Great Marketers Listen Well So They Never Have to Hard Sell

“I have an idea.” – Everyone

After one and a half years of developing learning materials, running a series of online classes, and attending countless Zoom meetings, Go Digital ASEAN Philippines wrapped up programming for 2021.  We gave ourselves permission to savor the whole experience with an almost nostalgic after-party party before going on holiday. 

Having an in-person meeting in a real conference room, commuting for more or less an hour, sitting in traffic, and getting scanned at every point of entry, walking across a parking lot, riding an elevator other than the one in the building where I lived, walking into a store and browsing shop windows at the mall—all within a little less than 4 hours, felt like it was the holiday season of old. I will not apologize. It felt good to be out and about like some ancient human being zapped into 2022 by a time machine.

Oh no! Now it’s Omicron!

Now everyone is getting sick (again). Shelves are going empty (again). This time it was cold medicines and not toilet papers that were gone. The whole toilet paper panic-buying episode is now a page in history–only found in the 21st century archives, locked away until people dust it off the same way they did the history of coronavirus in the mid 1960’s in 2020.

We’ve all had more than enough of the seemingly unending quasi-vacation, nomadic, work-from-anywhere-but-mostly-at-home mode the past two years. A few weeks ago, right before most people I know temporarily set aside the never-ending pandemic story, I got to fly in and visit one of our partner’s offices in Manila. I didn’t realize how much I missed working in an office until then.

The thought of COVID seemed distant until I felt under the weather a few days ago—a first in ages! I tested negative but showed all the symptoms. Sometimes, too many resources can drive one to the point of exasperation. 

The single red line shown on the covid home testing kit was not as comforting as I expected, seeing that I felt all the symptoms anyway. But for one thing, watching Jamie Roberts’ tutorial on How to do a COVID-19 Self-Test (rapid antigen test) has made me want to practice speaking with a Welsh accent. There’s always a bright(er) side to things if you look closely enough.


Meat in Every Story

I have a couple of things I am stoked about this year.

First is coming up with my own recipe for vegan meatloaf and vegan meatballs. I was piddling about in the kitchen during the holidays but could not muster the confidence to start because I have too many options. 

Search for ‘vegan meatloaf’ or ‘vegan meatballs’, and the impossible suddenly became possible. Search engine results pages look promising. Ha! 20,700,000 results (0.67 seconds) and 107,000,000 results (0.65 seconds) respectively.

Pick the most popular or the most intriguing? Pick the one that is quickest to make? Wait, who needs a 750-word blog to get to a recipe? 

Hint to self: Youtube videos, timestamped and captioned, help, for sure.

As far as I’m concerned, ‘traditional’ is relative when it comes to family recipes. And marketing.
Meatloaf, meatballs and marketing. Why not? I got inspired, continued typing and I am writing this post.

Second, launching PublioX with our pilot ‘Ask Me Anything… but first ORVN’. WTH is ORVN? A Show and Tell session brought to you by the team behind The New Content Culture™ Publisher’s M.O.™. Join live every Tuesday, from 10AM-11AM (Manila) and noon to 1pm (New York). Register for free by clicking here.

Want to make better marketing content that gets your customers excited and engaged? We all do. The recipe is incomplete without the key ingredient. Your North Star. Without your North Star in sight, it is easy to go anywhere and nowhere.

We have been thinking about opening a free online space that talks about staying open for business by winning and keeping customers using content for over a year. We started by launching this show Follow Your North Star: A Publio Podcast and by creating a self-paced online masterclass for busy business owners, entrepreneurs and marketers. 

If you are cringing at the thought of another online class, do not despair.

ORVN is not just another conversation about pivoting. It is not about going digital. It is about showing and telling your story using a live, interactive, easy-to-learn system. Real conversations that lead to your business A-ha! about owning your content IRL.

Marketers generally ask the same sets of questions circling around two main things: CONVERSION and ROI. 

If you have read this far, I am sure you can relate. Can you really squeeze conversions out of your content? It is time to clear the overwhelm, to declutter, and to simplify. 

There are healthier options to approach your content marketing in 2022.

Most of us feel the need to be justified in what we do as content creators. We have faced these moments of truth since we went down the content marketing ROI path. Much like starting a New Year’s Resolution every year, only to end up frustrated after a week or so.

ORVN is not a magic pill or a quick-fix for your marketing woes. 

ORVN is a way of thinking and a way of doing.

ORVN is your groundwork for a successful content strategy.

Yes or No.

There are tons of online tools and resources to help you come up with roadmaps and tactics to help you on your way. Yes.

There are countless free downloadable templates easily accessible. Yes.

There are email newsletters you’ve subscribed to but largely left unread in your mailboxes with even more tips and tricks. Yes.

So what’s new? What do editors want? Two things I’ve learnt is that:

  1. Our editors are our audience and 
  2. Our editor is whoever controls the proverbial purse strings 

And our audience do not want to be sold to. 

So what now? We listen.

With the right amount of stirring of your content marketing pot, you might just surprise yourself with a winning idea and a killer recipe that is right under your nose the whole time! 

Wouldn’t you want to be smarter about making the light bulb shine brighter? Needless to say, results won’t be served on a silver platter. We need to get to work. Let’s test it with ORVN.

Content marketing is not a lost cause if you know how to listen well.

While not all businesses can carry on 100% virtually, you have the choice to stay relevant and connected–YOUR way, using YOUR voice. 

For those of us who continue to explore and navigate the wonderful world of digital communities, the possibilities of creating and owning  content that connects, captivates, and wins-over true fans are endless. 

You have an equal chance of succeeding by doing something and by not doing anything. 

In cooking and in marketing, to be effective, you have to work at it, enjoy it, and share it! Same goes for coming up with my own vegan meatloaf and meatballs recipes. 

The choices are infinite for either. It is certainly worth a shot. Best of luck on cooking up your next content marketing strategy!