If you’re a business owner, you’re probably wondering about this headline? If you don’t sell, how are you going to churn a profit, how will you make a living and take care of your family? How will the circle of life continue? After all, why should I help people? What is in it for me?
In keeping with the famous quote by the sales & motivational guru, Zig Ziglar who aptly said “Stop, selling. Start helping”, I am merely trying to let you know that in a world where advertising messages are a dime a million, brands that actually want to help their customers, end up getting most of the business.
And what better way to help your customers, than putting out quality content that they will appreciate and share? I have been advocating the benefits of quality content for a while now and I see that some big names in Kuwait are seeing the light – finally. Instead of publishing push content on their digital channels, they are now focusing on pull content by telling stories about their company or their brand.
So what are the key drivers to building good content that attracts customers and engages with them? I am not a marketing guru but a hands-on marketer who is learning through research and experimentation. In the new world of digital marketing media, there is no fixed way of achieving success. The key is to keep trying different combinations and figure out which one suits your brand the best. So here is my take on what should help you get your content marketing initiative off the ground.
First, since most of your content marketing initiatives are going to be rolled out through social media, make sure you have a content strategy. Of course, nothing is written in stone, and chances are you will probably chop and change stuff as you go along which is absolutely normal. The key is to have a direction for you to move forward.
Secondly, it is not always about original content. With all the meetings, appointments, Snapchat stories and tweets, we don’t have time to consistently create original content but that doesn’t have to spell doom for you as a marketer. Utilizing content that is available online is a great timesaver and enables you to spend less time creating it and a bit more time curating it. Just make sure you do two things. Credit your sources for the usage of their content and equally importantly, make sure you spin the content by writing a byline or two to link it to your business or industry. There is a certain knack to doing this, and you may not get it right the first time, but once you get the hang of it, you will automatically start getting attention.
If you absolutely can’t figure out how to do this, apps like Crowdfire should be able to help you get curated content that you can readily post after briefly reviewing it. They have a free version that you can test out but I recommend the paid version for better results and the ability to remove all Crowdfire branding.
Third, not everything you post needs to be about your industry or your product. It doesn’t hurt to post funny, informative or viral content on your social feeds. What this does is, it puts you in the line of conversation with a new audience and this is where you can try and gently make an impression and win some new followers.
Finally, one big mistake I see people make is that they don’t spend enough time mining the data on their platforms. Publishing content is good but it is merely 30% of the social media game. Most platforms give you the ability to look at trending hashtags. What you should be doing is monitoring those hashtags and looking up users or brands that share interests with yours and then find context to start a conversation. You can do wonders on LinkedIn like see where people went to school or if you are part of the same business group. Finding common ground is the essence of any conversation, whether it is in person or online, and this is a fantastic tool you can use to talk to your potential customers base once you get the hang of it.
Remember, it is no longer about the convenience of technology but is more about capitalizing on a cultural shift that has begun to reshape the way we do business worldwide. Putting your content out there is a great way of positioning yourself as an industry leader in your field and earning your customer’s trust.
Barry Rodrigues is Head of Marketing & Product Development at Future Communications and an associate advisor with the International Advisors Group in Kuwait. For comments, please email Barry at email@example.com.