I’ve been blogging for a long time. I have always been a passionate blogging advocate. It may be hard to believe as blogging hasn’t always worked out well for me but c’est la vie. You do what you have to and you learn from your mistakes. My past actions have educated me profoundly and led me down the path I find myself today. Without those learning experiences I wouldn’t be able to advise my clients as effectively as I can now do so – my digital marketing coaching wouldn’t be as effective if I hadn’t made mistakes and learned from them. I also wouldn’t be as effective a marketer as I am now. My philosophy is there is no such thing as a mistake – they are just learning experiences.
I hate to state the obvious but the digital landscape has changed and it is still changing. Digital technologies have become increasingly important and are playing a bigger part in people’s lives. Traditional advertising does not work as effectively as it used to and it is time that you utilised the newly available resources in your own business. It is time to get yourself educated.
Here are some of the things that have changed and most of these changes have happened in the last decade.
- High speed internet – not just high speed internet at the office or at home. You can now get high speed internet in your pocket with a 4G smartphone or tablet device.
- How people interact with companies, brands and other individuals is changing. “I’ll Google it” is now a common catchphrase. What happens if someone “Google’s” your name? What will they find? The worst possible result would be that they find nothing at all!
- Do you remember a life before Facebook? Facebook is only 10 years old and now half of the Australian population has a Facebook account.
Other factors that have accelerated the content marketing process and ensured its ongoing importance include:
- Cheap web hosting
- Free website Content Management Systems like WordPress (used to build this site.)
You can create your own media channel for little or no cost. Content marketing should not be a scary prospect and should form an integral part of every business. Content marketing means that you can create your own brand.
It is important to remember that content is not just words. Content can include:
- Pictures – Pinterest is a popular channel for users to share pictures and can help drive traffic to your websites
- Video – YouTube is huge and only getting bigger. You can easily create, edit and upload videos and share them on a global platform.
- Audio – Podcasts are popular and cover many categories. Like YouTube for video there are plenty of free platforms that you can use to upload your content and share it with the world.
All you need to create your own media channel is a device that has an internet connection – and a camera, microphone or both if you are creating audio or video content.
It used to be that you needed a desktop and an internet connection. Now you can create your own media channel, your own brand building content, from your smartphone or tablet device with a data connection.
I just wanted to chime in quickly here though. Whilst I said above that the internet allows you to create your own brand there are some things that you need to consider.
I am not suggesting that you create a false persona. Inauthenticity gets caught out quickly – people will know that you are lying. Plus, you won’t be able to maintain your motivation if you aren’t passionate about what you are creating and the life you are living. Sharing the real you is just easier and it means that you don’t have to keep track of any lies. You can be whomever you want to be online with your own branding tools. Being authentic allows your ideas to permeate the world and will attract those with similar interests too you more easily.
With the internet, the delineation between personal and professional is blurring. This has become especially true because of the prevalence of Social Media platforms. If you allow the real you to be seen online it can boost your business exponentially. A good blend of personal and professional will help you quickly build trust and credibility more quickly. Increased visibility and increased trust can more quickly lead to increased profitability.
So I’ve told you to work towards creating an authentic media brand. You may be a bit confused as to what I am talking about. Here are some great examples of “authentic” brand personalities online include:
The prevalence of social channels can be daunting for some people and the content channels that you use should be relative to your target audiences. There are so many channels and, if you are managing your own content, you will not be able to manage every channel. (If you can hire staff then this becomes less of an issue.)
The fact that there are so many publishing options and publishing opportunities is what causes many people to to not create their own media channel – they are burdened and scared off by the options. This is crazy. No one is suggesting that you must utilise every media channel available to you. You must decide on what channels to concentrate on depending on your own passions and you should also consider concentrating on those platforms most likely to be used by your target audience.
These days there are plenty of experts in their profession. The winner, the one who makes the most money, the one who is most successful is the one that best promotes themselves online – the one that builds the best media channels. Your media channels can be multi-platform and both online and offline. What differentiates you? How can you differentiate yourself? The internet makes it easy for you to differentiate if you are prepared to put the effort in.
“Content Marketing” is not a new phrase. Content marketing has been sold to us by countless Internet Marketing “Experts” as a panacea and many people have created “content” without utilising their platforms properly. An increasingly social web has accelerated the uptake and value of content marketing. The right content shared with your networks is a great trust building exercise.
Another reason that you should add content to your Digital Marketing arsenal is because the behaviour of those in your target audience has changed.
The popularity of traditional media channels – especially television and newspapers – is declining. (People are still listening to the radio)
Internet users, and consumers in general, are regularly referring to more “news” sources. They refer to sources online and your aim here is to make sure that your Channels become one of your audience’s regular media sources – your low barriers to entry make it easy to get started but you need to ensure you are creating quality content. You could be a one person business working from home and have almost immediate access to a worldwide audience. All you need is a computer with an internet connection and you can become your own global media conglomerate.
As I said in the blog title, this post is about leveraging digital tools for your advantage. You can use digital tools to build your profile. Appropriately done, who knows where this might lead. Gary Vaynerchuk started creating videos promoting his family wine shop and his passion for wine. His YouTube videos have borne book deals, speaking opportunities and a global media company.
Greenlight Communications is one of my key business verticals but the hub of my own media channel is my personal blog – hamishjones.com.au. (I also have key blogs here and other blogs at bestbusinessdeals.com.au.) The other spokes I use personally are Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. These platforms are the one’s I use personally. However there are others and we have helped clients with them. Some of these other platforms include, but are not limited to, Youtube, Soundcloud, Slideshare & Pinterest. All of these can be used to drive traffic to your main blog and are all useful tools in building your profile and personal brand.