If you watch any webinar or YouTube video from any guru, they will tell you that digital content is crucial for your marketing, then they either fail to tell you how to do it, or sell you into their course on creating digital content.
Let’s take a look at the state of play of digital content in marketing, and look at ways that you can implement strategies in your business today to attract more clients.
Digital Content in Marketing
Content marketing has been around for as long as the internet, and although it has often gone out of fashion in favour of the latest and greatest social network, savvy marketers have always understood and appreciated its importance.
The reason for this is simple. In a noisy world of people trying to rise above their competition and make money, shouting ‘buy my thing’ louder and louder has been the shortcut (and downfall) of many an entrepreneur.
Content marketing is a long game, and it requires both patience and consistency.
The first thing you need to do is focus on the reason you are producing digital content. Many people only look at the numbers, and if they’re not getting thousands of views, comments, or likes, they give up. But numbers aren’t the be all and end all!
If you’re trying to attract advertisers through blogging, then, yes, you need to have the numbers to attract those advertising dollars. However, if you have a product or service that you’re selling, then you only need your content to be seen by that one person you can help, and you will attract your perfect customer.
Is Digital Content Important?
In a word – yes.
Producing digital content that solves a problem your target customer is experiencing is worth ten times creating a Facebook ad that uses a scattergun approach to attracting new customers.
Digital content that solves problems or answers questions that your target market are asking is so beneficial because it builds trust. And when you have built trust, you become the authority in the reader’s eyes. This means when you launch a new product, you have built a following of people who see you as the authority and trust that the free content you have been giving is so great that your paid product must be even better!
Another benefit of consistent digital content creation is for search engine optimisation. Did you know that 89% of people use Google to look for a product or service they are interested in? If you are consistently producing high-value content for your target market, and your competition is not, guess who will feature higher in search results??
Producing Digital Content for Marketing (H2 Heading)
When I’m consulting with entrepreneurs, the number one excuse I hear for people not creating digital content is time. ‘But Matt, I’m already doing so much work, I don’t have time to sit down and write a blog post every week.’
The problem is, they’re not thinking like a troublemaker!
Now I agree, not many business owners have time to write out blog after blog, and for many, writing isn’t a strength. However, that is no excuse for not producing digital content.
Because in 2017, there are so many platforms that you can publish on, that require only a small time investment!
For an avid writer, long form blog posts still provide the best bang for your buck as they enable you to solve problems in creative ways such as using stories and metaphors. They also allow you to link to other useful resources. But what other ways are there to produce digital content for your marketing efforts?
Alternate Digital Content Platforms
With so many platforms for sharing digital content, there’s actually no excuse for not having an online presence. Don’t want to blog? Make videos on YouTube. Don’t want to make videos? Post images on Instagram. Not a photographer? Share your thoughts in 140 characters or less on Twitter. Don’t have thoughts? Well, you don’t have a business either then.
You could absolutely read all the information about organic reach on Facebook being dead and decide it’s not worth the time investment. However, low reach is better than no reach!
This is where you put into place your learnings about disruptive marketing and become the troublemaker! Think outside the box, what can you do to reach the people who are important to you?
A great way of doing this is creating a closed group where you share highly valuable information. You can start by inviting key people to be a part of the group, then use it as a bonus feature when selling your services. The key here is to be active in the group, and provide massive value.
Then, when you have an offer to launch, you already have a community of people who trust you and your product!
You have no doubt heard the story of Gary Vaynerchuk going from his family wine business to a global media influencer who has videos that receive millions of views.
But what you may not know is that for almost 18 months, nobody watched his daily YouTube show ‘Wine TV’.
Yet he stayed patient, he was committed to his goal and backed himself to achieve it. He created and created and well after most people would have given up, his show gained traction, and propelled him into the national spotlight as ‘the wine guy’. The rest, as they say, is history…
How can you harness YouTube, the biggest television station in the world, to promote yourself? Perhaps you can make instructional videos, or share content that would normally be written in a blog. Maybe you can interview public figures or leaders in your niche. Or maybe, you could make videos about your incredible lifestyle and show something that other people aspire to…
In the not too distant future, Instagram is going to hit 1 Billion users. Let that sink in for a moment. 1 Billion people! And you can reach many of them. But what do you share?
Well, Instagram is a visual platform, so share things that are visually stimulating! Also, make sure your posts are relevant to your business. If your personal brand is your business then that awesome salad or a walk in the park is ok to post. But if your business is selling cars, then keep your posts about cars.
Like YouTube, make your posts aspirational! Use the power of the visual means of communication to help your audience feel something. This really is ‘show don’t tell’. Images full of text often gain little engagement, as they don’t offer anything to create discussion.
Having said that, you need to utilise the caption space. This is where you tell the story. It could be the story of the image and how it relates to your business, or it could be a metaphor for life itself. Either way, use both modalities to connect with your audience.
Although Twitter is having issues it’s struggling to deal with, such as the amount of ‘noise’ created by a chronological timeline, it is still the number one platform for being able to directly connect and engage with people in your niche.
Whether this is people you want to collaborate with or people you would like to have as a customer, they’re all right there and ready for a conversation.
Here’s the secret though. Listen, observe, then interact when you understand the flow.
Have you ever been at a party, and you’re having an engaging conversation with someone, and next minute a stranger walks over and interjects with something completely irrelevant? It kills the conversation, and it’s annoying! Don’t be that guy/girl.
Instead, ‘like’ some of their tweets, retweet a few posts that you think your audience will benefit from, then strike up a conversation. After you have built a relationship, then you can ask them for something.
The Digital Content State of Play
In 2017, there is no excuse to not be using the power of social media to increase the reach of your business.
Before you launch into creating content for every platform and burning yourself out, take a moment to go back to your avatar. Who are they, what are they interested in, where do they hang out? This means digitally, where do they spend their time online?
Do your research on this, find out what types of content your avatar wants to consume and on what platforms, then go all-in and create high-quality content that will answer their questions and solve their problems!
And most importantly, be troublesome ????