3 Steps to Take Your Business to the Next Level Within Your Industry

If you’re interested in taking your business to the next level within your industry (and who isn’t at this point), you can’t escape reading and hearing about content marketing. It’s everywhere. But so what? How does content marketing take your business to the next level with your industry?

Effective marketing now requires that content is part of the strategy conversation in almost every business. Every business is now a media company, which means there’s a growing number of marketers that must commit to producing content just like a publisher. Today’s prospects expect to find and search for the answers to problems or challenges they encounter.

By producing content, your business puts itself in the pathway that current prospects are learning, asking, and shopping for products and services.

But even this, is not how you take your business to the next level within your industry.

How to Take Your Business to the Next Level Within Your industry

Content marketing done correctly will get you traffic and leads. There’s no doubt about that, but the next level growth of content marketing is in audience-building. Rather than continuing to participate in the competitive race for online leads, an audience (a group of people who has given you their permission) puts your business into an entirely different space within your industry.

Rather than buying access to your target markets attention from the media, your company becomes the media. It’s this very process where you build an owned media asset that gets more powerful and valuable each day, month and year that you continue producing content.

This would have been impossible just 20 years ago, when there were only a few pipelines for distributing content — and they were all owned by major media companies and big brands with big budgets.

Today, however savvy B2C and B2B companies like HubSpot, Netflix, Hulu, American Express, John Deere and Adobe are creating content and building a loyal audience to distribute that content to. These companies do not have to rely on mainstream media to deliver their messages to a targeted audience.

Build Your Next Level Business Machine

Note: You must conduct keyword and target audience research for this to be effective.

1. Make a Promise

Offer your target audience an valuable report, audio cd or mp3, discount coupon, workshop, entry into a sweepstakes, evaluation, trial product, checklist, newsletter, course or tip sheet to volunteer to pay attention to your marketing.

All you’re asking in return is permission to market to these people. Nothing else.

2. Market It

Now that you have your offer, use every all of your marketing and advertising — that’s online and offline business directories, radio, video, direct mail, business card, letterhead, email signature, website, blog, PPC, one-to-one conversations, speaking, LinkedIn groups, Facebook status updates — to focus on getting people to take action — pick up your offer, call you to speak on this topic, request or download that offer.

3. Follow Up

Yes, I’m serious: follow-up. Optimizo reports that 79 percent of leads generated by marketing do not get a follow-up. This happens for a variety of reasons, such as these leads weren’t assigned to a email drip campaign or sales representative.

Develop a follow-up process.

Once you’ve embarked upon taking your business to the next level within your industry by audience-building, you can spend less time marketing to strangers and more time marketing to friends. You can move your marketing from beyond mere reach and frequency and into the realm of trust-building.

It seems the future of increased revenue and profits belongs only to those businesses committed to building an audience first, and then monetizing that audience. Only by focusing on building an audience can you take your business to the next level within your industry. Now is the time.