Saturday, December 14, 2013

How To Be Successful In Content Marketing As a Modern Content Creator

First let me ask you something, would you ride your horse into a new town-with your products, cds, your art, your books, blog posts, or programs stuffed into the backpack strapped to your shoulders-and solicit your content door to door?
No. You wouldn't...
It would be random, borderline inappropriate, and the 1 or 2% of people that might purchase your content-wares would likely do it out of sympathy.
Despite the fact that many of us are inadvertently executing a similar strategy, there IS good news.
Just because your content marketing campaigns have failed to convert-doesn't mean you have a bad product, a poor service, or a curse from the universe!
It most likely means that your marketing funnel has failed to forge the connection and relationship needed to make the sale, even if the product or service is impressive and valuable enough to your prospect to consider purchasing your solution.
Regardless of what your selling, in the modern world, the "know, like, and trust" factor is more relevant than ever.
Just because you've got a product or service nestled away on a 3rd tier page covered in mediocre copy and checkout button, doesn't mean you have a functional marketing and sales funnel.
This is where the Content Marketing Process comes in to lend a helping hand and play it's part in taking your audience from interested prospect to loyal customer.
Content Marketing is how brands build an audience in the modern world. It is a CORE skill for Modern Content Creators, and if you are selling content of any type or format, your content strategy and your content marketing better be solid if you want to compete in 2013 and beyond.
Understand that content marketing may sound like a new or faddish term. A trendy wave here today gone tomorrow...
Although it's a buzz word bandwagon as of late, it is NOT a new concept, but the Modern World has leveled the playing field by providing the access and resources to accomplish what wasn't ever humanly possible up until just recently, and it's taken a little while for everyone to catch up to the "content as currency" concept.
However, there is a big difference between the approaches that are successful and those that are not.
Two Approaches
There are only two direct approaches to selling your content online. (art, products, services, coaching, knowledge, advice, etc)
1) Send cold traffic directly to an offer... The end.
2) Send targeted traffic to valuable content and build an engaged audience through adding more value and nurturing a relationship, and then at some point transform them into a loyal customer.
Route two is the name of the game.
That is the role of content marketing.
The 3 Shortcuts To Successful Content Marketing
Rather than point out where everyone goes wrong, I'll instead outline the highest leverage solutions, or the biggest shortcuts that you can integrate into your projects, campaigns, and processes to make your efforts more successful.
1) Mindset- The first shortcut is to approach marketing your content with the right mindset.
The mentality you need to embrace is that of the Modern Content Creator, and all that inherently implies.
A. You are an Artist/Creator AND an Entrepreneur. You do the work that's meaningful, aligned with your purpose, and serves your loyal audience.
B. Everything from your mission and purpose, down to each project or campaign-begins with Clarity + Focus. This is always the starting point. Roles and responsibilities are defined so that you can clarify and focus on your highest value activities, and then maximize them with the highest leverage.
C. You are story-teller AND you are a publisher. As a Modern Content Creator you are both the expert/journalist, AND you are the publisher of the magazine.
D. Content marketing is best thought of as a process. An ongoing conversation with your audience based on the creation and delivery of content that adds value to their lives.
E. Think simple yet sophisticated. He who can control and discipline his attention, will find an audience that gives them theirs.
F. The tools are only as effective as your ability to use them. I think we can sort of take for granted sometimes just how awesome the power we have at our fingertips actually is...
I often hear a lot of talk about what the next NEW "thing" is going to be...
Some super technology or social network that instantly takes the world by storm.
While continuous advancements in science and technology and the a cure for cancer are all exciting, spending time thinking about flying cars is a fruitless exercise.
It's not MORE technology we need, it's the need to use the tools we have BETTER.
Think in terms of mastery.
2) Message to Market Match
Content is relative, and being relevant is increasingly more difficult across our very noisy digital channels.
With the right mindset, your message to market match is the next most important thing you CAN'T get wrong.
Unfortunately, for some people it will be easier to speak your audiences language than others. But the essence of what it means to be a ModernContent Creator is the evolved understanding of being both Creator/Artist, AND Entrepreneur.
This means that you are making, creating, providing things that are meaningful to you, but also valuable to others! A lot of the further leaning creative types I work with have to be reminded of the fact that their is an entire skillset and suite of entrepreneurial responsibilities that must be integrated and well managed if you want to find that beautiful balance of endless freedom and fulfillment doing what you love.
... You need to love what you do, and you ALSO need an audience who loves what you do for them!
The inherent CREATIVE faculties for Artist/Expert and Personal Brands can and should most DEFINITELY be applied in finding this balance, but understand that an "if you build it they will come attitude is dangerous."
Gotta provide value. Real value. Gotta know what that value is. This all requires understanding the most essential aspects of marketing, which is really just effective communication to a defined target audience or persona.
This phrase and every imaginable permutation is littered across the web. Perhaps because it is so very basic, and so often mentioned that many of us simply gloss over the inherent implications to making that statement actionable and quantified.
You've got to be thoroughly researched and involved in your market place. Period. You need to know who's who at the greatest level of depth to manage that tricky balance of listening to what your audience is saying, and understanding where you can add to the party, in a meaningful and well positioned way.
  • You need to know the positioning of those already active in your space so you can define YOUR Unique Value Positioning.
It's a balance, and it's the key to finding your voice, whether that's as an authority, or as a reporter or enthusiast...
If you haven't done in depth market research, if you don't know the top blogs, names, forums, brands, gaps, in your market; than it's going to be MUCH harder to carve your own space effectively.
Blind stabs in the dark can sometimes pan out if you avoid the sharks, know the right people, and want to leave your career up to luck. I know that expert trainers/product creators who would consider themselves savvy to this and unconsciously point their nose up at those "ignorant artist/musician types," while they themselves don't even really understand their market at the level i'm talking about.
You do NOT need to go this deep with your market to be successful. No. But when you do, there is literally MANY options and routes you could pursue because at that point you can see all the gaps, you KNOW the market and who's in it.
Now, if you're already an expert, as are most of my clients, then it's more a matter of dialing into the conversations and writing about the most valuable issues, concerns, solutions, that exist within your community.
It's not just about your own ideas, or simply writing about what you feel like writing about... Ideally you'd bridge both so you are writing something meaningful for you, but that is first and foremost speaking to the persona you are intending to reach, and does so in a relevant and engaging way...
That sounds like such generic advice, but it's the name of game. As Brian Clark from Copyblogger illustrated very elegantly in a recent interview I heard, it's more about listening to your audience, than talking at them.
3) Integrated Content Strategy: - Build an Intelligent Marketing Funnel
Just about every single one of my clients, upon initial intake, come to me with the following:
They've put up their information product, art, book, program, CD or service on an inner tier page (2-3-4) with some decent though mostly generic copy and pictures.
Their web traffic is marginal, not tracked, and has a strategy that's typically very leaky-if effectively defined or designed at all.
Now, I hope none of them take offense to this; I'm not saying it to rag on them, but to better illustrate my point for you. (they're going to be all JUST fine;)
But this is NOT an effective marketing funnel.
However, after answering the basic yet vital questions for determining what to say and who to say it to, identifying the best communication formats, selecting the right distribution channels, it's just test, measure, and refine...
I think it can be difficult to think in terms of a marketing sequence for many, and it takes a substantial amount of effort and energy for me to draw the sequences out in my head, transfer it onto paper and then implement it.
But the missing link for the majority that I can see-is a lack of integrated strategy for thinking through and mapping out your marketing funnel and crafting the best, most effective USER experience you can.
This kind of visitor, comes from this place, is taken to this place, then reads through this page, etc. etc.
As I mentioned earlier, but find it worth repeating; think simple yet sophisticated.
He who can control and discipline his attention, will find an audience that gives them theirs.
In Conclusion
The fact is, there are a LOT of reasons why content marketing efforts fail. Failure in one of the these three areas are the most common problems I continue to see.
From overwhelm, mis-prioritization, skepticism, conflicting information, fear, doubt, distraction... It goes on and on.
The line between high value content and general noise is glaringly obvious, but much harder to create, and requires more savvy in utilizing the tools more effectively.
When in doubt be sure to review these factors to ensure that your mindset, your message to market match, and your marketing funnel are focused to give yourself the highest probability for success with content marketing.
After a decade of successful Content Marketing as a DIY Artist and Content Creator, and 3 years of specialized coaching and consulting for Expert, Artist, and Personal Brands, (Modern Content Creators) Jamie Leger ( continues to enjoy serving his clients and audience during the day, and creating music as well as insightful lessons and training at night.
The absolute BEST shortcut is to receive the most advanced training-built inside of a sophisticated yet simplified structure. Connect the dots guidance on how to truly use the tools of the Modern Content Creator/Marketer, and grow your brand with high value content that's leveraged to it's fullest potential.
To be apart of the next wave of thought leaders, bloggers, artists, experts, and high value content creators, I want to gift you with my $2,000 Content Masterclass, for free.
I want to remove all obstacles for you to receive the best training and support so that you can connect and contribute to us all in the way only you can.
I'd much rather give all the content away to the people who'll actually use it AND contribute real value to the global web, than the biz-opp seekers who'll pay for it, let it go to waste, and/or add to the noise.
It has taken me literally 13 months in actual production, a decade to acquire, and I'm proud to get to be able to contribute to the success of your brand in this small way.
Go to the Content Marketing Bootcamp for Modern Content Creators -