Marketing Strategy How to Build a Brand That is Respected & Admired Published 2 years ago on March 24, 2017 By Stephanie Rubio What happens when you take a powerful, authentic, brand message and align it with your purpose? You build an inspired and motivated following of brand advocates that will do more for your brand than purchase your next course or eBook. What you will build is loyalty, and that is the ultimate recipe for marketing success. This is where trust and admiration for a brand collide creating an avalanche that is backed by one word alone: respect. Brand loyalty, brand advocacy, and market positioning are all directly linked to how well your brand is received or better yet, respected and admired. It’s a widely-known fact that people buy from those they trust. More evidently, however, people buy from those they feel emotionally connected to. This is precisely why building a respected brand is so important, and to do that you need to consider authenticity. “Brand authenticity is one of the remaining things you cannot buy, measure, plan for, or even strategize. It grows organically.” The true value of a brand is in their ability to engage with their community, build excitement within their following, and ultimately earn their respect. As brands remain closer than ever to their audience members, brand authenticity is one of the most important practices you can implement. Why A Brand’s Respect & Value Is Important As you move into various seasons of your brand building journey, you will find that cultivating your brand’s respect is important for many reasons. Your bottom-line strength is directly affected by how others perceive your brand, as well as how much others respect your brand. Some ways in which brand respect impacts your business is by: Creating influence. Influence, isn’t that what marketing in a digital era is all about? Building a brand that is authentic will earn the respect of its audience members Respect yields trust and trust yields sales. This is another reason why corporations will often partner with influencers they know can be trusted with their products. Every industry has a set of thought leaders and influencers who challenge the way things are done and pave the way for people like you and I to do what we do best. – We spend so much time investing into our message, our content and our voice that it all deserves to be heard. – That's all that we want right? We all have something we want people to see, to read, to hear, to buy. We all want awareness. So, if your brand is diligent in its content creation, then focus on finding influencers in your industry who can amplify that value. – Don't underestimate the value you have to offer. – You are strong and your business is worth being seen. So here is how that looks tactically. – Create a document and write down your top 25-50 opportunities with influencers who have large, targeted audiences that are ACTUALLY engaged at a high level. – Again, tools like BuzzSumo and SEMrush make finding influencers easy in regards to online presence in a niche. Then it's your job to find their social accounts. – Then, collect the contact information of the decision makers if you can. Use tools like Email Hunter to pull information of actual decision makers. Don't just settle for the info@ or contact@ email address. – Search their about pages, and see who is behind the company or the brand or the blog. Then find THEIR information. Do they have an email? …a LinkedIn? …a Snapchat? Find it and contact them. – Introduce yourself and your brand and your desire to add value to their audience through content. Don't push product or services, push value. – Tell them you invest a ton of time into creating value through content and you want to know if you can start some sort of low level relationship with them. – Whether that's amplifying content already created, writing for their blog, getting feature on social media, tapping into their email list with your content, etc. – There is a way to get your content seen, you have to be willing to put yourself out there. A post shared by The Modern Marketer (@themodernmarketer) on Oct 5, 2016 at 11:17am PDT Creating opportunities. As you build your brand, you will note that established businesses and influencers will work selectively with those they trust and value.Respected brands can nurture industry opportunities that further result in lucrative partnerships for all involved.Oftentimes, you will need the momentum of these collaborations to help further your brand or place your brand in front of a different audience that you have yet to tap into. The experience you provide is 10x more important that the appearance you give off. Always remember that. If the EXACT person you were looking for in a customer came in contact with your brand today, what would be their experience. – Immature business owners and marketers will immediately say, "The best, the utmost, the unmatched, the never seen…" and start spitting off this hypothetical version of what experience they want to provide. – But then, based on their customers behavior…that is NOT what the experience is. – So, you can look great. You can have a nice website. You can have nice social channels. Nice automation. Nice brand identity. But, still have a sucky experience if you aren't careful. – Happy Monday and don't forget to turn on post notifications. 5 more people will join the club for free this week. Yes, join the paid club for free for an entire year. Let's go! A post shared by The Modern Marketer (@themodernmarketer) on Jan 9, 2017 at 3:50am PST So, you see it goes beyond the likability factor—and this is where many small business owners and entrepreneurs get it wrong. They believe that brands are able to receive more opportunities and generate more sales based on the likability factor when in reality it has to do with trust and, ultimately, respect. This is a very important point to drive home because you can be the absolute best at what you do, but if you do not have the respect of those around you, then who will buy from you or do business with you? How to Authentically Develop Brand Admiration Now we can take a closer look at how exactly this level of respect is achieved. I will preface this by saying that you must consider several factors here. No brand can or should mirror the next in its entirety, and whether you are building a personal or business brand, this fact remains the same. Building your own unique brand means that you have developed your brand’s respect authentically, which in turn means that you did so organically. Let’s take a closer look at some ways that this can be achieved: 1. Build on Your Purpose, AKA Your Brand Promise Building on your purpose, your brand’s vision, and your mission is by far the simplest and most natural way to build respect for your brand and organization. The easy part is to make a product or service for sale online. The hard part is to actually be of value. – Some of you work(ed) so hard to get your brands up and going that by the time you made it available to the public you thought it was enough to get going. – The truth is everything immediately has a value proposition when placed on the market. But it doesn't mean that product or service is providing value. – Value begins beyond the product. It's as simple as that, the sooner you figure it out, the sooner you have a week of business where you actually feel like you accomplished something. – Hang in there. It's not a weekend for escapism, it's a weekend to center your focus. A post shared by The Modern Marketer (@themodernmarketer) on Feb 24, 2017 at 4:30pm PST In other words—meaning what you say, and saying what you mean. You are consistent in your message, who you serve, and how you are serving them. Practicing this alone will set you apart. 2. Practice Empathy Daily and Often This is one of the key reasons why small business owners are winning on social media. They practice empathy and do they do so often. I have had countless business owners and entrepreneurs argue with me until they are blue in the face about how relevant they are to their users. – They talk about how groundbreaking their product is, how amazing their content is, how it's EXACTLY what people want, how there is no other brand doing it like they are doing, yet…they are wondering why it's not gaining traction or growing at a faster rate. – You lack empathy. – Let me say it again. You lack empathy. – Seriously. – Are you out of your mind. You can't tell me any of those things above unless people are knocking down your door wanting to be a part of your brand. Period. And the hard thing is that no one can teach you empathy. – You have to market the way you would want to be marketed to. What products do you buy because of great branding and marketing and quality? What content do you actually consume today? Seriously think about that. – Because I bet if you audited what YOU consume and what YOU buy, you'd stop treating your users and customers like numbers and start having empathy towards who they are and what they TRULY care about. A post shared by The Modern Marketer (@themodernmarketer) on Nov 16, 2016 at 12:02pm PST Now more than ever, organizations have an ability to reach their target audience in a unique and organic way. Show your audience and community members that you care. Reach out to them and engage with them daily. 3. Have a Collaborative Community Spirit If you are an established business owner, then you understand why it is so important to create a spirit of community around your business. This is more important now than ever before as brands are created daily via social media channels, where being social and community building is key. To build off of our last post here on instagram, I think that it's key for me to mention this. All day, every day, for 365 days a year. We do what WE (entrepreneurs) think is best for our business. – We don't have bad intentions. – We are just busy doing. – Meanwhile, opportunities pass us up on the daily. Businesses that could have taken us to the next level, organizations that could have co-branded with us, people who could have accelerated our growth. – The list goes on and on. – You're trying to go somewhere with your marketing. I get it. But NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING beats having people and resources via strong relationships. – Take the blinders off your eyes and look around you. Where is the missing link? What are you not seeing? Find it and pursue it. A post shared by The Modern Marketer (@themodernmarketer) on Jan 20, 2017 at 12:05pm PST So it’s imperative that you find methods and resources that will allow you to position yourself as approachable to others. This will then open the doors for you to engage with others, creating collaborative opportunities for you and for your brand. 4. Stop Seeing Everything As a Monetary Exchange This is a tough one if you are in the business of building businesses, so it’s difficult to not factor in sales. However, not every exchange has to equal a dollar amount or some sort of monetary gains for you. This goes along the lines with establishing a community. Consider areas in which you can provide value to your community via your blog, a podcast, a Facebook Group, or even through your own social media channels. I’ve been challenged again lately with the idea that building a brand isn’t about recognition or awareness. Building a brand is about value and value only. It's harder and harder to hold on to that principle as you gain more awareness and recognition for your work. – But, it's worth striving for always. – This pondering began when I read through the book, “Youtility” by Jay Baer. – Back in 1921, The Washburn Crosby Company used to get thousands of letters asking for baking advice and recipes. At first, they were going to ignore them, but one of their executives directed part of their staff to answer every last letter—and because they wanted to be more personal and consistent, they all needed to sign off as someone. – They came up with the name “Betty Crocker.” Crocker deriving from a retired director William Crocker, and Betty because it sounded like a friendly name. – The rest is history. – Betty Crocker, now owned by General Mills, is one of the biggest brands in the baking industry. All because they wanted to provide extra value to their audiences. – They leveraged the power of value, resulting in a micro brand (now a household brand.) You see? Value and value only. – Maybe your business isn't scaling the way you want it to because you are trying to sell a product or service that doesn't have value at it's core. If that's you, don't worry. It can easily be changed around for the better. A post shared by The Modern Marketer (@themodernmarketer) on Oct 18, 2016 at 9:58am PDT When you do consistently provide this value you are giving back in an authentic way. Sure, you are helping your content marketing efforts as well, but it is a win-win for you and your audience. 5. Align Yourself & Your Brands with Those You Respect As your brand grows and gains momentum, you will notice that opportunities will make way across your desk that seem lucrative and full of promise. Every competitor that you envy and try to mimic, you're simply wearing down your brand voice. – Every social media post that you put out "just to get something up" you are wearing down your brand voice. – Every day that you let go by without posting fresh value, you are wearing down your brand voice. – Every ad you run with the goal to convert users and not connect to humans, you're wearing down your brand voice. – Every day that you spend doing research and development instead of executing and adjusting, you're wearing down your brand voice. – There is unique value that only you can provide. There is a special quality that only your brand voice has. So protect your brand voice by consistently doing you. – I'm tired of all of the fakes and lookalikes. Authenticity breeds virality. Period. A post shared by The Modern Marketer (@themodernmarketer) on Feb 27, 2017 at 4:13pm PST But always ask yourself if a partnership aligns with your brand’s vision, promise, and goals. You are under no obligation to say yes to every opportunity, so think hard before saying, “yes!” It is vital to note that as marketing moves into a digital era, there will be more and more opportunities to build brand respect. Establishing a respected and valued brand gives you the momentum it will need to move forward into more innovative ways to reach your audience. JOIN THE NETWORK FOR FREE.Immediately access our PRIVATE FB page, exclusive videos, weekly business & marketing tips, 1-on-1's with The Modern Marketer and so much more. It's not just a list, it's a family. JOIN THE NETWORK Related Topics:brand messagebrand voicebrandingbusiness relationshipscontributorempathyinfluencer marketingmarketing strategythe modern marketer Up Next Making Events Profitable for Your Brand: A Case Study by Urban Southern Don't Miss 11 Digital Marketing Insights for Small Businesses in 2017 Stephanie Rubio CEO & Marketing Director at SoVerve Marketing Group, social media aficionado, latte lover, tech geek, and planner addict. See also, fierce Latina with a big passion for digital marketing. Continue Reading You may like How to Jack Attention from News & Trends 8 Ways to Troubleshoot Your Social Strategy So You Don’t Make the Same Mistakes As Last Year If Your Business Can’t Create Advocates, You’ve Already Lost You Don’t Need a Website in 2018—Here’s Why Growth Hacking 101: How to Make People Take Action Using ‘Context’ 4 Social Media Mindsets to Ditch in 2018 6 Comments 6 Comments Sidjae March 24, 2017 at 1:52 pm I love this article. Especially because it reminds entrepreneurs that your brand has to be a direct correlation to your vision and mission. I think so many times entrepreneurs establish these foundational aspects of business and never go back and refer to it as a deciding factor in accepting partnerships and collaborations. It is all about the strategy. This article sums up how portions of a business plan must be incorporated into marketing and branding. Great piece again! Reply Stephanie Rubio March 28, 2017 at 8:47 pm Thank you for Sidjae, for taking the time to write this thoughtful comment. I couldn’t agree more with you. It is all about the strategy. As for the business plan portion, I’m a stickler for asking clients to provide their business plans during onboarding. No business plan usually means no marketing plan, which is a great teaching opportunity on the importance of both. Reply Collette March 25, 2017 at 12:14 am Awesome material! Loved every point you made. Thank you for this! Best, Collette @brandsquawk Reply Stephanie Rubio March 28, 2017 at 8:48 pm You’re welcome, Collette! Thank you for stopping by and reading the article. Love your branding by the way! Great work. Reply Jose Mari Gimenez March 25, 2017 at 11:27 am What a beautiful and richly written piece of art! I have to say Stephanie, you really have a key in delivering the message straight to the point. This article was posted just at the right time because I am slightly lost on my brand. I’ll be following the info listed here so that I can communicate authenticity with my brand. Love it. Reply Stephanie Rubio March 28, 2017 at 8:57 pm That is so wonderful to hear Jose! I am glad that the article resonated so well with you. I’ve taken a peek at your social media profiles, as well as your website. I see that the touch points this article will benefit you most with are: showing up consistently, being authentic, and providing massive amounts of value. These are all things The Modern Marketer family strives towards daily. Thanks again for your thoughtful comment. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website 5 − = four Content Marketing How to Jack Attention from News & Trends Published 2 years ago on February 1, 2018 By Darla Brown What is newsjacking? Newsjacking is the process of following the topics and trends that are happening in industries relative to your business so that you can tap into audiences that are already interested in something that’s happening now. One of the things we talk a lot about as marketers is “keywords.” We all want to know what people are typing into that search bar on Google so that we can connect them first. That’s what SEO and SEM is all about. But what we don’t talk about as much are the topics and trends that are happening so fast that Google, SEMrush, BuzzSumo, Alexa, or whatever keyword tracking tool you may be using isn’t tracking on it. They’ve already missed it. That’s where newsjacking comes into play. Newsjacking is your ticket to growth hacking! Click To Tweet If you’re paying attention to what’s happening on the news—or trending on Google, Twitter and Facebook—there’s an opportunity here to grab attention that a keyword tracker won’t be quick enough to show you. If your brand has a relevant stance or positioning on a specific topic or trend that’s happening right now and you can provide legit content around that topic, then you can tap into new audiences. Audiences that would never find you if you hadn’t showed up in their search query about that topic or trend. Newsjacking, or trendjacking as some call it, is a lot like influencer marketing. The only difference is there’s not a third party involved. The topic itself is the influencer. The topic has that attention. What you’re really doing is attention jacking. But here’s the thing about newsjacking: It can work really great for bringing traffic to your business, but it can also go horribly wrong if you’re not careful. There’s a lot of factors at play when you’re hopping on a trend, so you have to be wary of your timing, your message, and your context. There’s a fine line you have to walk for newsjacking to work for you. I’m going to break this down for you with some do’s and don’t’s of newsjacking so you can understand where that line is. Let’s get it. DO Your Research You have to keep in mind that trending topics, particularly ones in the news cycle, are always developing stories. So when a story first breaks, that’s only a part of it. Most of the time, it’s better to wait a bit until there’s more information out there before you write about a news topic. Otherwise, if you’re too quick to publish, you could miss out on some critical information that drops later—information that could have been even more useful for your content had you known it before publishing. Avoid “more later…as it develops” type of talk. You really want to get as much information as possible before writing. In this day and age where everyone’s wary of fake news, it’s important to get your facts straight and to be as accurate as possible. Or else you risk losing credibility with your audience. So spend some time browsing the news sites, the comments sections, and talk to other people about the topic. Sometimes people in your immediate circles have some insight on the topic you may not have thought about before. DON’T Write Without Providing Context The end game with newsjacking is to ultimately bring attention to your business and the value you… Click To Tweet If a topic isn’t relative to your industry and you write about it anyway, it’s really not going to make sense. Maybe you’re passionate about that topic and you have thoughts about it, but it’s not going to do you any favors within the context of your business. Sorry, but your audience doesn’t care about news topics unless it affects them. On the other side of the coin, you always have to keep in mind who you’re writing for (or speaking to, if it’s on video or audio). A topic you’re covering could be relevant to your industry, but if it’s not filtered into a context that makes sense for who you’re trying to sell to, it doesn’t make sense for your business. Always keep your buyer persona in mind. Here are some questions to ask yourself when considering a news topic or trend to cover: Is this relevant to my industry? Could my buyer persona connect to this topic? Can I bridge this topic directly to value that my business can provide? DO Provide Value Here’s the thing about trending topics: a lot of people have something to say about them. That’s why they’re trending. Your objective in newsjacking is finding a way to offer some new thoughts on the given topic. Something unique. It can be difficult, particularly if there are already a flood of thoughts out there on the matter. But it comes easiest if a topic comes up that you find yourself passionate about. Chances are if you’re passionate about it, you have some value to offer on that topic. You know we’re all about value over everything. With newsjacking, it’s no different. When you’re writing or speaking about a topic, your goal first and foremost needs to be to provide some sort of value. DON’T Newsjack Just to be Heard Look, consistency in producing content is important. And newsjacking may look like a shining opportunity to add to your growing archive of content, but if you’re just doing it to check off a box you’re not going to get the results you want. Just like with any content you produce, it has to provide value. If your newsjacking just adds to the noise out there, you’re wasting your time and effort. Plenty of people produce content to get attention. But nobody will be interested in your content if it’s lacking of substance. Give people a reason to read or watch or listen to your newsjacked content. Ask yourself: Why would people want to read this as opposed to any other thoughts on this trend? What does it offer that other content doesn’t? DO Captivate People Some people are reluctant when it comes to newsjacking, particularly if there’s a political element to the given topic. But a lot of times, controversial topics are the ones that really grab people’s attention. And you want that attention. You want to engage people and get them going. You want that discussion. And sometimes, a little controversy can be good. As long as you can engage people in a relevant way that makes sense for your brand, that’s good attention. However, be warned: You can go too far… DON’T Be So Controversial that you Divide your Audience Yes, engagement and discussion and attention are all good things. But if you’re not careful about what you’re writing or saying, you can end up dividing your audience and losing attention. With political topics especially, you have to be aware that people in your audience have hard set opinions. And if you challenge these opinions too much, your newsjacking efforts will backfire. Be careful when you’re taking a stance on a certain topic. The more context you provide, the more viewpoints you can write or speak about in relation to the topic, the better your chance of not dividing people. Or, don’t bring in any viewpoints and just use the topic as a jumping off point to talk about something more relevant to your brand. So represent as many perspectives as possible, or represent none of them. Don’t speak to divide, speak to unite around your brand value. DO Make it Evergreen, If you Can We talk a lot about evergreen content, and producing value that is useful months or even years into the future—not just right now. That can be difficult with newsjacked content since it’s specifically about a topic or trend that’s happening right now. But if you can take that topic and create value around it that outlasts the relevancy of that topic, that content will still be useful after everyone’s forgot about the topic. That’s a powerful thing—being able to immortalize a topic by providing a context of evergreen value around it. It’s not an easy thing to do by any means. You can still provide value with newsjacked content without making it evergreen, but it’s far more valuable if you do. DON’T Wait Too Long to Publish your Content Trends can be here today and gone tomorrow. If you’re sitting on some content that you wrote on a particular trending topic and you’re waiting to see if any new information will come out about it, you could lose your window of relevancy. It’s a tricky thing. You don’t want to publish too soon and risk your credibility, but you also don’t want to publish too late and miss the relevancy of the trend altogether. That’s the point of newsjacking after all— to ride a brief but strong wave of relevancy. So how do you know when the time is right to publish? When you feel like the trending topic has developed and you have enough information to provide some real contextual value, it’s time to publish. The value comes from your brand, not from the topic. So publish it once you can provide real value from your brand! DO Atomize, Break it Down, and Promote It You want to get as many eyes on your content as possible while the newsjacked topic is still relevant. So like with any content, you have to optimize it for all your platforms. If you write an article, you can take a quote from it and put it on top of an image for an Instagram post. You can also tweet that quote. You can make a video about that article and just talk it out. Or if you do a video first, take notes from your video and turn it into an article. There are tons of ways to break down your content and make it work for any given platform. But whatever you do, make sure you promote it while it’s still relevant. This is a good opportunity to justify some Facebook ad dollars! DON’T Just Publish the Content and Move On You may think after you’ve published your content, atomized it, and promoted it, that you’ve done all you can and it’s time to move onto the next piece of content. Nope. It’s not over. Just because you’ve put your thoughts out there on the topic or trend doesn’t mean the discussion is over. You have to keep monitoring the discussions and engage with others on the topic. You have made yourself a part of the conversation on that topic, now you need to engage in the conversation until it dies out to get the most out of that window of relevancy. Make the most out of your content. Engage with others about it. Conclusion Newsjacking can be tricky. You have to be careful, and there’s not always a clear right answer to the what, the how, and the when of newsjacking. It can be hard to decide what trends or topics are relevant to your brand, how you’ll provide value in the context of a given trend or topic, and when to publish that content. But the good news is that the who, the where, and the why are always clear with newsjacking. Who you’re writing for is always your buyer persona. Where you’re publishing your content is all of your channels (in the format that makes the most sense for that platform). And why you’re newsjacking should always be to provide some unique value or insight from your brand voice. One thing is for sure: newsjacking takes practice. The more comfortable you get with it, the better you will understand how to successfully newsjack. JOIN THE NETWORK FOR FREE.Immediately access our PRIVATE FB page, exclusive videos, weekly business & marketing tips, 1-on-1's with The Modern Marketer and so much more. It's not just a list, it's a family. JOIN THE NETWORK Continue Reading Content Marketing Growth Hacking 101: How to Make People Take Action Using ‘Context’ Published 2 years ago on January 26, 2018 By Darla Brown Guys, it’s no secret: we put out all our best information on The Modern Marketer. We preach Value Over Everything because we truly believe in providing value above any business agenda. People can be suspicious of that and wonder how the heck we make any money if we’re giving away our value for free. You may even wonder yourself how creating content could possibly benefit your business or brand. I get it, it’s different. I come from a sales background and I understand that there’s no point in doing something if it’s not going to be profitable for your business. And that’s exactly why I’m such a huge advocate for content creation. Not because it makes profit, but because it’s a vehicle for profit. A necessary tool. I’m about to break down why creating all this content and distributing it for free leads to profitability. It all comes down to context… Content vs Context So you probably understand that content carries the ideas that we as business leaders and entrepreneurs stand behind. This is the substance with which we conduct our business. Whether you’re a service-based business or you sell products, you have to put your best information out there to establish your credibility. But here’s where the difference comes in between content and context. Your content can be very helpful, inspirational, even game-changing. But what you can’t give away is how that content applies directly into an individual’s life. You put your best content out there to get people to pay for the context. You can’t just put your best context out there. It’s impossible. Because context isn’t the same for any two individuals. People want context specific to their lives, for their story. And they will pay to be able to understand how your content is relevant to them. Your audience has problems, your content has solutions, but they want to know how your solutions will solve their specific problems. Once you understand that, it becomes a lot easier to identify who your content is for. When you distribute that content on social platforms, the people who reach out to your for that context are your buyer persona. Knowing that buyer persona will reinforce your content strategy. But know this: while context is what pays the bills, it all starts with content. You simply cannot have context to sell people without first providing the content. Build the credibility, build the connections, then you can sell the context. The Best Calls-to-Action = Context Ultimately when we write content for landing pages, we want people to be persuaded to take some sort of action towards the step of buying, right? So many marketers publish content about the best words or phrases to use, the best sales copy, the best times to post, the best types of posts— as if there’s some universal answer to creating effective calls-to-action. But the truth is there is no universal, one-size-fits-all solution for creating effective calls-to-action. Every single person who will come across your content is an unique individual who is inspired and motivated by different things. Sure, there will be groups of people who are called to action by similar content, but you’ll never find a singular call-to-action to motivate everybody. So what should you do to drive people to take action? My advice to you is to treat your calls-to-action as if they’re normal interactions. It’s so easy to forget when we’re writing our content that we’re trying to persuade actual humans to take action. Awhile back I ran into a guy at the supermarket who asked where I got my hat from (you all know I love my hats). We started chatting right there in the supermarket and ended up deciding to have coffee sometime to talk about entrepreneurship and business. So we made a call-to-action for each other based on the interaction we just had in the supermarket. If there wasn’t any value there, no relevance— no context —it doesn’t matter which way I would have asked to have coffee because it wouldn’t have happened. It’s the context that drives the action, and that context is created through connection. Had the guy not connected with me in the supermarket about my hat, there would be no connection, there would be no context. This is why there’s no singular, universal solution to creating calls-to-action. People are called to action through context, through making an unique connection to your content. Since there’s no way to create individual connections with every single person that fits your buyer persona, you have to constantly split test and refine your landing page content. 95% of my clients have extremely high clickthrough rates and conversions because I’m always split testing and refining. It’s a process. But there are plenty of tools out there to help you find what yields the best response from your audiences… Unbounce – a landing page creation service with overlays that feature specifically targeted calls-to-action Hotjar – a program that uses heat maps to visually represent users clicks, taps, and scrolling behavior, allowing you to understand what users want and care about on a page Crazy Egg – similar to Hotjar, a program that uses heat maps to show user activity, and additionally shows where the users come from and what they click the most ClickFunnels – a sales funnel creation service that streamlines the sales process online for users It’s all about testing and adjusting until you can find the calls-to-action that resonate strongest with your audiences. Context is key. Start thinking about your calls-to-action as attempts to make connections with people, rather than pushing someone to buy. Be patient with the process. Testing and refining your content takes time. Doing Your Job AND Creating Content So at this point you probably understand the important role that content plays in driving sales. It is a catalyst for context, an enzyme for connection. Without content out there, you don’t have an out-stretched hand for a buyer to grab onto and make that connection. You don’t have that same opportunity to sell. But how do you make the time to create content while doing your job? Growing your business means creating and distributing content, but how do you do that and serve your clients? First you have to understand that creating content for content’s sake is not going to be helpful to you. You have to know why you’re creating content in the first place. So before you begin to write, or record, or design, or edit, you have to be in the mindset of where you’re going rather than where you are. That’s an important piece of the puzzle. There’s been many times where I’ve started to create content then stopped because I lost sight of why I was creating the content at all. It’s disheartening to get stuck like that, but it’s even more disheartening to put time and energy into creating content only for it to not be engaged with. If you don’t know why you’re creating your content, if you don’t know the purpose behind it, your audience won’t know either. I want to get to the point where 80% or more of my income is coming from writing and speaking. For me to do that, focusing on clients, to-do lists, working with employees and subcontractors, and expecting any result other than growing a client base is very naive. The only way to grow your business from content creation is by intentionally scheduling time to make those things happen. There are times I will not accept new business, not have sales meetings, and not have execution time for clients, because I know I need to create content to get to where I’m going. The only way you’ll have time for both your job and creating content is by making the time. But it doesn’t have to be as tedious as you might think. You don’t always have to create content from the ground up because already have content from your interactions with people. Repurpose your interactions. As a marketer and a consultant, I’m always having interactions with people— casual conversations, email exchanges, strategizing, phone calls, etc. 95% of my posts are from interactions that I’ve had, repurposed to fit the context of the platform. Skim through your emails. Look through your texts. Flip through your journal. You have content there already, you just need to put it all together. Conclusion On the surface level, creating content may seem futile. But once you begin to understand that content is the foundation on which to not only build your business but make connections with people, the benefit becomes more clear. Always be forward-thinking with your content and remember that your content should always be evolving to produce unique contexts for each of the people it resonates with. You can put all your best information out there, because people will come to you for the context. That context, the connection, is what will sell. Not your product, not your service, but the context you can build from connection. JOIN THE NETWORK FOR FREE.Immediately access our PRIVATE FB page, exclusive videos, weekly business & marketing tips, 1-on-1's with The Modern Marketer and so much more. It's not just a list, it's a family. JOIN THE NETWORK Continue Reading Marketing Strategy 4 Social Media Mindsets to Ditch in 2018 Published 2 years ago on January 24, 2018 By Darla Brown Content marketing is great. It gets your voice out there and demonstrates your authority and capacity for thought leadership in a given industry. But the truth is that your content marketing means nothing if that content never makes an impact on people. In this day and age, we can’t simply rely on Google to organically get our content in front of people. There are just too many players in the game for your content to be able to stand out. And at this point, even paying Google to get our content out there is highly competitive. So what can we do? Well, we have to get creative about distributing our content, and mechanically promoting it on social media isn’t enough. Treating social media as a means to an end is as about as useful as putting your car on cruise control but letting go of the steering wheel. In order to get the most out of social media for your business, you must treat it as a culture to contribute to rather than a tool to get what you want out of it. 1. Social Distribution is About Native Value, Not Leveraging Think about scrolling through your social media accounts. How often do you intentionally click on something to leave the platform you’re on and go to a completely different app or website? I bet it’s not very often. So if you really want your target market to interact with your content, why would you try to leverage them off the platform? According to a statistic by Social Media Today, an average person spends a total of 5 years and 4 months of their lifetime on social media— compared to only 3 years and 5 months of their lifetime eating and drinking. If people spend more of their time on social, we marketers should be trying to capture that attention native to those social platforms rather than trying to take the attention away. People won’t go out of their way just to consume your content. That’s why it’s imperative for you to change the way you think social media plays a role in your business, and start creating forward-facing content. In other words, you need to create content that doesn’t require any navigation away from a platform to consume. We’re now in a realm of marketing where when you want to consume something, you’re going to a place where you can consume it without being disrupted. For example, if you’re scrolling through Facebook and want to watch a video, you don’t have to leave Facebook in order to watch it. It all happens right there. Consider how you can make your content more forward-facing and consumable. If you find yourself using the phrase “go check out my _____” to promote your content and it requires the user to leave the platform, your content is not native enough. So how do you know where to create native content? 2. The Right Social Platforms for you are Based on your Business Objectives, Not Trends As I mentioned in my article about the Power 120 when it comes to social media marketing you just can’t use every single platform. You can’t just spray your content across multiple platforms and expect that to work. In order to truly harness the attention that’s on social media, you need to invest deeply into one or two platforms. We all know that in this digital era, audio and video are the most engaging media you can use. So no matter what your business objectives are, the execution of that objective should involve engaging people with interactive media. Therefore the ideal platforms to choose are the ones that have the ability to use the most native interactive media. There are two platforms in 2018 that do this well: Facebook and Instagram. Facebook has more than just textual posts— it has photos, videos, live video, gifs, and now it even has Facebook stories. Instagram has all those same features with a format that’s even more dedicated to visuals. Both platforms have so much potential value to offer simply for how interactive they are. If a platform cannot support that level of value, it’s not right for you. YouTube, for example, is great but it has major limitations— it only does video. Pinterest is cool too, but it’s only really a catalog of ideas rather than an interactive platform. At the end of the day, you need to be intentionally offering value where the attention is and sticking with it. Period. The great thing about being consistent and going deep on a platform is that it frees up your ability to create without any expectation of leverage. Because the second you think you need to leverage a call-to-action, the second it’s going to bottleneck your ability to distribute content. Make it your mission to master the one or two platforms you’re on first, using all of the features and really getting creative with your content. Then and only then you can reverse engineer back to leveraging calls-to-action. 3. Social Distribution is About Positioning your Content, not About Reach Inbound marketing experts have a tendency to make social media marketing seem like a strategy for making your brand voice louder. But everyone and their mothers (literally) are on social media now— so if you’re on it just to make your voice louder, it’s going to get lost in a lot of noise. Social distribution is not a matter of numbers. It’s not about how many people you can reach, how many likes you get, or how many views you can rack up. It’s a matter of strategy and positioning your voice where it’s actually getting consumed. Social platforms are the same as any other marketing platform out there. Just like the traditional platforms— TV, radio, print —you can’t just put your message up there and expect to get customers when there are thousands of other brands out there just like yours. You have to make your brand stand out for your content to be consumed. So get creative on how you present your content. Find ways to position it that hasn’t been done before. The Modern Marketer has found a way to do this by essentially turning our Instagram into a digital magazine. Our profile looks like a magazine with photosets of 3, 6, 9, or sometimes 12 making up a larger image, but when you click on each individual image it offers a post with value relevant to the image in the text. Think about how you can position your brand and your voice in a unique way on your social platform. In the end, that uniqueness is what will cause your content to have impact— not how many people you can reach. 4. Creating a Culture of Value Will Prevent You from Being Disruptive Of course, the entire reason for using social media as a business is so that you can ultimately access more customers. But how do you avoid being disruptive when you’re trying to promote your products or services? There’s no perfect balance between providing value and promoting products or services. There’s not some formula that will prevent you from ever being considered disruptive on social media. However, if you have good intentions and create a precedent for always providing some value when you finally do ask for something from your audience it’s not going to be seen as disruptive. It comes down to providing enough value that people feel nurtured enough into engaging with your calls-to-action. One specific way of doing this is tailoring your content for specific platforms. If you have a blog post, for example, that you feel is really valuable and want to promote it on your Instagram account. Instead of posting about it and telling people to go visit the link in your bio, post an image with a quote from the article and some further explanation in the text. Repurpose your content. Nurturing your audience native to the platform that they’re on is what will win them over in your calls-to-action. So be sure to upcycle, atomize, and repurpose the content that you already have to make the most out of it on the platforms you use. Conclusion Social distribution may seem like a logical and analytical concept, but if your mind is on distributing content for the sake of numbers you will not find success in social media marketing. Instead, your social distribution efforts need to revolve around the platforms that you’re using. Create native and intentional content that people don’t have to go out of their way to interact with. The more you nurture your audience with value where their attention already is, the more willing they will be to buy from you. JOIN THE NETWORK FOR FREE.Immediately access our PRIVATE FB page, exclusive videos, weekly business & marketing tips, 1-on-1's with The Modern Marketer and so much more. It's not just a list, it's a family. 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