Content that Says Nothing.

Most trainers, consultants, and professional coaches agree that their content is the real value that drives their marketing campaigns. After all, their knowledge is what they are selling, so content is really just a product teaser for the whole business. Unfortunately due to writer’s block, complacency, or self-delusion, the content created for marketing can be poorly constructed resulting in communications with little value.

Earlier this year we wrote about some guidelines for constructing good content but the last section of engaging content that can be a challenging judgment call. After all no one intends to write, shoot, post bad content . . . but it happens all the same.

Here is a recent example of an email tactic sent by a business consultant:

“Don’t fall in love with the product or service you sell because people won’t pay what you think its worth. They’ll only pay for the value they see.”

I think the intended message was:

“Gut check your product or service to stay objective about the value. In that way you’ll come to a level playing field with those interested in what you are offering which will make for more productive conversations. “

But that’s my interpretation and giving the benefit of the doubt to a newsletter that has had valuable information in the past.

Boiled down it says, “People only pay for the value they perceive.” While the content is true, it’s obvious to the point of cliché. It’s the equivalent of a digital marketer saying “Content is king” as a tactic. It should have been the intro to a real insight, not the climax of the email.

In the spirit of the tactic I received, don’t fall in love with the content you create. Always make sure that what you are delivering is something worth your audience’s time. Sure, you’ll get a few free passes on content that’s not as hard hitting as some of your best insights but it’s best not to rely on your audience forgiving you because they’ve gotten value in the past.

After creating content spend some time away from it and then see how you feel about it later. Better yet have a trusted colleague review your content to provide criticism or enhancements. Getting some separation or outside feedback helps keep an objective viewpoint on whether your content is really worth your audience’s time.

Digital Marketing Overload

social_sellingMarketing and technology conferences can be a great place to get new ideas and stay abreast of best practices. It can also be a great place to be overwhelmed and try to implement initiatives that aren’t well suited to you or your organization. Digital marketing and technology are moving at a rapid pace so effective strategies are built from selectively targeting ideas that have the greatest impact to your business.

It’s not uncommon for trainers, consultants, and professional coaches to have dozens of ideas on how they’d like to go to market. As digital marketing becomes more and more pervasive, most of those ideas fall into their digital marketing initiatives. In a perfect world, all of these ideas could be rolled out. However, in the real world, there is finite time and resources. Selectively implementing digital marketing strategies allows for them to be properly launched, delivered, and tracked. Trying to cover every idea spreads resources paper thin and often leads to poor implementation.

As you encounter new ideas and technology, give some critical thought to how well it will serve your business. Of course, none of us has a crystal ball to say for sure what will work. But sometimes our excitement clouds our better judgment. Let a few days pass between being introduced to an idea and taking the first steps to adopt it. In that time, discuss how you foresee adopting the idea with someone that understands your business.

As you explore the idea think through how it would affect current marketing campaigns, administrative functions, or the business as a whole. If you foresee major changes or disruptions to any of these categories then the idea should have a big pay off as it will likely require additional time, people, and/or money.

No matter which digital marketing strategy you pick, from mobile apps to local SEO, it will need a proper implementation to really get results. Rather than scrambling to try and do everything, selectively do the things that are likely to get results. This prevents you from getting turned around with starts, stops, and restarts. Furthermore, proper implementation often leads to improvement on the original idea which allows you to create best practices rather than chase them.

Image courtesy of  phanlop88 /