Developing a Simple Content Strategy
The reason why most fabricators struggle with their social media marketing, blogging and email marketing has nothing to do with social media, blogging or email, and everything to do with the content they are putting into it.
90% of fabricators deliver content across those channels, probably fewer than 10% of them actually have any kind of strategy or framework.
This causes some problems:
- They don’t know what it is they’re trying to achieve or how to measure it
- Content doesn’t follow a theme or tell a story
- It’s highly inefficient and takes about 5 times as long as it should to achieve very limited results
There are some basic principles your content strategy should adhere to…
It must be built on the interests of the audience
If you were bump into a potential customer in the pub and wanted to build rapport, would you talk about yourself or would you talk about them?
As Dale Carnegie taught us over 80 years ago, we must always begin the conversation on the terms of the other person. So if they are an architect, what do we think might interest them? What about?
- Design trends…
- Business insight from other successful architects…
- How technology is impacting architecture…
Once we have established a level of engagement, we can then (slowly) work back to the subject that you really want to talk about.
All of this is exactly the same online. Whether it’s your blog, social media or email, you must initiate the engagement on their terms. That is the only way to capture their attention. Once the relationship is established, you can then introduce topics that relate more closely to your business, and finally, you can begin the promotional messaging. Rush that process, however, and you will lose them forever.
Remember, nobody wants to stand next to the bloke at the networking event who only talks about himself. Don’t be that guy.
Prioritise website content
Companies are in such a rush to push out content on social media, but there are a few reasons why you should focus on laying the foundations on your website first:
- Social media content is ephemeral – it appears, generates some interaction (hopefully) and then quietly vanishes into the digital ether. Your website content on the other hand, is there for the long haul. In fact the vast majority of traffic that your website generates this month will almost certainly be from content that was added to the site months, possibly years ago. It’s this compound nature of website traffic that is so exciting – as the website content builds, so does the exposure, without any investment in advertising.
- You own your website – despite what you might think, you don’t own that Facebook page, or your latest instagram post or LinkedIn business page. If one of those social networks closes its doors or loses popularity, there’s nothing you can do about it. If they rise the cost of advertising to the point where it is completely unviable for you to promote content, there’s nothing you can do about it. There are only two assets you own – your website and your email list.
- It converts – inbound leads via a website will convert at around five times the rate of outbound leads. In other words, they are five times as valuable.
Evergreen – so that you can reuse it
Too many fabricators churn out content that is highly topical and loses relevance within a few days. One of the easiest ways to increase your marketing efficiency is to focus on content that is going to have a long shelf life. That content can then be redistributed every few months, ensuring you take as much value from it as possible.
Consider a sub brand
An increasing phenomenon with B2B brands is their use of sub brands for their blog and social media activity. The advantage of course is that people are much more likely to engage with BrandThatSoundsLikeItStandsFor
If you are going to launch a sub brand, however, there is one requirement, and that’s that you actually believe in what you’re claiming it stands for. So if you’re going to be interviewing thought leaders on improving the industry, then you need to actually care about improving the industry. Otherwise everyone will see through you.
Consistent across all channels – this is going to save you a tonne of time!
There is a commonly used term in marketing – CODE
It stands for Create Once, Distribute Everywhere. So when you create a blog post for example, could you simultaneously turn it into some social assets that you push out on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn? Could you send it out via email? Could you include it as part of a series and turn that into an eGuide? Not only does this all massively increase efficiency, but it also means that you’re communicating a consistent message across all channels.
Promote it properly
Consider this for a moment – if your marketing person spend 5 hours creating a blog post and value their time at £40 an hour, then that’s £200. If you don’t promote that blog post it will probably be seen by fewer than 10 people.
On the other hand, you could spend £50 promoting it on social media, and it would likely be seen by over 500 people.
That’s a 25% increase in cost, that has led to a 5000% increase in exposure.
In short, you should be creating much less stuff, and then promoting it properly!
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