Raise your hand if you’ve ever created a social media post, blogged, or sent an e-newsletter solely because an “expert” told you to do so frequently or consistently. If your arm is lingering in the air sheepishly, you’re not alone. Post, Post, POST. Content is King is the message we all repeatedly hear. But let’s be honest. Unless you’re a writer or an aspiring best-selling author, the stories you need to consistently craft are easier advised than actually carried out. Few businesses, short of those with the budget to hire a marketing assistant or good ad agency, are consistently winning at the storytelling game by creating value. The problem is, many businesses continue to post anyway. And what happens when you post mediocre content consistently? You generate a lot of NOISE.
To clarify, let’s define the word noise. Noise is distracting. Annoying. Sometimes loud. It’s most certainly out of place. It makes thinking impossible. It renders the surrounding environment hard to hear. The “buzz” it creates is the kind that makes you crave silence. The desire to leave. And that’s exactly what most people do when they come across a blog, social media post, or email that holds no value. Think about that the next time you post or “send” just to post or send.
Creating value, on the other hand, is different. Value offers entertainment. Something thought-provoking. Humor. Perhaps a solution. It grabs attention and makes people stop, look, think, and take action. Is your content valuable or is it noise? Here’s how to tell:
By the way, if you aren’t happy with the answers to these questions, don’t be too hard on yourself. We weren’t all meant to be Don Draper-esque advertising professionals. But it is your job to recognize what isn’t working and seek better performing alternatives for creating value.
What if you could hire a writer, a graphic designer, an editor, and a marketing expert all in one place for under $200 a month, and your “team” produced the valuable content those experts you follow keep telling you to generate and share? Creating value is exactly what we focus on at Integrated Concepts Group, Inc. And that’s why we manage monthly feature-style content from start to finish, packaging it in a nicely designed newsletter that actually gets seen by your clients and prospects. You can’t generate real buzz (as in the kind that gets you calls and referrals, rather than just a bunch of useless noise) unless you provide something of value to people in a way that gets them thinking, acting, and talking to others.
Unfortunately, the cards are stacked against us in a variety of ways, even when we have great content to share. Let’s say you hire or become a master blogger on your own. How will that blog get noticed? Like a masterfully written book covered in a film of age-old dust on a long-forgotten library shelf, so, too, can your great content sit and “rot” away in cyberspace. Content is no good without great marketing to boost it.
Digital platforms can make content marketing seem more like decrypting an elaborate and complex code. And understanding the ever-evolving rules and nuances of social media sites like Facebook so you can properly advertise your valuable content is a whole different can of worms, unless you understand terms like Facebook pixel, Power Editor, and Custom Audience. Sure, you can email your blog to existing clients, a quarter of whom might be tempted to open something with an intriguing subject line. But what about the other 75% of clients, and the droves of prospects whose emails you don’t have, nor the permission even if you did?
Valuable content deserves a reliable delivery platform. Why settle for “open rates” and “impressions” when you can have what’s practically a 100% visibility rate via direct mail newsletters? Yes, they do require a higher up-front investment, though the dramatically higher response rate will more than make up for it. And why is that? Because you’re not just getting seen, but you’re also making a strong impression on an audience that’s used to having noise spewed at them on digital platforms. What will they think when they receive a crisp, eye-catching newsletter that’s rife with entertaining, helpful, and interesting information about your business and beyond? One word. WOW.
When you subscribe to our monthly newsletter services, that’s exactly the kind of reaction you’ll get. Because not only is the content superb, including a customized feature article, but the design and branding is extremely effective. What are you waiting for?
It’s funny or fun.
It’s a striking photo or interesting infographic that you can relate back to your business.
It’s genuine, without asking for any kind of click, like, or action.
It provides useful tips or solutions that the audience might not otherwise know.
It’s a balanced blend of well-written content and nice imagery.
It states something thoughtful.
It states something unusual or thought-provoking.
If you’re sharing other content, you’ve introduced it in your own unique “voice” (a.k.a. You haven’t just hit the “share” button).
You post individually to each platform, taking advantage of that platform’s specific features, rather than auto-sharing from one to the other.
You use relevant hashtags and a “safe” number that doesn’t overwhelm your post.
When you look at your overall content, you don’t just post sales or events, but a balanced mix of content.