Content Is Still King

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Whether for the web, social media, internal or external communication,  well-crafted content remains the key factor in differentiating your message from the competition. Content Marketing (CM) is a strategic approach that focuses on creating and delivering valuable, relevant, and consistent messages to attract and retain your customer or audience. CM works best when it is aligned with your business’ mission, vision and overall marketing strategy.  Before launching a CM initiative, consider these factors:

What do we want to accomplish through CM?

• Which company goals will this support?

• How does this fit into your overall marketing strategy?

Who is the target audience for our CM?

• Do you have a detailed picture of each audience group? What they do, where they go, why they purchase your service or product.

• What do you want your audiences to do after reading our content?

• Which tools – web, social media, blogs, etc. – can best reach your target audiences?

What is your brand’s unique story?

• How can you differentiate your products and services from the competition?

• What is your value proposition?

• Why does that matter to your audiences?

How will we manage your CM?

• Who will develop the plan and the content?

• How much and how often will you publish content?

• How will you evaluate our CM?

One additional important factor: content marketing is not a one-off effort. Be sure you are committed to creating engaging content and delivering it to your customers on a consistent basis.

 

 

 

Build A Social Plan

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Many businesses have jumped on the social media bandwagon in the past year or so, and while some are pleased with the results, others are not. Social media platforms are actually not very useful tools for businesses unless you have a plan that meshes your company’s values, culture and business drivers with your customers’ personalities.

We have delved deeply into how to best use social media, and believe that it plays a significant role in marketing most companies. When advising our clients, we discuss benefits, obstacles, liabilities and best practices. As you develop your marketing plan for 2016, we offer these suggestions, tips and tools.

Social media must be a part of your overall marketing strategy.

Tip: As with all marketing, know your audience and understand what they find interesting and share worthy.

Develop a specific policy including damage control – what to do when negative comments are posted.

Tip: Never delete a negative post. Once posted, the comment never really goes away.

Determine who will be managing all social media campaigns.

Tip: This should not be an intern or temp but rather someone who has an understanding of your customer and company.

Understand which platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. – will best connect with your customers. It’s okay to start with just one platform and add more later.

Tip: Research what key competitors are doing, especially larger companies that invest big dollars in social media, and learn from them.

Keep in mind that social media is just that…an interactive tool to connect with people. The rule of thumb is that 80% of posts should be of general interest to your audience and 20% specific to you and your business.

Tip: Share posts from online resources that are aligned with your company.

Take time to analyze the data collected by each platform and adjust your approach as needed.

Tip:  Look for posts that garner high shares, comments and likes to identify topics that your audience prefers and measure customer engagement.

Try the planning tool we use to help get organized, and we’ve offered a few how-to suggestions on a sample page, too.  And if you need more ideas, contact us!