How Content Marketing is Changing

Content Marketing has been around a long time, at least 280 years when Ben Franklin published Poor Richard’s Almanack to promote his printing business. It makes sense that it shifts over time and with changing economics. Let’s take a look at the new trends and what they mean for your Content Marketing Campaign.

Not Just Words

Not everyone wants their content delivered by a blog post. An increasingly diversified audience means an increasingly diversified delivery. Don’t abandon your blog as it is still the core of your campaign but you need to diversify. One solidly written blog post can produce a lot of other content. For example, infographics, videos, podcasts, quote blocks, tweets, and graphics can all come from the content you have already written. Don’t send it all out at once but dole it out as your content schedule dictates. Use complimentary topics from past blogs to fill out your content offerings. You need to find what your audience wants and deliver it.

Mobile is King

Every piece of content you produce needs to be mobile capable and hopefully specifically formatted for mobile viewing. I have talked about this before, that there is a great shift in viewing habits so you are losing viewers if your content isn’t mobile capable. Smaller picture size, mobile video, and mobile-friendly websites should be in your mind as you prepare your content. This is where trends are taking us, mobile is king.

Transparency

Giving to charities and environmental causes is no longer an effective way to demonstrate corporate stewardship. Consumers now see it as a desperate plea for attention and not a demonstration of corporate values. Use video and social media posts to show them the inside of your company and the culture. This makes the donations and dedication to a cause genuine and not just a ploy. You can’t fake sincerity, it has to be real.

Live Video Takes Off

A study conducted by Livestream found that 80% of respondents said they would rather tune into a live video than read a blog post and 82% were more interested in watching live video from a brand than reading social media posts. It’s gaining traction and those who aren’t prepared to go live could be left behind. Live video shows off your brand and your company personality. It’s authentic and real which is what consumers are looking for.

Original Research

A study by SmartBrief found that 74% of B2B buyers consider original research to be influential in the buying process yet only 34% of marketers are using it. Use your own research to answer questions your audience has with research no one else does. As business owners, every day is market research if we just collect the data and analyze it. Keep track of your metrics. Think of things your customers may want to know and use that for a research study. Create a Whitepaper with your findings to help drive traffic to your products.

Quantity Over Quality

It sounds counter-intuitive but CMI found 75% of the most successful B2B marketers always or frequently deliver content consistently compared to 59% of the overall sample. This means you should post frequently for your clients without worrying if you got it perfect. A good post today is worth more than a perfect post tomorrow. Your customers will decide what is good and what wasn’t. Don’t produce total junk, but don’t worry so much about perfection, just post!

Content Marketing Changes (1)

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Content Marketing Tools You Should Know

Luckily when you decide to add Content Marketing to your marketing mix you don’t need an outpouring of money as long as you are doing it yourself. There are some basic tools you need and you’ll have to have a willingness to create content. You can go overboard and pay for premium everything, like using Photoshop instead of Pixlr but it really isn’t needed, the free tools will do the job just as well. Some of these you may already have and some may be new to you but get familiar with the tools you decide to use. YouTube had tutorials on every tool I talk about in the infographic below.

ContentmarketingTools for Developing Your Marketing Content

Why Content Marketing is Still Important

I have heard over and over that content marketing is dead. It seems some businesses have the latest and greatest thing that makes content marketing obsolete but nobody remembered to tell content marketing that. In 2018 content marketing is coming on even stronger with more businesses making it a part of their marketing strategy and I suggest you join them. There are few marketing platforms where you can get so much mileage out of your time and money. One long-form blog post can provide content for a week including smaller blog posts, videos, infographics and social media posts. It’s also still very effective. Content Marketing Institute found that 77% of businesses who engage in content marketing find it at least moderately successful and 91% plan to start or continue. The keys are to have a strong voice and give valuable information as part of your strategy. Here is a quick infographic to explain more.

Content Marketing Basics

How to find Direct Sales Leads

Great, you are all set up as a business and ready to go now all you need is customers. This gets down to the meat and potatoes of Direct Sales, how to generate leads. They don’t just fall into your lap no matter what the hype says, you have to go out and earn them Luckily there are 110 Million adults in the US so there is a large pool to draw from and if you have chosen a good company at least some of them need your product. Here are some of the ways you can generate leads for your business.

Networking – Go back in this blog and look up the infographic on Networking locations. I have seen many people have great success in the Networking environment since you can talk one on one with potential clients. Look for business partnerships where your product will benefit their business and the potential increases.

Social Media – It seems ever DS rep out there uses social media but most of them use it poorly. Don’t spam, don’t be annoying, have a clear message that is different than every other rep. Focus on your product and not recruiting.

Trade Shows – I have seen an increase in DS at trade shows so you need to be careful which ones you go to. Again, have a clear and unique message and seek partnerships to gain the advantage over the reps just looking to recruit.

Referrals –  This is a rich source that can be some of your easiest closes but it is difficult to tap if you don’t do it properly. First, you have to have outstanding customer service, not good, not great, but approaching world class. Then you have to ask for it once you know they are not just happy customers but rabid fans. These are your advocates and will introduce you to a rich line of leads.

Online – Don’t forget your email marketing campaigns and website. Good SEO and a good email list that you have collected (don’t buy it) can produce a small steady stream of leads if you keep it maintained.

Here is a quick infographic talking about all these points.

DS WHERE TO FIND DIRECT SALES LEADS

How to Run A Successful DS Business

The most important step to making your Direct Sales (DS) business a success is to treat it like a business which often means ignoring some of the advice that the DS company gives you. If you are successful then recruiting will happen so focus on the selling of the product. So let’s talk about running your DS as a business.

First, you need a business plan. Note I said plan and not a business wish, the difference is a plan is written down and a wish is in your head. There are several methods of writing business plans including the one presented in my earlier blogs and they all are fine, pick one and work through it. Without a plan, it is much less likely your business will succeed.

Develop a marketing strategy. Usually, a lot of this work is done during your business plan but if it wasn’t you need to do it. Again, write it down, this isn’t a marketing wish, its a plan on how to implement your marketing strategy.

Make sure your client research is done. It should be part of your marketing plan but I highlight it here because it is the most important part of the strategy you develop. If you don’t know your target audience you won’t know how to sell to them.

Kepp your knowledge fresh. You should become an expert in the field of your business. This comes with time and training. Keep up on trends and research in your field. As long as you stay current and find the best information to absorb you will be surprised how quickly you will become an expert on your subject.

Here is an infographic with more ways to make your DS business a success. If you need help with any of them get in touch with me.

DS HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL AT DIRECT SALES

Getting Started with Direct Sales

So you found a company that didn’t throw all the red flags your way and have decided to sign up and take a crack at earning a nice income. How do you go from “I Just Signed Up” to “I’m Making Money”? Of course, that’s the hard part since it is hit or miss as to how much help you get from your upline. Lucky for you there is support outside of the company and I have helped many reps start turning a profit. The big difference is I am not concerned about how many people you recruit, I am interested purely in getting you some sales and making some money to put in your own pockets. This is a checklist of the things you need to do to start making your profit as quickly as possible. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me.

DS Checklist

Is Direct Sales the Shortcut You’re Looking For?

If you believe all the hype then Direct Sales is a shortcut to wealth and prosperity for a small investment. The problem is that it is only part of a shortcut and then you are a business owner and the only way to succeed is to act like one. I have several successful Direct Sales clients and they all have the same attitude, they are business owners and entrepreneurs. They focus on their brand and not the spam tactics the Direct Sales companies advocate, for example, recruiting all their families and friends. Many of them work with those closes to them but only because they were approached after demonstrating the success of what they are doing. Direct Sales can be a great way to earn some money or even a living if you connect with the right company and then treat it like a proper business and not a hobby. The first step is to find the right company to work with. Here is a guide to help you navigate the tricky waters of Direct Sales and choose the right company to start with.

 

DS Red Flags