People want better content!

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content marketingToday, I think content can make a difference in your marketing. If it didn’t I would stop tomorrow. It seems everyone believes content is king and as a result there is a lot of less than stellar content out there. As a result, information is beginning to lose its value and people are frankly tired of the same old poor quality of information. Newspapers for instance have simply cut back more and more in order to focus more energy on a “breaking story”.  How did we ge to this place and what can we do in the future.

People have no time to read or listen to your content.

Today, information is coming from us at all directions and most of the time, we quickly scan headlines and paragraphs to determine if that information will be of any value to us. People’s time is really valuable. Each day I watch “World News Tonight” With David Muir – ABC News. I typically watch the first 15 minutes because it is commercial free. After that, it is usually one or two stories and a long pharmaceutical commercial.

People want information that solves problems

So much technology has been developed for people to solve problems. Google loves “long-tail” search questions to help give users the information they need with respect to search. Also Apple Siri is  built around this same concept.

People want to connect with great people.

If you want to build trust and transparency, start sharing more of your experiences. Too many people write articles that don’t talk from experience.

What does this mean for Companies?

  • Make sure you are producing content that people will want to read.
  • Produce content on a regular basis. At least 3 times a week.
  • Be willing to put your name behind the content you write. (Helps people connect with the person behind the content)
  • Share that content. It is not enough to write good content, it must be shared and distributed. (Social Media is a good Place)
  • Make your content easy to read and remember. (The second part is most important)

Here are some other tips that I have found that work:

  • Consider using Linkedin Blogging Platform to connect to Business Professionals
  • Start a personal/professional blog, (like this one)  to keep yourself connected to other marketing professionals.
  • Include a picture in every article you write. People like to see more than just text.
  • Know you will have good/bad days.
  • If the thoughts are not coming to you at the time you try to write, come back the next day and try again. This will happen to you at some point.
  • Build off someone else’s article and give credit to their work. This is a great way to get your mind on track to write.
  • Write from the heart and your own experiences. People like information written from experiences rather than dictating the same old textbook information.
  • People may not leave comments online, but if you write good content, people will take notice and will tell you in person.
  • WordPress is still the best platform to start a website. (Make sure site is mobile-friendly)
  • People like short, easy to read content – much more convenient on their mobile devices.

Finally, be different. There is so much information that is the same old news. Start talking about a new approach, a new idea, a closer look at a process. Have an opinion and even if people disagree, at least you know they are reading your material.

Start sharing some great content today!

Picture Source: Pixabay

 

Building Influence Rapidly

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Marketing LinkedinEveryone these days is talking about content marketing. Many people write content about their companies, their clients and their product/service offerings. It is a great way to get your company noticed online and it can help drive people to your company online and offline through word-of-mouth.

Have you ever thought of applying these same principles to builiding your own influence online?

For me, it is crtical to connect with marketing executives in other companies. I find myself wanting to keep in the know about different marketing processes and tools. I typically learn something everyday. In addition, people connect my work with the company I work at. It is amazing how fast a person can gain influence in today’s world if you are willing to put in the effort. Here is what I have learned in building influence in a world that is  very cluttered.

Spend your time on Linkedin – Connect with professionals. It is a place to find great people and you can quickly find information that really resonates with the work you are currently doing. In addition, it is a great place to share your own content using the Linkedin Blogging Platform.

Twitter can be more that a news tool – Follow fewer, quality people. Also, group these people by lists. I use TweetDeck/Twitter.  When you go to a networking event in person, do you really want to follow everyone in that room? Do you want everyone in that room following you? Take that same mentality online.  There is a great tool, Nuzzel that will take all the people that you follow on Twitter and show you the information they are sharing online. It is an awesome way to find value with Twitter.

Start writing blog posts on a regular basis – I am not a good writer. I make a lot of mistakes, however with practice I am learning how to write content that people want to read and ultimately learn more. You can find my work from the past five years on MarketingDirectorBlog.com

Read other people’s content and share other people’s content work. I think Linkedin is a great place for performing this. If I read a great blog article, I also like to share this information on Linkedin and Twitter.

Some sites say you can only connect with people you know. (Linkedin) How are you ever going to build your connections? Check out groups, companies and individual profiles and if you see that the person you want to connect to has a lot of the same contacts as you, ask them to connect. Look for specific skill sets that you are interested in like “content marketing”, “digital marketing” and connect with people who have experience in these areas.

The real key here is to spend a little time each day building your influene. As you can see, I spend the majority of my time on Linkedin because I have seen a substantial return with respect to the following:

  • Increased Knowledge in Marketing: digital, social media, content, metrics, tools
  • Connecting with Great People at all Levels: Executive, Owner, Programmer, Project Manager
  • Find Decision-Makers more quickly that are more reliable.- Email through Linkedin gets noticed a lot more
  • Staying Connected – It is so easy to stay connected with people through Linkedin Mail, Updates and Comments on Updates
  • Linkedin Metrics show you where your influence currently is and who is looking at your profile. 

If you want to build your influence today and see results over the next few months start using Linkedin and start writing, communicating and ultimately networking.

Picture Source: Pixabay

How to Be an Executive who Leads

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Executive LeadershipMaybe you can relate to this work example…

Jim is in position to take over a company, but he is getting pressure from executives he works with who think his talk about more change for the company and constant need for better customer service is  not needed and a waste of time. The executives Jim works with talk about how the company has experienced success over the last ten years and look at Jim as someone who doesn’t appreciate the company’s past achievements and service to clients. Jim is looking at major changes in processes and a stronger connection with clients. Jim has a great staff that is eager to embrace new concepts and is ready to move the company forward.

The example above is sadly more common place than we like to believe.

Many executives today are afraid of change and are trying to hold onto the past. Just listen how they talk everyday. Most of these executives always want to point to past accomplishments because they have no desire to change or learn new concepts. These type of people also hold on to tasks because they feel by changing, they are giving away some of the power they currently have. This isn’t some new phenomoneon. However, this situation is coming to light because of the rapid changes in technology and our current culture where the client is in control.

If you want to be a great leader, you need to approach each day with a vision for the future. Past accomplishments are nice, but it is important to always work at looking ahead and identifying potential opportunities and resolving current needs. Don’t fall into the trap of not learning new concepts on a daily basis. One of the best ways I have found to work with executives who are stuck in the past, is to monitor their productivity. Hopefully, you have a project management system in place and you have assigned tasks to the people you work with. By documenting their progress or lack of progress allows you to manage the process much better. Your role as a leader is to make sure people are engaged in some way.

Next, make sure you really work at building your relationships inside the company. Earning co-workers trust is a huge driver for me. As a leader, you set the tone for the company and remember people are always watching you. Sadly, top executives who are stuck in the past usually have a warped sense of current relationships at your company or have completely disconnected themselves from others.

Finally, don’t waste your time trying to figure out how to change these type of people or confront these people. I know from experience, this type of action can consume your time and produce little if any results. Focus on the people in your company who are the difference-makers. Create a culture where people want to come to work each day and contribute. Work on developing your own strengths and keep looking ahead.

Picture Source: Pixabay

Should Customer Loyalty Be Your Goal?

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LoyaltyOver the past few years, it has been beat into our heads that we need to look for customers who are loyal to our company. Everyone wants to work with these type of people because they feel a sense of belonging to a company and they come back each year and buy our products and services.

Many companies work at being loyal to their customers by instituting loyalty programs and reviewing their account activity and keeping in touch with them on a regular basis.

Loyalty is a good quality to achieve.

My quesiton, Is it enough today? Can companies put processes in place to keep customers loyal to their brand offerings?

My answer is No!!!  Let Me explain.

Loyalty is old school. Today, the customer is in control and is much smarter. Loyalty may still exist with some of your customers, but there is a better option to look at.

Be PROACTIVE! – Make Things Happen! Don’t Wait

Let me give you an example.

Our company has been working with a particular vendor for over 30 years and this vendor has worked hard to maintain loyalty. However, as personnel has changed so has this company’s position with respect to loyalty. This vendor always pointed out past accomplishments over the years and continues to bring up examples of how we have achieved success in the past.

This may sound ok, but today, the economy and technology are changing and the vendor, mentioned above is not changing fast enough to insure loyalty with its customers . As a result this vendor is finding it hard to be proactive and sadly, is relying on past succesess as a way to obtain loyalty.

This is the difference between loyalty and being proactive. Today, as our company adds new clients and vendors, I continue to evaluate ways we can be more proactive. Loyalty is a product of being proactive. In the past, it was not uncommon for companies to maintain long-standing relationships. Today,  it is much, much harder.

Over the past couple of years, I have really seen this topic come to light. Customers have so much information at their finger-tips. Customers’ want to receive answers to their questions. They want to work with the best companies that they can afford. They expect great service. They expect great quality products and service.

As a result, customers are defining what loyalty is in their eyes. This should be the biggest wakeup call for companies. If your company is not proactive, it is reactive and we know what happens when companies operate from a reactive point of view.

Understand, loyalty is now defined by customers. The only choice companies have is whether to operate proactively or reactively.

Picture Source: Flic.kr

Get Focused – Look at Your Relationships

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RelationshipsI met with some executives this week from other companies and they kept reiterating these words.

In today’s world it is too easy to get distracted and lose sight of what is important in your company. It really starts with accountability and action everyday.

Everyday, we need to make a difference, personally and professionally. My best days are those that I start putting my priorities in place regarding my relationships.

Faith is critical for me. With the pressures of this world, it is critical to begin the day with prayer and knowing each day that my life is nothing without the sacrifice of God’s only Son, Jesus Christ. If you are unfamiliar with the Easter message, do yourself a favor and learn as much as you can about the ultimate sacrifice.

Next is my family. It is critical to stay involved and know what is happening with my wife and family. My wife is the organizer in our family and thankfully she keeps everything in perspective. Her job is much harder than any job I could do. I need to support her by listening to her and assisting where I can. In addition, I take the role fo father very seriously. I need to listen to my children’s needs and be a guiding force for them as they grow and mature.

Next are the employees at work. It is critical that the people I work with know I care about them and respect them. As a leader, you quickly realize how important these people are to your business and the contribution each person makes is special. Yes, employees have their share of issues too, but when a culture of care and understanding exists in a company, it is amazing to see how issues can be resolved. Also, it is important to challenge employees. When employees are not challenged or underapprectiated, their time quickly turns to other items like personal issues, gossip and other bad things.

Finally, clients. Each year that goes by, I realize how much work is needed to effectively keep those clients. Clients need to be recognized and informed. A simple acknowlegement or listening to feedback can really go a long way in building loyalty. Loyalty is an area that can always be improved.

It really comes down to relationship builiding. The only way to build an effective relationship is to spend time doing it. This is my focus. Everything I do is done with this thought in mind. When your focus is on relationships, you look at the work you do in a whole new manner.

If you begin to lose focus at your work, start by looking at your relationships and decide what is really important and ask yourself if the work you are doing at the present time is helping you to build relationships or tear apart relationships.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net