Guest post by Barry Feldman
Attention advertising professionals:
You won’t be needed any longer. Get your resumes together and get out. We’re web-centric now. You never really fit in that well online and you’re kind of annoying. When I’m online I know what I’m looking for and advertising ain’t it.
I am (was) an advertising professional. (Am I an advertising professional with a death wish?) What the hell happened? Google happened.
You get that, right? Search rules. That simple screen with the horrendous logo and big blank box is right up there with water in terms of your basic human needs.
And those electronic thingamabobs Santa keeps bringing you—the little pile of pixels you only turn off at church—they’re your library, newspaper, bookstore, shopping mall, game room, movie theater, radio, photo album, mail center, telephone, teletext, television, and telecommunications crack. You’re addicted.
Unfortunately Steve Jobs isn’t around anymore to figure out how these devices can feed and nourish you, but someone’s bound to. When that happens, they’ll also be your garden, pantry, fridge and favorite fast food.
Search definitely rules the commercial universe, but a number of other things have come to rule too…
- Digital rules
- Immediate gratification rules
- Relationships rule
- Social media rules
- Content rules
Taylor Swift seems to rule too.
Your brand is not what you say it is… It’s what Google says it is. Awesome, eh? And oh-so-true. (I got the passage from page 6 of Mitch Joel’s great book, “Six Pixels of Separation—Everyone is Connected. Connect your business to everyone).”
Let’s ponder this very cool book title. Connect your business to everyone sounds pretty darn good. Sounds profitable. But how do you do it?
Content marketing is the process of creating and delivering valuable content to your target customers. Most of the time, it’s free of charge. Turn on the power of content marketing and you get traffic to your site, lower cost leads and sales. You achieve what advertising usually does not. You get people to know, like and trust you.
Is it any wonder everyone’s talking about content marketing? It’s effective.
How it’s done.
Instead of buying media, buying stamps, buying professional phone callers, or buying whatever you used to buy to deliver your message to people who mostly are not interested, you become the media.
It’s easy. And it’s hard.
The easy part is the technology. I want to share this incredible piece of research I recently found about 100 top tools for learning and teaching (otherwise known as content marketing). My favorites on the list (in no particular order) include Slideshare, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Hootsuite, Scoop.it, Google, and of course, WordPress.
The hard part is doing content marketing effectively—magnetically attracting new customers and equipping them to do some magnetizing for your brand too. Yeah, referral business… word of mouth… or my favorite: word of mouse. Call it what you will. It’s the most powerful form of advertising ever. Always will be.
So here’s what you do. You need to stop interrupting people with stuff they don’t want. This will save you a lot of money. Then, you need to start being the expert prospects rely on. This won’t drain your budget, but it will tax your time.
The 7-Step Customer Magnet Program.
I felt the need to capitalize those words. They seem kind of sacred. Soooooo…
I read about content marketing day and night. I go where the marketing heavyweights go. I create content about content marketing. And one of these days (tomorrow probably), I’m going to write a book about the subject.
For now, I created a presentation. I put it on Slideshare. People liked it and I got all kinds of requests to do an article related to it. This is it. Soon to come is the audio track. (Yup, I like to talk almost as much as I like writing).
Dude, would you share the steps already? I hear you.
- Determine what action you want customers to take.
- Determine what potential buyers need to know.
- Create a content plan.
- Put a content creation team together.
- Get your digital ducks in a row (publishing platforms, social media, equipment, etc.)
- Promote what you publish.
- Measure everything.
My presentation has all kinds of cool crap (including a little illustration of crap). And I have a lot to say about transforming your website into a customer attraction force field.
Also, I have “21 Pointers to Sharpen Your Website” available to you on my website and also on Slideshare.
I gotta’ go now. I have content to produce. You do too.
About Barry Feldman: After making the rounds in the ad agency business for about a decade, Barry established a freelance copywriting business in 1995. Ever since, he’s partnered with corporate marketing groups, small businesses, ad agencies, and design firms. For over 20 years Barry has worked across a spectrum of product categories for hundreds of companies big and small. Follow Barry on Twitter and SlideShare.