The layoffs at IBM are causing people working for other companies to be concerned for their job security—so much so they dream of figuring out how best to take the self-employment plunge themselves.
Executive team members at big companies are reexamining their marketing departments’ efforts and wondering whether they are realizing adequate promotional and advertising value for their core businesses.
The one thing both of these groups have in common is the necessity for cost-effective, high-yielding-in-return messaging strategies.
What is a messaging strategy?
Quite simply put, a messaging strategy is the way you promote yourself, your business, your company and your company’s products and service offerings. It is sometimes erroneously referred to as advertising, marketing or branding. While these buzz words can at times touch upon messaging strategies, they are not in and of themselves messaging strategies; they are merely what I call “Mad men-esque” flavor words of the month—the most recent of the bunch being “branding.”
When I think of branding, I still have visions of the Bar-S brand going across the side rear quarters of a pig. Or better yet, maybe the singed initials (U-eat ‘em soon?) of some meat company on a bull. Branding most certainly does not get the word out, nor am I good with people as brands, either. I don’t buy into the whole “you need a brand in order to be successful” bit.
If your business, product or service offering is good, provides value and there is a demand for it, you simply need to get the word out most effectively.
And another way to define messaging strategy is how you get the word out. What is your message? What are you trying to convey? If you are still interested in yourself as a “brand” you need to go to your local grocer and get some bacon so as to identify with my characterization of “brand” above. Brands are also good words for things like iced tea, as in, “What brand of iced tea do you drink?” It has nothing to do with getting the word out.
In the old days, business owners would pay for display advertising in their local papers. This was very costly, sometimes involved utilizing coupons with the display advertising and further reducing the yield effectiveness of that particular promotional strategy. After all, as a business owner, you were already paying a hefty sum for the advertising space and your profit margins were further reduced by having to accept coupons that were clipped out to be used towards the purchase of an item or service at a discounted price.
These days newspaper advertising is a no-no. Your yields are terrible and the prices are still outrageous for the lousy results you get. In a reflection of their desperation, newspapers have taken to running testimonials from business owners who have used their advertising spaces. I suppose if you have never tried to promote your business, newspapers might be of some help, but they are easily not your best value.
For large companies that throw big dollars at internal marketing departments to promote core businesses, these misguided efforts are largely a waste of precious funding, time and resources (read paying people hefty salaries who are not directly involved in the production of company goods, services or products).
But my company has a blog!
Well, you are getting warm, but you are still missing the boat. This goes for both the newly RIF’d (Reduction In Force) employee starting his or her own business as well as the Fortune 500 company CFO who is contemplating how best to render image and message.
What places you directly in the driver’s seat to most handily deliver your company’s messaging strategy is to utilize the relatively new to the scene, but inevitable wave of the future for getting the word out: Sponsored Blog Posts (SBPs). Quite simply put, SBPs like those offered here at hittingthesweetspot by Bob Skelley, offer the chance to showcase your company, business, product and service offerings at a popular web destination seen by industry insiders and business prospects alike. Your message is being delivered to both domestic and international audiences, too—the whole world is reading on any given day.
- Advertising in your local paper (or magazines) cannot come close to matching that (see above).
- Releasing internal newsletters and company blogs cannot come close to matching that (these would be fine if they were only for employees and not planned as promotional tools for new business).
- Your favorite TV and radio show advertising cannot come close to matching that (unless you can afford to buy a Super Bowl spot).
The jury remains out on Twitter and Facebook, as while better than company internal blogs, newspapers, television and radio advertising, they cannot tell the story nor deliver the message SBPs can.
If you are truly serious about improving the visibility, transparency, viability and yes, overall bottom line of your company and/or business and product service offerings (and seriously, who isn’t?), consider the unquestionable value that bettering your messaging strategy via sponsored blog posts is. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to get started today.