Women In Business

Use content marketing to position yourself as an expert

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By now you are probably using content marketing to generate leads for your business. Content marketing will also help build loyal customers, who are kept engaged between purchasing decisions. but how can yo use content marketing to position yourself as an expert in the media?

We use our content marketing program as a way of positioning ourselves as experts in our field, and it includes a variety of tactics and approaches to content, from individual entrepreneurs starting a weekly blog, to medium-sized and large companies building in-house newsrooms to publish daily newsletters.

What many companies overlook is the opportunity to leverage their content marketing effort and gain media coverage. It can be a very effective tool, but before we decide to commit to the effort involved, it is worth thinking about what media stories offer us that our content marketing does not.

You might be in the fortunate position to receive most of your new clients via referrals, and word-of-mouth referrals is often seen as the holy grail of marketing and sales – the ideal position from which to gain new customers. I don’t think so, and here is why.

The limitations of word-of-mouth referrals

Although they are one of the cheapest ways to attract new clients, referrals are quite an imprecise tool. Only about 30% of word-of-mouth referrals result in business. Most commonly, there is a mismatch between what you offer and what the new prospects needs, or the price they expect to pay. Whatever the reason, you have spent quite a bit of time setting up and holding the appointment.

A more serious limitation of referrals is that they tend to hold us in our current market. Referrals do not position us up to the next level of opportunity. Your happy customers refer you to their peers.

For example, if you are currently doing a lot of work with companies with 10 employees or less, you will get more of the same work.

So … back to media relations

Appearing in the media on a frequent basis gives you the opportunity to target new markets, ones that lift your business to the next level.

By choosing a media masthead that your target market reads, you can then craft content that shows your expertise and value.

But how does content marketing fit in?

Quite simply, we have to consider each journalist as an audience — with a complete persona that represents their priorities, preferences and aspirations.

From one to many

Of course, each journalist is a conduit to a large target market, so although it looks like a lot of effort, the returns are high.

So, while we are creating content that is designed to appeal to journalists we have to be clearly focused on the readership they cater to and be valuable to those readers.

It’s a little tricky, which is why so many companies don’t do it (and leave the field open to you.)

Journalists rely a lot on industry data that gives an overall picture of activity and trends within the areas they cover.

They can find this information for themselves, but if you supply it, making it quicker and easier for them, and helping the journalist to serve their readership you position yourself as someone in the know and start to build a relationship.

The big four accounting firms – PwC, KPMG, EY and Deloitte – are masters of this tactic. With their global resources, they produce reports on entire sectors – media, mining, technology – and release them to the media.

Be different

If you are not a global company, so you need to differentiate. For example, you might offer your own (distinctive) analysis on data release by the biggest companies.

Better still, offer your journalist contacts some insights into the “water-cooler” conversations that happen when you are in your networks. Among your peers and rivals, what are the trends, threats, opportunities, and concerns – whether competitive, legislative and commercial — that bug you all, worry you or would make you change your vote. Supply insights into these themes, and provide your own commentary on them.

You will build credibility with journalists you can trust, increase your profile in mastheads your markets read, and, ultimately, position yourself as the go-to authority in your field.

About Kath Walters

Trainer. Mentor. Speaker. Kath Walters is a former Fairfax business journalist turned expert in media relations and content marketing. Kath trains and mentors businesses that want to use media and content to build their profile and profits -- and change the world for the better -- sharing everything she has learned over 16 years of writing and editing for top quality print and digital media mastheads. Kath has written an estimated 1.3 million compelling, informative and carefully researched words. The mastheads that have published them include: LeadingCompany, BRW, Australian Financial Review, SmartCompany, Business Spectator, Crikey, Women’s Agenda, Property Observer.

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