Although our Southwest Florida region comprises mostly small businesses, we are blessed with a surprising number of savvy local experts on content marketing and social media. I was delighted to take part in a recent Collier Business Industry Association (CBIA) Sales and Marketing Council session with just such a group:
- Marc Meyer, Principle at Digital Response Marketing Group
- Jim Cossetta, cofounder of 4what.com
- Paul Mussina, President, Business Technology insight
Attendees from the building industry and related companies struggle with two simultaneous challenges:
- They are suffering from our a especially steep downturn in building that limits both people and dollar resources.
- They need to transform from traditional marketing methods to content marketing and social media.
Fortunately, there is a new generation of affordable tools and techniques that can make that transformation inexpensive—and with a bit of outside help—almost painless.
Here are some practical lessons on content marketing and social media that I’d like to share from the St. Patrick’s Day session.
Top 10 takeaways from my speaker colleagues
- Social media in general and Twitter in particular are as much about listening as they are about broadcasting. To make this easy, use one of the powerful software tools available. Social media guru, Marc Meyer, suggested TweetDeck as his favorite.
- Marc noted that you won’t succeed by spending all your time pimping your products and services. That’s exactly the kind of unwanted spam that content marketers need to avoid.
- Don’t bother to tweet unless you have something worthwhile to contribute to a set of Twitter followers who share your interests.
- With Twitter and any social media effort you must allow enough time for results that will slowly build over time. Consistency is critical to your success, as Marc stressed.
- According to Marc, you are not engaging with content marketing and social media for fun, even though it might be enjoyable. You’re doing it either to make money, to save money or to build equity.
- "Become a news anchor for your business." That was Jim Cossetta’s advice for thinking about how to use video effectively for content marketing. In other words, put yourself out front as the most effective spokesperson to explain how your company can benefit its customers by leading them to your site with an introductory video tour.
- Take advantage of incredibly inexpensive technology like the Sony flip cam to create your own television studio.
- Consider using video in tandem with your promotional e-mails to create a ‘wow factor.’ He used the example of local contractor, Statewide Painting and their recent email effort which allowed video to tell the story.
- Make an RFP much less boring by integrating video to demonstrate exactly how you can meet the requirements of the RFP and help your prospect achieve its objectives with your assistance. In effect, you are able to give an in person visual presentation without actually being there.
- For those of us, who are still using spreadsheets or antiquated content management tools for customer relationship management (CRM), it’s time to step up our game by investing in affordable products that can improve sales results dramatically, according to Paul Messino.
It’s time to implement content marketing and social media as core components in your business strategy. But, there are now plenty of tools and techniques that make it pretty darned easy and inexpensive.