Every year reports are published describing the challenges online marketers face. In almost every report I read something about the challenge of producing enough content. Internet users consume a vast amount of information, and it can seem like a daunting task to hold the attention of your target audience.
But marketers are also realizing that rather than producing more and more content, they should be focused on producing quality content consistently. You want to reach your customers at the moment they’re looking for you, or for information that you are able to provide. And how you do this is just as important as doing it. The medium impacts the message. What do I mean by this?
I’m often on the lookout for marketing podcasts. I have a son under the age of two and it’s very convenient to listen to podcasts while chasing him around the house. That way I can stay up to date on industry happenings without having to keep a screen in front of me.
But many of my favorite publications don’t have podcasts. Why is this?!?! They are missing out on a huge opportunity to retain the attention of people like me - on the go professionals who want to remain up to date with the industry.
Lack of quality podcasts is just one example of ways brands aren’t fully utilizing content distribution tools available to them. Let’s look at that and a few more and hopefully it will give you some ideas of how to reach more of your target audience for maximum visibility.
It may seem obvious, but many companies don’t fully utilize the free social media resources at their disposal. Have you researched your target audience and the social media platforms of their choice? Make sure you have a documented social media plan outlining:
- Priority networks
- Profile information
- Brand imagery
- Tone of voice
- Messaging guidelines
- Content calendar
- Goals and KPIs.
For more social media management recommendations read this article: 5 Mistakes Your Brand Should Avoid When Managing Social Media Accounts.
As I mentioned before, podcasting is a great way to retain the attention of on the go professionals. Not just parents chasing toddlers, but commuters and people working out at the gym. Think about the content you have to share and consider podcasting regularly to distribute that information.
Podcasting requires very little monetary investment, just some quality sound equipment. But it will require time to develop the podcast, record, and publish it. To learn more about getting started with podcasting click here.
Any company that is communicating in-depth information should consider using webinars to reach their audience. Especially in the B2B space, prospective clients are looking to get as much information as they can about products and services before they make a commitment. They want to see things in action and ask questions of knowledgeable representatives.
When setting up your webinar, determine whether you want it to be live or recorded. Choose your webinar service provider. Some prominent companies include WebEx, GoToMeeting, AnyMeeting, and Fuze. Consider the format of your webinar. Do you want to invite a guest speaker? Will you run a product demo? Will you allow live Q&A? Make sure you have your plan documented so that it can run as smoothly as possible. And finally, promote the webinar in advance to make sure you have the number of attendees that you’re hoping for.
Email is a necessary way to communicate with your market. 91% of consumers use email at least daily (Exact Target). Emails aren’t guaranteed to be opened, of course. So just sending an email doesn’t mean you’ll connect with your audience. But by having an email program, and by testing, evaluating and improving, you’ll be able to reach your audience more effectively than you could otherwise.
Make sure you have an email signup option on your website, and determine how frequently you can send email. If you send emails less frequently, really think about the content that goes into the email. Make them worthwhile and notable so that your subscribers take notice. If you send emails infrequently and the content is nothing special, then you won’t be able to capture your market’s attention and will probably see an increase in unsubscriptions.
Videos are one of the most shared types of online content. Emails with videos included are more effective. The list goes on about why video marketing is important. Video should definitely be included in your marketing mix and it can be more cost effective than you might realize.
Consider ways that video could communicate important brand messaging. Think about where on your website videos would be powerful for moving prospects through the sales funnel. And think about video for your social media plan. Whether videos are long or short you can get your customers’ attention with them.
Finally, we encourage all of our clients to consider influencer marketing. No matter what business or industry you’re in, there are people who have a good sized audience among your target demographic, and who influence that audience’s thoughts and actions. As a marketer, you want to know who those influential people are and form relationships with them. By staying on their radar you can keep them in the loop on happenings at your company and they will share with their audience when it makes sense to them. As a result, you’ll have increased brand exposure to a highly targeted audience. And you’ll be reaching them through a trusted and authoritative source. So whenever you create great content, or have an event, or think of an interesting opportunity, think about what influencers would be ideal for spreading the word. To learn more about influencer marketing check out InfluencerReach.com.
Remember as you consider all of these different means for getting your message to your audience, that it’s not about doing ALL of them. You want to deliver what you can consistently and at the quality that people expect from your brand. Put your plan in writing, get the right people on board within the organization, and see which team members can help create content. The more experts you have contributing the more diverse and valuable the content will be to your target audience, and the easier it will be for you as a marketer to put it all together.