One of the most common mistakes I see businesses make in their marketing is not clearly communicating what it is they actually do and the obvious benefit that brings to their clients.
They think what is obvious to them should be obvious to EVERYBODY. But I’m here to tell you that is simply not so.
Over the Christmas holidays, I discovered an awful truth. I’ve been guilty of exactly the same thing! The Copy Warrior was losing a battle!
And I have my wonderful sister to thank for waking me up to it.
You see, over the past few months, posts on my various social media platforms have focussed heavily on ‘content’, as that is what we ‘do’. That app you can use to analyse the most common words you use on Facebook clearly illustrated ‘content’ as the most common word in my posts, just to crystalise the point.
So, while I was back in the UK in December, my sister decided to ask me the question that had been bugging her about my posts for months: “Just WTF is ‘content’??!” She’s pretty blunt, my sis!
She went on to rage that to her, ‘content’ is the tea in her mug or the biscuits in the biscuit tin. In simpler times, THAT was the meaning of ‘content’.
“What the hell is content marketing? What is it that you actually do???”
Wow, did that open my eyes! And she works high up the corporate ladder. It really got me thinking.
How many people we are marketing to about ‘content’ feel like my sister? How many just aren’t familiar with the jargon terms that digital marketers use as a matter of course every day? How many potential clients had I alienated? And not just alienated! Failed!
How many businesses had I failed by not speaking THEIR language but ASSUMING they understood MINE???
I was devastated! You see, I see it as my OBLIGATION to help as many business owners and marketing executives as I can to really ramp up their marketing effectiveness.
But if I was falling at the first hurdle by not even selling across what I do and why they NEED content marketing as part of their marketing strategy, then I’d failed them. Period!
And it’s so frustrating for me because businesses need to understand just how important ‘content’ is for them in this digital era.
They need to be clear on
where their customers hang out online
who their customers really are
that not all customers are equal
that a one-size-fits-all campaign doesn’t work as you can’t please all people all the time
where their potential customers go and where to find them
what their potential customers’ pain points are
what level to engage customers at
how Google will reward or penalise their marketing efforts by the ‘content’ they put out
how we live in a ‘give first’ world and why it’s important for their marketing
why buyers buy and why they don’t.
And it all comes down to – you guessed it – CONTENT!
So when my sister woke me up to the simple fact that not everyone gets ‘content’ and why ‘content’ is so important to marketSMART, it really got the Copy Warrior in me riled up.
I realised that I need to educate and give value to businesses so they can understand HOW MUCH MONEY THEY ARE LEAVING ON THE TABLE, especially if they don’t get the concept of ‘content’ or content marketing, and how crucial it is to the business they do.
So that’s going to be the focus of my communication over the next month.
Because it’s my obligation to make sure that you get this.
That you understand how the scene has changed. That what got you here, won’t get you to where you need to be next. And thankfully, you don’t have to be left behind.
And the good news is that it’s NEVER BEEN EASIER OR CHEAPER to get in front of customers that will buy from you, IF YOU KNOW HOW.
It’s my OBLIGATION to make sure you know why and you know how.
I’m so excited to share this with you!
Do follow me so you don’t miss out on what’s coming up. I want you to be able to MAXIMISE your marketing in 2017 and really see results!
I’ve been brand writing recently for a hospitality company marketing to Gen Z.
Research into the target market brought up some really interesting facts for the project, and for me personally. Gen Z are those who are just now entering adulthood and finding their place in the world.
And it so happens to be where my kids are at. What came up in the research, beyond Gen Z’s incredible talent for filtering information, was the androgyny of this generation – their propensity to be gender neutral in everything they do, say and wear.
Marketing to Gen Z requires a real shift in approach. The more I read, the more I understood where my own kids were coming from. And quite frankly, they’ve got it right, along with cross dressing actor Eddie Izzard.
Why should we be so clearly defined by gender? Obviously there are differences, but we don’t need to be defined by them. Gender roles are so mixed nowadays. We all do the same things, hold down the same jobs, take on shared roles in the household. The line has got so blurred that it’s no longer visible. But gender neutrality is something I’ve only recently started thinking about, mostly, as I say, because of the research I’d been doing and the observations I’d been making of my children and their friends.
Then an interview shown on the UK news this evening really put it into perspective for me. Under discussion was the need for honorifics like Mr, Mrs, Ms, etc. and whether an option should be given for “Mx” for people not wanting to identify their gender on forms and legal documents. At first, I’ll be honest, I scoffed, quite loudly in fact. “How ridiculous! That’s just taking things too far!” was my knee-jerk reaction.
But as I listened to the arguments put forward, I started to come round to the idea. Well, why not? For years I’ve used the honorific “Ms”, the female equivalent of “Mr”, as a replacement for “Mrs” because it doesn’t reveal marital status. Why should I be identified as married by an honorific when a man isn’t? Likewise, why shouldn’t people be able to choose “Mx” when gender just doesn’t matter and we’re all supposed to be advocating equality? Then I suppose, we could argue why use an honorific at all? Any language spoken is a language changing, and this is just one example of how our language changes as it evolves with use. And how we market evolves too as the attitudes and core beliefs of our target audiences change.
Marketing to Gen Z means you’ve got to understand their beliefs and values, really get what matters to them and what doesn’t. Conventions such as honorifics really don’t.
So I’m casting aside the honorific “Ms” from today. I’ve now got a better one. Thanks Gen Z! What’s your take in Gen Z?
I thought I’d spice things up this week with a video on online marketing. This is the first of a three-part series I’ve put out as an introduction to online marketing, and how to become a content creation machine for your business and get leads online. Today is the golden age of marketing. We have literally never had it so good! Yes, there’s a lot of noise out there, and you still have to market smart to get your voice heard, but compared to 20 years ago, we’ve got it easy!
Before the Internet (can you remember those days? How did we manage?), marketing was almost a one-way street. We put out an ad but didn’t really have much control over who saw it. Then we had to wait to see what impact it had. Interaction with and understanding of our target market was a hard thing to come by.
But today, we are so spoiled by comparison!
1. We get to interact with our audience and find out exactly what they want and then we can just give it to them!
2. We don’t share our content with everyone. Oh no. We are choosy about who we communicate to because now we can choose so precisely who we want to target – those that we know WILL buy from us.
3. We get to share what we know and set ourselves up as experts in our field – the authority on the subject matter. That builds trust with our buyers.
4. And the part I love the most – potential customers come to us not the other way around! Inbound marketing is just so much more pleasant because you are delivering what your customers want and when they value what you offer, that’s a win-win for all.
5. And get this – there are so many cool software tools out there that let us automate the entire process from planning, creating, curating and sharing content to scheduling it for publication to the right platforms.
It’s so easy!
I mentioned value earlier. The content you put out should be valuable to your customer. So what makes it valuable?
It’s got to be:
Easy to follow and implement
That’s all well and good. But why do you need to get to grips with online marketing in the first place?
We’ve seen how it can benefit your customers. But what do you get in return? You’ll love this …
You’ll get noticed.
You’ll be seen as an authority.
Your customers will trust you.
Your network will grow.
You’ll build your personal AND business brand.
AND your business will grow.
That’s six great reasons to get good at content marketing.
I had a fruitful discussion with one of my coaching clients today about creating an irresistible brand. We discussed strategies to develop multiple revenue streams for her business off her brand. And it occurred to me that the information we discussed would be useful to any business owner looking to maximise revenue and expand business beyond a brick and mortar offering. So I thought I’d share our discussion with you here.
A coach can add a fresh perspective
When you look at things from just one angle, you can get stuck. Having a coach to mull things over with and brainstorm other possibilities you hadn’t thought of is well worth considering. And this is what happened to my client. As I spoke to her, it became clear that she could monetise her business in other ways that time doesn’t limit. You see, her main business restricted her to personalised one-on-one treatment sessions with individual clients. She was trading her time for money. AND wasn’t commanding a price that indicated her true worth to boot! Part of her strategy needed to include creating an irresistible brand that could see her charging her true worth.
Build a tribe of your ideal clients
She told me of her brilliant idea to expand her reach by creating a “tribe” – a following of ideal clients. She planned to do this by running a series of webinars where she interviewed known experts in niche services related to her business. What a fantastic idea! Not only will she bring immense value to her existing tribe, but will find extra followers from the tribe of her interviewees. Essentially she would be creating an irresistible brand by association! But then we hit on other ways to expand this. I suggested that she compile a book of all the interviews as a further way to tap on celebrity and build credibility. When you have a book, you automatically become an authority. We also explored hosting her video interviews on her newly set-up You Tube channel, adapting the content to blogs and articles, and sharing the experience on Facebook.
Build a range of products at different price points
Then we really got into the meat of the discussion. My client needed to create a range of education product offerings at different price points. The lower-priced products such as the ebook could hook people in where she hadn’t quite built that trust, then she could add this new tribe into a paid membership site where she could feed in monthly training. Webinar courses at a much higher price point would be a great way for her to reach and help more people than providing her service one on one. Delivering these webinars live on a weekly basis, in other words giving her personal time, would allow her to charge more for the course than offering a recorded webinar alone.
By creating an irresistible brand, you can command a higher price
This led on to my client understanding that by setting up a range of educational products that positioned her as an authority in her field, she would be able to price her one-on-one services higher because she would have a higher perceived value. Why? Because she would be creating an irresistible brand. Then adding on exclusive retreats for a select small group of her clients – a mastermind experience – would command a premium price for her top-of-the-range product offering. I’m so excited for her and can’t wait to see her put this all into practice, add greater value for her clients and maximise her revenue! And that’s how you create an irresistible brand!
You know you’ve got to be putting content out there. But you’re battling against time as usual. And perhaps ideas too. You need to find out how to be more productive in content creation. Or do you? There’s so much out there about being productive, about increasing your productivity. There’s great books such as Get Things Done by David Allen (great book and it’s helped me a lot). Then there’s all the apps that get you organised. You’re so grateful for them. These are going to save the day. Finally a tool that will get me organised, and I’ll be able to produce masses of content! That’s what I thought anyway. I became obsessed with being productive – getting things organised. I spent so much time reading books and learning how to use software and systems to make me productive. But in the end, they were eating up the time I SHOULD have been spending creating my writing plan and, guess what? WRITING!
Spend less time organising and more time writing
When writing, you need to get organised, as in plan what you are going to write. You shouldn’t miss that crucial step in the writing process. But don’t let it eat into your writing time. Apps may end up sucking your time because they aren’t built around who YOU are. We are all different. We organise things differently. We think differently. For me, planning out a mindmap works. For others, it just doesn’t help at all. You’ve got to find what works for you and stick to it. Know what habits you can stick with and which you can’t. For example, if someone advocates getting up at 5 am daily to do an hour of writing, you need to recognise if that’s for you or not. It worked for that person because they COULD get up daily at 5 am. But that might not be you. Maybe you write better at night, or in the afternoon. Know your strengths and weaknesses and don’t try to be something you’re not. Once I let go of trying to fit my work into what the apps and books told me was being productive, and actually worked to what suited me, I actually got down to writing!
How to be more productive in content creation? Just write!
I remember seeing an interview on TV once with the author Neil Gaiman, and his answer to the question “How does someone become a writer?” stuck with me. It’s simple and it’s obvious, and yet so easily resisted. If you want to be a writer, write. It’s the same with creating content. If you want to know how to be more productive in content creation, the answer’s simple. You’ve got to do the work. Planning to do the work isn’t going to get it done. Doing the work is. So plan the time to sit down and write, and then do the writing. Excuses, productivity planning and productivity apps aren’t going to get it done for you. There is no substitute for writing. So once you accept that it’s just got to be done, you’ll find how to be more productive in content creation – in your own way. Your own way is the ONLY way you can be productive on a regular basis. So own it, and start writing.
About Ange Dove
Master copywriter and content marketer Ange Dove, AKA Your Business Transformation Fairy Godmother, founded Proof Perfect in 2003 to improve business communication and marketing, one business at a time.
Ange and her Proof Perfect team focus on providing compelling copy backed by powerful visuals to make clients’ content stand out both online and offline.
She is adept at planning strategies for her clients and using the best of today’s technologies to automate their marketing so they can Get Ready, Get Seen, Get Business.
Stay updated on all things business and marketing with my monthly newsletter SIGN UP HERE!