I speak from personal experience when I say that social media and the obsession Australia has with the mobile device is quite well-known. Recently I had the chance to hear from Jeff Bullas, a thought leader in content marketing, and his story about the origins of social media.
Jeff is currently running a webinar series with Intuit Australia and I’ve included some key learnings below which are taken from a series of “how to” guides which are applicable for all small-business owners who are looking to grow their business.
The changed landscape of marketing
When I was growing up, Facebook didn’t exist. There was no Internet, blogs, Instagram or Twitter. It was a completely different world. My father, a small-business owner like me, would have to advertise in the local newspaper and hope someone who needed his services would see it.
In today’s world, we “just Google it”, or we design targeted Facebook ads to ensure the right people at the right time see our ads and so begins the potential and importance of content marketing. This has changed the role of salespeople completely. In fact, customers will often be as far as 90 per cent of the way through the sales funnel before being in contact with a salesperson.
Commanding, compelling and credible content is the new salesperson and has replaced the newspaper advertisement my father relied on.
Attracting sales leads in the digital world
Decades ago, Jeff says, businesses relied on cold-calling, door-to-door sales and paid advertising in newspapers, magazines and on radio.
Things have changed dramatically since those days. New tools and platforms have emerged and social media has made it possible for any business to publish and get attention. It’s no longer a fad, rather a proven global trend.
What should I be focusing on?
Hearing that researching, writing and publishing content is no longer going to cut it in the digital world really hit home. I even question whether this blog make a difference or not. The ability to measure your content is the most effective way in knowing how to improve upon a strategy. It’s just like any business project: What’s the point in doing it if you can’t measure it?
The basic objectives to consider are:
developing brand awareness
driving traffic to your website
generating leads and converting them into customers
building content that counts.
While content marketing is a huge world, starting out is actually quite easy. You need to identify your audience and create content that solves their problems. This is key to building credibility and the likelihood of attracting sales.
Use the content that works
Test and measure the different types of content and what people react to best. Only testing can help you decide what content (such as text, video, audio, graphics) works best and the consistency at which to publish that content.
Like any business tool, audit its effectiveness and make constant changes to put it to best use.
I really encourage small-business owners to tune into this webinar series to learn more about the benefits of content marketing and how easy it is to make it work for your business. It’s already been a great learning opportunity for me. I’m currently a finalist for the Firm of the Future Awards and the great information in these webinars has really helped promote my cause.