The pressure is on.
It’s January 1st and I bet you are thinking about how to do better this year with your content marketing strategy. Last month I created a “12-Point Plan” for Pushing Social’s content strategy. It was so helpful that I decided to “open-source” it and give you the high points in a 4-Part Series.
Today we’ll discuss Points #9 and #10.
#9 – Content Engagement Networks
During a discussion with Ryan Hanley Host of the Content Warfare podcast, I realized that Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter have evolved into communities that reward engagement versus distribution.
Ryan has done an excellent job growing his community on Google+. If you study his posts you’ll see that his updates differ from others. His updates are mini-posts that are substantive on their own. The link to his blog post is just a convenient way to get more information on the topic. He’s not link-dumping. He’s engaging.
Your content marketing strategy should allocate time to engage in a substantive way on your preferred social networks. Social monitoring tools like Hootsuite are excellent ways to keep tabs on your community, but avoid using their scheduling capabilities for link-dumping. Follow Ryan’s lead and engage instead.
Questions to Answer:
- Which network fits your content creation strengths? For example, an organization with graphic resources could build compelling content for instagram and Pinterest.
- How can you change your process to allow engagement on social media platforms versus link dumping?
#10 – Native Promotion
For years, I instructed my clients to anticipate “banner blindness”. Banner blindness occurs when a regular website visitor automatically ignores the banners placed in the margins of the page. The reader has trained themselves to disregard the banners because they assume the advertising isn’t relavent.
I believe we see the same type of banner blindness today with the traditional “Click here for updates” call-to-action. Since these appeals are usually placed in a sidebar or at the end of post, readers know when to shift their attention away from the post.
The solution is straightforward: Stop writing promotions that look and read like ads.
Here’s an example:
“Native promotion is an approach based on relevancy and camouflage. Your promotion isn’t segregated to a pretty banner instead it is weaved into the content. I put together several examples for you here The reader won’t ignore the promotion because it is relevant to the article. They click, subscribe and keep reading.”
Notice that the promotion is customized for the content. This isn’t a generic appeal. You are aiming for an “I would be stupid to ignore this!” response. Does this take longer to create? Yes. Does it work? Yep. Can you ignore native promotion? I bet your competition hopes you will!
Questions to Answer
- Can you set aside an extra 2 hours per month to craft relevant bonus information to give away with your content?
- Are you using a service that can quickly gather a person’s email address and deliver their bonus content? SumoMe.com and LeadPages offers some excellent options.
- Can you create 4-5 variations of your blog and/or podcast call to actions that can be weaved into your content?
How To Apply What These Content Marketing Insights
We have one more part to end this series. You may be wondering how to implement these points.
- Implement one point per month. This month, start with “Relevancy” in Part and move on to Influence the Influencer next month.
- Select 3 actions to take to implement each of the points. For relevancy your list could include: 1) Create a persona description of my ideal customer, 2) Prepare and send a survey asking readers to rate their needs, 3) Build a content calendar around the insights gained from their survey.
- Slow and steady. Don’t overwhelm yourself or your team with a to-do list that races through these points in a single month. You should build in time to evaluate the results of each point. Look for unique insights that apply specifically to your audience. Be prepared to scale activities that produce good results.
We’ll finish up this series next week. I’ll be on Google+ answering questions about these points as well as Part 1 and Part 2. Come on by.