We try to focus our content marketing initiatives on Small to Medium Sized Businesses. That’s the client based we focus on (a bit self-serving we know) and more importantly, so much advice/insight about content marketing initiatives is pushed out into the ether referencing sexy marketing campaigns about big brands that’s meaningless for most small businesses. Our attempt at writing the wrongs and balancing the scales - four key initiatives to help you create a meaningful content marketing strategy.
Think Like an Anarchist with Your Marketing Strategy
We love Jenny Mollen’s Twitter Location Description: “in your driveway with the lights off.” It’s creative and a bit off the wall and in your face anarchy, similar to Abbie Hoffman’s “Steal this Book” - both of these titles get your attention, make an impact and drive brand awareness. As a small business, you can’t always caption a press release with an anthem borrowed from the 60′s but you can think about irreverent Tweets, creative photos uploaded to Facebook and Pinterest that may be out there on the cutting edge - think creative.
Integrate News with your Content Marketing Initiatives
Your business may not have the budget of the Huffington Post but you can co-opt Arianna Huffington’s publishing strategy for your own business. Here’s how: identify what’s trending in your industry this week or month, set up an informal Editorial Calendar, then write content that touches on these trends, follow industry thought leaders (who’s influential via Klout or Kred) to get “big picture” news or events that you want to write or Tweet about. Don’t forget about #hashtags for news gathering; set up a Twitter List(s) populated with hashtags that related to your business and you’ve got your own mini news gathering “organization” all set up.
Invite Guests or Customers to Help you Create Meaningful Content
Let’s face it your business probably isn’t going to recruit Richard Branson for your blog like American Express. But, you have key customers and business partners who’d love to get free publicity via guest blogging that is socially amplified vie your social media accounts. Think like a publisher when sharing content - it should be “repeatable” across multiple platforms (Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) with a built in “rinse and repeat” cycle that drives content awareness on a occurring basis.
Remember your target customers are moving across multiple accounts and platforms every day. If you want to get their attention you must build in some repetition components to your content marketing initiatives. You may want to use some paid promotions to enhance the digital reach or your content marketing; these can include pay per click or sponsored posts via Facebook. But, be aware, the best ROI for your content marketing will always be sharing high quality content that engages your audience across the social web.
The best source for high quality Guest Bloggers (ignoring paid sponsorships) is Cathy Stucker’s “Blogger Link Up” which is a superb source (no paid promotions or ads are allowed) for finding guest bloggers that write good compelling content, in exchange for market visibility. Make sure you vet their work of course and integrate some administrative control over the content they may produce for your brand.
Editorial Lines are Blurring for Branded Content
We repurpose our Pinterest Infographics via our blog and actively monitor news sources using hashtags, Twitter Lists and RSS feeds to stay on top of news that’s occurring in real time suitable for sharing across our social profiles. As should you to drive awareness of the moving target we call news and information.
Top tier publishing sites such as Mashable, BuzzFeed and even the storied Washington Post are starting to mix and match news with commercially sourced content. We are not advocating cutting and pasting content into your blog or Tumblr accounts. But, there’s nothing wrong with using sourced news content across your social media accounts. Make sure you underscore the source as you share the content - pay it forward and honor copyright issues.
Key takeaways: take some risks with your content marketing initiatives - blend in a little anarchist with your content sharing, mirror some of the news gathering and content publishing processes utilized by top tier publishers and integrate customer stories or guest blogging into your content stream.