Advertising is one of the most powerful marketing tools available to business owners and entrepreneurs today. But it’s not the only way and may not even be the best way to grow your business, you can grow your business without ads. In fact, putting all your eggs in the advertising basket especially if that basket is owned by say Facebook can quickly get your business into trouble. If they say I don’t know may shut down your account, lock you out and deny you access to the audience that you just spent years building up that stuff happens all the time.
That’s why I’m going to break down the two most important elements to your marketing success. So you can grow your business without needing to rely on ads.
What other’s will tell you at first
So let’s talk marketing one of the coolest I’ll be at one of the most confusing and overwhelming aspects to growing your business. After all, when it comes to marketing there’s no shortage of available tools and tactics and strategies and methods and programs and formulas and frameworks that you can try and that many people suggest you try.
Facebook marketers obviously tell you that Facebook is the single greatest and most important social media network you’d be crazy to ignore it.
YouTube marketers tell you that YouTube well that’s the future and it’s the best place to grow your business and you’re able to leverage the power of video as well as search engine optimization by having your videos rank for powerful search terms.
Email marketers while they’re screaming at the top of their lungs that email still isn’t dead and provides one of the highest return on investments or ROI’s available in the marketing world today. But the most confusing part about all of this is that they’re all right at least sort of.
What actually they are
You see whether we’re talking about Facebook or Instagram or YouTube or LinkedIn or email or whatever. Well, it’s important to understand that these are all just tools. Just like advertising is only a tool. A tool that you can use on pretty much any of the platforms that I just mentioned Facebook has ads, Instagram has ads, LinkedIn has ads YouTube has ads.
Now well I’m no stranger to advertising and just how effective ads can be but they’re not the only way. In fact, whether we’re talking about ads or pretty much any other marketing strategy out there. It’s not the tool that really moves the needle but the strategy that’s applied to the tool.
The behind the scenes stuff that the pros use to create million-dollar campaigns. While most people struggle or chase shiny objects or hop from one strategy to the next hoping to get lucky. I want better for you than that and this is where understanding and of course applying these two fundamental marketing basics really come into play. Especially if you want to create better marketing that actually works.
So let’s start with the very first one which is content. Now when it comes to content marketing most business owners, most entrepreneurs most, marketers know what content marketing is. But they’re either not doing it or they’re not doing it correctly. This means they’re making a ton of completely avoidable mistakes by creating content that nobody wants or nobody sees.
So let me share with you a better way to do content marketing so you can apply it to your business. It all comes down to starting and really understanding the fundamental difference between content creation and content promotion. Now the first thing you need to understand when it comes to marketing and when it comes to creating effective content is the difference between content creation and content promotion.
• Content Creation
That first element is all about creating and crafting and designing truly effective and truly compelling content.
• Content Promotion
This part is equally if not more important because all the best marketing in the world doesn’t mean squat if nobody sees it. It in fact this is one of the biggest myths in all of the marketing which is the build it they will come myth.
The fact that you simply need to have a great business and offer a really good service and create good content. People will find it but they won’t because they’re busy and there’s a lot of stuff going on out there. You’re not going to be found the unfair reality is that it’s not the best business that wins. It’s the business with the best marketing anyway more on promotion later.
Content marketing over the past few years has gotten a ton of press a ton of publicity. There are articles on it, there are books written about it, there are entire seminars and conferences dedicated just to content marketing. That’s a good thing because when it comes to growing your business, building a connection and establishing rapport and building trust with your audience.
Well, there’s no better solution than content marketing. Plus if you strip away all of the fancy tactics and the fancy design stuff. You get to the core of content marketing what it’s really all about. Well, what content marketing is really just about is making stuff that’s kind of it seriously just make stuff like any stuff.
How do you start
If you like writing well then start a blog or write more social media posts. If you like talking start a podcast or interview other people in your field or be a guest on other people’s podcasts. If you like or are even kind of willing to be on video well then there’s no greater form of content available than video marketing.
• Content quality
When it comes to creating really effective content well we’re going to be going for the quality from quantity approach. Meaning if you’re just getting started your goal here isn’t to craft the perfect piece of content. But rather just to start creating content and doing it consistently. From this, a couple of pieces are really going to start to shine. Not to mention the more effort and the more time and the more energy you put into this unsurprisingly the better it’s gonna get.
This is actually one of the best reasons to start now if you have say a smaller audience or a smaller platform or network or market that you’re trying to reach.
Now a quick caveat when it comes to the create more content and that’s that I’m not a huge fan of the do-everything be everywhere approach constantly grinding and hustling and creating endless streams of content. Rather what I would suggest is you be strategic about your content.
• What should you do at first
First, you really dial in your target market who they are and where they’re active and present online and then once you’ve identified that you double down on the platforms. Where you can reach them and then then you can sort of put your foot down and really give her some ga basically doubling down on the areas. The platforms where you’re getting the best returns and where you have the highest likelihood of reaching your ideal perfect target market.
For a glaringly obvious example let’s say that you’ve determined that your market is active and present on Facebook. Well, then I want you to go there and create as much content as you possibly can on Facebook. If in your research you’ve also determined that they are not active and present on LinkedIn then I don’t really want you spending any time on LinkedIn.
• Content style
Another factor to consider when it comes to creating content is what’s your preferred content style. Not just talking about the tone or the message or the way you deliver things. But rather what are the exact media choices that you prefer that your audience or target market enjoys to consume.
For example when it comes to creating content you’ve got a number of different options available. You have text-based content for emails and blog posts a number of different social media networks. You have audio content where you could create a podcast or like I mentioned before become a guest or offer to be a guest on someone else’s podcast. You have graphic content whether it’s through pictures or illustrations or graphic content or anything like that.
• Create video content
Of course, you have video content which is where I’m going to push you the strongest if you can get over that hurdle of being a little bit uncomfortable in those early days. This is simply because video content is for most people the preferred content choice they simply like watching videos more than they like to read or even listen to things.
As a content creator, yourself when you create video content gives you a ton of flexibility to syndicate and chop up and share your content across a number of different social media platforms. By ripping away the audio and transcribing the text or having graphics made or whatever the case alright so now that we’ve talked about creation.
Let’s move on to promotion I remember back into the good old days. When I first created my very first piece of content I spent hours researching and studying and writing. What I thought was the perfect and most epic article ever I had big dreams back then big dreams. I thought people would read this article and immediately digest it and consume it and share it with everyone they knew. I thought it would change their lives and in return changed my life for the better. So I posted it then I waited for a little longer and can you guess what happened.
Well if you guessed nothing then you guessed correct nobody found it, nobody read it, nobody cared. The reason that that piece of content failed comes down to a couple of things.
- The first of which is that the odds of hitting sort of a viral piece of content. With the very first piece of content, you create is pretty much slim to nothing. In fact, the odds of going viral with any of the content you create is very low.
Which to favours the quantity over quality approach. I’m not saying to produce garbage. I’m just saying you need a lot of content if you really want to strike gold.
- But the second reason that it failed was because it failed to bake in certain discoverability or natural promotion elements into the article or into the content piece itself.
So what’s the solution how do you promote content, how do you get it in front of people especially if we’re not relying solely on advertising.
To do it well the strategy really comes down to starting things from the ground up. Building them on a strategic framework that has elements of discoverability and sort of intrigue and appeal and curiosity baked right into them. What this means is starting right at the very top and working your way down. Whether we’re talking about a blog post or an article or a podcast episode or even a social media post.
• Start with the title
Start with the title or if it’s a social media post with the hook or that very first opening line something that grabs your reader’s attention. Something that catches them off guard maybe even invokes an element of curiosity or entry that makes them have to know more. From there will you have a very short amount of time to hook them quickly.
• Garb your reader’s attention
Let them know that this is for them this is the problem that they may have. You just might have a solution or at least provide a little bit of relief for them through the rest of your content.
• Structure your content
Then it comes down to properly structuring your content using good headings, good subheadings proper SEO techniques. If you’re going to relying on trying to get discovered in search engines like proper titles, tags and descriptions and all sort of things.
Above all creating content that is designed and really geared towards humans. Not towards robots or bots or machines or the algorithms that drive the social media networks. You see back in the day about years ago we were able to kind of hack the system for lack of a better term by simply keyword stuffing our articles and our posts. And really trying to design things for the algorithm so they would be discovered and promoted those days, fortunately, are long gone.
• Create effective content
Now the algorithms are well far more advanced which means they can understand different user signals and user behaviour and sort of contextual relevance of what the article is about or what the social media post is about if people are gonna like it or if they’re not. This is why kind of the underlying theme of all of this is that in order to create effective content in order to have it be discovered, in order to promote it effectively without relying on ads. In fact if you do this your ads will work better too but that’s another topic.
Well, the way to do all that is to design it from the ground up following a very strategic marketing sequence. Starting with your ideal target market, figuring out their pains and problems and fears and frustrations and speaking directly to them. When you do this when you understand who your perfect target fit customer is and when you create content that speaks directly to them making them feel seen and heard and acknowledged and understood well good things start to happen. Especially if you do it again and again and again which is where consistency comes in.
Now with all that said if you do decide to try your hand at advertising which like I mentioned at the beginning is still a very effective strategy.