Wednesday, December 18, 2013

How Your Business Just Became An Online Publisher And Why It Is A Productivity Issue



Like It Or Not - Your Business Is Now In Publishing.  

The channel you create to engage with people who can be your customer is the new face of what circulation numbers once were for the newspapers.

Content is King on search engines and now you can add to that Context. Well, it should always have been part of the equation, but now it is official.

 “Without relevant content, how will our customers trust that we know how to solve their issues?  They won’t and we know that.  As marketers, we must facilitate discussions that add value and build trust over time.”  Dominic Pontrelli, Sr. VP of Marketing at Ricoh America

Kevin Jorgensen describes Context in marketing in this way -

“Context marketing is a set of best practices designed to amplify the value of your content to your prospects and customers. More specifically it’s about using known qualities of your prospect to either present your content in a frame of reference so that its presence makes it natural, noteworthy and useful or to juxtapose your content so that it creates dissonance." 

Cognitive dissonance is that feeling you get when you see something that is 'just not right' with the picture in front of you.

So what does this mean to you in your business? Well it means that you cannot think that your advertising and pushing promotions is the way to use social media and promote your business to customers any more.

It means you need some things you may have but never used before. Here are just some of the new jobs that need to be happening in your business...

Identifying and understanding of your ideal customer demographic and psychographic profile.  It might seem that we know all we need to know about customers but the reality is there is rarely a business that has objectively analyzed their customers to determine their characteristics in detail.

Stories. You need stories and a way to tell your stories in a way that prospective customers will find valuable.

Honesty. Your customers don’t want to be lied to and they can find out very fast if you have misled them and treated them like mugs.  Don’t be That Guy.

A Publishing Space.  You want to get your message out then you need to build a following of people who are prepared to receive information from you and your business.  Search can help people find your products but your publishing will help them to find you.  Those who find you, you want to be able to continue to engage with and have them return to you and be open to your information over time. Building your following is a new job to be done.

Content. Creating packages of your stories and information means getting the stories out in different formats and different ways to gain attention and retention of your message.

Context. Tying your stories to real situations that your target prospects can easily relate to in their lives and that helps them join the dots from their problem to your solution.

Think of this as building your own personal channel to present to people who are or will be able to be your customer.  

This can become your business’s media hub and interface to engage and communicate with customers. So important is this that it could be the only interaction that you have with some customers who may choose to buy from you without ever meeting you in person.  It may be your source of new employees, new joint venture partners, new suppliers and new business partners, or even a buyer for your business as well as new customers. This could be your major source of new business in the years to come.

This can look like a lot of work that doesn’t relate to what your core business is about. 

If you are thinking that, you’re wrong. 

This is directly related to your core business and your ability to generate sales. Your ability to create your own channel through which you can be visible, credible and accessible as you engage with your customer segment is what will show your business to be relevant and important to those who will become your customers, and give confirmation to your existing customers that they made a good choice and your business is worth buying from. 

This is a business productivity issue. Your business needs to get this right. So you have to make it happen.

And there is no more time to waste.





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