By Sarah Zane
Joe Pulizzi was throwing around the term content marketing years before it was part of every marketer’s lexicon. In 2007, he founded the Content Marketing Institute and is now one of the world’s most celebrated marketing gurus. In Content Inc., he offers veteran and aspiring marketers a comprehensive guide for harnessing the power of content marketing to gain an edge over their competition. Packed with real-life examples and practical tips you can implement today, Content Inc. has joined the shelf of must-reads for marketers across every industry.
Here are the three primary lessons in Content Inc.:
Lesson 1: Pick a single platform on which to launch your content marketing campaign and focus all of your energies there.
At the core of content marketing is the theory that selling requires that you genuinely connect with your audience. Pulizzi says the best way to form this connection with as broad an audience as possible is to start with just one social media platform. This way, you can give this platform 100 percent of your effort, and build it up until it’s reached an impressive goal. You’ll need to commit to a consistent publishing schedule so your audience knows to visit your platform again and again to see what’s new.
As a credit union marketer, you may already have open accounts on several social media platforms, but you can still implement this approach. Choose one focus platform and have a consistent publishing schedule until you achieve outstanding results.
Lesson 2: Regularly connect with your most loyal followers via email.
No, this advice is not dated. Pulizzi says email is one of the most underused tools of the content marketer.
He is not referring to cold emails, but to email subscribers, who are in an entirely different league. A Facebook fan or Twitter follower doesn’t mean much for your credit union. They’re simply tolerating your presence on their social media feeds, and they’re just as likely to never use your brand.
An email subscriber, though, is essentially extending an invitation for you to deliver a message directly into their inbox. When you post on social media, you’re shouting into the wind and hoping someone can hear you. But, when you send an email to a subscriber, you control the message and you can contact them at any time. He urges companies to work on growing their list of email subscribers and to speak to their audience through this powerful medium.
Social media engagement is important for your credit union, but don’t forget to connect to your members through regular emails, too.
Lesson 3: Once you’ve fully established yourself on one social media channel, spread to other platforms.
Many brands find content marketing to be intimidating and never get their feet wet. They look at the companies that have successfully marketed themselves on social media platforms and they find the sheer size of their followers and fans to be overwhelming. How can they possibly reach such a large audience on so many different platforms?
These marketers are missing a crucial piece of the puzzle: The best way to market yourself successfully across multiple platforms is to focus on a single one, then let that success spill over to other channels. If you’ve followed the first lesson outlined above, by successfully establishing yourself on one social media platform, you can start promoting your brand on other channels. Don’t try too hard to attract a new audience for this channel. Instead, let your original audience know about this new platform. If you’ve done your job well, they’ll follow you to your new page.
As a credit union marketer, you can focus on a single social media platform and then use that success to spread to other channels. Remember: Focus first, diversify second. Don’t make the mistake of doing it the other way around.
Content marketing is the darling of 21st century marketing. Use the lessons in Content Inc. to exploit its incredible power and help your credit union reach new levels of growth and success.