In order for people to come to know you and trust you as an expert, they first must FIND YOU. Content marketing has become the leading way in which people are found, and because we live in a social sharing age, it is a way for people to become known by a much larger audience.
Karen wants to be known as a leader in the human resources industry. She wants people to hire her to work with their companies and trust her 23 years of experience. Her problem is, only a few know about her. She doesn’t want to spend time “messing with social media” and she doesn’t produce any other form of content to let people know about her expertise.
Kevin has a great service taking people on adventure vacations. He provides everything that is needed; food, canoes, backpacks, transportation to get into the remote areas where their adventures begin. He is passionate about adventures and helping people have a safe and memorable time, but he doesn’t like marketing and is trying to figure out how to get the word out about his awesome service.
You may be the very best consultant in the country or the finest hat maker in the world, but if no one knows who you are and what you do, your business won’t last long.
Today’s consumers are tech savvy and www stands for Whatever they want, Whenever they want it, and Wherever they are. When a question pops in our head, we simply whip out our smart phone and ask SIRI, or Google. So when Sally in San Francisco wants to know, “Which kind of hat goes best with a spring dress?” She simply asks Google. When she does, Google serves up content that Sally will most likely find helpful and interesting.
What would your ideal customer type into Google if they were searching for your products or services? Write down a list of questions they might ask about your industry. Now go type these questions into Google and see what content comes up. See WHOSE content comes up. Who is known in your space? Who are the leaders that have the answer to the questions your ideal customer is searching for?
If you want to become known in your space as the leader or someone who is an expert, you must start creating more content.
Your marketing content can come in many forms:
This is simply a spot on your website, or perhaps it stands alone on a blogging platform like WordPress, for you to share thoughts, stories, answers to questions people have about what you do. Blogging is one of the easiest and quickest to start with since it’s simply writing. If you feel that you can’t type, simply open up a word document go up to edit and select start dictation. Before you know it you’ll feel like a doctor dictating your patient notes.
The beauty of creating a video blog (or VLOG) is that it usually takes a lot less time. If I turn on the camera and speak what’s on my mind or provide 3 helpful tips, I am usually finished in five to ten minutes. If I write a blog post on the same concepts, it usually takes an hour. If you can be a one-take wonder and not need to stop and start, it’s quite easy. You can even use the camera on your smartphone to do this. Another thing that is great about video creation, is you can have the video transcribed when you are finished and turn it into tweets, quotes over graphics, and perhaps even another written blog post or article. (Check out TRINT for easy and low-cost transcription service) I love what Jessica Edwards does. She is a realtor in North Carolina that does videos from her car. They are GREAT and talk about easy! Check out her YouTube channel. No fancy intro or outro graphics or music, just answers to her ideal customer’s burning questions!
Screenshare or Webinar Video.
While this is still a video blog, it’s a form of blogging that requires no “good hair days” to go live on camera. Using tools like Screenflow, Jing or other screen capture tools, you can record your audio along with whatever you are showing on your computer screen. A great way to share technical information in a video blog. Because video itself, has very little SEO (search engine optimization) power or Google Juice, as I like to call it, you will probably want to do a short write up to go along with your video or have it transcribed like above. A great screen capture video tool that I have recently been using is called LOOM. It is a FREE tool that allows you to create short, 10-minute, screen recordings with or without your video showing in the bottom of the screen. Super easy to use and it is a Chrome extension, so there is no expensive or clunky software to install. See the video I created using LOOM right here:
We know a picture is worth a thousand words, so if you love taking photos, this could be another way for you to share your expertise. Now a photo alone will not be very “findable,” but if you are artistic or work in a very visual industry, snap more photos and then write a short paragraph about what is going on in the photo to share with your audience. If you are a personal stylist, take pictures of items of clothing on someone or laid out creatively on the floor, creating style boards of your own (very popular on Pinterest). While Karen Hutton is a photographer, her photo blog will inspire even those who feel they don’t have a creative bone in their body. Pay attention to how it is laid out and the other content pieces she offers in her right side bar. How can you use this style of blogging in your industry?
If you are not wanting to turn on that video camera, you can certainly do an audio blog or podcast, as everyone else in the world calls it. Podcasts seem to be more popular than ever and with all of the apps available, they have become easier to produce. Like video content, if you want to be FOUND in searches, you will still need some text for Google to read. Adding a thorough description and tags is important and if you have your podcast transcribed, you can add that in your show notes for added search engine sweetness.
If you don't want to commit to weekly or regular blogging, perhaps writing for magazines, industry publications or even other people's blogs will fit your schedule and style. Many people use this strategy as they are building their own blog following. Become a regular commenter and then ask the blog site owner if they accept guest bloggers. The challenge with this is I think it takes more work to find regular guest blogging spots than it does to just write more often on your own site, but this is a good way to get noticed.
What is the content strategy that you feel most comfortable with? What challenges do you find with this? I'd love for you to share with us either in the comments here or on our SocialKNX Facebook Page.