Let’s first define what is “broadcasting to your network.” Then we can talk about what the value is – although you will have probably already come to that conclusion or understanding as I am talking about a definition of broadcasting.
Vistage and TEC Chairs Broadcasting Content
In today’s marketing world, the technique of broadcasting information goes by the name of content marketing The use of content to market and brand yourself is the “new normal” in social media marketing circles. Social media has given us the opportunity to expand our content like little ripples in a pond when we skip a stone into the water. Prior to the last few years – broadcasting for the masses has never been an option for individuals or entrepreneurial companies without deep pockets for print, radio, or tv advertising. Historically, we were forced to rely primarily on email.
You now can broadcast your content into your Facebook feeds, LinkedIn status updates, and Twitter stream so that everyone following you can read it if they stumble across it when you post it.
This broadcasting is a passive form of marketing. It gives your friends, followers, and connections an opportunity to see, read, and engage with your content whenever they desire. Your prospects like this since it’s an unobtrusive marketing tactic.
The simple idea behind broadcasting (content marketing) is that in the “Top Of Your Sales Funnel, your prospects in your target niche can read about the key issues important to them – with you as their trusted filtering source, thought-leader, source of reliable information, and framer of issues. If your content appeals enough to them, they may take the first step of downloading one of your articles, tools, ebooks, or other content which begins to move them to the “Middle of the Sales Funnel” for engagement. Phrased in more crass terms – you’re throwing your stuff against the wall hoping a few people will “bite” on it.
As comical as that approach sounds, it’s been proven to work very well because so many of your prospects get their content off the internet and use it to validate, verify, and vet who you are. Do it well by producing EPIC, inspiring, and thoughtful content, and enough prospects will tell you they want more at a deeper level – thus begins the process of “engagement and interaction”.
Effective broadcasting is not sharing links of articles you find interesting. It’s taking those articles that others have written and adding a layer of your own insight or perspective to the article. You’re adding something you feel that your network should hear about – but you’re giving context to the article by showing your network why it’s important to them.
There are numerous tools that automate the process of collecting content, giving you tools to add insight, context, or annotate the original message. Obviously, you’re giving full attribution to the original author through these tools so no one would accuse you of plagiarism. These tools also automate the process of posting the content into your networks for LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. My personal favorite is a tool called Scoop.it.
Broadcasting Value Proposition for Vistage and TEC Chairs
In addition to adding insight to content that your network might find valuable, I also recommend you inject into your stream of broadcasting some original content through blogging. As a Chair, this might include your insights about a recent speaker presentation, an interesting issue that surfaced in issue processing, or perhaps a case study of one of your members who took the recommendations from their group and implemented change.
I typically recommend a 4-1 ratio: for every 5 pieces of content you curate and add insight/perspective, you should be publishing 1 piece of original content – usually this will take the form of a blog post of 350-500 words in length. Your goal should be 15 minutes a day of curating and broadcasting content and 1 hour per week writing an original blog post.
What’s the value of this time investment? Why spend roughly 2 hours a week to broadcast content to your network?
- Your network treats you as “out of sight, out of mind.” For the folks that don’t sign up immediately as a Vistage/TEC member, you’ve got to stay “top-of-mind” with them on a continuous basis. Just collecting names in LinkedIn is a worthless exercise. Study after study has proven, your prospects will begin to trust you more based on the quality of content you publish.
- How do you differentiate what you do? There are many options available to CEOs of entrepreneurial companies. You’re competing against YPO, EO, Tab, Renaissance Forums, and multitude of consultants and coaches. How does the value of Vistage/TEC membership get communicated and reinforced. Your content demonstrating the value your current members have received is a powerful marketing message.
- Part of the reason members join your Vistage/TEC group is the trust they have in you to help guide them. Many individuals require a long ramp to build up this level of trust. You don’t have the time to invest to meet each CEO prospect over and over if they don’t sign up to be a member of your group immediately. Broadcasting allows you to reach and communicate with your entire network continuously – moving some of the “slower-to-trust” CEOs to engage with you.
- You build “social proof”. Many CEOs will turn to the Internet and type your name. When hundreds of blog posts and shared pieces of content layered with your personal insights come back as hits about issues facing CEOs – they realize you are a powerful voice in helping CEOs to become more effective. When all they see are a couple of hits for your LinkedIn Profile and Vistage Village Profile, they turn off – or worse – they seek another more active voice as a trusted source of information. Google Barry Deutsch and you’ll see hundreds, if not thousands of hits come back regarding hiring best practices. This is a powerful differentiator. You want your network contacts to be saying “I see you everywhere!” I get at least a dozen leads every month based on prospects searching the Internet for hiring best practices.
- Broadcasting is a high leverage activity. You extend your content through your existing network. They take the information you publish and share with their networks, who then take that content and share it with their networks, who then… – you get the idea – again, like ripples in pond, your immediate networks on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook become your ambassadors for sharing your knowledge, expertise, and thought-leadership.
Downside and Next Steps for Broadcasting to CEO Networks
What’s the downside to the strategy of broadcasting content to your network.
- It’s time-consuming. At a minimum it requires 2 hours a week of work to do it well – creative, thought provoking, intellectually stimulating, challenging, writing.
- It requires a long-term commitment and discipline. You’ll not see results in 3 or 6 months. It takes years to build up a momentum or snowball effect of having broadcast hundreds of pieces of content.
The big question is whether the benefits outweigh the personal time commitment. The other question you’ve got to ask is: What if everyone else is doing this now – will I be at a competitive disadvantage in a couple of years?
Have I provided enough of a case to justify broadcasting or content marketing? If so, what’s your specific plan to get started?