Develop a Media Mindset
In order to create a content strategy like a major media publisher, you first have to start thinking like one.
If you’re in the financial services industry for example, think about your website and content strategy as if you were running Forbes Money.
Starting today, and continuing into the future, your business requires a customer-focused content marketing plan.
Start thinking like a media publisher, by answering these questions for your business:
- Who are your customers?
- What is their conflict they need resolved?
- How will you resolve it?
- What does your customer really want to learn, purchase, use?
- Which platforms are your customers using?
- How will you attract them to consume your content?
Content as the Sales Funnel…
Business today are attracting new leads and customers by designing content that solves a need or interest for the prospect they want to attract.
If people are searching for common questions as they relate to your industry, those are good indicators they are potentially interested in your services. Creating content can bring people into the top of your marketing funnel.
To generate awareness at the top of the funnel, highlight success stories focusing on the outcomes from people and companies who have achieved the ultimate desire your customer wants and that you can help them solve.
Once they see “proof,” the relationship starts to build because you have created a clear path of how to reach the same results for the outcome they really care about.
Increase Traffic to Your Sales Funnel
Businesses that invest in writing blogs for their customer receive 3x the amount of leads than those who don’t.
According toBrightEdge, more than 75% of B2B traffic is coming from organic and paid search alone.
Most people are searching for information to learn more about a subject; very few are actively seeking to take action, just yet.
Create content that answers questions and teaches consumers what to look out for. By being the most helpful source of information, who do you think they will want to work with when they are ready to buy?
That’s how companies are using content to add value to prospects.
The “Content Bridge” Strategy
Move your customers up the value ladder with informative content using the “content bridge strategy” to guide your customers to their ultimate goals with content designed to reach your desired success.
Think about your content strategy as the bridge to get your customer to the destination they want for themselves. What tips and insights can you create to help them achieve their results faster?
During the manufacturing economy, the “value chain” was defined as the full range of activities needed to create a product or service.
For companies that produce physical goods, value chain were all of the necessary physical steps required to develop a product from initial conception, through the procurement of raw materials, and then, manufacturing the final product.
But today, in the services economy, the value chain on the internet is literally content. Here’s why…
The Digital Economy Runs on Content
Does the world need more content? Absolutely not but it’s the only currency to doing business online.
Information-based service businesses comprise over 80% of the private sector. The service business used to be called the “Knowledge Industry” because buyers in the knowledge industry want solutions.
Therefore, the value chain for the service industry is sharing solutions, tips, and informational content.
This chain leads prospects into the traditional sales funnel by attracting an audience based on interest and turns them into advocates.
The purpose of analyzing a company’s value chain, is to increase productivity efficiency, in order for a company to deliver maximum value for the least possible cost.
Small and medium-sized service businesses are taking massive advantages of content marketing by providing content that drives value to their target audience and minimizes the costs associated with traditional advertising and marketing methods in the process.
But What’s the Catch?
In one word, time.
On average it takes over 6-9 months to begin to see organic results with your content strategy.
But the good news is that if you can persist and outlast others in your space. You win long term.
The other good news? Aside from the fact that it’s free, your competitors probably wont put in the extra effort.
For example, there are over 900k podcasts that have started since podcasting became “a thing” in the early 2000s. Many of which are business podcasts (no one knows that exact number). But the funny thing is, only 34% of podcasts have more than 10 episodes.
Most people start a content strategy and then give up.
But for those who have the stamina and willpower, there has never been an easier time to produce content that drives you to become the most helpful, and, in turn, most valuable authority in your industry.
What is the ROI?
But how does this benefit my bottom line?
The ROI of contributing content in your field produces the following benefits:
- Establishes domain authority on your subject matter
- Builds brand awareness
- Engages your target audience
- Generates leads and customers
If you want to be considered an authority in your business and increase leads and sales, then producing content is necessary.
This is one of those cliche instances where it helps to ask the same question in reverse, what will it cost you not to participate overtime?
Content Marketing Example: Vayner Media
If you don’t know him, Gary Vaynerchuk, he is the founder & CEO of VaynerMedia.
He started his organization by focusing on creating valuable content in order to get the attention of an audience to sell to.
He went from solopreneur as a one-man operation to a team of now over 1o00 employees and doing over $135M in annual revenue through his digital marketing agency.
Which needless to say is pretty impressive…
Even more so knowing they did it predominantly off of the success of Gary’s personal content that he creates.
Gary challenged his industry by confronting the biggest elephant in the room in the advertising industry.
Confronting the Status Quo
Gary confronted the status quo by helping corporate America overcome a serious marketing problem.
Brands are still spending $70.3 billion dollars a year on traditional TV ads, and no one is watching them!
Nobody cares about traditional TV programming anymore and if they do, they’re more likely to go to the bathroom during an ad than pay attention to one.
His agency produces a daily YouTube show (for free) that now has 2.5M subscribers. Their content strategy isn’t complicated either. His team answers any and all questions about digital marketing, how to grow a business, and even life and career advice.
By teaching other people how to overcome their digital marketing, and life problems, “Gary Vee” (as his fans call him) instantly became the most valuable person in this industry.
Any other agency would charge you for the right to meet with them or give you their advice. VaynerMedia gave it away for free and made all of their competitors instantly less valuable.
In 2018 alone, VaynerMedia took in $131 million dollars in revenue.
And what’s even more impressive? That’s not the first time he did it…
Wine Library TV
Before launching VaynerMedia, Gary worked at a liquor business his parents started when they arrived in America from Russia.
When YouTube launched in 2005, Gary instantly saw a potential to grow a new base of customers online. He started distributing a weekly video series called Wine Library TV.
He provided weekly video reviews of wines you could order directly from the website.
When recording his very first episode, his plan was to pitch everyone why they should buy whatever brand he was going to review in the video. When the camera turned on something changed Gary’s mind.
Instead, he offered the rawest review possible of the brands he was selling, and even referring to some brands tasted like tires, and dogshit.
Gary Isn’t Afraid to Fight Back
Naturally, his comments offended some of the sellers in his space, but to the customers and wine enthusiasts, it was gold.
He said what they were all thinking. His real perspective was refreshing, and people loved it.
The only other platform reviewing wines at the time was the Wine Spectator, which were infomercials on why you should buy everything they sold. Gary took the opposite approach.
In just five years, Gary grew their family business from $3M to $60M in revenue.
In so doing, he transitioned the company to one of the first e-commerce platforms for alcohol in the country resulting in unusual and explosive top-line growth.
Gary strategically built his content library based on questions and suggestions that he received from viewers in the comment boxes.
Wine and Cereal Anyone?
At some point, a fan mentioned it would be fun to watch a wine pairing against non-traditional foods.
So, Gary produced an entire 20-minute episode on which wine pairs best with cereal. Yes, that’s right he paired the best wine for Lucky Charms, Cap N Crunch, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. That video alone received 25 thousand views.
“Whether you like it or not, every person is now a media company because the tools are easy, free, and everywhere. More importantly, producing content is now the BASELINE for all brands and companies, and if you’re not producing content, you basically don’t exist.”
– Gary Vaynerchuk
Do People Actually Want Your Content Though?
After attending Vidfest, a conference designed to help people start professional YouTube channels, one of the biggest questions posed to one of the leading speakers was:
“How do I know if people will be interested in my content?”
The response from the “experts” was stunning: People are watching videos on literally any subject imaginable.
For example, you can go on YouTube right now and find videos about how to pack a school lunch.
That’s right, a lunchbox. This one video on packing a school lunch has 14 million views!
Here’s What We Found:
We found hundreds of videos detailing exactly how to pack a school lunch…
The top 5 suggested videos had well over twenty-four million combined views. As it turns out people are seeking answers to all of life’s questions, including how to pack a lunch. Chances are someone, right now is typing a question for which you know the answer.
It’s certain, if you find something interesting, there are millions more who will likely share that opinion, too! It’s never been easier to find people who share the same interests.
But you can only get “discovered” if you’re willing to put in the effort to building your content marketing strategy and sharing your content for the people you’re making it for.
For more content tips, check out the following articles: