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Marketing Strategy

5 Ways To Be Inauthentic…. And How To Fix Them

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One of the toughest things about establishing a brand is finding a way to distinguish your brand from all the others out there.

Seth Godin says that “marketing is a competition for people’s attention”, and I always preach about getting your brand voice heard. But what is absolutely vital in being heard and really grabbing that attention is protecting your brand voice.

marketing is a competition for attention

The truth is you’re at risk every day of wearing down your brand voice. It can be easy to get caught up in the appearance of your brand when you’re comparing yourself to competitors.

There are plenty of brands crushing it out there and we feel inspired when we see what’s working for them. It becomes tempting to replicate what they’re doing to enjoy some success of our own.

I’m telling you, don’t do it.

This is just one of many of the ways to get caught up in the erosion of your brand voice. But there are also ways to keep your brand voice authentic and uniquely you.

The key to protecting your brand voice is authenticity.

Let me break the mistakes down for you…

1. Mimicking competitors

We see behavior that gets results we like, so we take on that behavior as our own. It’s common human nature.

It might work well for you for in the short term. But in the long term, it’s just not going to do you any favors in your business.

Copying the competition’s strategy is a risky game you don’t want to play, my friend.

Not only are there no guarantees that a competitor’s marketing strategy will work for you, but just because they found something that works does not make them the experts.

Your competitors are just like you in the sense that they are trying to find what works. And the market is an ever-changing game of who can communicate best.

communicate the best

The truth is that your competition may be crushing it today, but lose everything tomorrow because their voice wasn’t sticky enough to hold their audience’s attention.

So don’t envy your competitors just because they’re successful today. It can all change in a second.

Because it all comes down to your brand voice and what YOU bring to the table. Nobody likes fakes or lookalikes. Don’t be one.

Instead…. be yourself

Your brand voice is the only thing that belongs to you. EVERYONE has a product or service. But if you have an unique brand voice, you have something the other guys don’t.

If the only difference between you and a competitor is a price tag, you’re doing something wrong. And you obviously haven’t mastered your unique brand voice.

I didn’t build The Modern Marketer by drawing from my competitors. I built it by bringing my unique voice to the table.

You have to build up your business in the same way.

Own YOUR voice and protect it, because it’s the only thing that can stay unique and consistent through an ever-changing market.

2. Talking just to be heard

It’s true, you’ve got to be consistently providing content in order to stay relevant. 

Some people take this to mean that the quantity of their content needs to be prioritized over the quality. So they’ll post and post and post, all the while thinking they’re crushing their content output.

It’s not that simple.

You cannot cut through the noise by yelling the loudest. 

“You cannot cut through the noise by posting consistently if you’re not providing any value.”

If you’re too concerned about quantity of your content and not concerned enough about the quality of your brand voice, you’re going to end up with a diluted brand voice.

A client of mine, Jamal, experienced this very thing with his business Married and Young.

After about two years, he had about 30k to 40k unique visitors a month and got to a point where he consistently had 20 to 25 contributors. My wife and I even used to contribute.  

But what ended up happening was, because he didn’t have a vetting process for contributors like we do for The Modern Marketer, it began to dilute the voice that Married and Young had built.

Some of the pieces published by contributors had a completely different voice and a bunch of spelling mistakes.

Jamal is a really good speaker and writer, so it created a pattern where every time he would drop an article in between all these sub-par contributor pieces, it would go viral.

All that attention Married and Young got before almost died out after his first conference because of the dilution of his brand voice.

He almost lost everything he built.

But Jamal really saved it just in time and made sure that the stories going out on Married and Young were in line with the brand voice. Now he’s making bank like it’s not even funny.

Instead….. provide value

Value comes over everything.

If you want your voice heard, you have to make it worth hearing. You must reflect on what you’re putting out there.

Some of you are publishing content, writing social posts, sending emails, and running ads that you YOURSELF wouldn’t spend your own time consuming.

Don’t kid yourself.

If you can’t even find your own content useful, why would you expect someone else to?

Our job as marketers is to bridge the gap between ourselves and consumersGood marketers will post on social media with the hope of changing someone’s life or perspective that day.

Good marketers will send an email to their subscribers wishing that they could sit in a room with them all and have a good conversation.

Good marketers will realize they aren’t talking to “someone,” they are talking to another human with thoughts, feelings, goals, aspirations, successes and failures just like you and I.

This is how you protect your brand voice through content: by providing value.

3. Not talking at all

The flip side of talking just to be heard is not talking at all. Every day you let go by without providing fresh value is wearing down your brand voice.

There are many businesses that still don’t see the value in creating a marketing strategy for social media.

Even more businesses out there will sit on the sidelines waiting for “the right time” to get social. Waiting for more money, more time, more resources, more team members. 

But continuing to wait causes your brand to slowly become less relevant over time. It’s like showing up to every networking event and not talking to a single person and not giving out a single business card.

Or just not showing up at all.

networking event

How will people get to know you if you don’t even use your voice? Your social media IS your voice. Your social media IS your content. 

“It’s not a leveraging platform. Social media is there to provide value native to the platform you’re using.”

Period.

Yes, it takes time to learn how to provide value for each specific social channel. And, yes, it takes time to develop the voice, editorial, and consistency.

But you have to ACT if you have any chance at all in finding your voice within the context of each platform.

Instead…. tell your story

This is how you deliver your brand voice: When you know your vision, your mission, and your purpose (both individually and for the business) it overflows from your mouth in all facets of the conversation.

We like stories because it makes us feel like a part of something. We empathize. People who, at the core of their being, know who they are and why their business exists, have zero trouble storytelling.

The reason why storytelling doesn’t get old for us is because we’ve never lost sight of why we started this community in the first place.

“Adapting your story (content) to the appropriate format for each social platform (context) is the formula for delivering the value in your unique brand voice.”

But the key is consistency. Showing up everyday is one of the best marketing strategies you could ever put in place.

Just look at Casey Niestat. Casey had about 550k subscribers on his YouTube channel when he was posting once a month. After he started his daily vlog, that number shot up over 6 million subscribers.

He grew by 10x over the course of 12 months just by showing up everyday. 

It’s not about going down a checklist of “doing the right thing” for a respected social presence. That will just get you discouraged. Instead you have to show up, everyday.

It doesn’t have to look pretty. You’ve just got to be there.

Do this and you will protect the value that only your voice can provide.

4. Creating ads to convert users

If you know me, you know I’m a huge advocate for Facebook adsRight now we have clients using Facebook to do things like generate $125+ for every $15 spent on Facebook.

We have clients adding more than 1,000 active followers to their Facebook page per week on less than $20.

Facebook followers

Honestly, if you’re not using Facebook ads, you need to be.

But this is where your brand voice is at risk when you’re creating ads. If you read those stats my clients are rocking right now and all you got were dollar signs in your eyes, you’re in trouble.

“Every ad you run with the goal to convert users and not with the goal to connect to humans, you’re wearing down your brand voice. ” 

Getting conversions is only a building block for a bigger vision. If you think your goal is achieved after getting that conversion, if you think your job is done, then your brand voice stops there.

Instead…. connect with humans

Remember, the conversion is only a fraction of your buyer’s time. It’s only one touch point you should have out of many in your buyer’s lifetime. Your ultimate goal in creating ads needs to be connecting with humans.

The point being that you are out here to create relationships. Relationships are what will drive your business. Not one-time sales.

Forming relationships using your brand voice provides a LIFETIME of value for your business. And that is far more powerful than using your brand voice to make a sale one time.

You have to think bigger picture.

Make your ads with the goal in mind of not just conversions, but for genuine relationships that will outlast the value of any one-time sales.

Be sure you’re also creating ads without being disruptive. Many businesses will try to leverage people off the platform with their advertisement.

That’s not going to help you build relationships. You have to meet people where they are on social. Provide native value.

This is how you protect your brand voice through advertising. By thinking beyond the short term value and providing value in the context of the social channel.

5. Just researching and gathering information

Every day that you spend doing research and development, you’re wearing down your brand voice. Yes, you have to know your buyer persona and this does require a little getting-to-know-you research.

But that’s just it.

If you’re spending all your time trying to learn about your buyer persona without actually getting involved in the industry and getting your hands dirty, then you’re just stalling.

If you’re spending all your time trying to develop systems that help you sell, when are you actually going to sell?

If you aren’t an active and influential voice in your industry, how are you going to sell?

It’s like a gardener spending all of his time reading about growing vegetables instead of going out into the garden and actually planting them….

gardener Derek Palizay

Instead…. execute and adjust

It’s all about speed to market.

The bottom line is that involving yourself in your industry is the exact training and refining your brand needs to become 100% valuable.

This is how you learn.

The beautiful thing about The Modern Marketer is that it’s constantly teaching me how to position Palizay Media (my marketing firm) in the industry.

Why?

Because I can actively see what tens of thousands of business owners and entrepreneurs really care about.

You need that hands on training to be able to learn about why your persona buys. You need that experience in able to learn how to best connect with that persona.

Let user behavior decide how you adjust and refine your efforts. It might even turn out that who you originally thought was your buyer really isn’t. And you won’t always get it right the first time. Nor should you expect yourself to. 

It should be a constant pattern of executing and adjusting, executing and adjusting. It’s a learning process, not a research project.

So map it out. How will you actively be a part of your niche and community online?

Conclusion

Authenticity breeds virality. Take a moment and read that again.

Authenticity. Breeds. Virality.

There is a unique value that only YOU can provide. There is a special quality that only YOUR brand voice has. It’s the only thing that belongs to you, so you must protect it.

Protect it by being yourself, by providing value through your own story.

Protect it by seeking human connection and not one-off sales.

Protect it by getting involved in your community and not idly standing by gathering information.

You have to consistently do you to protect your brand voice. Authenticity breeds virality. Period. So utilize these tips and start being authentic.

Content Marketing

How to Jack Attention from News & Trends

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the dos and donts of newsjacking

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.

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.

do your research

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

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.

provide 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.

You can go to far

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.
make evergreen content

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.

promote your content while it's still relevant

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.

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Content Marketing

Growth Hacking 101: How to Make People Take Action Using ‘Context’

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Growth Hacking 101- How to Make People Take Action Using Context

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.

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.

people are called to action through context

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.

intentionally schedule time for content creation

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.

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Marketing Strategy

4 Social Media Mindsets to Ditch in 2018

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4 social media mindsets to ditch in 2018

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.

Time spent on social media

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.

offer value on social media

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.

nurture your audience on social media

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.

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