by Andy Buyting, Carle Publishing Founder & CEO
Seated in a half-moon lecture hall with sixty other fast-growth entrepreneurs, I was listening to round-the-clock speakers and authorities on business at the MIT Endicott House as part of MIT’s three-year program, Birthing of Giants.
The speaker who stood out from the rest was Verne Harnish, New York Times best-selling author and authority on fast-growth organizations.
Verne asked the class a simple question: “Do you own the ink in your industry? Whoever owns the ink in their industry controls the industry.”
By owning the ink in your industry, you become an authority. As a result, you make the transition from an advertiser to an advisor. Suddenly, buyers are coming to you for advice and solutions, and that’s good for business.
How do you own the ink in your industry? It takes a marriage between the three pillars of marketing—Digital Marketing, Print Marketing, and Face-To-Face Interaction.
Pillar One—Digital Marketing
According to an eMarketing Report, consumers today are now spending more time online than on any other media outlet, which includes TV, print, radio, and the like. Consumers, now more than ever, are using the internet to research solutions for their problems and validate the products and services they are purchasing.
There are four ways people consume content online: written articles, listicles, video, and audio.
1. Written Articles
The written article includes tools such as blogging and white papers. Studies show that websites with valuable written content perform better than websites without content.
Listicles are articles in list form. You can spot a listicle by its title—“The six ways to be more productive at your office” or “The eight habits highly successful people do every morning.” Easily consumed, they are extremely effective as readers can scan the headlines and read only the details on concepts and points that pique their interest. And with the ever-increasing demand on people’s time, listicles have quickly become a preferred way to consume the written word online.
3. Video Creation
Cisco Visual Networking Index Forecast states “[i]nternet video will account for 79% of global internet traffic by 2020.” With video’s importance growing, it is becoming a powerful way to provide content. When consumers are viewing information through video, they are more likely to give it their full attention.
4. Audio Content
Audio content includes podcasts and free recorded messages. It’s an often-overlooked area of digital marketing—but it is currently disrupting the way society consumes content. A 2016 Edison Research report states that 21 percent of Americans ages twelve and up have listened to a podcast in the past month. That is the same amount of Americans on Twitter. Audio is also growing quickly as it is the easiest content to consume. It’s the only form of digital content that can be consumed while doing other activities such as driving and exercising.
Pillar Two—Print Marketing
When it comes to the quality of content, print has a higher perceived credibility than digital. For example, if you read a piece of content on a Facebook post, you may automatically discount it. But if you were presented that same ad printed in Forbes magazine, you may feel differently and, likely, more engaged.
Inherently, readers place print on a higher pedestal because it is harder to produce and is more expensive to create than digital.
The most effective way to “own the ink in your industry” is to take your print marketing strategy to the next level by publishing your own book or magazine!
Pillar Three—Face-to-Face Interactions
As effective as print and digital marketing can be, it is still a one-way conversation with the buyer—you are sharing information and material, and the buyer consumes it.
Face-to-face interaction is different. You interact in real time with a prospect, which includes tools like in-person conversations, presentations, events, webinars, phone calls, and even chat functions.
As entrepreneurs and marketers, you know that advertising campaigns alone may not cut it. You may need to have at least one face-to-face interaction with a buyer to validate your product or service before a buyer makes a purchase.
If you are like most entrepreneurs and marketing managers, you may not have the required time needed to create content. But there are freelance websites like Upwork and Fiverr that can provide quality ghostwriters, graphic designers, video editors and other content specialists at a reasonable cost.
It Takes All Three Pillars
For most of us, no one pillar is more important than the other—which is why it takes the marriage of all three to complete a customer’s buying cycle and close a sale. And the best way to effectively keep your marketing message on point is to have the right strategy for all three pillars to own it!
Now, go out and own the ink in your industry!