Here is my Latino iConnect script for the workshop that I delivered on 5 March, 2014.
How does one take advantage of this complex, fast-paced topic that we refer to as “Content Marketing?” More specifically, how to do engage with it intelligently and profitably?
Marketing, was first introduced to me I was 18 years old. In 1982, my parents started their own small business, a travel agency in Irvine, CA. Back then, our marketing efforts comprised of fliers that I produced with rub on letters and our small copier machine. I created a new flier each week and handed out hundreds of these to small and medium business in surrounding business parks. With these flyers and a few ads that we ran in the local paper, we generated over a million dollars in sales within our first year in business. In 1982, a million dollars in sales was pretty impressive. I had firsthand experience that marketing was crucial to business success.
A few years later, I went to work for a boutique advertising agency in Orange County, CA and then become a marketing director of a wellness company in Los Angeles. All the time I was learning and helping businesses grow with many and varied marketing initiatives.
But, in 2008 I recognized that the world of marketing was changing radically and rapidly. It was moving faster, but I was not keeping pace. I was well on the path to becoming antiquated and factually, it freaked me out. I had to re-engineer my knowledge and skill sets for this web 2.0 world. I knew that if I could not adapt myself, the brand of ME, then how would I be able to effectively and ethically coach other entrepreneurs and businesses?
My journey of technical upgrade began with the reading of a single book, “The New Rules of Marketing & PR”, by David Meerman Scott. A book that I still avidly recommend to anyone I come across. When I first picked up my copy, I read it every day, testing out what David was coaching me on. In addition to this book, I began to follow leading bloggers on a wide array of new topics, as well as defining this large body of terminology in this new world of online marketing.
For my talk today, I want to establish a clear-cut objective for the next 30 minutes: I want you to become more prosperous.
Content marketing, when conducted correctly, will most definitely have a positive impact on your branding as well as increasing your own prosperity. And let’s be honest, we are all here today to learn how to become more effective so as to generate more prosperity. My full script of today’s lecture, all my notes, the definitions and almost 20 related and helpful links are provided with my blog post – that I literally posted just hours ago. It is titled, “Latino iConnect Lecture Script – March 2014”. Do not worry about keeping notes, as everything I will be lecturing to your today, and more, you be able to access all of it with this morning’s blog post.
The Greek Philosopher, Socrates stated, “The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.”
This will be the theme for today’s talk: Opening that very door to wisdom. To understand content marketing, or any subject that you care to learn, requires that you grasp the basic terminology of that subject. And the subject content marketing is not different. In fact, without a firm grasp of its basic terms, the full potential benefits of content marketing will be shut off to you. While I do not have enough time today to cover all vital terms, I want to cover 10 crucial terms that will hopefully open that door of wisdom and propel you on a further path of learning and results with content marketing.
I know with total certainty, based on personal experience and the results that I have been able to help other businesses achieve, that content marketing will most definitely help you achieve your business and financial goals. Moreover, I believe that content marketing can be utilized to convey true wisdom to anyone in the world and help people find pragmatic answers to what they truly are searching for in life.
People go to the internet to do one thing – SEARCH. Google, Bing, Yahoo, YouTube and all social media channels are “Search” engines. And why are these referred to as that? Because all of us are searching. And what are these people really searching for: Wisdom, and those things that will they can study and utilize so as to make them happy or in some small way, improve some aspect of their lives. My hope is that someone will build and launch a search engine called “Socrates”. This search engine would index and rank websites and forums based on their level of wisdom. And its tag line should be, “Find True Wisdom”.
As stated earlier, I will define 10 terms today. I hope that the next half hour begins for you a new direction of wisdom, one that will lead to not only higher revenue, but higher level of satisfaction, personal fulfillment and happiness for you and those that you will serve.
Latino iConnect – My Top Ten Content Marketing Terms
So, let’s begin by defining our first term.
Latino iConnect Word No. 1: Content Marketing – “Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” – Joe Pulizzi– Content Marketing Institute
Let us break down this simple definition even further. First of all you have to create the content. There are over 50 types of content marketing that one can create, all of them listed on my link to this blog post. The most common ones are blog posts, videos, eBooks, case studies, press releases, white papers, events, manuals, brochures, webinars, Tweets, and customer reviews.
The second aspect of this is “distribution.” Factually, you will need to spend just as much time building your distribution channels and utilizing them just as much as you do in creating content. Here are 37 ways to distribute content, from Heidi Cohen. And last, the purpose of content marketing: To attract, acquire and engage a target audience so as to drive profitability.
And as many of my fellow content marketers have already pointed out over the years, content marketing is about relaying information as a story. And like the wide array of books and movies that one can avail oneself of, your stories can be dramas, documentaries or even a comedy. Here are the 7 Types of Stories by AdWeek.
- Storytelling involves us in Action. It can motivate us to perform.
- Storytelling can inform us fully, fill in the blanks.
- Storytelling can elevate us to new ideas and introduce us to new ways of thinking and perceiving.
- Storytelling can make us laugh, cry and feel the full spectrum of human emotion.
- Storytelling can explain, clarify and bring about empathy.
- Storytelling can make someone want something. It aids us in selling.
Your content marketing strategy will need to assess what you types of content that you can perform, what your budget will be allocated to your content creation and distribution, as well as how to properly utilize your content to attract, engage and sell to even more customers that fit within your target audience profile.
Latino iConnect Word No. 2: Strategy – “A plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.” Greek stratēgein ‘be a general’, from stratēgos, from stratos ‘army’ + agein ‘to lead’
When I set out to coach any business on their marketing challenges, my first action is asking them question that leaves 99% of them stumped, “May I see a copy of your written marketing plan?” As you may guess, the majority of these business people cannot produce one because they do not have one.
Imagine a general trying to lead an army into battle without any strategy. He would not only lose the battle, but more men would needlessly die in that failed attempt. Strategic planning is a vital and primary step in success in military operation, sports, business and marketing. While you may not lose soldiers in the business world, you will lose a lot of money and trusted contacts if you go about business reactively, versus in an analytic, strategic manner.
It is vital that before you expend any money or effort that you sit down and write out a strategy for your business, which would of course would include your marketing and sales tactics. Your strategy should be specific. Who does what action and processes? What target audiences do you want to reach and covert? What type of your market research will you conduct? When will certain objectives need to be reached and by what date? Wow will performance will be measured? Here are some vital points here: How to write a marketing plan by Inc. Magazine.
Latino iConnect Word No. 3: Research – “The systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.” From Old French re- (expressing intensive force) + cerchier ‘to search’
You’re most successful when your marketing is based on research. Research is determining who is your right audience or audiences, as well as discovering what they truly need and want. It must be something that they want more than not; a problem that they want solved or a great opportunity that they would love to take advantage of. Your research includes what to say, how to say it – content wise – and on which media channels that message would be best to deliver it along. What types of content will they consume and are they currently consuming? What are their favored social media channels?
Research can be conducted in two broad ways:
1.) Surveying your target audience directly through personal surveys, emailed surveys, focus groups as well as reading the surveys that others have conducted on similar audiences.
2.) Reverse engineering the success of other businesses is a type of valid survey. How is another brand successfully conducting business and why? If I wanted to open an independent café, I would interview the top 10 café owners in my region or in the USA, compile a list of their best actions and then follow those actions exactly. Study success carefully and then emulate it just as carefully.
Great research is the backbone of marketing success. And research is not a one-time action. You should have research actions in place as an ongoing business process, collecting customer feedback, online reviews as well as continuing to survey, so you can spot trends to take advantage of, as well as listening to your public to meet their needs and requests.
Go to EdwinDearborn.com and download my FREE eBook. In that guidebook, I provide you with a “Market Research Action Checklist.”
Latino iConnect Word No. 4: Sell – “Give or hand over (something) in exchange for money.” Old Norse selja ‘give up, sell’. Early use included the sense ‘give, hand (something) over voluntarily in response to a request’
In businesses around the world, large and small, there is a struggle to connect the world of “Marketing People” with “Sales People.” In fact, in a survey of over 1,400 CEO’s worldwide, over 70% of CEO’s do not expect their marketing teams to generate increased sales. As a content marketer you must hold your actions accountable to increasing sales for your company or for those that you consult. Now several people in my field may chastise me for what I just said, but CEO’s and business owners are applauding me right now. Yes, content marketing is not necessarily about directly selling someone and closing the deal. But sooner or later, one has to bring about a sale to stay in business. Advertising icon, David Ogilvy would whole-heartedly agree with me. To quote Mr. Ogilvy, “If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.”
You need to learn HOW to sell as a crucial skill as selling does fit under the umbrella of marketing. One has to eventually learn how to monetize your marketing actions. And you need to hold your content marketing and marketing personnel accountable for results. Marketing is much more than just about “Branding”. It is about generating viable, measurable profits.
Latino iConnect Word No. 5: AV – “Using both sight and sound, typically in the form of slides or video and recorded speech or music.”
“From A to Z” – Including all the things involved. I want to morph that expression and change it to “From A to V” when it comes to your content marketing strategy. Your content should include everything from A to V. Without audio/visual content, which would include video, webinars, podcasts, photographs, slideshare, infographics and charts, just to name a few, you will not make the impact that you need to make in today’s market place.
Statistics show that visual content increases your traffic, generates higher conversions from your content as well as increases sales. If you are challenged and do not know how to begin, let me give you one great tip. All around us, there are young people who have grown up on social media and AV technology. Many of them are studying video production and marketing at your local college or university. Some of them will become the next Steven Speilberg and need to build a portfolio. Let them build their great future career and portfolio by creating content for you. For pennies on the dollar, you can find bright and talented people who can help you create great visual content.
Latino iConnect Word No. 6: Mobile – “Able to move or be moved freely or easily. Capable of moving or changing quickly from one state or condition to another.” Latin mobilis, from movibilis, from movere, to move
Your website, your content and marketing programs will have to be adapted and fitted for mobile technology. Mobile access is growing so fast that the precedent has been set. You need to be able to have your information accessible through mobile devices and apps. For businesses, having a site that renders across a wide variety of mobile devices is critical for doing business. Half of all internet searches now take place on mobile devices, and that number is only expected to rise with the advancement of mobile technology. The implication is that the same kind of thinking needs to be applied to how we create content. Simply writing short and breaking your paragraphs into smaller chunks of text isn’t enough. Tricks for making longer content more digestible might work in the short-term, but thriving in the mobile world requires an increasingly forward-looking approach.
But not only will your website and content need to be mobile friendly, but your strategy needs to be mobile. In other words, “capable of moving or changing quickly from one condition to another.” Markets, needs and means of reaching and providing those needs can change fast. Your technology needs to be mobile friendly. But just as importantly your thinking and planning needs to be mobile as well.
Latino iConnect Word No. 7: Repurpose: To find a new use for an idea, product, or asset. Old French from porposer “to put forth,” from por- “forth” (from L.pro “forth” + O.Fr. poser “to put, place”)
In the content marketing world, the term “repurpose” refers to the usage of your content that is in one medium and to use it again, fully or partially, in another medium. When you master the concept and practice of “repurposing”, you will be able to increase your content output by 500% with not that much additional effort or inspiration required.
Let me give you a few examples of repurposing. I write a 500 word blog post that has creative and insightful data about my product or service. But I can now repurpose that blog into a YouTube video. That audio part of that video can again be repurposed into a podcast. Moreover, I can take selective quotes within that original blog post and convert them into 20 small posts or tweets on social media. These tweets spread out over a period of days, linking back to my original blog post.
Over time, let’s say you write 50 or a 100 blog posts. All this information can be converted into an eBook, a company brochure or other types of content. This is repurposing. By repurposing content, you will be able to vary your content, plus it will appear that you are an endless stream of new content.
The best part is that once you are done creating this evergreen content, you can promote it endlessly. You can cross promote the videos by embedding them on your blog, you can promote your presentations on LinkedIn, you can put up the podcast on iTunes and other channels, and you can put all this content on social networks in some form or the other – pictures on Instagram, motivational quotes on Facebook, quick tips on Twitter and so on.
Repurposing your core content in this manner gives you more visibility, better reach and opens up your content to be viewed on computers, tablets, and mobile phones. Repurposing content will give the idea that you everywhere at once with less effort that creating new content as your only channel for marketing.
Latino iConnect Word No. 8: Influencer – “A person or thing with the capacity or power to have an effect on someone or something” from Latin influere, from in- ‘into’ +fluere ‘to flow’.
Online influencers are people who have a dynamic personality. They command the respect of other key players with their industry and have large following themselves. Relationships with influencers are needed, second only to your customers, because these people help shape the attitudes and decisions of consumers by popularizing products and ideas, and sharing your content across multiple channels. The good news is that many top influencers also happen to be fairly accessible, even when you think it’s impossible to connect with them.
I once read a study that 60% of the content on the web, is created or shared by only 5% of those active on the web and social media. Similar to the concept of the 80/20 rule, the bulk of content is created and shared by a small band of influencers, or as they are sometimes called, “Thought Leaders” and “Evangelists.”
Within your industry and circles, you need to locate and render particular VIP service and status to these people. They may be key opinion leaders, avid followers, best customers or all of those and more. Find who moves the needle, who is listened to, who loves to share content obsessively and you want to get those people on your side, sharing your content. You best connect with the in person at mixers and industry events. I have found that Twitter and LinkedIn are my two most effective ways that I have connected with industry leaders. Social media means connecting, conversing and being a real person.
Latino iConnect Word No. 9: Enthusiasm – “Intense and eager enjoyment, interest, or approval. A thing that arouses feelings of intense and eager enjoyment.” from Greek enthous‘possessed by a god, inspired’
No matter how good you become at the mechanics of content marketing, or anything in life, if you do not have and demonstrate a genuine eagerness and joy, it will show up in everything you do. Content driven by and embedded with enthusiasm will have an “X Quality”, a mystique, that no one can really put their finger on, but most definitely feel and experience.
We all know that Disneyland is the “Happiest place on Earth”. Not because they say so, but it something that you truly feel when you walk into the park and go down Main Street. I’ve been going to Disneyland since I was 5 and that magic never gets old, nor has it ever gone away. I’ve been there as a kid, as a teenager on dates, and now as a father of 4, taking my own children to experience that enthusiasm. They feel that enthusiasm, yet my children know nothing about branding. And even though I’m 50 now, I still feel it too.
Disney creates some of the most memorable content and their reason is enthusiasm. All their content is rich in enthusiasm. In fact, enthusiasm is inseparable from their brand. You need to find a way to genuinely and uniquely weave your enthusiasm in your content and your brand.
Latino iConnect Word No. 10: Ambition – “A strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work; Desire for exertion or activity; energy. [Middle English ambicioun, excessive desire for honor, power, or wealth]
While enthusiasm is vital in content marketing, it is only half of a two-sided coin of what will move your content and business forward. Ambition is the other side of that Enthusiasm coin. The importance of ambition is two-fold and both are vital. One, you will need to become ambitious for you to move forward. Without an excessive desire for honor, wealth or power, you will never obtain any of these in your life. It requires EXCESSIVENESS to achieve what you desire; it’s just how this universe is put together. Secondly, you want to instill this ambitious feel in your marketing strategies and content. You want to generate an excessive desire in your potential customers to obtain your products and services. Don’t you want your potential clients to become extremely ambitious in meeting you and wanting to conduct business with you? Well, how they become ambitious about you if you are not ambitious towards them. As the Bible states in Galatians 6:7, “for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Even in Buddhism, the concept of Karma. We eventually receive back what we put out to others and the world.
Latino iConnect – In Conclusion
I hope you learn the tools of content marketing that I have shared with you here at Latino iConnect and move forward with enthusiasm and ambition to create for yourself an ethical, vibrant and prosperous business.