So, you just uploaded some great content to your blog post and shared it across you social accounts expecting a signal back from the universe.
But nothing: a ping with no echo.
Instead the old hawk and drone story hit you upside the head. #realization
You remember, the one your grandad used to tell you sitting around the wood stove?
Everything old is new again and William Randolph Hearst was more prescient than even he imagined!
It’s a publish or perish world.
Over 70% of marketers today struggle with creating a coherent marketing strategy.
That’s not going to be reassuring.
Proactive steps your business should take.
- Quality content goes hand in hand with a marketing platform. At least 20% of your annual content marketing spend should be on a marketing platform.
- Less is more may be better: focus your messaging and content with WIFMs (“what’s in it for me”). They still work even for millenials.
- Embrace technology as an integral part of content marketing. If you are too small to onboard a geek then outsource this to someone who knows what they are doing.
- Don’t start content marketing until a Persona Profile is done. Who are we marketing to and how do we provide value to them?
- Design is baked in to ever marketing initiative: if they can’t use the web site via a phone all the content in the world is meaningless.
- If your a $5M a year company then your content marketing should map to your size. Don’t try to mirror Cisco, SalesForce or Intel. It’s not going to work.
- Throw out dated SEO tactics: people are not searching on keywords as much as in years past. Think about targeted phrases, not bare bone keywords.
I repeatedly hammer home themes about the importance of content syndication and using an editorial calendar but, this is not be enough.
- Publish everywhere you can that extends your brand reach via sites that are consistent with your market focus.
- My posts on Huffinton Post generate 50-100X times the ROI of my blog. I wish this weren’t the case, but that’s reality. Mainstream reach can be a good thing.
- How to find publishers: where do your “customers live?” Local or national? Understand where/how your competitors are publishing, target these publications, editors and/or journalists yourself.
Know and differentiate between content syndication, social platforms like LinkedIn, vs. publishing: getting your content shared via other sites or newsletters.
These are not the same and require distinct marketing process and a well planned content marketing strategy.
- Think like a publisher and not a business. Once Google sources and maps your content to your web site then make it freely available to others. Look at any major portal today including Huffington Post, probably 40-50% of the content is sourced elsewhere.
- I don’t think this bon mot is a brilliant marketing strategy on par with David Ogilvy; but, share content via social channels with a built in rinse and repeat cycle using a marketing platform for content syndication.
- Hire a great writer, editor or thought leader in your industry and put them to work creating content mapped to an Editorial Calendar. Creating great content is expensive but, will pay for itself over time. It’s one of the best investments your business can make.
- Give prosumers two plus two, not four: standing out from the crowd: is about sharing original images, writing kick ass copy, sharing it everywhere you can possibly come up with and asking friend, neighbors, customers to comment and re-share.
- Getting traction with content takes time and effort. Don’t expect your content to perform miracles over night.
- “Cross channel” marketing (multiple places) gives you reach. Reach=more views.
Get emotional even if you are marketing to other businesses.
B2B brands some times forget emotion is a critical aspect of your content marketing.
Emotion cuts through the clutter.
Look for contextual clues from your customers that identify areas where they need help.
Twitter’s built in direct response functionality is used by bigger brands for identifying customers having problems with direct competitors.
Remember the thing you occasionally hold in your hands on the week-ends that is not electronic?
Great content is still about writing awesome headlines. See: Hearst.
Test headlines and gear the latter for your audience and platform.
Some times attention grabbing headlines “What I Learned About Social Media via Andy Warhol” do not get as much traction a a more mundane title: “5 Myths of Modern Advertising ( @digiday). Test and retest your headlines.
But, remember, platform, customer focus, type of content (short or high value long form) will have a big impact on the engagement with your headline.
Commenting on other sites is not content nirvana and it’s quite a slog for many businesses.
But, the offset is visibility, if you are commenting on the right sites.
Over half a billion comments are made on sites across the web each month.
Don’t ask an intern or somewhere offshore to do this for you. It’s brand suicide.
The commenter should know what the hell they are talking about or the comment is going to look lame. Or, it won’t get published.
Everything You Need to Know About Publishing
There is no sage or agency that can tell you exactly what you need to know.
Some of this is going to be trial and error, coupled with content feedback loops (traffic, conversions, testing, etc.).
Make a distinction between publishing and content syndication.
Both are critical to giving your content real reach.
It’s a two screen world at times and cross channel brand development with repetition may determine success or failure.
Have some fun with your content; mix and match facts with a dash of humor.
Create smart content that informs and engages.