If you’re going to successfully attract your most profitable prospects, you are first going to have to come to terms with a few home truths.
While it’s certainly true that content continues to be king, getting your content seen by your target audience is not going to be easy.
Let’s take a look at what you are up against.
The following figures come from multiple sources in 2013:
- 27 million pieces of content are shared each day – AOL/Neilson
- There are over 152 million blogs on the Internet – wpvirtuoso
- More than 500 million tweets are sent each day – Daily Telegraph
- 60-70% of B2B marketing content goes unused – Sirius Decisions
- The average attention span has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds – Statistic Brain
Is it worth it?
You’re probably thinking why bother. How can you possibly make a mark when there is so much content out there already?
If you were trying to do it all on your own, I’d agree with you.
While it doesn’t cost a thing to start a blog or create a profile on YouTube, Twitter and Linkedin, trying to build an audience around any of these channels is going to take a Herculean effort and an exorbitant amount of time.
Time and resources you’re unlikely to have available.
What you need is a leg up. A big one.
Something that will help thrust you into the Limelight and build your brand equity almost immediately.
You need a proven formula for success and thanks to Simon Cowell, you now have one.
The X Factor Formula
Imagine for a moment that you wanted to be a famous pop star.
You are about to thrust yourself into one of the most competitive industries on the planet and with so much talent out there already, being born with a beautiful singing voice is not enough to get you there.
You could try the traditional route of putting together a demo tape, finding a manager and knocking on music industry doors until you find someone who thinks you’re interesting.
You could try gigging around your local area and building a following but this is going to take time and a lot of hard work.
Or you could try out for the X Factor.
The Appeal of the X Factor
The X Factor provides 2 essential elements for rapid success:
1. A stage that gets your talent heard by a humungus audience of potential music buyers
2. A credible platform run by influential people who carry a lot of weight in their industry
To make it on the X Factor you’ve got to successfully navigate the following 4 steps.
#1: Impress the People who Own the Platform
First you’ve got to wow the producers of the X Factor and that means going to the public auditions. If you can impress them, you will be invited to the live auditions and face the judges.
#2 Impress their Audience
You then audition in front of a live audience. If they respond well, you are almost guaranteed to get yeses from the judges, who will invite you back for the next round.
Having a good voice is just one part of the puzzle. Having a relevant sound and a personality that will entice the X Factor audience is just as important for making it to step 3.
#3: Get Consistent Exposure to the Influencers and Your Audience
Once you’ve made it through the first round you’ve got to continue to impress the judges and the audience.
By continuing to come up with the goods through Boot Camp, the judges’ houses and the live finals you’ll gain an increasing amount of equity with both the judges and your audience.
The more they see you, the more they’ll grow to like you.
#4: Maintain Exposure through Other Channels
By the time you get to the live finals, you’ll already have built a following, whose votes will help you get further into the competition. For every week you remain in the competition, the more exposure you have to your target market and the more your popularity will grow.
If you win the X Factor, the likelihood is that you will have a number one hit.
However, to make sure that can happen, you’ve got to maintain exposure with your target market, after the show has finished, which is why you go on the X Factor tour.
#4: Own the Audience
Once the tour is over, it’s up to you and your marketing people to keep up contact with your audience. So you build a website, you go on you own tour and you continue to create new material.
The X Factor and Content Marketing
The process for building a following around your content is not much different.
#1: Find Your Platform
Before you can begin building an audience, you need to find the right stage. One that already has a large following and is run by credible influencers.
You have two options.
- Traditional Media
- Established bloggers who have a large following
Many popular bloggers are mimicking publishers and are actively looking for excellent content to keep their communities engaged.
In the same vein, the media is looking beyond their own ranks for content and are constantly looking for credible partners to produce content for them.
The really good news is the number of opportunities to seed your content on media portals grows on a daily basis.
Finding credible media is much easier than finding credible blogs, but thankfully there are tools like Alltop.com to help you.
When looking for blogs to partner with, there are a number of indicators that will tell you if they have a sizeable community that is engaged:
1. The number of comments at the end of each post
2. The number of shares on social channels
3. The number of subscribers
4. The number of followers on Twitter
5. The consistency of the blogging activity
Once you’ve identified the right platform, you follow the same steps as before.
#2: Gain their Attention
Research your chosen influencer well and pitch an idea for an article that is relevant to both their platform and the audience.
Don’t send them just one article idea. Send them 3. Then if one isn’t of interest, you’ve got a couple more to fall back on.
Successful X Factor auditionees always go with more than one song prepared.
#3: Wow the Audience
Once your pitch has been accepted, write the best article you can. Give it a voice and personality that the audience can relate to.
#4: Get in Front of Their Audience on a Regular Basis
If your post tracks well with the readers of the blog/media, the owners will invite you back to do more. If they don’t do it automatically, send them another pitch. If you’ve had a good response from your first article, they will almost definitely read your next pitch.
Focus on one or two popular blogs/media and build a presence through the consistent placement of articles.
#5: Make Their Audience Your Audience
While the exposure is good, you want to take ownership of the readers that love your stuff. From day one, you want to make sure that you link your guest articles to content on your own website.
It’s also imperative that you capture the details of the traffic and gain their permission to send them more of your stuff.
We will go into how you do this in the next article.
Let’s Get Real
While the formula laid out in this article works, it takes time and effort to make it work for you.
You are going to need help, which is why you’ll find below a list of resources that offer some of the best content on the web for turbo charging your new business activity.
How to Boost Your Media Profile in 7 Days
The New Rules of Marketing and PR
B2B PR Blog
There is one more piece of the puzzle left to fit and that’s how you take someone else’s audience and make them your own. And that’s exactly what we are going to cover in the next article in our Prospector’s Playbook series.
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Well said, Normally I shy away from pop culture examples. You did a great job of seeing the value in having the right platform to reach my audience.