In this episode, Jasmeet Sawhney talks about how to transform your content marketing into an always-on media business. Jasmeet provides some simple tips to follow when business and marketing teams begin their journey to scale their content marketing programs, and try to transform into an always-on media business. Watch the video for more..
How do you transform your content marketing into an always-on media business – that’s what we are going to discuss today. Stay tuned!
Hey Guys! So, there is ton of advice out there. Experts telling marketing teams that they have to start functioning more like an always-on media business if they want to be effective in their marketing. I totally agree with that advice – there is nothing wrong with that advice. And, I totally believe marketing teams have to start working more like a media business if they want to effectively engage with their customers. But, the problem with that advice is that most experts stop short of telling actually how to do it. They don’t go into the detail of how to do it, how to get started. And, marketing executives, most of them agree that they want to become more like a media business in their content marketing programs, but they have no clue how to get started. That’s what this video is about – I am going to talk about 4 simple things that will put you on your journey to become more like a media business, to transform your content marketing into an always-on media business, into an always-on newsroom.
First – you have to add some unique differentiation in your content. Any type of content you are producing, especially starting out, you have to create unique content. No matter what business you are in, what market you are in, what type of products you are selling, or what type of customers you have, there is probably tons of competition, millions of pieces of content that’s already out there that is competing for your audience’s attention. And, you have to add some uniqueness, some differentiation into your content if you want to stand-out, if you want to reach that audience. There is no way you can reach, even if you have the best quality, even if you have the most researched, most informative content that you are producing. You cannot reach an audience if you do not have some differentiation. So, make sure you add some uniqueness into your content, and this is what I call the content sweet-spot. You have to figure out your content sweet-spot. It consists of two basic things that pretty much everyone knows, and a third thing that no one is doing. The two things are – the first two things are – your capabilities as a team, your knowledge, your expertise area, and what you are comfortable, in terms of content, what you are comfortable in producing. And, the second is, the value that you want to provide to your customers, their needs, their pain points. This is content marketing 101, everyone knows that. But, the third thing that pretty much everyone ignores is adding some uniqueness. How do you make your content stand-out. What is that unique content tilt, that twist in your content that makes it differentiated from everything else that’s out there. Let’s say you are doing receipes – you are a food manufacturer – you are targeting your customers with Italian recipes. But, there are millions of Italian recipes out there – how do you differentiate? You have to find a niche area, a narrow focused area, and find some differentiation, so you become a leading expert in that specific area. Maybe, it’s a combination of Italian and Spanish recipes. I don’t know if that makes sense, but you have to find some niche area where you become an expert. Where your customers know that this is the content that only comes from this brand, or this company. If you are targeting frequent travellers, maybe it’s 20-sec tips everyday because they are always on the run. Maybe you add some humor to your content, so that every content piece you create, you not just provide value, professional value to your customers, but also some humor. So, you have to find that unique content twist, that uniqueness, that content sweet spot before you create any type of content. And, once you do that, once you find that content sweet-spot, you have to make sure it is integral to your content mission statement. Now, every media business has an editorial or content mission statement. But, none of the businesses have such a mission statement. And, if you don’t have that, how are you going to test the content you are producing actually is aligned with your mission. So, make sure any content that is being proposed is aligned with that content mission. If it’s not, it should be rejected right away. So, that’s the first thing. You have to make sure you find the content sweet-spot, you have some unique differentiation in your content.
Now, second, you have to limit yourself. Most marketing teams, when they start off with their content marketing, they want to do everything. They want to be on all the platforms, they want to create all types of content, they want to target all their audience, all their customers, all the personas that they have created. It never works out. Now, you are thinking, you know media business, we are trying to become a media business, and media businesses have a very broad set of audience, they create all types of content, they are on all platforms. But, here’s the thing, look back at their history. Every media business started with one type of content, one platform, and one persona, one type of audience. And, you have to stick to that as well, especially when you are starting out. You do not have the luxury to diversify. Now, you can always do some kind of, some kind of variation within a certain type of content, for example. Let’s say, you are doing textual content, you can do long-form content, you can short-form, you can do whitepapers, you can do infographics. But, if you try to diversify too much, it becomes a data nightmare. It becomes exponentially hard to track and measure and optimize your campaigns. And, your content marketing programs have to be driven by data, so you cannot diversify too soon. You have to wait until you have a critical mass before you diversify.
Third, you have to be consistent for a long period of time. Business executives want ROI ASAP, but content marketing is not going to deliver ROI within a week, or a month, or 3 months. You have to be patient. You have to set a schedule, and stick to it. You have to make sure you create a certain type of content, and deliver it at a certain time every day because all media businesses have that consistency. They create certain type of content at the same time everyday. You have to stick to that consistency, only then you can move towards becoming an always-on media business.
And, the fourth thing. It’s likely the most important thing – you have to build your own platform, you have to build your own subscribers. Don’t get distracted by all the people telling you that you have to build subscribers and followers on all the different channels, and all the social media platforms. You can do that later on, but first you have to focus on your own platforms, whether it is a website, your blog, your newsletters. And, believe it or not, email is still the most important marketing tool that you have. Guess, what all media businesses want from you – your email ID? Even the ones that were formed in social media age. Buzzfeed, a poster child, all they want, if you follow their trail, all they want is your email ID. That’s what you need to do. You have to build your own platforms because you have much more control, much more data, and much higher chance of building a stronger connection with your customers if they are your own subscribers. So, you have to make sure you build your own platform because you cannot rely on somebody else’s platform. Take Facebook, for example. Companies spent millions of dollars in building their audience, in building their page likes on Facebook. So, the subscribers that they built on Facebook, now it has become so hard to reach them organically with your messages. And, guess what, Facebook wants more money from you now to deliver those messages into their newsfeeds because they have total control. They can make one algorithm change, and it screws up all your subscribers. All the money you spent on building those subscribers. So, do that once you have the luxury, once you have scaled your operations. But, focus on your own platform, and your own subscribers first.
So, guys, those are the four things. I will summarize it again. First, make sure you find your content sweet-spot, make sure you add some unique differentiation in your content. Second, limit yourself – one content type, one platform, and one target persona. Third, be consistent over a long period of time. Build a schedule and stick to it. And, finally, the fourth one, build your own platforms first, build your own subscriber base. Those are the 4 things that you need to follow if you want to start your journey towards becoming an ‘always-on’ media business, and if you want to transform your content marketing programs.
I would love to hear your thoughts, please share them in the comments, and thanks for watching!