One of the best parts of our job is the fact that we get to wake up each morning knowing we get to work with some of the smartest people in the industry. So, this week, while our noses are deep in projects, processes, and creative objectives, Marcella and I are sharing with you our favorite episodes featuring other IMPACTers. From collaboration and career paths, to "carefrontations" and mindfulness, these have been some of our favorite conversations. Enjoy!
Chris Faraone, founder of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism, was not happy with Medium last week, after they rolled out yet another change to how the publishing platform functions and enables their publishing partners. Those organizations who had their own independent subscription paywalls on a Medium publication they had created -- like BINJ -- were notified on Friday, April 27, they would be canceled on May 7. After that date, readers with subscriptions to those publications would lose them as they came up for renewal. (Of note, affected publishers were welcome to ask for an extension, if they needed more time to handle the news that they were going to be losing a revenue stream.) As Faraone was quick to point out, this wasn't a small change, like the sunsetting of a particular feature. Instead, Medium was gutting a critical source of funding.
Real-life mad man, Howard Gossage is quoted saying, “people don’t read advertising, they read what interests them. Sometimes, it’s an ad.” I think the Socrates of San Francisco was being a bit generous — it’s usually not an ad. Then again, Gossage wasn’t fighting for the attention of consumers with ad blockers, instant notifications, and millions of terabytes of media at their fingertips. However, in the era of branded content and inbound marketing, his point is more prophetic than ever.
Contrary to what you might hear, content is still king in the marketing space. An effective content marketing strategy can increase your website visitors, engage your buyer personas, and help your company build a following around your thought leadership in an industry. Still, it’s not as easy as posting a few blogs and landing pages. You need to be strategic and use data to gain that extra edge.
You know what my favorite stage of the buyer's journey is? The consideration stage. This is where buyers really start to ask the questions that will ultimately decide what they purchase. It's also the stage most businesses ignore, dismiss, or don't really consider creating content for. Why? Because they're too busy fine-tuning their offerings at the decision stage or cranking out tons of fluffy content at the awareness stage hoping to bring new people into the funnel. They focus on the two ends of the funnel, where people come in as strangers and where they exit as customers, but it's the middle of the funnel where most of the buying decision really happens. It's here where consumers will do the majority of their self-driven research into all the possible solutions to their problems. And it's here where I teach my clients to focus a lot of their content creation efforts.
Writing was never one of my strongest skills while in school. I was a Math and Science nerd, with a love for IT.
We're going to discuss one of my favorite topics today -- creating content. But first, we need to have a talk.... Bad News: There is no magical inbound marketing genie who can make it rain blog posts and pillar content. Nor is there some “I’m afraid I can’t let you do that, Dave,” robot out there who can take care of it all for you. Content needs to be created by people. Specifically you. Good News: If you’re shopping around for an inbound marketing agency, you’re in luck. Yes, times have changed. Content that’s good enough doesn’t cut it anymore, and the consumers you’re trying to reach -- whether they’re businesses or private individuals -- are more savvy, more obsessed with transparency, and more intolerant of bad content than ever before. But the right inbound marketing agency knows this and can help you create the remarkable content you need to attract the right leads and nurture them into customers who are head-over-heels in love with you.
I know “outsourcing” is a frowned upon concept in the marketing world. Whenever I hear it, my initial reflex is to recoil -- like when someone says the words “moist” or “carefrontation.” (Gross.) -- But look at how we changed our tune with marketing automation. First, it was an abomination that threatened to snuff out the very necessary human touch buyers expected from our marketing. Now, when deployed correctly, the right marketing automation strategy, executed with tools like HubSpot, can be a total game-changer for your marketing and sales efforts. Outsourcing is very similar in that way. Depending on how you approach it, it can be a smart move, rather than a necessary sin you must commit, but should never speak of. This is especially true when it comes to content creation.