more content to choose from to educate themselves. It’s time to have a plan to repurpose your content to develop a profitable buyer relationship. Source: Blue Fountain Media

65% of Decision Makers Say A Brand’s Content Sealed the Deal

Better messaging cuts through the content clutter. Teach your readers about your value proposition and you will be ‘sealing those deals’ in no time. Source: The Knowledge Tree

 

46% Say Photography Is Critical To Current Marketing Plans

If you use stock photography, then you might be confusing or losing your readers. Think about how custom images can help your customers picture themselves using your products or services. Source: HubSpot

92% of Buyers Want To Engage With Someone Who Adds Value

Arm your sales and marketing teams with educational and value-add content and you’ll be cashing in on that 1-1 relationship. Source: The Knowledge Tree

78% of Viewers Will Watch Super Bowl 50 For The Commercials

78% of Viewers Will Watch Super Bowl 50 For The Commercials. Fish where the fish are, and you’ll catch more sales. Just make sure you create custom content for the event so you won’t disappoint or confuse people. Source: Forbes and Statistica

Do you have any additional insights from this week’s facts? If so, please share below or reach out to me directly at moran.gerry@gmail.com

Thinking the facts are one thing. Developing actional insights is another. Here’s to making your marketing strategy more effective this week!

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

Connecting The Digital Dots Of The Customer Experience

Does your content marketing connect the digital dots with your customer experience?

My great grandmother, Michaelena, used to give me connect-the-dots books to keep me busy when I was a toddler. Many times the dots I created did not match the intention of the books’ authors. My ‘masterpieces’ often resulted with my grandmother just shaking her head!

Connecting the digital dots - Gerry Moran

If you are not thinking about the client’s experience and how data, digital and content impact, then you will likely not connect those dots either.

Here are a few data points to consider the effects of content and the buyer experience on your business success.

10 Customer Experience And Content Marketing Insights

65% of CIOs have changed their strategies to enhance customer experience — suggesting a trend in delighting the audience with digital and customized content! Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit

86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience — indicating buyers and shoppers want to finalize their purchase in the quickest, easiest and most personalized way! Source: Christine Crandell

80% of retail transactions will use social technology by 2020 — so retailers and other businesses need to embrace social to cash in on sales. Source: IBM

Over 40% of banks didn’t collect demographic information about their customers in 2014 — urging us to think about how to turn readily available information into a customized experience  Source: Oxford Economics

Only 14% of CIOs focus on customer experience — which should make us all wonder what the other 86% are thinking about … saving money? Source: Cognizant Center For The Future Of Work and Oxford Economics

97% of brands feel they can enhance their buyer experience. However, hope is not a strategy when it comes to customer connnection — digital and content marketing strategy is. Source: Cognizant Center For The Future Of Work and Oxford Economics

84% of brands already use native advertising to drive buyer awareness — furthering the strategy of providing the right message at the right time to the right customer on the right channel. Source: eMarketer

99.9% of digital display ads go unclicked — confirming the need to customize content to deliver a better ROI! Source: Google

5,500 ads bombard the average US customer every quarter — confirming clutter is the biggest barrier to the content connection! Source: Cognizant

Brands receive 60 monthly messages per 1000 Twitter followers — an encouraging response to how content can be used to connect with the customer. Source: Sprout

Do you have additional insights from these ten powerful statistics? If so, please share them below. Or reach out to me directly at moran.gerry@gmail.com or on Twitter or LinkedIn.

100 Facts & Insights You Need To Ask About Your Digital Business

There are many other digital business facts you might want to consider. Take a look at ninety more:

100 Questions To Ask About Your DIGITAL BUSINESS from Cognizant

If You Enjoyed This Customer Experience and Content Marketing Post …

Here are a few other customer experience-related posts you might find interesting

A collection of unconnected digital dots can create a random picture — sometimes scary and other times profitable. Data, metrics, and insight are an excellent way to get started on a positive return on customer experience! If anything, you’ll make my great grandmother Michaelena proud! — by connecting those dots the right way!

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

10 Simple Ways To Think About Content Marketing

Content marketing is not as complex and complicated as we make it be.  You don’t have to be an Einstein to be successful. Einstein himself said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

So, let’s talk about a simple content marketing strategy!

Many marketers and sales professionals still struggle with the concept of modern marketing. They struggle with social media profiles, improving their reputation currency, and using content to develop an audience – so the by-product of all of these actions is more sales and higher value sales.

Do We Agree On The Definition of Content Marketing?

The Content Marketing Institute states “Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” My experience in marketing leadership roles with IKEA, SAP, Cognizant and many award-winning agencies validates CMI’s definition is spot on!

Research Backs Up The Impact Of A Content Marketing Strategy

Much research suggests that a robust content marketing strategy leads to more business.

  • More Sales Quotas Reached. Social media pros, using relevant content, are 6x more likely to make quota than those who do not use social media. This research suggests all sales organizations need to use content and social selling immediately! Source: KiteDesk, The Ultimate Sales Guide To Crushing Your Quota

6X Reach Quota - Gerry Moran

  • Content Helps You Break Through To Decision Makers. 90% of B2B decision makers never answer a cold call. This statistic indicates content is the key to opening the relationship door! Source: LinkedIn, How Leading Sales Pros Use LinkedIn For Social Selling

90% Don't Answer Phone Calls - Gerry Moran

  • Content Influences Decisions. 65% of buyers (and an overwhelming 82% of senior executives) say the winning vendor’s content had a significant impact on their purchase decision. So, if I am a sales leader I would focus on an efficient content strategy for a competitive edge. Source: The Knowledge Tree

65% Say Content Sealed Deal - Gerry Moran

All of this research indicates that a messaging strategy will help create the competitive edge for your organization – and deliver sales!

10 Ways To Simplify Your Content Marketing

 

1. Build Your Content Marketing Foundation – so you have a sustainable platform from which to amplify your story. Start your content plan by writing down your strategy. 68% of marketers do not have a written plan, reports the Content Marketing Institute. Develop a foundational approach to your content creation and distribution to inspire your audience to do what you want them to do. Most of all, build a foundation by adding value. Source: Content Marketing Institute, 2016 Content Trends

68% Don't Have A Written Content Plan - Gerry Moran

2. Model Your Target Audience After Your Current Audience – to focus your efforts on ‘look-alikes’ vs. ‘look-aways.’ Develop target audience profiles – i.e., personas – with public-facing information from LinkedIn, Twitter and Google. This digital due diligence enables modeling your content after your current readers and customers. This approach will help deepen more relationships and close more sales. When it comes to what you audience wants, 97% want you to improve the quality of your content by including benchmarking data. Source: Demand Gen Report

97% Want Benchmarking Data - Gerry Moran

3. Build A Content Supply Chain – to efficiently create custom messaging and deliver valuable knowledge to your readers. Architect your content to be easy-to-read, real-time and relevant to today’s conversation. Focusing on this step-by-step plan creates a well-oiled supply chain. This production approach to your storytelling ensures clear thinking create the right message – enabling connection with the right audience on the right channel at the right time. With 32% of companies reporting they do not have the talent to pull off an effective content marketing strategy you may have to invest in a new infrastructure or a hire a consultant. Source: Content Marketing Institute, 2015 Content Trends

32% Don't Have The Talent

4. Be A Storyteller – to help your audience remember your value proposition. Chip and Dan Heath say 5% of an audience remembers a presentation based on statistics – while 63% remember the storytelling. We are all trying to sell something or convince someone. Developing analogies and telling stories helps to make your point! Source: Chip & Dan Heath, 23 Facts about Buyers and Purchasing

63% Remember Your Story — Gerry Moran

5. Properly Position Your Value Proposition – to help guide your readers to know what they should do and why they should do it after reading your messaging. Developing awareness, association and consideration of your expertise and offer takes time. Presenting a call to action is not always about the direct response like selling Miracle Mops on QVC. Plan to develop 7-10 different ways to communicate your story on several different channels and always provide a way to get to the next stop on the customer’s buying journey.

6. You Ought To Be In Pictures – since your readers are visual content consumers. A picture tells a thousand words. There is no better way to tell your story than by using custom-made graphics to support your relevant point. KissMetrics reports appropriate visuals drive 94% more views than content without visuals. So, make sure to use pictures, graphics, and videos in each of your go-to-market social media channels. Source: KissMetrics,  6 Types of Visual Content You Need To Use In Your Marketing Campaigns

94% More Views - Gerry Moran

7. Embrace Your Influencers – since they have the attention of your target audience. 92% of consumers trust word-of-mouth, while 47% use blogs to influence their decisions. Marketers also report there is a 3-to-1 ROI for using influencers. So, it appears that investing in influencer outreach will pay out handsomely for you! Source: AdWeek, Why Influencer Marketing Is The New Content King

92% Rely on WOM - Gerry Moran

8.  Focus On Your Form Factor – since Google and native reader behavior requires it. Article titles, keywords, hashtags, subtitles, tags and other form factors help readers find you. If no one can find your content  – did you ever write it? No! Looking for proof? Tweets with hashtags get 16% more retweets than those without. Source: Kim Garst, 20 Quick & Easy Ways To Get More Twitter Retweets

47% Turn To Blogs - Gerry Moran

9. Stay In Touch With Your Touch Points – since it’s easier to be where your customers are vs. getting them to come to you. Think through how to connect with the right audience on the right channel at the right time with the right message. With B2B marketers using an average of 13 ways to communicate with content, you have to use the best mix of touch points to tell the best story to tell on the best channel. Source: Content Marketing Institute, 2016 B2B Content Trends

10. Plan To Make A Measurable Difference – to help you understand if you are successful with your content marketing strategy. You can’t succeed unless you measure it – so set measurable goals and then measure how you performed against those objectives. Once you determine how you performed, optimize your plan and do more of the right ‘stuff’ and less of the ‘stuff’ that doesn’t work.

Do you have a few more simple tips to plan and activate your content? If so, please share below. Or, reach out to me on MarketingThink!

5 More Content Marketing Posts You Might Enjoy

Einstein also said if you can’t explain it simply then you don’t know it well enough. By creating a simple content marketing strategy, you can begin to simply explain your value proposition to your customers – Ka-Ching!

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

Is Your Social Media Strategy Fully Baked?

If your content marketing strategy is like baking a cake, then are your customers coming back for seconds?

Think of your content as delicious cake and your social media channels as the in which you deliver it to your customers. How are you serving up your messaging to your clients?

Sam

We’ve all seen it.  The lines of customers – on Sunday mornings –  lining up at our favorite bakery, donut or pastry shop. What is it that keeps customers coming back for more cake? Well, it’s a fully baked strategy!

Do You Measure The Right Ingredients For Your Marketing Plan?

  • Today’s Top Social Media & Content Marketing Challenges. Hootsuite indicates the top three challenges organizations face are creating a strategy, reporting on its performance and optimizing the results – suggesting many need a better plan to bake their strategy!
  • Many Brands Do Not Have The Right Cooks In The Kitchen. Hootsuite reports 59% of organizations have the challenge of improving the social media skills of their coworkers – indicating there are bakers in the bakery that might not be creating tasty cakes!
  • B2B Customers Consume Many Pieces Of Content. Google’s Zero Moment of Truth’s research reports the average customer checks 10.4 pieces of content before buying. And, Forrester reports B2B buyers find three pieces of content about your brand for each piece of content you’ve created – indicating your audience finds your content via social media sources, influencers and general audience sharing – so make it great!

Social Media Strategy

The Big Takeaway From This Social & Content Research

The three questions every brand, entrepreneur or socially aware thought leader should ask themselves is “Am I thinking through my social media and content marketing strategy like it’s a recipe? Will my readers and my network come back for more after I serve my first slice of insights, ideas and subject matter expertise? Or, will they look at the presentation and say … ugh, I think I will try something else.

9 Ingredients To Bake Your Social Media & Content Marketing Strategy

1. Ensure social media and content marketing strategy is added at the right time in the planning process – and that’s not at the end.  You have to add sugar to your cake at the right time to make your cake taste great – otherwise it just won’t work. Just like sprinkling sugar on your cake at the end of the baking process, you cannot add social media at the end of your marketing planning process.

2. Let internal stakeholders customize and adapt the foundational social media and content strategy – and don’t let them create it from scratch. Bake the cake for everyone – then give them the option to ice it … or put whatever else on it to make it theirs. In some organizations, it is best to create the foundational social and content strategy and let other very competent team member adjust it for their geography or industry. This way your core plan will be executed.

3. Use only the best ingredients for your content – video, graphics, and storytelling copy.  The best baking ingredients make the best results – so, make sure to use only the best content elements – factual text, videos, factoids, infographics, etc. to cook your communication.

4. Create content that ‘tastes good’ for your variety of customers. Some people like chocolate cake instead of vanilla – so you have to figure how to bake cakes for all dessert lovers. Your job as a content and social media marketer is to develop the solution for each audience or persona to drive your business results. You have to be able to deliver the right message to the right audience on the right channel at the right time, right?

5. Create content in smaller and snackableformats, so your prospects can sample – and then commit. Sometimes you can only get people to eat your cake after they sample your cupcakes. So plan to use a portion of your batter before you use it all to bake your cake. You may think handing out slices of cake for samples might be a solution, but all of the sudden they are not so convenient when you take your cake outside the store. The convenience, snackability and ease of consumption applies to content as much as cakes – Vine videos, Instagram post, factoid graphics … and cupcakes.

6. Think of your social media & content strategy as a baking production line – everyone has a role. Many great bakers and pastry chefs do not create cakes by themselves from start to finish. Instead, they treat their cake baking like a supply chain – with every point in the process assigned to a different person. When mixing your social media strategy, think of the discrete steps needed – from writing to scheduling – to ensure things get done the right way.

7. Make sure to have the right resources to create your social strategy, measure it and optimize your operation. I’ve often tried to bake a cake from great-great grandmother’s Michaelena’s recipe and it never quite tastes the same. And, most cannot bake a cake the same way Buddy Valastro (a.k.a. The Cake Boss) does from the same recipe. Having the recipe is one thing … being able to execute instructions and handle the bumps in the road – like having margarine vs. butter – is another. Just because a millennial is a digital native, does not mean they can pull off creating and executing a plan – so make sure you hire the right type of person to bake your strategy.

8. Sometimes when you want to make your point. It’s all about the presentation. You may have the most delicious cake in the world, but if icing is uneven, and the sprinkles are falling off, then many might move on to the next cake. The same goes with planning content and social media amplification. Make sure your profiles are professional, and your blog posts are built format to engage further your audience.

9. Make it easy for audiences to find you – and deepen their relationship with you. If people like your cake, then they will want more – so make it easy to find your kitchen, store or bakery to you become their go-to cakery. Make sure your content is linked to the right blog post, white paper, video, etc. – so it’s a natural progression in the relationship.

Do you have a different baking tip for your social media or content strategy? If so, then please share below. Or, reach out to me on MarketingThink.com, on Twitter @GerryMoran or on LinkedIn.

Other Tasty Blog Posts To Help You Bake Your Marketing Strategy

Unlike the insightful idiom, ‘you can’t have your cake and eat it, too’, with good planning you can have your cake and eat it, too, when it comes to social media and content marketing strategy. You can serve up slices of virtual cake – or cupcakes – that keep on getting consumed and passed along to others!

 

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

Make Your Content Marketing More Newsworthy!

Many of us started our content marketing careers delivering newspapers in our local communities. What a great lesson in sales, customer service, marketing, and being social!

In the days before social media, social selling and content marketing,  people consumed content via newspapers. And, some of that native behavior still exists! However, your self-promotional use of Twitter is likely missing the mark because it is just not newsworthy.

Content marketing

Brands need to activate their content and awareness messaging – to make it more like a newsfeed and less like a promotional feed. By making your content more newsworthy, your customers will increase their likelihood to read it, count on it, and act on it – especially those who do not have a long relationship with you. Think less about the features and benefits of your products services and more about the news. Show that you understand your audience’s industry, category and company challenges. This approach will help you win their trust.

Remember you have to show your ability to deliver the news before they pay for the newspaper.

Reading The News Is A Native Behavior. Reading The Ads Is Not.

My paper route customers had a news reading ritual:

  • Delivery. Expect delivery of the paper every day.
  • Headline Scan. Scan the paper for meaningful headlines to learn something without having to read any further.
  • Read What Was Relevant and Interesting. Dive deeper into the content to get to the heart of the story – expanded from headline.

These are content consumption behaviors today’s consumers still practice – only now they do it with Twitter.

5 Reasons To Make Your Marketing Messaging More Newsworthy

I am not sure to whom we can attribute the phrase, “The news and nothing but the news” – however, it appears to have been foreshadowing for what your consumers want on Twitter.

  • It’s All About The Headline. 80% get their news by scrolling through their timelines – while 67% by browsing the timelines of others. This native scrolling behavior indicates the need to break through the clutter. (Source: American Press Institute, Twitter, and DB5)
  • More News Consumption. 60% of Twitter users say they get more news now than before they joined the service – indicating our audience is using Twitter for news content. (Source: American Press Institute, Twitter, and DB5)
  • Easier News Consumption. 79% of Twitter users say staying on top of the news was easier compared to 62% of non-Twitter users – indicating your audience consumes news on Twitter to consume and probably does not engage as much as you think. (Source: American Press Institute, Twitter, and DB5)
  • Active News Consumption. 86% of Twitter users use the service for the news – 75% using it daily – suggesting the need to be relevant and active with your content creation (Source: American Press Institute, Twitter, and DB5)
  • Taking The Relationship To The Next Level. 92% click through, at least sometimes, to read the news – showing you that great newsworthy headlines will help you advance your customer relationship (Source: American Press Institute, Twitter, and DB5)

The Big Question You Should Ask About Twitter, Consumption And Content Marketing

“Should I be using Twitter as a way to position my awareness messaging as a news feed?” Well, the above research provides one very clear takeaway for your content marketing strategy – make sure your messaging is more newsworthy …  and distribute it on Twitter!

How To Make Your Brand’s Twitter Feed More Newsworthy

Even though your company is not a collection of journalists or a news publication, you can take a page out of their playbook with these simple tips:

1.  Headlines.  Write your tweets in 70- to 100-character capitalized headlines to capture your readers’ attention.

2. Facts And Lists. Feature facts and lists to convey your understanding of your audience’s business. You need to make your readers’ life a little better because you got them to think about things a little differently – or you taught them something. Have an informative approach to your messaging and you’ll be building your relationship in no time!

3. Pictures. The old saying, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ also applies to content marketing and Twitter. Try to include a custom-made and newsworthy graphic in 75% of your messaging to help break through the clutter and capture the hearts, minds, and most importantly the eyes of your readers.

4. Call To Action (CTA) Connected To The ‘Story’. You need to deliver the news. However, you also need to give your audience a clear next step to ‘learn more’. Accomplish this ‘click’ with a ‘Read More:’, [WHITE PAPER] or similar CTA.

5. User Experience. Make sure to link your tweet to an informative landing page or blog post that naturally ‘fits’ the headline in your tweet. Think of this experience as a story supporting the newspaper headline.

Do you have another tip or idea to create more newsworthy messaging in your tweets? If so, please comment below or contact me at moran.gerry@gmail.com, at MarketingThink.com, on Twitter @GerryMoran or on LinkedIn at in/GerryMoran.

A Few More Posts To Help You Deliver Newsworthy Messages

So, how can your brand use content or content marketing to secure the attention of your readers? Give your audience the news and nothing but the news and they will start to pay for it with their social and relationship currency.

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

Video Is The Future Of Content Marketing

Lights! Camera! Conversion!

My great-grandmother Michaelena always told me – ‘you ought to be pictures … you sweety, little boy’. Little did I know she was advising me about my future and the future of content marketing!

More customers consume content as part of their buying journey – a likely mix of short attention span, content clutter and the evolution of the buyer. In fact, Microsoft reported in a 2015 study that humans have an 8-second attention span vs. a goldfish’s 9-second hold. So, if you are to hook and catch your customer – video seems to be the winning content bait.

Video content is the critical door into the content marketing world of your customers, influencers, and social media tribe – since it’s where the consumption trends and short-term differentiation sit. Brands who understand the potential impact of video can build solutions for the big content equations – finding a way to connect with their customers and differentiate from their competitors!

Research Backing Up Why Video Is The Future Of Content Marketing

Here is research provide some attention-getting insights on video and your customers:

  • People Consume Video Content – Whether or Not You Create It. 74 percent of all internet traffic in 2017 will be video – suggesting video formats like Snapchat, Instagram, Vine and others will be must-view and must-produce content. (Source: SalesForce, 2015)
  • Customers Purchase After Viewing A Video. 64 percent of consumers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it – suggesting you can monetize your video content marketing investment. (Source: Adelie Studios, 2015)
  • Video Makes Your Brand Sticky – In A Good Way. The average internet user spends 88 percent more time on a website with video than without – indicating video can help drive the attention span around your brand. (Source: Adelie Studios, 2015)
  • Most Of Your Competitors Are Not Using Video. Only 24 percent of brands are using online video to market to consumers – shining the light on a potential to increase your market share. (Source: Adelie Studios, 2015)

Video Content Marketing Strategy

3 Key Ways Rock Your Content Marketing World With Video

1. Use Video To Tell Your Story. Do you create video because it’s a cool thing to do – because of a big event, popular trend, and it’s what you supposed to do? Or, do you tie your video creation to your overall business narrative or messaging house – so it supports your overall story?

2. Develop Your Video Content Creation Strategy. Do you create video content in a silo with your agency or social media marketing department? Or, do you think about your ‘big content’ strategy – variations of 6-second Vines, Instagram segments, animated GIFs ahead of time?

3. Create Your Video Content Distribution Strategy. It’s many a person’s dream to be in a video, but is your video content marketing strategy built on a field of dreams? If you create you video and no one views it – did you ever really create your video? A solid video marketing strategy needs to have an organic-first distribution plan including – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogging, etc.

Video Content Marketing Strategy

Now, I want to point the camera at you. Do you have a comment or feedback on video’s future in content marketing, brand building, and driving sales? If so, please comment below. Or, contact me directly at moran.gerry@gmail.com, on Twitter at @GerryMoran or LinkedIn at in/GerryMoran

A Few More Posts About Video Content

If you found this video content marketing post interesting, then you should check out these other related posts!

Video Content Marketing Strategy

The future of content marketing is now – keeping your customers in their virtual seats and building a deeper relationship ahead of your competition. Before you pick up the camera and start to film, ask yourself the three questions I posed to help you drive big results from a big content strategy. And remember what my great grandmother told me – you ought to be in pictures.

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

How To Avoid Being An Unknown Subject Matter Expert

If a subject matter expert (SME) speaks and no one hears him, is he really a subject matter expert?

Well, yes and no. He is an expert. However, the expertise is going to waste.

There are many ways to unleash your subject matter expertise with social media. You just have to start building your reputational footprint by talking your insight-based talk in the social watering holes where your customers frequent!

How To Be A Subject Matter Expert

2 Key Facts Supporting A Subject Matter Expert Strategy

  • 92% of B2B decision makers want to engage with a thought leader. This fact suggests the more you place yourself in front of others with your subject matter expert strategy, then the more you will have the opportunity to engage (Source: LinkedIn)
  • Expert content has an 88% greater impact than brand content and 50% better than the user generated reviews, indicating investing in a subject matter expert strategy will pay out for your relationship building. (Source: Nielsen)

15 Ways To Let Your Subject Matter Expertise Shine!

1. Follow Channels. Follow your company’s and industry key corporate channels, so you can begin to offer a real-time POV and amplify key messaging to which others may not have access.

2. Social Media Profiles. Improve your LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ profiles – so when people check you out you show the credentials and reputation of a true subject matter expert who understands and can help an individual or an enterprise!

3. Engage With Social Media Channels. Share, like and comment (when appropriate) on your company’s and key industry social media channels – so your incremental audience can receive your company’s insight and messaging.

4. LinkedIn Company Post Comments. Regularly check comments on LinkedIn company posts – so you can help position you and your company as a client partner, whose perceived primary role is to help and not sell!

5. Follow Co-workers. Follow relevant coworkers – so you can learn from each other and build a unified solid social community.

6. Engage With Co-worker Posts. Share, RT and comment on relevant posts from coworkers – so you can jointly build up everyone’s credibility and reputation.

7. Don’t Start A LinkedIn Group. Do not start a LinkedIn group to increase the awareness of your expertise – since our customers and influencers don’t join these communities so you can sell them your products and services.

8. Engage In LinkedIn Groups. Find 3 active and relevant LinkedIn groups to join and engage in weekly – always offering subject matter expertise that does NOT sell your company. This action helps position yourself as a problem solver instead of a problem seller.

9. Grow Your Network. Think of yourself as a publisher with the need to increase your subscribers. Always say yes to someone who wants to join your network to understand your POV.

10. Share Other’s Content. Curate content to network with you network. Curating content helps you remain top of mind with your community.- showing you understand their industry, category, business and position (e.g., CIO).

11. Create Your Own Content. Create content – like blog posts on LinkedIn and your domain – to foster conversation on a current issue or an off-shoot of other thought leadership content.

12. Communicate Daily. Communicate daily to sustain your relevancy – at least 5x on Twitter, 3x on LinkedIn – to expand your reputation’s footprint and be a part of your community’s conversation.

13. Find Other Influencers. Create and sustain relationships with outside influencers. You are not relevant in a space until other influencers validate you – with interviews, lists, social sharing, blog post mentions, keynote speeches, etc.

14. Pay Attention To Your Company’s Governance. Always adhere to your company’s social media governance policy, since we never bite the hand that feeds us!

15. Be Smart! Always be emotionally intelligent in presenting your subject matter expertise, so you are building up your personal brand instead of knocking it down. So, no ranting, politicking or being religious!. If these non-SME topics are important to you, then open up a private account to separate your company or personal brand!

Do you have another SME tip to add to this list? If so, then please share it below. Or, please contact me at moran.gerry@gmail.com or MarketingThink.com

Subject matter expertise too important to waste. When you have something to say to help yourself or your company, you need to set yourself up for success! Are you an unknown subject matter expert? If so, then put a face to your knowledge. Be present. Be relevant. Be heard!

 

 

 

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

How To Use Content Marketing To Be An Incredible Seller

Do you want to hear a social selling fairy tale?

Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the most important influencer of all?

You are, or should be,  if you want to control your selling destiny and bust your quota!

Social Selling Influencer | MarketingThink.com | @GerryMoran

Step in front of the social selling mirror today and ask yourself “Am I an influencer?”

There’s no I in team, but there is one in influencer – and the “I” is you!. The quicker you become an influencer, then the quicker you will connect with decision makers and buying teams to become a legend!

What The Social Selling Influencer Facts Tell Us

  • Brand Awareness: Expert content has an 88% greater impact than brand content and 50% better than the user generated reviews, indicating investing in influencer activity will pay out for your relationship building. Customers trust you more than they trust a brand. (Source: Nielsen)
  • Purchase Intent: Expert content lifts purchase intent over brand content by 38% and 83% over user reviews. This research suggests your subject matter expert-like content will help drive purchase intent at the beginning of the of the sales process and at the end of it! (Source: Nielsen)
  • Looking For Thought Leader: 92% of B2B decision makers want to engage with a thought leader, suggesting that you can connect earlier in the sales process to become a trusted advisor with your reputation. (Source: LinkedIN)

This research suggests positioned as a thought leader will help increase your company’s association with and purchase consideration of your solution as well as your individual creditability to get your foot in the door.

3 Ways To Put The “You” in Social Selling Influence

1.  Own The Top Fold Of The Search Fold. When someone is going meet you for the first time – or is on the phone with you – they will search for you on LinkedIn, Google and Twitter. Make sure you are at the top of the heap and the fold when they find you. Regularly blogging, Tweeting and posting on relevant social media channels will help your positioning. Oh, and make sure your expert content is front and center!

2. Be Where The Puck Is Going To Be. There’s a Wayne Gretzky analogy here even if you are not a hockey fan. You will be more successful if your expert reputation is where the customer finds you vs. telling them about what you know in your email. Establish yourself as an influencer and get found where your customers search – on blogs, LinkedIn, communities, Google, Twitter, SlideShare and even YouTube. If you know your clients search in their watering holes with keywords, make sure your influence footprint has been established  by publishing, publishing and publishing some more.

3. Be A Curator. It’s important to be prolific with your expert content. However, it ‘s hard to create new content daily, especially if you are a team of one (remember, there is not I in team.) So, find expert 3rd-party content and put your ‘spin’ on it to establish your expertise and influence!

Do you have another social selling influencer tip? If so, please share below

The Big Social Selling Take Away

If you take on the role of an influencer by curating content, establishing your reputational footprint and being where the customer is searching you will help your company and your selling strategy. Customers are looking for thought leaders and influencers. So, think about being the “I” in influencer and make a social selling difference today!

So, next time you walk by that mirror to admire your selling success make sure to say, “Mirror mirror on the wall, I am the biggest influencer of all!”

P.S. Your Next Steps! I am the author of MarketingThink.com, a social media and social selling coaching blog. Please sign up for email delivery of my posts and pass this sign-up link to your friends and co-workers, who you think might benefit from reading these ideas.

P.P.S. If you want to get hold of me directly, please send me an email to moran.gerry@gmail.com or contact me directly on MarketingThink.com. I read every email.

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

3 Easy Ideas To Get Customers To Pay For Content

Is your gated content worth the relationship currency you’re asking your customers to pay?

What you think is valuable content may be considered worthless to the customer on their buying journey!

Like a toll road, gated content full of how-to insight and relevant research is likely the quickest way for your client to reach their decision destination. However, this swift and easy access comes at a price.


Relationship Currency | MarketingThink.com | @GerryMoran

Do your customers value your content marketing enough to provide their contact information, email address or social sign-in credentials? This CRM contribution is vital to your sales pipeline. The customer really doesn’t care, though.

It is critical for content marketers to find and build their credibility and articulate their value proposition to collect their customers’ relationship currency – and shorten the buyer’s journey and the sales process!

What The Content Marketing and Relationship Currency Facts Tell Us

  • Use Blogging To Increase Credibility. Marketers, who have prioritized blogging, are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI, suggesting that starting the conversation with a blog with a call-to-action is a way to engage with customers at the right place in the journey. (HubSpot State of Inbound, 2014)
  • Help Self-Educating Customers. By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their buying relationship without talking to a human, indicating decision makers will count on content more than ever. (Gartner Research)
  • More Content Is Always Better In The Eyes Of The Customer; but is it really? The average B2B decision maker consumes 11.4 pieces of content before they buy, suggesting they are spending a lot of time reading content (Source: Forrester)

This content marketing research indicates customers are counting on content to help them make their decision. Maybe too much content, actually. What if they had access to better content earlier in their decision-making process?

3 Ways To Manage Help Customers Manage The Toll Road

1. Use ‘Content Bait.’ Use shorter consumable content to establish your reputation and catch the attention of your customers. This attention-getting strategy will drive qualified traffic to your gated content. Tip: Leverage evergeen blogs by exchanging links to gated content landing pages

2. Create A Great Landing Page. Make sure your landing page clearly articulates the value proposition so the customer understand what they will receive in exchange for their contact information. TIP: Place a short SlideShare presentation on your landing page to help you seal the deal!

3. Offer Only High-value Gated Content. Leverage, a paid research report, white paper, or an e-book to collect on your customers’ relationship currency. Tip: Collect the minimal amount of data to begin a strategic nurturing program.

Do you have another content marketing tip for your gated thought leadership? If so, please share below.

To Toll or Not To Toll, That Is Content Marketing Question

If customers don’t value your content to exchange their relationship currency for it, then they’ll likely continue to self-educate themselves – taking the long and winding road to avoid the toll road fee. They’ll consume a lot of interesting content; however, they’ll waste time and energy to avoid sharing their personal information. They will frame their problem and work toward solving it. Their assessment and action may be right, but then again, it may be wrong.

If you’re going to gate your content, then ensure your customer sees the value in it. Or, embrace a free-for-all content marketing strategy and build a relationship with goodwill and easy access! Kind of like the yellow brick road. But then again, there were flying monkeys that weren’t too friendly on that free road.

P.S. Your Next Steps! I am the author of MarketingThink.com, a social media and social selling coaching blog. Please sign up for email delivery of my posts and pass this sign-up link to your friends and co-workers, who you think might benefit from reading these ideas.

P.P.S. If you want to get hold of me directly, please send me an email to moran.gerry@gmail.com or contact me directly on MarketingThink.com. I read every email.

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