Isn’t there enough content out there already? How can business owners find time for social? How can we ensure we keep it human online? I speak to Chris Marr of the Content Marketing Academy to get all the answers.
Listen to the interview below and be sure to subscribe to the Employer Branding Podcast.
There is a lot of content out there already. Remind us, why is content marketing essential?
There are lots of reasons. Yes, there’s a lot of content out there, but you’ve got to think of it why there’s a lot of content out there. There is demand for that types of content. People are looking for this. People are consuming more and more content every single day. And if you as an organisation aren’t creating content, then you don’t exist. You don’t exist out there. If you aren’t creating content, people can’t find what they’re looking for. You’re not there.
It’s important to think about the long-term value of content marketing – to engage, to start a conversation, to build trust, to be found. Just the huge value and the business benefits around that are incredible. There’s lots and lots of reasons why we need it.
A lot of us have probably heard this before, in that 70% of the buying decision is made online before first contact. People are spending time researching. They want to be educated buyers. They’re not in buying mode. They’re in research mode. They’re getting that information from someone. They’re getting their questions answered, their problems solved by content, blogs, podcasts, videos.
And if you’re not creating content, and you’re not serving them at a time when they’re not ready to buy, or they don’t even know who you are yet, then you’re missing a massive trick.
What’s the best way to make an impact with storytelling on social?
This is getting really interesting, I think, now, especially with Snapchat on the scene. And it’s actually changing the way that I approach social in general.
The platforms are there. There’s no doubt that the platforms are there. Periscope was here a year ago. I’ve got Snapchat, Blab, and Facebook Live. This ability to give people direct access into our business and to our lives and whatever, our personal lives and business lives, it’s one and the same thing, and the ability to tell that story.
So there’s this whole personal branding piece where I think business owners, generally speaking, aren’t really prepared to give people that kind of access to their business. They want to hide behind the brand. They want to be the end of an email or the other end of a phone call. But they’re not willing to open up and tell the story.
How can business owners project their personal brands on social?
Tell your story. I mean that’s just the key thing. People want to know about you. You’ve got something, a story to tell there as well and you’ve got your whole life there. Your business, your personal life, an insight.
I send an email out, by the way we talked about social media, as if it’s a separate thing to every single other form of communication. Email is a form of social media in my eyes as well. It’s a way to communicate with people and you go straight to them and you can have a conversation with them.
And I sent an email out last week or so. And it was probably the most personal email I’ve ever sent. I told the story. I tell people how I felt about it. There were sadness, there was emotion. And then I brought it into business sense and gave a bit of advice around how people need to open up and be more personable in their communications regardless of what platform they’re in.
The best response I’ve had by far to a piece of marketing, which is not what it really was, but it’s the best response I’ve ever had from a business audience from an email that I’ve sent, personal replies about life and death and emotions that people were feeling. And that’s how this sort of new, this sort of like deeper connection that’s coming through from these social platforms is just changing the whole approach to how I communicate. I can see it in other people’s communication as well.
What are the best tools and apps for content marketing in 2016?
I’ll tell you what. I’ll open up my iPhone and look at my home page on my iPhone. Slack is by far the most popular app that I use in my iPhone. And after that it’s Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook. Those are the apps that I’m using on a day-to-day basis, I would say.
When it comes to technology I think that the one thing, the one application that really is a foundation or some of it we just use every day without even thinking about it is Buffer. Buffer is just like there doing its job for us, creating content and getting out on to your social channels.
From a website technology perspective there, WordPress, hands down. We’ve worked with so many other CMS systems and WordPress is not perfect but it’s better than pretty much every other CMSs out there.
And email, we’re using ConvertKit at the moment. That’s where we moved over from MailChimp to ConvertKit recently in the last six months.