HENDRIK: What is at the heart of content marketing? Why should I even do content marketing in the first place? How do I get the best results from it? If these are some of the questions you have, do not take our word for it. Let us talk about content marketing with industry professionals. Discover its power, and confront its challenges, so that you can stand out from your competition. Join Ethan and Hendrik Baird from Baird Media and let us talk about content marketing.
MEGAN KRONBERGER: My name is Megan Kronberger, and I am the owner of Marketing Lifeline. And what does that mean? Yes, we literally are a lifeline to many businesses, with regards to their marketing. But why I say that, is because our main objective is to help small to medium sized businesses establish a marketing strategy.
We see companies over and over. Go into the market with the logo and website, but they have not really given the market message media much thought. So they find they get stuck, frustrated and overwhelmed. Their marketing does not seem to work. And so we really help them establish a strategy, to ensure they get their message right.
They identify who their target market is, and identify the right media to position themselves on. So how do we do that? I do build strategies for companies. So in some cases clients will come to me and say, “Please help me with my marketing strategy.” Perhaps they do not have time for it.
On the other hand I also mentor or coach. And I guide business owners, mostly start-ups. But also some established businesses through a twelve-step process, and help them identify a marketing strategy for their business. And then from then they are equipped, or like I prefer to say empowered to go to market, to get their website done. To go and start with social media. And all the actions and activities that they start implementing are based with an intention. That we have established during the marketing strategy process. So that is essentially what I do in a nutshell.
HENDRIK: Awesome. Can you give us an overview of the things you need to keep in mind to develop a good marketing strategy.
MEGAN KRONBERGER: So that is a great question in terms of what we need to keep in mind to develop a marketing strategy. Because I think the main problem most people have is that they are not even aware … They need a marketing strategy. Most businesses feel that they have an idea, and now they just need to get that idea to market.
But unfortunately developing a marketing strategy is just as important as establishing your business plan, as well as establishing your product. Because that is essentially your vehicle to go to market, and get to the right people so you can essentially make sales.
So most importantly, number one for me is always the market. Is your product even relevant? If it is, who really wants it? And that is a key thing for us to do down digital. We really need to define our audience, and as some call it, niching. So most importantly it is to start with the market.
So what is the market wanting, and are we going to deliver that? Secondly is your messaging. So you have defined your offering, you have defined your products or services relevant and who you want to position this product in front of.
But how are you going to position it in front of them? What is it that they need? Because people are not into buying products or services anymore. They really are buying into the benefits, or what is in it for them. So very, very importantly, stop focusing on what your product can bring to the market. But rather focusing how your product or service can fit into their lifestyle, and help improve their business, their lifestyle and the benefits to them.
So a very, very important process as well in the marketing strategy. And then finally the media. So yes, we need to show up on media, but it is also, where do we show up? Just because everyone is positioning themselves across all platforms, it does not mean we have to do that.
We also have to see what is relevant to our audience. Where is our audience wanting to catch information? And then once we have defined which is the media we want to be in, that then pulls everything together, so we can start establishing an implementation plan to then really start driving leads and essentially getting in sales.
So, that would be the key steps for me in developing and thinking about your marketing strategy for success. And I think the main pain point that came to me was, clients would come to me feeling very frustrated and overwhelmed as to what they are doing, and what they need to do, or what they are doing is not working, etcetera.
So I would say as a kind of a more general, and maybe not very specific to an individual, but how I’ve helped most clients in the last four to five years is, clients will come to me saying, “My marketing is not working.” So firstly establishing, well … What to you is marketing? And they would say, “My Facebook ads.”
And that is when I will say, “Well, unfortunately marketing is not Facebook ads.” For me that is a form of advertising or implementation. Marketing is really the crux as we have just spoken about. What is our offering, who is it for, how are we establishing our messaging, and where are we going to place this thing?
So, that would start the process. So then we would go in and do a quick audit online and see, well shucks, your website talks about one thing. Your Facebook posts are talking about another thing. You know, how are you positioning yourself?
And normally it is like, “I do not actually know.” I sell face cloths, you know. So for me it is not about selling facecloths anymore. It is about taking the selling out of anything you’re really doing and really understanding who it is that we want to service, and how are we going to be relevant to them?
So, essentially starting out there looking at where they are going wrong, identifying the gaps and then as I say, taking literally twelve steps back. Starting from the very beginning and that is research.
So we start from the very beginning, and we start defining where are we actually going to position our product and is it even something we want to do? Are people even looking for face cloths? What are people looking for? Are they maybe not looking for a different type of fabric?
Are people not using face cloths anymore from a hygiene factor or whatever it may be. And then I take them through the process and through this process, my slogan says, “It is all about education.” So making the clients aware of what it is that they are not doing. Number two. Empowering them so they actually understand shucks, marketing is actually a process, marketing is not my Facebook campaign.
I should not be doing Facebook ads without an intention or objectives. And then obviously elevating their brand. Because being equipped with the knowledge, to know what it is that they need to consider and ask questions, now they are able to go to market, and have, and make, and create better results. And so that in a nutshell to just pinpoint, that is essentially what I do to help my clients with.
HENDRIK: So, can you talk a bit about how you do your follow up strategy and maybe some lessons you have learned of your experience?
MEGAN KRONBERGER: Interesting. I was in a networking group, and one of the ladies actually … Her business is Fall in Love with Follow Up. Which I think is quite relevant. Because, follow up is probably one of the hardest things. And I do not even like to actually call it follow up, because then it just sounds like hard work, right?
But yes, follow up is absolutely quintessential. We want to gather all this information as we go through the process and we get all these amazing leads, but then how do we maintain them and keep them engaged?
So I may be a bit more traditional. But I like nurturing my needs rather than doing a follow up. I think there is obviously a definite space for follow up, but I would rather say, “How do you nurture your leads?” How do you … Once people have engaged with you, whether it is through a lead on your website, whether it is a one-to-one or a networking event that you met them at. Whether it is somebody that is connected with you through a blog, or whatever it may be, how are you maintaining those leads, and how are you nurturing them as I like to say. Rather than to follow up. But absolutely. So, what I do is I have a CRM system which I use, called HubSpot and essentially, I pull all my leads into there, because I have a number of leads.
Lead magnet. So I have three alone on my website. So I use my assessment as one. I have a download. I have a video, and I have a
call. So actually have four on my website. I also have landing pages, I have campaigns. I have campaigns running on Facebook.
I have connections I make on LinkedIn. So, I think you have to identify where your leads come in. And then channelling these leads through some type of system. Yes, I started on Excel too which is a system. But you have to have some form of system. You have to have somewhere where you can put all your leads into. Because essentially that is the start of your sales funnel. So we need to then … What are we going to do to get them to go through to the next, and the next, and the next phase, to build that life trust process.
So, I put them into my CRM system and then I have an email merger campaign that will slowly but surely feed them information. And that is how I continue to engage with them and obviously from another perspective which is also a follow up for me, personally, is being consistent.
So they have liked and followed my pages. So, I need to show up. It is not just about also the follow up, but actually showing up and continually engaging with them online, and giving valuable content.
So that is just in a nutshell how I would kind of consider follow up. Is rather how we are nurturing our leads, and how we are keeping them engaged in our businesses.
HENDRIK: How do you plan, and then measure a campaign?
MEGAN KRONBERGER: So essentially building your marketing strategy, you are building a plan. So with that plan, then comes measurements. So, A, did we do ten blogs this month? How many leads did we get? What was the cost per click? What was the cost per lead? But everyone says, “Yes, but how do I measure?”
Well, unfortunately if you are not planning, you are not going to be able to measure. So, just to take a step back. So, once you have got your marketing strategy in place, that will set a plan so that you do not have to feel overwhelmed. Because typically what happens, people will get to Facebook on a Monday and go, “Shucks, it is marketing Monday today. What am I going to post? I do not know, I better put something out there.”
Well, that is not how we should be planning our marketing. Because that is exactly why we put out the wrong content. So I kind of plan three-to-six-month content plans which most businesses can do once they have got their strategy in place. It becomes quite simple.
And rather having that plan, so we can even now amazingly go onto our system like HootSuite and pre-plan. So we can actually put our posts onto the relevant platforms for the next three months. And we can change it as we go, but the reality is that is what we need to be doing. Because with a plan, you are equipped and you are empowered, and you know what you need to say. So you can get on doing what you do, and let the content run. Because that is essentially what our plan allows us to do. So that also alleviates that stress, and that frustration, and that feeling of being overwhelmed with marketing. So I think that is the key thing, is yes, we need to set time aside in our diary to do our plan and to put it in place, and to spend a day, half a day in a week to write our content for our plan in advance.
So yes, once we have set our plan, we now hopefully are working at least a month in advance. We can start analysing, we can start seeing on Facebook through insights. I mean there is basic … There are tools we can use, but there is also stuff at our disposal on LinkedIn, on Google Analytics, that we can go and see which posts have got better traction, which posts got more engagement, which posts got more shares. Who is viewing our posts, what are people saying about our stuff. And then that is a very important factor too. Because a lot of people feel again overwhelmed and saying, “I am not sure what is working.” Well, unfortunately nobody is going to tell you that. You have to go and do the measurement to make the changes, to see what works best for you.
So also very, very important is keep a plan in place, and then measure so you can make the necessary changes as you need to. Most important thing to me, you know. I just encourage, whether you have a small one-man business to a large enterprise, you should be allowing a marketing strategy to guide any marketing activity you are doing. Even if you are a one-man business and you are in a network group, what is your strategy in that network group?
We all need to know what it is, what our objectives are. So I encourage that. And so I created the twelve steps to marketing success. It is either in a twelve-week program which goes through quite quickly to be honest, which is ideal for a startup, so somebody who has got a business idea or concept and they would like to get it to market, I highly recommend you start there. Because once you are equipped with that, I promise you it will open so many doors. And the clarity that people get.
They come into this program with one idea, and they leave with a totally different idea, because just from through the process, they have established, and they have got the clarity they need. So that would be one of the key things. Alternatively if twelve weeks is not in your favour, I have a weekly online meet. We meet for an hour on a Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. till 11:00 a.m. It is a monthly membership of R375.00, and I give you learnings every week and that is why I think it is a great investment for your business, both start-ups to established. We learn new things; I learn new things. I teach you, new things. You learn from other people as it is a group session.
So that is pretty much on the cards to help and empower. That is my main objective. The marketing lifeline is literally here to help, and empower and educate small to medium size businesses about this marketing thing that everyone seems to rather feel overwhelmed with. I would rather want to break it down into bite size pieces, and just really help you in your business.
SPEAKER 1: If you want to join the conversation, find Ethan and Hendrik on LinkedIn. Also visit the Baird Media website, to look at the range of content services we provide. You will find all the links in the podcast description. Next time on Let’s Talk Content Marketing.
NESTENE: Do not assume. Do not make an assumption about things. Use data.
This has been a Baird Media production.