In today’s media drenched, smartphone always on world smart content is the lifeblood your business.
Smart content is visual, informative, topical and written so it resonates with and engages your customers, with built in calls to action that don’t get in the way of your brand messaging.
Make rinse and repeat one of your content marketing mantras.
Great content (as below) is not cheap and you gotta build in frequency as part of your content marketing initiatives.
#BTW Forget Social Media until You Have a Baseline Content Marketing Strategy in Place
No business has any business being on social media until you have a blog in place, with a minimum of 30-50 posts with 500-750 words per post, with high quality images, infographics and graphics that drive engagement with the reader.
Some of our Favorite Platforms for Sourcing Content, Writers and Copywriters
- Visually: marketplace for sourcing infographics and other types of image content: community model is still being fleshed out.
- Scripted: Submit a job, industry and guidelines and your brand is matched with a provider. Content: just about anything: blog posts, tweets, status updates, newsletters, PR, custom photos and more.
- Elance: Submit an RFP and get bids from contractors; expect 75% to be from outside U.S., providers; rates and quality vary tremendously; “Odesk” now part of Elance.
- Contently: Structured for brands and providers (journalists and others), with built in portfolio capability: does great job of connecting brands and journalists.
- Bllogger Link Up: Cathy Stucker’s stellar site for connecting bloggers and brands in need of content marketing services.
- Zerys: Automated back end managing bids and costs for content sourcing, connecting writers with jobs and brands/agencies with per-qualified writers.
- Writer Access: “white label writing” resource for brands and agencies: writer recruitment automation and content production.
- LinkedIn Groups: great for sourcing content writers, requiring more front end work vs. automated platforms; posting gigs capability controlled by group admin requiring their “permission” in some cases.
- Scoop.It: great source for sourcing and curating news and/or thematic topics for sharing on social channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and RSS); morphing to a mini social network, requiring more and more time to leverage the platform with an associated learning curve.
- Pinterest: your brand’s Pinterest account is a ready made source for images; repurpose and cross pollinate these images in other forms of content marketing: newsletter, blog, social shares and even as Twitter cards.
What You Can Expect to Pay for Good Content
“Good” is always in the eye of the beholder.
- Rock Star Content: $750.-1,200. per 1,500 Word Blog Post (factual, informative, engaging)
- Middle Grade: $175-750. per 600-1,200 Word Blog Post
- Entry Level: $125-350. per 600-1,200 Blog Post
- Editorial Calendar: $250-500. (Assumptions: Keyword Research Integrated & 60-90 day Calendar)
- Web Site Content: $65-150. per page (Assumption: images not included)
- Custom Image: $75-350. for Custom Image (Mid Tier Quality); $750.-$2K or more (Top Tier Quality)
- Press Release: $250-500. per PR, not including local or national syndication costs: $175-1K on average, SEO optimization included and custom “about” section
- Commercial Images: go with Getty Images. There is a reason their images stand out.
Avoiding that All Important Click of Death Syndrome
You have ten seconds or less to garner attention with your content.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t create long and short form content.
Embrace long form content:at least 35% of your content should tell a story or give the visitor a deep dive into your content.
How to Put Your Content on a Diet
- Headlines drive the visitor into the text; or not! Be compelling.
- Know your visitor – what do they want to read and how do you educate?
- Try to integrate some emotion or personality into your content.
- Confusion kills: God knows all content marketers struggle with this. Try to be concise.
- Bullets and Numbers are smartphone friendly – use them or lose the visitor’s attention span.
- Use photos, infographics, images; some times the wackier the better.
Don’t fall in love with content marketing platforms and syndication.
It’s never going to end well.
The technology is just a means to an end. No more, no less.
Create stellar content that’s “comment enabled” and listen to the community.
You’ll know if the content is resonating based on sharing and time on your site.
All You Need to Know about Creating Smart Content
Mastering content marketing takes time patience and hard work – it’s an iterative process with lots of trial and error assessments.
Smart content is fact loaded, informative, engaging and speaks to your visitor.
Images are interest builders that help to drive visitors into your content – be creative and take risks.
Great Content is Buried in Your Business DNA - Find It and Publish Everywhere
Involve your entire organization whether it’s five or fifty people: great content ideas come in all shapes and sizes: admins, customers, channel partners, sales, support, customer service and/or exec staff.