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June 23, 2022

A Product Marketing Perspective on Personal Branding, Content and Influence

A Product Marketing Perspective on Personal Branding, Content and Influence

I recently did a 1/2 day training for a client that uncovered a plethora of unique opportunities which I want to share with you in this episode.

A product-centric approach to social media marketing can yield effective results at many levels.

When taking a product marketing perspective on how an organization can best promote their products, you will uncover new opportunities to leverage personal branding, content, and yield more influence than you might have found possible.

Listen in for the details and how all of these aspects of digital and social media marketing can work together in harmony.

Key Highlights

[03:22] How Do We Get the Word Out of Your Product?

[03:57] Talk About your Product!

[04:36] The Different Elements You Need to be Successful in Social Media

[05:33] The Concept of Influence

[06:00] Valuing Employee Influencers

[07:30] Help Your Employees Create Personal Brands Aligned with their Expertise

[08:04] Resources that Will Help You Optimize Your Profile

[09:22] Brainstorming Excercise I Created

[10:30] The Concept of Publishing Content for Influence and Thought Leadership

[10:59] What is Thought Leadership?

[11:28] How Does Publishing Your Perspective Create Influence?

[14:32] How Often Should You Publish Content?

[15:02] Types of Content You Can Publish on a Daily Basis

Notable Quotes

  • And on a website, sure, you're going to have your dedicated resources and content for your product. When it comes to social media, you're fighting with all the other products for attention.
  • Too often we think of ourselves as a company, when we should think of ourselves as a product, people are not buying the company, they're buying the product. So everything that we do, ideally, should be talking about.
  • And once we understand the importance of social media, we understand the importance of content in social media. It is the currency of not just social media, but digital media in general.
  • There is a very distinct relationship between influence content, and social media, you establish a presence in social media, you begin to publish content, and share your views or talk about a product around a certain niche, so to speak, and over time, that helps you build influence on that topic.
  • So if you're thinking, Yeah, we have people in our business, that should be more in the spotlight, they should be more active and social, they should be just more naturally talking about what they're an expert in, because it's going to help our business.
  • And the thought leadership content shows your subject matter expertise, it ideally promote your company, it speaks to potential customers, and industry partners. And indirectly, it should sell your product, the engagement type of content, shows your human side promotes your personal brand, it speaks to your broader network and connections, who might not necessarily be interested in your product. It sells you that your company, and it gets broader engagement.

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Transcript

Neal Schaffer:

Are you ready to think about your marketing from a product marketing perspective? visa vie digital and social media marketing, I promise it's going to impact how you promote your business. So Let's cue it up for this next episode of The your digital marketing coach podcast. Digital social media content influencer marketing, blogging, podcasting, blogging, tick talking LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, SEO, SEM, PPC, email marketing. Whew. There's a lot to cover. Whether you're a marketing professional entrepreneur, or business owner, you need someone you can rely on for expert advice. Good thing you've got Neil, on your side, because Neal Schaffer is your digital digital marketing marketing coach, helping you grow your business with digital first marketing one episode at a time. This is your digital marketing coach. And this is Neal Schaffer. Hey, everybody, Neal Schaffer here, your digital marketing coach, and welcome to episode number 272 of my humble podcast. How the heck are you doing today? All right. So I always like to try to shake things up on this podcast in terms of the topics I cover. But I also like to share with you what I am doing in the real world helping businesses said I can help your business. So fairly recently, I was hired to do a really a presentation slash workshop for a b2b brand. Now, what I'm going to talk about is as relevant, I believe, to b2c, as it is to b2b. But nevertheless, this was a European b2b brand. And they had a very, very interesting issue was that they realized that they had internal subject matter experts, and that these internal subject matter experts really weren't branded, and or active on social media and the people that hired me, in essence, were the product marketers, you have marketers that are in charge of various products throughout the company. And or perhaps they're in charge of not just product markets, but geographical markets as well. So they understand that there is a corporate, digital and social presence. And on a website, sure, you're going to have your dedicated resources and content for your product. When it comes to social media, you're fighting with all the other products for attention. And I recall, many moons ago, when a a global, you know, fortune 500 b2b software company hired me for a very short term project, because it was someone in charge of a specific product line that did not think that his product was getting the the TLC attention, that he believed it should have gotten from corporate marketing from the social media channels, what have you. So I was hired to do a short term campaign to really basically establish a new channel, just talking about this product, and obviously trying to meet certain objectives and goals that we ended up meeting. But it's the same thing of, we have a product, we are inside a larger entity, how do we get the word out about our product? And oftentimes, if you're a larger company, like this European company, it is almost an exercise in employee advocacy, right? How do we get these people to talk about a product, but for the rest of you listening that aren't in b2b, this is equally important, because too often we think of ourselves as a company, when we should think of ourselves as a product, people are not buying the company, they're buying the product. So everything that we do, ideally, should be talking about the product, I see a lot of companies, they talk about the company in social media, and I get it for employer branding, there are certain objectives, that it makes sense to do that. But people really aren't interested in companies, right? They're interested in in solutions, and how you can help make their life better. And that often comes down to the product, not the company, right? So when you begin to think about products, you begin to uncover how you can work with influencers, visa vie your product, how you can start to target product related keywords with your search engine optimization, and so on, and so on and so on. But getting back to this half day workshop that I did, I just want to, you know, review with you what I reviewed with them to make you understand all the different elements that you need in order to be successful in social media, like a product marketer should, even if you're not a product marketer, obviously, so obviously, you know, even in b2b, we know that social media plays a role It plays one role in marketing. It's not everything. As I say social media replaces nothing, it complements everything. But when you think about it, you got search, you got email, you got social. And if there's any area in which we as individuals can have impact, it's obviously that social media role. And once we understand the importance of the social media, we understand the importance of content in social media. It is the currency of not just social media, but digital media in general. And then once we understand the role of content, right, let's now toss in this concept of influence, and there is a very distinct relationship between influence content, and social media, you establish a presence in social media, you begin to publish content, and share your views or talk about a product around a certain niche, so to speak, and over time, that helps you build influence on that topic. And when we look at it that way, we realize that employee influencers, I sort of don't like the word employee advocate setting employee influencer is much more powerful, and targeted word, but you can understand that employ influencers, employees that are active on social media that also understand the product. With b2b, this becomes really, really important, especially if you have a technology product. It's not the salespeople who understand the product. It's not the marketing people. Well, obviously, it's the product marketers, but it's also the people in r&d, the people in technology, the people in engineering, or whatever it is, that often you'll bring to calls you bring to conferences, you'll have present on webinars, those are the people who understand that technology the product far deeper than anyone else. And yes, in b2c, it is the exact same thing. Who are those people? And how do we get them to be more active on social? Obviously, the no brainer, people that should be active on social are the salespeople, right? That goes without saying they can actually monetize their influence, but the same concept should apply to everybody. So if you're thinking, Yeah, we have people in our business, that should be more in the spotlight, they should be more active and social, they should be just more naturally talking about what they're an expert in, because it's going to help our business. And hey, it's gonna help them as well, they're gonna be able to create a great personal brand. And that's really where this all starts if you want to implement it. If you find those people, right, you own a product. As an entrepreneur, as a business owner, you own a company, but you also own products or product, or maybe you have someone designated to own a product, or you have a product marketing department. You have people that own products, how do we create personal brands for them? How do we help them? How do we teach them? How do we nurture them, so that they create a personal brand that's really aligned with their expertise. And although now, it really depends on the industry, for my client, obviously, it came down to LinkedIn, if you're in b2b, it comes down to LinkedIn. And it comes down to reviewing everything that should be going into your profile, I have a great free book that I revise every year maximizing LinkedIn for business, and download that ebook, I also have some wonderful blog resources. I hate to say that a about my own resources, but I've invested a lot of time to build my own library of content around LinkedIn, on Neal schaffer.com, you'll find a number of resources there that will help you optimize your profile for whatever personal brand you have. But that is where it starts. And then you don't stop there, then it's about publishing content. It's about publishing content, for influence, and for thought leadership. Now, in previous episodes, I already went through those areas, where I felt that most people and I do this LinkedIn audit. For a lot of clients. Most people do well, and most people don't do well. So you're going to have to listen to that episode, which is episode number 258, just a few months ago, the 10 areas of your LinkedIn profile, where a majority of you are failing. So listen to that, to get the details on that. And I went over that in my presentation. But going beyond that, I think it's when we get into the publishing of content, that we begin to struggle on a consistent basis. And I also just want to say that, you know, before I go on to the content, I had a very interesting brainstorming exercise that I created for the participants that I want to go over with you as well, when you think about that personal branding, as a product marketer, as the owner of a product or as a corporate marketer. You know, what are the companies you work for the industries, you've worked in the titles you've had the roles you've had, the products that you've managed or sold or marketed? And the same goes to technologies, the skills you have your personality, your hobbies, your passions, what awards have you gotten? What recognition Have you received? What certificate aces Do you have what experiences do you have, both professionally and personal? What languages do you speak? What locations have you lived in? What visuals Do you think best represent who you are as a person, I think if you go through this branding, brainstorm exercise, as I like to call it, I think that you're going to get a lot of really, really great data points that you can use in your own branding. But I want to move off, that's what we're going to include in our LinkedIn profile or whatever profile on whatever social network that we have. But I want to talk a little bit more about this concept of publishing content for influence and thought leadership. Because if you think about it, influencers, publish content and build community through being active on social media. Now, I don't care what industry you're in, I want your company, your people to be considered the thought leaders in that industry. And it's really interesting, I went to this exercise of defining thought leadership. And I did some Google searches and I saw what came up. But what's really interesting is that most definitions of thought leadership include the word influence, case in point, become an influencer for your peers by providing valuable insight. A thought leader or influencer is someone who's based on their expertise and perspective and an industry offers unique guidance inspires innovation, and influences others. Here's another one, successfully influence others in your respective field and become a reliable source of insight and information. So taking it one step further, how does publishing your perspective create influence? Well, it's very easy. Let's take LinkedIn and as example, and it's really the same unless we're talking like tick tock reels, YouTube shorts, where it can go up to anyone and everyone, that's even easier to understand. But just on a social network, like LinkedIn, you publish content, it goes out to your network, someone in your network likes, comments, shares, it's now going out to your networks connections. And then you also have the concept of a search engine, whether it's hashtags on Instagram or LinkedIn, where you have the potential to be seen even more LinkedIn marketing solutions, actually, recently, you know, commented on a post that I did on LinkedIn, I know that one of my digital first community members, Ted Schachter, I'm gonna give him a shout out. He had one of his posts about Apple wallet, be picked up by the LinkedIn editor, and he gained a few 100 followers, and a lot of recognition from one LinkedIn post. This is how publishing your perspective creates influence. It's also about the 99 one rule, people are not as active as you think it's 1% content creators in 99%, either lurkers or engagers. But I think when we think about the product, right, this whole idea of Product Marketing is thinking of a product centric perspective. The problem is, we can't just be all business, right? So I like to divide the content that I recommend you publish, even as a business or as a person, you have your quote, unquote, thought leadership content, and you have your engagement content. And the thought leadership content shows your subject matter expertise, it ideally promote your company, it speaks to potential customers, and industry partners. And indirectly, it should sell your product, the engagement type of content, shows your human side promotes your personal brand, it speaks to your broader network and connections, who might not necessarily be interested in your product. It sells you that your company, and it gets broader engagement. And what happens is, the more engagement you get on those engagement content posts, the more engagement you're going to get on your thought leadership content, your the more visibility you're gonna get, right? Because you've sort of raised the average engagement, you've raised your place in the algorithm by sharing content that gets a lot of engagement. So I want to finish this, by and I'm sort of looking at the slides that I presented as I record this podcast, but I want to end this with ideas. Of if you've come this far in the podcast, you understand who needs to be talking about what maybe it's yourself, maybe it's other people in the company. And you understand you need that personal brand. And I already went through that branding, brainstorm exercise, download my LinkedIn book, that same concept applies to any social network. publishing the content is where many struggle so I want to give you as I did in the presentation, some concrete ideas about the types of content you can publish on a daily basis that will help serve you now. I have a lot of people asking me, Neil do I need to publish on a daily basis, and I throw up a slide and the slide says beginner, publish once a month, intermediate publish once a week, advanced publish every day. If you're new to this, you just want to publish once a month awesome. You want to notch it up, go for weekly you want to go further go for daily, you do not need to publish more than one time a day, with the exception of maybe Twitter. But on most networks, I think that is sufficient for 99% of All of us that are listening to this podcast. So content, asking a question, what do you think about? That is a really, really easy one to get engagement? Obviously, the basics are asking a question, posting a photo, sharing a link to external content, or uploading a video. Right? Those are the four main content mediums. And obviously, when we go off of LinkedIn, there's other mediums as well. And we can include LinkedIn polls, and what have you. But I gave some examples of content, all of the content that I'm going to talk about here actually performed well on LinkedIn. And this is what really surprises people that when sometimes they share news about their company, it does well on LinkedIn. And the reason is that your network wants to support you. And especially in a professional network like LinkedIn, it makes a lot of sense that they would want to like you up as well. But guess what, this is going to work on Facebook, it's gonna work on Instagram as well, the company introduction, right? This only works really if you're new at a company or if you're new on social media, but sometimes just in your own voice, talking about what your company is about, can generate engagement when you have new products. Obviously, with all this, you want to tie together visuals, right? But new products can help once again, develop that leadership as you talk about that new product, the technology that went into it, etc, etc. Events are huge. As we come out of Coronavirus ever so slowly, and we get back to events. Events are a great way to create lots of content, if you have the ability to visit customers. This is or just you know, meet with customers or you know, whether it's at a store or at a conference or wherever it is, that is another great way in which you can be creating content company awards, if your company wins an award, just simply promoting your company with a visual saying, you know, this is what we do. I have some unfortunately, you can't see the visuals that I'm showing on my home screen. But some very creative ways of displaying company product actually generated a lot of engagement for these people, you know, a lot of different ways you can promote your company. We also have company news, there were some mergers and acquisition information or news that got a lot of engagement from some of these people as well. So hopefully this gives you some ideas about what you can publish, ideally, on a consistent basis. I haven't even talked about the curated content. It's not your own content, it's industry content. But that indirectly generates demand for your product without hyping up your competitor. Right now, the engagement content, it could just be as easy as saying high. Holidays are huge motivational quotes, especially business related quotes, personal achievements. What about professional lifestyle? Like, hey, getting back to work or first time traveling or while people are really curious about what that's like, especially when we think about this globally? So professional lifestyle content does your company events, if you have them social causes, I have examples of International Women's Day that did really great if you're hiring, that sort of content does really well. So I want you to think about today, after you listen, this podcast share a piece of what I define his thought leadership content. It could be from your company page, it could be from your network feed from someone else in your company, it could be industry news, it could be looking through your camera phone roll and sharing your professional memory. It could be sharing what's on your mind, it could be sharing this podcast. But I really want to challenge you to be more vocal on social media, leveraging your personal brand, but also making a case for your company and for your product. And I just think there's just so much potential right, between those who participate in social media and those who don't participate. And when we think from a product centric perspective, obviously a lot more powerful for b2b. But I will argue the same for b2c When we think about it that way. I think it unleashes a lot of potential for your company in digital and social media. And I hope that you take advantage of this challenge that I throw at you. All righty. Well, I hope you enjoyed this episode. If you're new here, I hope that you'll hit that subscribe button, and you'll come back for more. I do 50% solo episodes like this where I talk about the work that I do with clients and speaking events, the other 50% I interview thought leaders and if you are a avid listeners podcast, I'd appreciate if you could, you know take a screenshot, share it with your network, write a review or just reach out to me and say, Hey, Neal, I like your podcast. Thank you for spending the time to record it. And I'll say thank you for spending the time to acknowledge my podcast and myself. Alright everybody, that's it for another episode. This is your digital marketing coach, signing off. And remember, keep your eyes glued to that goal. Sayonara. You've been listening to you or digital marketing coach, questions, comments, requests links, go to podcast dot Neal schaffer.com get the show notes to this and 200 plus podcast episodes and Neal schaffer.com to tap into the 400 Plus blog posts that Neil has published to support your business. While you're there, check out Neil's Digital First group coaching membership community if you or your business needs a little helping hand. See you next time on your digital marketing coach.