Friday, November 11, 2011

7 Ways Content Marketing Can Boost Your Image

Earlier this week, I “observed” as a client communications committee and its marketing agency shared the 2012 marketing campaign with its board and industry leaders. [Unfortunately, I need to keep the client and the specifics of their marketing plan confidential.]

About half way through the presentation, I realized that they were delivering some key information that might help you and other association and professional societies whether you are communicating with members or marketing your industry or profession.

Here are my notes (in no particular order).  See which relate to your organization and/or how you might tweak it to benefit your efforts.

1.        Words matter! 
            •       Select them carefully and with purpose. 
•       Conduct research to know if your words/messages work.  Look into not what you are saying but what they (your target audiences) are hearing.

2.        Focus on conversations not sales pitches. 
            •         Listen.  Engage.  Influence.  (Wish I could remember who said that!)
•         Don’t you duck out of a presentation or call with a “pushy salesperson” who can only talk about his/her product/service and not about you and your needs? 
            •         Be sure your organization isn’t acting like a pushing salesperson!

3.        Consider how to engage influencers.
•         Know who you are trying to reach and determine how to engage in a conversation with them.
•         Know the people who are major influencers within your industry or profession.  It might be an individual or a blogger or a member of the news media or trade media. Identify them.  Find ways to interact with them.  Connect with them. Ask them for their opinions
•         Footnote: this meeting included a panel discussion with six mommy bloggers.  Opened my eyes!  I used to focus on key members of the media as important influencers.  Well, guess what, mommy bloggers (and other bloggers) have become the new media ... and may well influence more people than traditional editors and broadcasters.  Who are the key bloggers in your profession or industry?

4.        Plan ahead for rapid response to “negative news.”
            •         Monitor/track what is being said about you in traditional media but also online.
            •         Get your messages together in an accurate response.
•         Create “tweetable” talking points (ideally 100 characters so there is room for retweeting within Twitters 140 character limit).
•         (After major news stories of the last 10-12 days, some presidential candidates and universities could use this advice.)

5.        Maximize your content to expand your results.
           •         Don’t limit your conversations to one platform. 
           •         Expand it across multiple platforms.
           •         See my blog post on Sharing Once is a Waste.  

6.        Blog to create & maintain thought leadership.
           •         Focus on a key topic/interest area.
           •         Blog frequently enough to build a following to increase your influence.

7.        Quit procrastinating and just do it.
           •         Enough of the “I don’t have the time.” 
           •         Look around, your competition is probably doing it and you are falling behind.

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