Being heard in a Cluttered online space – methods to be heard
“No one is hearing my message” and “I feel like I’m wasting my time trying to get my brand noticed on the internet” are both common themes I hear when talking to customers. To be heard in the modern digital content space, you need to get the message and the method right. How do you go about doing that?
utting down her pen and taking off her glasses, my client turned to me and summed up her thinking so far in our first meeting. “I just feel like everything I put out there on the internet is lost in the noise. Like I’m shouting into an empty cave with no idea if anyone can hear me!”
I’ve got to say, I could see the reason for her dishearted diatribe. Blogs with no visit in analytics. Social posts with no shares or likes. Outreach content un-loved, forgotten and gathering digital dust. It’s a common phenomenon and one that is more than likely to leave you with a feeling of frustration. Key to understanding how to avoid this is the acceptance of the fact that today’s content marketing space is more crowded than ever and there are a lot of people getting it right. Add that to the fact that it’s a long game, you can’t expect amazing results to come instantly, and you’ve got a recipe for serious digital marketing blues.
Content marketing; it’s not easy, even for the professional digital marketer. The goal posts are ever changing and monitoring the constant fluctuations is a time-consuming process. How best then to bring your message to an audience who are so used to so much of a good thing.
If message is king, content selection is queen, and channel selection is the princess.
Content consumers are way smarter than people give them credit for. With all the “fake news” stories of the past year, it’s tempting to assume people don’t think about what they’re looking at on the web. Thinking like that would be a mistake; the modern consumer is empowered, has a clear mind on what they want and looks at multiple sources before making a purchase. In short, they want honesty and transparency. Try to hoodwink them and tell them what you think they want to hear and they’ll simply drift away from your content. Be brave and be original.
Tell them stories about your business and take the time to find out what matters to them. OK, you’ve got your message ready for the prime time, now what about the medium? Placing the right message on the wrong content peg will, at best, lessen the impact. At worst it’ll nullify the entire effort. You’ve got to be good with words, video, images, sound and music to really craft something that’s going to hit home. Today’s digital marketer has so many options for content types, over a hundred at last count and you’ve got to decide which of those will bring home the bacon.
No one is suggesting you try your hand at 101 content types and no one is suggesting you try to develop a presence on every social media platform in sight. Make smart selections and target, target, target. It’s far better to knock it out of the park on two or three channel than do middle of the road content on 10 channels. Remember, the aim here is to stand out, not fade into the background.
Doing it badly is worse than not doing it at all.
Excuse my French, but crappy content is worse than no content at all. If you look at it and, in your gut, know that it doesn’t look good then don’t release it. Sit on it for a day, or get another opinion. Content creation is a tricky business and we all get creative blockages from time to time. Try to build up a head of steam and schedule as many ideas into the calendar as you can. That way you can shuffle the deck if you need to bring some ideas forward to cover a weak spot you’ve got coming up. If the content is written word, then the best thing you can do is forget SEO (there, I said it). Make in amazing for humans to read and forget robots. Google et al are smart enough now to know a good piece of content; you don’t need to stuff it with keywords. If it’s video then make sure it’s on point and aimed correctly at your target market. There is nothing wrong with taking a look at what others are doing, but keep that original flavour in everything you do.
By creating and publishing remarkable content in the form that educates, informs, inspires and entertains, marketers can begin to build relationships with prospects early on in the
buying cycle. – Jonathon Lister, VP sales Linkedin
So, you’ve got a killer message, great content selection and top class production quality – you’re ready to go. Except, where are you going to put it? Yeah, you can place it as a blog post, if that’s what you designed it for. Do consider, if it’s really A+ grade content, in finding it a home on a site with a high esteem value (if you’re cross-posting, be careful you don’t get duplicate content issues).
It’s totally possible for you to get that awesome content out there and in front of people who will love it. Be strong, be honest, be brave, be consistent, but most of all have fun! Know that you’re in it for the long haul. It’ll all be worth it when that engagement starts flowing because your message got heard.