The 3 Top Ways B2B Marketers Brand Themselves
http://www.inc.com/jeremy-goldman/the-3-top-ways-b2b-marketers-brand-themselves.htmlGiven the shifting media landscape, personal branding for entrepreneurs is more important than ever. After all, it's an incredibly competitive out environment if you're looking to build name recognition. Luckily, there are some mechanism that may be helpful for you in getting your name out there that are often underused. Here are some of the top ways you can build name ID:
Authors have similarly expanded options, as the e-book market grows and self-publishing becomes a viable and even preferred method of sharing work. While traditional publishing is far from dead, the market has certainly changed. Authors such as Deepak Chopra, Gertrude Stein, and Upton Sinclair have self-published works, and there are plenty of advantages to self-publishing. But there's a downside as well: self-published authors don't get the marketing materials provided by the Big Six, and have to work very hard in order to rise through the ranks, establish their personal brand, and attract the necessary readership to succeed. If you're not Deepak Chopra--if you are, I'm a huge fan, thanks for reading!--personal branding and establishing a strong digital and offline footprint are going to be key to actually selling some books.
If you're like me, you may have noticed an interesting phenomenon in the last year or two: more and more of your colleagues have mentioned a business-centric podcast that you ought to check out, or you've overheard others talking about something they learned from a podcast. Is this the start of a huge new craze?
Entrepreneurs and small businesses that want to market themselves see audio podcasting as an inexpensive, easy-to-learn cousin of video production. The speed of podcasting works for shows such as the top-rated Marketing Over Coffee podcast, as co-host John Wall is acutely aware: "We cover the intersection of marketing and technology, so it's an easy way to get information out there quickly." While speed to market is an advantage that podcasts possess, production quality still matters. Like most content, if you don't produce great stuff, people will tune you out.
Podcasting isn't that splashy, but it has been steadily growing for some time now. "The reality is that there has been steady organic growth for the past eight years. And that won't change," says Wall. "In spite of the press possibly turning against podcasting [once the current hype cycle is over], podcasting will continue its steady growth."
Despite that likely progression, slow and steady growth hasn't left podcasting with a dominant market share--or, more specifically, ear-share. Edison Research's Share of Ear 2014 report found that Americans spent over four hours a day consuming audio, but only 1.7% of that time was spent listening to podcasts. That's certainly not a massive number, considering podcasting has been around since 2004.
Then again, perhaps it's the very fact that podcasting isn't as dominant a media type that makes it so popular with its biggest advocates. "Early adopters have a huge advantage with new marketing techniques. At Marketing Over Coffee, we are sharing inside tips with our friends. We really don't want them to spread quickly via every channel, as that would burn our advantage too quickly," says Wall.
While there are plenty of unknowns about the shape and form of podcasting's growth, Wall is optimistic that podcast lovers have plenty to look forward to: "The people that realize that they can stake out a unique niche will be successful. Podcasting will continue to grow because people love listening to topics they are passionate about, and they can more easily find and consume that content than ever before."
There's no question that there's high quality content out there for consumption. Besides Wall and Christopher S. Penn's Marketing Over Coffee, there's Freakonomics, Six Pixels of Separation, HBR IdeaCast, The Tim Ferriss show, and many more.
In short, podcasting is indeed on the rise--just don't expect it to be a meteoric one. And, maybe that's a good thing.
SlideShare, owned and operated by LinkedIn, is a particularly great resource for those who work in the B2B world. At last count, the site had 70 million users, with 41% of all of North American B2B marketers using SlideShare to distribute content. To date, over 18 million presentations have been posted to SlideShare.
Jason Miller, Global Content Marketing Leader at LinkedIn, embraces visuals and an unexpected, entertaining way of presenting to people when he's building a deck to upload on Slideshare. "I think of slides as comedy bits," Jason explained when I interviewed him for my last book, Getting to Like. "The more stuff you have on a slide, the less you know your subject." Jason's a self-described Ted Talks nerd. By reading the book Talk Like Ted, Jason found that analysis of the top 1,000 Talks yielded an interesting observation: roughly 70% of the Talks were stories. "I know it's very clichéd to say you're a storyteller these days, but if you don't have a story, if you don't have some sort of angle to build around, you're going to be boring. And nobody wants to hear that." Slideshare is a challenging yet tremendously rewarding way to drive immense amounts of B2B traffic and build a name for yourself.
Whether you try self-publishing, podcasting, or becoming a SlideShare superstar, the trick is to stick with it, and improve your skills overtime. Don't expect overnight success, but if you keep learning and improving as you go, you'll have a chance to build a name for yourself faster than your competition - and isn't that what we're all aiming for?