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Why Content Marketing is Key to Every Marketing Strategy

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The age of the advertisement (i.e., the “sales pitch”) is over, replaced by the age of content marketing and the ability to provide consumers with dynamic, informational content they trust and value. Fueled by consumer preference for learning about brands and authors through premium content and not dubious ads has lead to the rapid unfolding of the content marketing phenomenon and the demand to incorporate content marketing into all marketing strategies.

Companies Don’t Peddle Products Anymore

They informenlighten and brand themselves by publishing valuable and innovative information that transforms their businesses into intellectual entities offering (not just selling) products and services. In fact, content marketing is a marketing strategy that is crucial, if not outright mandatory, to the success of any business seeking to reach and impress as many consumers as possible. It is an investment intimately tied to the legacy of a business aggressively pursuing a solid reputation as a thought leader and expert in their specific industry. Successfully targeting and modifying consumer behavior to benefit your company means you are targeting buyers who percieve your content marketing strategy as authentic, scrupulous and with their best interests in mind.

Traditional Marketing Strategies are Dead and Buried

Consumers today recoil when confronted with traditional marketing styles that does not offer them options. Permission-based marketing, such as type embraced by social media, allows consumers to decide what they want to see when they want to see it. This is why consumers ricochet off commercials like a rubber ball or simply turn on ad blockers when surfing the Internet. The digital revolution has put them in control of when and how they chose to be marketed to and businesses are starting to realize that nurturing awarenessthrough creating and sharing content will ultimately determine the reality of their long-term success.

Authors Benefit from Content Marketing As Well

Now that writers can self-publish on the web without worrying about being “accepted” by a book publisher, competition among authors to get their book promoted on as many blogs, social media sites and e-publishing venues as possible is essential to becoming a bestselling author. Establishing a personal website and infusing that site with SEO content is also critical to being found by consumers when they perform a Google search query.

Authors need to utilize marketing strategies that rely heavily on content marketing in order to:

  • Develop an original “brand” (i.e., writing genre and expertise on the subject)
  • Target and attract consumers who are considered viable buyers of their product
  • Ensure prospective buyers that they will receive an exceptionally valuable product
  • Create a “buzz” on social media sites to increase sharing of content relevant to the product
  • Earn the trust of consumers
  • Accumulate a returning clientele base that consistently shares content

From Marketing Strategy to Marketing Success

Taking consumers from the decision stage to the purchase stage is the ultimate goal of every content marketing strategy plan. Consequently, superior content marketing agencies know how to attract attention, pique consumer interest, heighten desire, arouse the impulse to take action and finally, maintain customer loyalty by consistently preserving that strong sense of loyalty necessary for any business or author to enjoy lucrative stability and inexhaustible access to a constantly evolving community of social media-based consumers.

Kenneth Gillett is the Principal and Founder of Target Marketing. A full service digital marketing agency in New York City guiding authors, speakers & brands to elevate their influence. www.targetmktng.com

Social Media Best Practices for Every New Author

Gaining momentum on social media sites might be tough for new authors without a large following, but it is also a vital part of today’s digital marketing. Authors need to connect with readers to get their books found in the deluge of thousands of new titles published each day. On the other hand, managing a social media presence can take up a lot of time that could be spent writing or engaging in other forms of marketing. But once authors do gain traction, they can enjoy viral marketing and almost automatic branding of their author name and any new published books.

Getting Started with Social Media as a New Author

If you don’t know where to start with social media, you might remember these tips:

  • Focus: You don’t need to establish a social media presence everywhere, but you should try to target sites where you are likely to connect with your readers.
  • It’s not all about you: Make sure you remember your readers when you post content to social networking sites.
  • Keep it up: Post consistently without overwhelming or annoying your readers.
  • Use what you have: Begin with your existing social networks.

Where should you start setting up social media accounts and pages?

There might be a different answer for almost everybody, but most new authors consider Facebook fan pages, Twitter accounts, and Goodreads. I would not suggest starting with more than three, and you may only select one if that’s all you can handle well. As time passes, your social media presence can grow organically as you gather more fans and more comfort with the new medium.

What social media content engages readers?

Make most of your content about your readers and not about you. If you want readers to care about you, you need to demonstrate that you care about them as more than people with credit cards who might order your new releases. That means you have to take the time to understand your readers and test different types of posts to see what connects with your fans.

You might look at the examples of some queens and kings of Facebook like Ann Rice and George Takei for inspiration. Also, consider connecting with other popular personalities and authors. For example, Ann Rice has been known to give a nod to indies and new authors, and she is always full of inspiration.

How often should you post to social networks?

I think it is important to maintain a consistent presence on any social media sites you really want to conquer. With that said, hourly posts will surely get annoying on sites like Facebook where many readers have busy news feeds. It would be better to show up once a day or a few times a week with powerful content.

That means it might take longer to really test your content, but establishing a brand online may take some time. On the other hand, if you don’t post often enough, you risk getting forgotten. Remember that social media users have a lot of demands on their attention.

Start with What You’ve Got

Finally, leverage the resources that you already have in order to grow your presence naturally. If you set up a new Facebook fan page, don’t be afraid to invite your personal connections to like your page. You’ve got to start somewhere. Also consider connecting with other new authors, editors, and graphic artists to make your social marketing a collaborative effort instead of always making it a competitive one.

Most of your personal connections should be very supportive and even excited about your venture into book writing and publishing. A few might act cool or even jealous, but if you aren’t ready to face that, you will have a tough time when you hear from critics who don’t even know you.

Kenneth Gillett
www.targetmktng.com