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Time Travel, People Subscribing to our Advertisements and Other Lies We Shouldn’t Bank our Businesses On

Despite our better knowing, there is something about us that truly wants to believe in a “free energy” machine to solve the world’s problems, or a time travel solution to finally assemble the ultimate “past, present and future” members reunion of Journey. It’s not that we’re gullible, it’s just that these dreams are way too awesome to let go of! No matter what our common sense tells us, we’ll always hold a little hope for a zero-point energy device or a day with the Tardis – but we don’t bank our business or careers on it because that would be ridiculous. So what is this notion of people happily and eagerly subscribing to your advertisements and messaging? Subscribing to your newsletter, following you on Facebook or Twitter, or connecting with you on LinkedIn each come at a price for your audience. Inbox space and attention in their social streams is at an absolute premium, and so giving that attention to you comes at a surprisingly high cost for many. Too often, we as marketers drive quite a bit of buyer’s remorse, and that damages the brand. We see it in ‘customer returns’ as disengagement, unsubscribes and unfollows. The truth is that your audience didn’t come to subscribe to your advertisements, but they subscribed hoping for something. Consider your audience’s subscription to your marketing channels as you would any other product. Focus on the value to your customer, your subscriber, first –then earn the opportunity to self-promote by weaving your brand into the story. Simply put: First, consider what’s in it for them! The Magazine Model for Marketers You know exactly how much you’re willing to pay right now to be the first to know of every press release announcing each award and new client we earn here at wedü. I have a good idea of the number you’re thinking, and don’t worry, my feelings aren’t hurt. There isn’t a whole lot in it for you, so the value of that information –and what you’re willing to pay for it – is extraordinarily low. I also know about how much you’re willing to pay to be entertained and educated with information you can take right now and start using today to make your business more successful. As proof of marketing concept: Marketing and business texts, symposiums and courses account for a huge industry… and here it is on this blog for free! (Sidebar: If you like what you’re reading so far, you can click this link to subscribe. A new window will open and you can fill out the forms when you’re done reading.) If the core of your business closed down, could your publications exist as their own product-line? Probably not, but don’t ever let that stop you from trying to make the content you produce so awesome that it could. Treat your marketing channels as if you’re trying to run a magazine or newspaper, not a brochure distribution service. Creating content strategies that are engaging have the unsurprisingly amazing ability to actually engage, which can generate leads and drive sales. Marketing Lessons from ‘the Editor’
  • Create an editorial content calendar to help ensure both direction and timeliness for your content, as well as a sense of expectation for your audience.
  • Consider taking the concept of newspaper columns or television segments and create a regular content series in your marketing mix.
  • Focus on subscription metrics first and then make sure business metrics are following! Ad-backed channels from reality TV to newspapers know that the only hope of achieving their goals of ad revenue is to ensure solid viewership and readership metrics. Similarly, you’d be hard-pressed for a blog, social channel or email marketing program to assist in generating sales and leads if nobody is reading.
  • Seek out writers in your team and pair them with experts. It’s rare that a seasoned expert is also a fantastic pundit. Use the brain of your experts to make ideas people are interested in and use your writers (producers) to make that into content people want.
  • Experiment with ghostwriting, interviews, co-authoring or whatever else works for your audience and your people.
That One Thing you’re Dying to Say “Why on Earth would you model your marketing after a dying model!?” It’s true that newspapers, magazines and TV networks are all in a state of flux right now. This is precisely why we didn’t recommend you start a ‘zine, trade journal or TV network of your own. We’re sending you to the internet. A huge part of the burn being felt by traditional media is caused by the trends, accessibility and user-behaviors of the internet-connected people you call (or want to call) your customers. By treating your marketing channels with the attention and goals of a media company, while using the low-cost and highly flexible tools available to you through digital marketing, you can begin creating an engaged house list, healthy content readership, an avid social media following and a very happy sales department. There are still some marketers that think we can make successful campaigns that focus solely on our own brands, our own messages and our own agendas. As your audience, we’re much more likely to find a battery that never dies or a time-traveling man in a police box before we find a place in our hearts for another press release that doesn’t apply to us being ‘personalized’ via the [FNAME] field from your CRM. As a member of many audiences, you personally know and feel that you deserve better from the brands you give your attention – and loyalty – to, and so the brands that ‘get it,’ earn it. Remember: Your audience members are people, too! Good luck in your journey as editor, publisher and producer. Be sure to give us a call if you need a solid production crew.   Photo Credit ‘Tardis’ by Ewan and Donabel via Flickr Creative Commons. Thanks! Author’s Note: A friend bet me that I could not ‘out-nerd’ myself while still making for a strong marketing lesson. ‘Allons-y,’ ‘Geronimo’ and check, my friend.
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