How to Choose the Right Content Platform

Why do we need so many content platforms?

information overloadSometimes it feels like we are drowning in our Twitter feed and don’t have time to read through all of our Feedly blogs. We are in information overload, and it’s not slowing down. Social media, emails, blogs, websites, advertisements, radio, television, are all coming at us with tons of “need to know” information. Wouldn’t life be easier with one content platform? One place where we get all the information we ever needed?

Yea, that would be great. Unfortunately, just like some of us are listening learners, some are visual and some are doers, everyone consumes information in different ways. Certain topics might be interesting to some people, and they will spend time reading into the topics, watching videos, looking at pictures, clicking through to find more information. Others might not even get through that headline.

For that reason, we have hundreds of content platforms to choose from. That being said, how do you choose the platform that is right for your organization?

  1. Examine your ideal customer.
  2. Identify your assets.
  3. Match your tools with your time.

Examine your Ideal Customer

If you don’t know who your ideal customer is, stop right here and go read this. For those of you who do know who your ideal customer is, do you know where they spend the most time online? In order to know what content platforms to focus on, you absolutely have to know this.

If you are spending time on Facebook posts and advertising, but your ideal customer is reading reddit, then you are throwing money to the wind, and no one wants to do that. Examine your ideal customer, where they are getting their news, where they are shopping, and ultimately, where they want to see information about your brand.

Identify your Assets

Many organizations attempt to participate on certain content platforms because that’s where their ideal customer is active, but don’t have the right assets to be engaging on that platform. If you offer a service rather than a product, a visual platform like Instagram might be difficult to participate on. If that platform is where your ideal customer is active, you’ll need to spend time developing those visual assets.

Determine what kind of information you already have available, and then push the limits with that information. Determine how it can be turned into a video, photo, graphic, podcast, blog post, website page, etc. Take the content you have, and turn it into the content you need!

Match your Tools with your Time

This step is where you determine what you need to be doing, with what you are capable of doing. If I am someone’s ideal customer, for example, a brand might want to reach me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, e-newsletter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and via commercials during Survivor. A little overwhelming, right? Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to scale your content strategy:

  • Plan Plan Plan
    Planning your content out can help you get the most out of the content that you have – and will help you to not constantly be looking for something to use. You’ll be prepped and ready to go with your next post, picture, etc.
  • Quality Trumps Quantity
    Producing content for the purpose of producing content isn’t fooling anyone. With the amount of content available today, people can be picky with what they are soaking in. Make sure you are offering the best value for your customers as you can.
  • Repurpose
    Again, thinking outside the box about content that you already have is a great way to really drive home good information in a variety of ways. Be creative and you’ll get more miles out of your blog post and podcasts than you ever thought possible!

What content platforms are you trying to reach in your content strategy?

Kala LinckKala Linck is the Community and Content Manager at Duct Tape Marketing. You can find her blogging her travels, praying for summer or tweeting about coffee and cats @tadasunshine.

7 Essential Elements to Small Business Growth

Business plans are great, useful even, but the planning process and a growth oriented plan of action is where it’s at for the small business.

A growth strategy planning approach forces you to focus on customer based strategy, high priority objectives and measurement of the things that actually impact your ability to reach your growth goals.

Every business that has growth in mind should make quarterly planning the practical and useful vehicle that it is.

The following seven elements and associated questions make up the foundation for brainstorming, questioning and organizing your growth planning strategy sessions.

growth strategy planning poster

Divide a white board into seven segments and pass out post it note pads to all participants involved. Then, just start asking questions. Let everyone vote with their ideas in private then start posting and discussing the thoughts as a group.

1) Ideal customer (IC) – How would someone spot our ideal customer? What do they look like, what do they think, where do they live, work and play? How do we locate them? What is their pain? Is there a behavior that signals they are ideal? What triggers their desire to solve their problem? What do they get when they hire us?

The goal of this phase of planning is to complete a picture of the ideal customer – one that values your unique approach. Look to your most profitable clients that also tend to refer business for clues.

2) Value proposition (VP) – Why do people buy from us rather than our competitors? This is a hard one for some companies to nail and you might have much better luck spending some time asking your customers why they buy from you, stay with you and refer you. Listen very carefully to the stories the tell for clues to your value proposition. There are a handful of proven value propositions, but the key is for you to find and commit to something that clearly differentiates.

3) Strategy Hourglass (SH) – Where are our gaps in customer engagement? I believe that process of growing a customer centric business lies in developing a mindset that focuses on the act of logically moving customers and prospects through seven stages of engagement – know, like, trust, try, buy, repeat and refer. The Marketing Hourglass is a tool I’ve used with hundreds of business owners to help create a focus on customer engagement.

4) Primary objectives (PO) – What are our 2-3 highest priority objectives for growth? One of the things the derails growth most often is too many goals and objectives. Most business can only focus on a couple of initiatives at any give time. You must identify and commit to no more than three priorities and then go to work on creating the projects and tasks needed to pull these off. And, you must say no to the idea of the week that shows up to knock you off course.

5) Revenue streams (RS) – How can we create more streams of revenue? There are only three ways to grow: add more customers, increase the average transaction size, increase the number of purchase per customer. It’s actually easier to sell more to existing customer than add new customers. What services or products could you add? What packaging, pricing or promotion could you realign? What new markets or segments could you enter?

6) Strategic relationships (SR) – What relationships do we need to develop? This is probably one of the greatest untapped opportunities for growth. What marketing partners could be motivated to promote and co-market your business? What joint ventures would allow you to tackle new work? What vendors or suppliers could help you grow? What competitors could become cooperative partners for new venture, markets or work?

7) Key indicators (KI) – What metrics impact our growth most? Most businesses can tell you how much revenue they did last month and how much money they have in the bank. By tracking things like % or leads converted, % or business via referral, cost to acquire a new customer and % of customers likely to refer you can take control of the things that actually impact your growth in near real-time. Here are 7 key indicators that I believe should be part of the picture.

When asked to come into a business and evaluate it for growth or help develop a marketing plan – this is where I start because this is where all the answers reside.

The Picture Perfect Ideal Customer

When it comes to attracting your ideal customer you should be able create a picture in your mind as you describe them. Using images of a real life customers can prove an effective way to help everyone in your organization…

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