October 1, 2014

8 Content Marketing Practices That Power Your Impact

content marketing practices

Have you Googled yourself lately?

Go ahead do it now. I do it regularly to get a sense of how my content and marketing is being represented in the online world. Google brands us as we tell it to. It only publishes what we put out there, so if you want to be found and known for certain things – then that is what your content should reflect.

As someone who works with small businesses, entrepreneurs and professional consultants, I do a lot of educating, inspiring and helping them build a “content marketing culture”.  This foundation for small business branding and success is vital.

We have officially shifted from the sell first model to the serve first model.  What content marketing does so well is help build trust much more meaningfully and personally. Content marketing and the tactics used to publish, share, attract and engage, power your brand impact and reach.

If you don’t create it, there’s nothing to be found. So create it and be found.

Content Marketing Practices: Power Your Impact and Reach

1) Make a Commitment

Whatever you decide is the best content strategy for you and your business, make a commitment to doing it. Don’t overwhelm yourself with big, lofty, long term goals. Best to keep them SMART, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.

The key here is achievable and realistic, which could mean a few content activities in short term blocks, like 3 months.

2) Be Consistent

Turn your commitment into a consistent activity. Daily content is the high end of the scale and not for everyone. If you can create and publish a few times a week or even a month, then stick to that and it will build traction for you.

It’s amazing how even moderate activity gets picked up when it’s consistent, key worded and relevant.

3) Focus Your Content

What expertise, values and affiliations do you want to be known for?  Whatever that is, is what you should be creating content around. From food, fashion, business and technology to medical, money, manners and fun, your blog, books, social media posts, Web copy and videos should focus on your knowledge, perspective and experience.

4) Customize Your Content

One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to content medias and tactics. Match your content to your community and the media you are on. LinkedIn and Twitter are more professional platforms. Facebook, blogs and eMarketing can be more personable platforms where you can show more personality, have more fun and post pictures.

Watch, study and emulate others that are active and getting engagement.

5) Be Strategic

Plan, develop and be very strategic about articulating the focus of your brand, what you do and stand for. With the massive barrage of information we get hourly and daily, “being strategic” gives you the best chance of standing out and being remembered.

Less is more, so focus on a few strong ideas, aspects and takes that you want people to take away.

 6) 60/20/20 – Educate, Inspire, Sell

Sales and selling still rank high on the process and results scale, but we are doing this very differently today. Yes, asking for the business is important but building relationships is what paves the way for asking.

The biggest mistakes people are making today are sending mass spam sales emails or social media posts trying to sell with no relationship. Please, don’t do this.

7) Show Heart and Kindness

Professional fundamentals blended with personal fundamentals drive the “why.” People do business with people – not companies. Big or small, it still comes down to personal relationships.

Show people who you are and they will remember you for how you make them feel.

8) Use Words That Convey Trust

I registered the hashtag #trusthewhy as my synonym for the importance of relevance, solid fundamentals and values on all levels.  The WHY is about being prepared for change, making transition a way of life, being current, following best practices and being authentic. Much of the content I publish is about those things and this hashtag now aggregates my content when I include it. Do you have a hashtag that represents your fundamentals and values? Create one and start adding it to your social media, so people will find you.

What content marketing practices work best for you and have powered your impact?

Woman Photo via Shutterstock

18 Comments ▼

Deborah Shane


Deborah Shane Deborah Shane is a past staff writer for Small Business Trends covering marketing, branding and social media topics. She is a Top 100 Small Business Champion, career transition consultant, personal branding strategist and social media specialist. Deborah hosts her Top 100 Small Business Podcast weekly. Her book #trusthewhy Fundamentals, Values and Humor Get You Through Anything and award winning "Career Transition: Make the Shift" (2011) are available through all major book sellers.

18 Reactions

  1. Those are some nice strategies. Sometimes, people don’t really get what engaging content means. It just means content that can change people’s lives. The more your content rocks your readers’ world, the better.

  2. Thanks Aira, very good observation. Content should entertain, educate and inspire us the engage in meaningful and enjoyable conversation.

  3. Thanks Ra, for sharing this on your Marketing Strategy site.

  4. Your point about focusing your content is something really important but rarely said so much… being an expert is so important in the internet world and how you articulate it is equally as important.
    I really appreciate your post thanks very much Deborah

  5. Thanks Laura, it’s the best way to align yourself with what you want to be known for.

  6. A great set of tips here Deborah. The biggest mistake I see small businesses making is failing to do their initial research & planning. It’s vitally important to fully understand the pain points and challenges your prospects have, so that you can create content which solves them. You can’t just head out there and start creating content here there and everywhere, or you’ll get no where fast.

  7. Giving information that helps them solve their problem or “scratch that itch”, builds a relationship with the customer that hopefully will bring them to your door instead of your opposition. Content marketing is the ideal way to to this.

    Branding is making sure that you are the first one they think of when they decide to buy.

  8. Thanks Massimo for sharing this on your content site!

  9. Thanks Nett, for sharing this on your Engaging Sales Conversations site.

  10. Thanks, Alistair for sharing this on your site.

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