The key to good Content Marketing is content, obviously. But, surprisingly, this is where a lot of small businesses and marketers completely miss the boat when they get started with content marketing. They might make use of some good content marketing practices here-and-there -- blogging, social media, webinars, etc -- but they never really dive deep with a high-quality content marketing campaign. If that sounds like you, then I recommend setting up something called an "Initial Sequence" to remedy the situation. Let me explain...
What Is An Initial Sequence?
I wish I could take credit for this term "Initial Sequence" but all of the credit goes to one of my favorite marketing thinkers, Jermaine Griggs, who coined the term and the idea from his multi-million dollar HearAndPlay.com enterprise.
Simply put, an initial sequence is a kind of "kickstart" marketing campaign that exposes your prospects to some of your very best content. An initial sequence is a chance for your prospects to consume your content while you get a chance to measure their level of interest and engagement with your business.
There are lots of different ways to build an initial sequence. The most important thing is to be true to your business and what you have to offer, but here are some ideas and examples:
- Mini video course
- Webinar series
- Teleclass series
- Educational articles series
You get the idea. It's critical that your initial sequence includes content your prospects will love and is delivered in a format your prospects will be most likely to consume. Personally, I recommend video because it's the easiest format to consume and to measure.
The idea behind an initial sequence is to have a very specific campaign you put your prospects down to measure their engagement with you and your business before asking for their money. The best initial sequences focus on education, information, even entertainment. It's all about building up trust and positioning.
Why Is An Initial Sequence Good Content Marketing?
The goal of content marketing is to build a relationship with your prospects. An initial sequence helps you achieve this by giving you and your business a chance to demonstrate expertise and authority in your niche.
Good content marketing is also about good marketing, and today that means creating authority with your prospects. Robert Cialdini's book Influence is a must-read on this subject. The key principles of influence he talks about in that book are all at work in a good Initial Sequence -- Reciprocity, Commitment & Consistency, Social Proof, Authority, Liking, and Scarcity.
Perhaps most important of all, an initial sequence helps YOU qualify your prospects and sort the good from the bad.
What about you? Are you using an initial sequence in your marketing already? What questions do you have about initial sequences? Leave your comment below.