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