Marketing has changed drastically in the past decade. The days of telemarketing, direct mail, and traditional advertising are long gone. People are choosing how they consume media – including how they are being sold products and services. We fast forward through commercials, toss our junk mail, have spam folders, and avoid answering calls or doorbells from people we don’t know. Permission-based marketing is really the only way to connect with a target audience anymore. That is why content marketing and influencer marketing have had so much traction. Today consumers have complete control over who gets to market to them. This is why consistent, quality content is the way to attract potential leads and clients. We have to give our audience something they want to read, engage or interact with.
Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.
Today’s strategies for reach revolve around creating informational and educational content that the right audience will want to consume. Our rates of media consumption are off the charts right now, especially on our mobile devices. Never in the history of humankind have we been so connected or driven to consume data, media and content. The online noise is LOUD. How does a small business owner make an impact and be found?
The answer is: they provide content that people find valuable.
Enter stage left – influencer marketing. Influencer marketing has a two-fold effect. Many marketers focus on the benefit of the reach that can be found in connecting with the audiences of popular influencers. However, the other huge perk of interacting with, and then becoming, an influencer is that you are building credibility and establishing yourself as an expert in your field.
How do you establish yourself as a trusted expert and advisor? You offer education to your audience. This educational offering can take many forms…blogs, white papers, videos, webinars, or podcasts. Select the medium you feel most comfortable with and that you feel confident your audience will consume. You are a business owner for a reason – you have a skillset that others find valuable. You provide value. Don’t convince yourself that you have to nothing to say or share. There are people eager to pay attention to what you have to say.
How do you make your educational offerings authentic? Don’t spend time attempting to copy or emulate someone else’s content. This is an easy way to get started but you have to give your followers something unique to you. They are following you because they appreciate what you have to say and how you express it. If you haven’t developed a “voice” for you and your brand – it’s time to do so. Authenticity is creating a voice and tone for your content that not only represents your branding but is also an accurate and honest depiction of who you are. That sort of content is what resonates with people. It’s the way to create brand advocates – passionate followers who share your message wide and far….for free…just because your content impacts them in a positive way.
Incorporating education into your branding takes time and effort and doesn’t always have a measurable ROI. Finding a way to share this type of content in an authentic way is going to take some brainstorming and effort. However, the end result of this is a wider reach and a more dedicated following. What business doesn’t want that with their online presence?
Now go out there and create something AWESOME! I can’t wait to see you spread your message with the world.
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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.
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