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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue ScientistMon, Dec 16, 2013 7 min read

Inbound Marketing In 2014? You Have To Think Like A Publisher

Inbound Marketing PublishingHave you ever wanted to run a magazine, TV network or radio station? Deciding what TV shows to run and when, what articles to put in the magazine, which personality to feature on the cover and what radio shows to schedule during the morning drive sounds like fun, right?

In 2014, the more you think like a TV producer, magazine editor and radio station program manager, the more your business gets found, get leads and close sales.

Let me show you how.

First, you have to realize that you already own properties that are similar to a TV station, magazine and radio network. In fact, a progressive inbound marketing agency might argue that you actually have a number of publishing properties just like these.

For instance, your YouTube channel is actually a TV channel of sorts, and you should now be proactively planning the programming for that channel. Your own website probably has video on it, in essence making it another TV channel that requires programming. Your Google Plus, LinkedIn and Facebook sites are also more closely related to a TV channel than other traditional media.

Just like with TV channels, people jump in and out all day long, looking for TV that either entertains or educates them. Today, people visit your website, Google Plus, Facebook and LinkedIn channels daily, looking for interesting information that either educates them or entertains them. One difference is that on social media sites, viewers have the ability to share this information with other viewers, making the quality of that content even more important.

Instead of ratings, your channels are measured based on views, followers, friends, connections and shares. The better your programming, the more people visit to view it. You need to consider creating original and unique programming for each channel. After all, the viewers on your Facebook page are likely different viewers than of your website, Google Plus page, LinkedIn or even your YouTube channel.

You also have a magazine to publish. That magazine is your blog. Anyone who subscribes to your blog is an avid reader of your company’s own magazine. These subscribers are waiting to see what you write about. They are looking for both educational and entertaining content. They are interested in the promise of thought leadership from a dynamic and progressive company. If this wasn’t the case, they wouldn’t have subscribed to your blog in the first place.

Don’t disappoint them. First, would you read a magazine that only published one article a month? Not only would it be a very thin magazine, but it certainly wouldn’t be worth much. Make sure you create enough blog posts to keep your readers educated, entertained and engaged. Make sure your magazine takes a position and don’t be afraid to ruffle a few feathers or take a contrarian position. If you use printed magazines as your guide, look at some of their covers. Most have compelling and controversial pictures and headlines.

Actually, all of your printed content becomes part of your magazine. Infographics, whitepapers, e-books, tip guides and research studies all get cross promoted through your blog and website, giving your readers the chance to move from a short blog article to a longer and more in-depth article on a particular topic.

Last but not least, you have a radio station that needs to be programmed, as well. Webinars, interviews, conference calls and live discussion forums all provide your listeners access to educational and entertaining information as a radio station would. Remember, you don’t program a radio station the same way you program a TV station, so make sure this content fits the format perfectly.

While we drew a lot of similarities between traditional media and inbound marketing, we do have to recognize one major difference. Traditional media brings the audience to you and you pay a fee to get access to that audience. With inbound marketing, you have to create the content to attract the audience, bringing them to you and earning their attention instead of buying it.

But just like traditional media, once you earn their attention, you have to continue to earn it every single day. Ratings change and shows go off the air because of diminished interest. The same holds true for your content creation efforts. You have to be constantly adding new content, making it more educational, more controversial and more entertaining to keep your audience happy. This also encourages them to share your content, driving more and more people to watch your TV channel, read your magazine and listen to your radio show.

The better you are at programming and producing these outlets, the more prospects you are able to attract to your company, the more leads you are able to generate for your business and the more new customers you are able to add to your company.

Start Today Tip – Now that you recognize you're in the publication business, look at your different media properties and start proactively programming for each of these outlets. What videos do you need to produce to fuel your TV stations (social networking channels)? What are the personas for the different channels and how should this content differ, channel to channel? What printed content do you need to produce for your magazine (blog)? How are you able to make your content educational and entertaining at the same time? Create editorial calendars for each of your properties. You might find there is some overlap, which means you are able to reuse content on different channels and in different media.

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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.