I was at a networking event recently and most of the people responded with the same answer when asked about the number one challenge in their business. They said that marketing these days had become really difficult as there was a lot to do on that front while running a business full-time.
For them networking was a crucial part of the marketing strategy and many had not ventured into the online space with blogging, intellectual capital, and email marketing because of time constraints. They were trying out the older techniques of marketing and not incorporating the new ones because frankly the new methods are a back breaking job.
Unfortunately, in the new marketing age, there is no great way around this modality yet, so if you are running a business or selling a product or service, you do need to start thinking of supplementing your networking efforts with building products or services that will encourage people to try your product. Your blog is the first place where you will start establishing yourself as an expert.
With so much to do while running a business it is easy to just hire a content person and do your blog writing for you in the hope that you will rank way up in searches. Although your ranking might go up, I think you can miss a vital opportunity to really connect with your customers–an issue if you are in your business for the long-term.
In my experience, the customer is looking for value, credibility, and connectivity when visiting your site. They want to see your vision shine through. If the customer does not see those things and just sales pitches, he/she will be disappointed.
There are assets that you can build on top of your blog to assist in your marketing and some of those things can be delegated. Make your marketing easier–not more challenging.
Here is the list that will help establish you more as an authority in your realm and help you be more effective. This is one combination that I have seen that works so I am sharing it here with you. You might need some help in building intellectual assets but the good thing is that you don’t have to keep creating them like you create blog content and the resulting value is high.
- Blog (very important and you or someone who is well-versed with your business should write it). I have seen once a week work well and be very manageable.
- Pick one social media outlet where your customers flock to and get good at it. Use Hootesuite or a similar social media sharing platform and schedule your posts.
- Build intellectual assets over time: whitepapers, case studies, books, and podcasts.
- Get noticed and pick up speaking engagements. Your professional association might need speakers.
- Network where your customers are and build an email list.
Although this looks like a long list, it is more focused towards achieving your goal of providing value to the customer.
Your blog helps you promote the thoughts and ideas around your product or service the way you want; selecting one social media outlet helps you focus on building following in one space; creating intellectual assets positions you as a credible authority in your arena; speaking at events will help you enhance your visibility; and sending out marketing emails will enable you to stay connected with your customers.
Most of this work will become second nature and easier as time goes on.
I hope this helps. Remember giving value has to be at the top of your agenda, so if you can adapt these ideas to your work, you might be able to reach your customers with less hassle in the long run.
About the Author: Warda Zaman is an HR/OD Consultant and a Case Study Writer who helps organizations leverage their success. To find out how you can leverage your case studies, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.