If truth be told, is it fair to say that when it comes to marketing your business it sounds great to ‘think about that tomorrow’? If you are like most entrepreneurs and founders, you are knee deep DOING your business and everything else takes a back seat. Especially when it comes to marketing.
But, what if marketing was as much fun and rewarding as DOING your business? What if marketing your business became a part of DOING your business?
What if marketing became synonymous with your BRAND…?
Then would you be willing to think about it today?
How about now?
In light of the fact that we are marketing in The Age of Participation, today is your lucky day, because…
DOING your business can now be THE SINGLE GREATEST WAY TO MARKET YOUR BUSINESS!!!
I call this ~ The Art of Marketing.
Capturing what you do for your business in content while you are doing your business leverages that time and uses it for marketing.
Marketing in The Age of Participation, by Diana Middleton, is a fantastic source that clearly articulates ‘A guide to motivating people to join, share, take part, connect and engage.’
What is The Art of Marketing?
The Art of Marketing takes the pain and mystery out of marketing with effective campaigns made simple. Sounds too good to be true, right? Stick with me and I’ll take you through it.
There aren’t any tricks to this. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t even require a lot of additional work. Done with a bit of forethought and planning this approach may prove to SAVE you time and leverage your existing assets in ways you haven’t even considered – all while immediately fueling significant and measurable growth.
I’m talking about weaving marketing into your daily, weekly, or monthly routine without costing you additional time.
Anthony Robbins uses the acronym, NET: No Extra Time. It’s a great strategy that we’re going to borrow and apply to marketing WHILE doing what you are already doing.
Who doesn’t want to make improvements to their bottom line that SAVE TIME…? In all fairness, there is a learning curve and a bit of fine-tuning to arrive with this NET benefit. However, enlisting in these strategies will not disappoint!
There is also the possibility that, after learning The Art of Marketing, some of those expensive, ineffective, time-consuming strategies you’re currently using can be scrapped! Then, you may find yourself in a NET + game… but, I’m getting ahead of myself.
At the core of a creatively effective marketing campaign that is impactful, inspirational, innovative, and memorable, is passion. Yep, good old-fashioned HUMAN EMOTION. So, that’s where we’re going to dive in.
#1 Rule: Do What You Love!
I’m serious! Do what you love.
If we focus our efforts on doing the things that we love, chances are they will get done with ease, expedience, and perhaps a bit of creativity.
Even the mere thought of the things that we dislike ‘doing’ can expend our energy and begin a cycle of resistance against the idea of doing something laborious …and all the while our minutes continue ticking away.
On the other hand, if there is something that you love to do, all of that energy, thought, motion, and emotion can be moving your project forward into actualization
So…what do you love to do? Does it include any of the following: taking photographs, recording videos, writing, or talking about your business? What about playing an instrument, painting, drawing, calligraphy, or creating digital art?
Try this quick thought-experiment: STOP reading this and search inside. Be honest. Is there any part of you that loves to DO any one or a combination of these?
If your answer is ‘Yes!’, then you’ve just taken the first step in leveraging an existing asset…YOU.
Bottom line: your business needs CONTENT that it creates and owns.
No matter how you choose to ‘get the word out’ about your brand: (web site, social media, direct sales, print, or broadcast), you’ll be using someform of content.
Creating great content is an art well within reach – but without breaking your bank…or back!
Whether you end up crafting the content yourself or employing the assistance of others, there are many ways to go about this. There are freeapps, image and video libraries, DIY content creation demo-videos, and creative -content studios to support any type content creation. The‘doing’ will be a breeze when you realize “I can do this!’ Then enlisting in what makes the most sense for you and your brand is a snap.
For example, are you not only a professional who has built a best-in-class service-oriented business, but also someone who is at ease being a speaker or presenter? Creating a podcast and or videos in which share your knowledge and expertise could effectively serve your clients and industry well while making a personal connection at the same time.
Have you ever considered just how often are you repeating the same ideas again and again to your clients? Could you leverage some of these problem-solving scenarios by featuring these ideas in a monthly newsletter or blog on your business’s website?
Notice that I said ‘serve your clients and industry’…?
Creating and sharing content that is VALUABLE information is generous. People appreciate generosity and tend to remember who they learn something new from.
If these videos are produced with authenticity and relevance, chances are you will grow not only your reputation as a resourceful Thought Leader, but also your Know, Like and Trust factors. (We’ve just further leveraged YOU as a marketing asset!)
Embracing content as the foundation to a marketing strategy in The Age of Participation will best serve in building an audience of FANS who may very well convert into customers. These customers will have an avenue to remain connected to your brand through your content.
Brands that are solely focused on lead-generating, selling, and social media, are ignoring the need for a content marketing strategy and are ill-equipped to own their market share. Here’s a post on that:
What is a Content Marketing Strategy?
As defined by the Content Marketing Institute: “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
If you’re like me, even reading that turns me OFF… what the heck are they even TALKING about? I take issue with a great many marketing articles. I find them laden with misused and confusing marketing jargon that, even after nearly three decades as a marketing executive, I struggle to get through. It’s extremely challenging to sort through all the misinformation for ideas of real value or perspectives that offer real insight
There’s one glaring point in the above definition that I want to address for clarity. It is the need for ‘consistent content’.
The proliferation of this notion has led to outright content pollution and mania…This is simply NOT TRUE and wastes so much time and money!
Decoding the meaning of a Content Marketing Strategy:
Content = Still or moving images, words & graphics
Marketing = Moving goods and services from concept to the customer.
Strategy = A plan of action.
Purpose = Build audience/generate leads/make sales/give fans reasons to ENGAGE.
The content can come in a myriad of shapes, sizes and forms.
The Golden Rules for content are to create bite-sized pieces of GOOD, RELEVANT, AUTHENTIC & RELATABLE material that ties back to your brand. Ultimately, this fuels creatively effective campaigns.
We all know there is a ton of content created for entertainment. But if the content doesn’t relate in some way back to the brand, it will be wasted at best; at worst, your brand will be resented for wasting valuable time and be kicked to the side as DOA.
The Art of Marketing embraces a combination of the best concepts and strategies to market a brand with creatively effective campaigns:
Embrace Marketing in the Age of Participation
Leverage Existing Assets
Do What You Love
Employ a Content Marketing Strategy
What does participation with your business look like today?
So you want to create more engaging content – Content that will turn first time visitors into regular visitors.
You have tried all the tricks in the book to make your content engaging, but it doesn’t work.
You have even tried all the tips taught by the social media marketing know-it-alls in your niche. But, all effort to get your audience to engage with your content is futile.
So what now?
How about stopping the madness of creating more and more content and come about this from a different angle?
Try a content marketing strategy that streamlines your valuable content in a way that FUELS engagement by addressing your fans and their interests first. Then, let them help you build a bigger audience ORGANICALLY through their PARTICIPATION by sharing your RELEVANT content on their feeds and thereby gaining you EARNED MEDIA… the most coveted of all media with a built in growth factor!
Now, engaging content becomes content your fans engage with while growing your audience. BAM!
Okay, so now let’s deconstruct and unpack this… ready? Here goes…
Content Marketing Strategy
Leverage Existing Assets
What is a content marketing strategy?
A content marketing strategy is one that has CONTENT at it’s center. Not just an image, video, quote or shared link… it is ORIGINAL CONTENT THAT YOU HAVE CREATED on a topic that you have expertise and perhaps some passion. It can be short and sweet and include stills, moving images and or copy. Perhaps it tells a story or makes an existential point. There aren’t too many rules here. As long as each piece can stand on it’s own and makes sense, you are good to go!
How does leveraging existing assets come into marketing?
Consider that the sharing of your knowledge as one way that you have to LEVERAGE AN EXISTING ASSET. The objective in a content marketing strategy is to inform, educate and share. This content will support your expertise and build credibility in your niche. (The objective is NOT to sell or generate leads, per-say, it is ENGAGEMENT that will yield growth.)
How can there be authentic participation in marketing?
At the intersection of a raving fan strategy and your content marketing strategy is authentic participation. This is the secret sauce of linking your content back to your brand. After all, it was the problem that you were looking to solve that motivated you to create your brand…. remember…? GO there… tie your brand to how it closes the gap of pain without your product to the pleasure of using your brand now. Consider asking your early adopters to share their experience with your brand… how did they become raving fans? Would they be willing to share their story in images, testimonials, how about in a video? These are your brand’s ambassadors! Give them recognition and gratitude by including them in your brand’s content strategy. This recognition can fuel a plethora of social activity that can lead to…
How do you build audiences?
Two words… EARNED MEDIA. This is the tried and true way to build an audience. The kind that will stick with you because they follow someone who is sharing your content and found you through a ‘friend’. Today, word of mouth is as good as it gets for a referral. Soon, these newbies who discovered your brand ORGANICALLY will begin LIKING and following you.
These are but a few of the secrets we have found of engaging content… stay tuned for more ways of creating valuable content that is useful, relevant, easily accessible and sharable! Your fans will appreciate it!
We have done that for our brand and thought leader clients. It works!
Time and time again, I meet with outstanding brands across a wide birth of industries that are dying because they ignore the necessity for media. This is no joke.
I get that there is so much confusion and noise that it makes it challenging to discern fact from fiction especially when it comes to marketing. However, turning a blind eye and ignoring this could cause significant losses in a brand’s market share and stagnate their ability to fully actualize on their potential sales.
Embracing media goes far beyond having a social media channel. It is about the CONTENT. Creating content that is relevant to your brand gives your audience an opportunity to participate with you beyond purchasing transactions. Think about it.
Creating content will benefit you exponentially when it comes to owning your market share because it gives you multiple opportunities to interact with your customers beyond transactions.
There is no question that the key to a brand’s success is the experience it provides to customers. Marketing in the Age of Participation extends this experience far beyond conventional advertising.
Gone are the days when a brand can motivate consumers to take action to purchase through conventional advertising. Commercials, print and radio advertising are more often than not being ignored in favor of media that embraces participation.
Now that the consumer is in the driver’s seat of the experience they are having with all forms of media, if they are not entertained, learning something, or have an avenue for two-way communication, they are moving on, rapidly. Consumers are actively seeking engagement. What an incredible opportunity to PARTICIPATE with your customers!
What is a brand to do?
Shift the focus of your marketing away from advertising and churning out tons of meaningless repetitive content that is static and attempts to sell. Instead, create content that is authentic and relevant. Consider capturing the EXPERIENCE your products provide consumers, express the value of ENGAGING with your brand, share your knowledge, history, passion about your industry. Consider sharing why you even created it, the problem it solves, the trials and tribulations of coming to market. How using your product will benefit people, community and families.
Tying the experience back to your brand is the game consumers may embrace participating in! It also has a far greater chance of being memorable.
Leverage every idea across multiple forms of content. Do this by creating content visually, audibly and literally.
Above all else create content that is REAL in that there is a slice of relatable humanity. People actually seeing themselves reflected in your content would be ideal. This can create an emotional connection that has the potential to gain an AUDIENCE. Think about that!!! What better way to continue engaging with potential customers once they become audience members. Now you’ve unlocked the potential of having conversations that become two way exchanges as opposed to creating an ad that is static without any opportunity for engagement.
Drawing people to you because you are speaking their language will yield engagement! Without this, your marketing efforts could fly by unnoticed. Even if you are participating in tons of social media…
Converting an engaged audience, creating fans from an engaged audience and having repeat business from an engaged audience is marketing in the age of participation!
Search less, live more with the mobile app that captures the best-in-class businesses within the Conejo Valley.
The objective was to create a clean, non manipulated modern marketing space to showcase their branding stories. To level the playing field as it were… where a mom and pop shop has the same opportunity as a global brand to shine and connect. A place where less is MORE.
Peakavue fuels authentic, meaningful engagement within their geo-community!
Madheart Marketing proudly created this concierge city guide app.
Check out some of the work we have produced for our client PeakaVue HERE
PeakaVue leverages marketing synergy by capturing the best-in-class businesses as a group within the Conejo Valley.
These businesses are given a clean, non-manipulated modern marketing space for their branding stories.
Whether you’re a small business or a global brand doesn’t really matter to the residents, visitors or other businesses in the community. What does matter is that they can find and engage with you as effortlessly as possible!
Where else can you go to find that?
Check out some of the work we have produced for our client PeakaVue HERE
If there is a way to tell your brand’s story with a Call to Action implied; well, heck that is like a hole in one!!!
When naming PeakaVue, our client had those two ideas in mind while also wanting to express a playful personality. The winking eye icon put the icing on their branding name!
There are a few twists to this brand’s naming story in that they spelled it P E A K and V U E.
P E A K meaning, “Hey brand, what is the best you’ve got to show us?”
V U E because, it’s the French word for view and we equate that with being a bit discerning.
Put it together and you have their call to action, Peak – a – Vue!
What’s the story behind your business’ name? We would love to hear it!
The Power Is Now In Marketing’s Hands
“90% of a consumer’s time while on a mobile device is done so via an app.”
“… Given the fact there are now more mobile devices on the planet than there are human beings, it’s pretty obvious that engaging with customers via mobile should be a priority. As for apps, consider this staggering statistic: 90% of a consumer’s time while on a mobile device is done so via an app.”
And according to Gartner: “Consumers see mobile apps as their main digital interaction with their favorite brands.”
Customer experience is — as Forbes put it — the future of marketing.
“The bottom line is that providing the best possible customer experience is para-mount for success. Consumers have stated that they will spend more money based on the experience they receive from a given brand. Conversely they will bail on a transaction or not make an intended purchase because of a poor experience.”
A New Engagement Model
“According to Forrester, with mobile in play, consumers now move from discovering a brand to doing research, making a purchase, and using a product within minutes if not seconds. And they expect this experience to be not only possible, but positive.”
“Today’s customers demand a seamless, integrated brand experience delivered to them with ultimate simplicity and relevancy in real time. To deliver, mobile demands a new engagement model.”
“And mobile apps, while powerful, shouldn’t be managed and operated in a silo. Instead, mobile apps should be orchestrated as part of a cross-channel marketing program to create highly curated experiences for the customer.”
“I think the problem is we’re creating content for content’s sake,” says Carlos Hidalgo, CEO and Principal of Annuitas. “What we need to think about is, we don’t need to create more content—and I keep seeing stats that our budgets are increasing, we’re creating more content, we’re doing this, we’re doing that… I just want to say: everybody stop. And let’s start creating relevant content.”
“No matter the device, they want to pick up where they left off. The consumer now expects to be able to complete any action from their phone/tablet.”
“Mobile consumer experiences cannot be truncated any longer. That experience simply doesn’t align with expectations.”
So there you have it. I believe most of what Oracle has said in this article to be accurate. Having been in the advertising industry since 1986, this reality has been brewing for some time. Luckily, as the laws of economics remain true, demand has driven supply and the situation gave birth to the tools to meet consumers’ expectations in the form of MOBILE APPS.
Apps come in all shapes and sizes. They can be designed to have multiple functions and capabilities. I chose to design one to fuel commerce in a macro-community. So far so good, modern marketers are choosing to become members because they see how PeakaVue is there to create engagement, connect with their customers and optimize interactions that attract and retain ideal customers.
I believe in amplifying differences. It hasn’t ever appealed to me to fit in by being similar. Today, that couldn’t be more important when marketing and branding Best-In-Class brands.
When developing Madheart Marketing – I committed to going 100% rogue and decided to look away from what has become common practice in tech and marketing (test and repeat… yawn). Instead, we focus on bringing value, authenticity and relevance to our select clients. The ones who simply stand out because they are unique trail blazers with rich stories to tell. It is for them that we are committed to serve creatively effective campaigns.
Working with Best-In-Class brands and Thought Leaders who have founded them is an incredible honor!!
Would you qualify? I would welcome an opportunity to chat!