Content Marketing: Dos and Dont’s [Report]

Skyworld.com has just released their second complimentary white paper from the series on Successful Content Marketing. The first white paper called “How to kick-start your Content Marketing” includes a seven-step approach that can be used by any organization to develop or re-energize a successful content marketing strategy and program. In addition, 21 experts and influencers within the fields of content marketing, search engine optimization and social marketing are sharing their thoughts and advices in the new report.

 

Skyworld’s second white paper aims to share great practical advice, tips and insights shared by industry marketers, who implement, manage and optimize content marketing programs for brands and organizations. The report defines content marketing as both “an art and a science. The science part calls for extensive planning, careful design, and meticulous execution. The art in content, however, comes from those talented marketers, writers, and consumer advocates who tell memorable stories with exceptional creativity and ignite the spark that creates lasting connections with audiences”.

 

The paper is divided into four main sections:
What every marketer needs to know

As with traditional marketing activities, in content marketing it is crucial to not only know your audience but understand its needs. Find a void in their experiences and aim to fill it with your content marketing efforts. Additionally, whatever content you decide to focus on, always keep in mind that it’s all about the audience and not about you. Engage on a personal level and demonstrate understanding; don’t try to show off and brag about your perfect products/services.

Looking from a broader perspective in your industry, be the first to identify the existing content gaps and let your brand bridge them. Don’t accept content marketing as a separate discipline – make sure you integrate it in your other marketing activities such as PR, events and SEO.

 

Tips and tricks

Use storytelling. Your audience is already constantly bombarded with short messages that say nothing. Instead, they want to read meaningful stories that bring value to them and that they can learn from.

Encourage sharing and discussions. Every time you share some kind of content, try to include a call to action. However, never underestimate your customers’ feedback. Listen and be smart enough to adjust your content and services based on your audience’s input.

Monitor your competitors. Always stay on the lookout for best practices in your industry. Establish competitive intelligence activities as part of your overall business strategy.

 

Measuring

Assess industry trends. Don’t simply go with measuring followers, likes and Klout scores. Go beyond that. Analyze engagement. See what works best and encourage deep engagement through calls to action that have already proved to work successfully. Be brave to experiment, learn and adjust your measurable objectives with your business’s KPIs.

 

Future predictions

Industry experts predict more investment in Content Management Systems that allow marketers to coordinate, collaborate and optimize their efforts. Furthermore, the importance of visuals will remain to be of a great importance; good-looking content will continue to rise in popularity. In addition, as Mindjumpers’ CEO and Founder Jonas Klit Nielsen suggests, companies will increasingly invest in people who are highly skilled in content creation, through direct hires or by outsourcing.

Ekaterina Walter, Social Media Strategist, Intel, summarizes: “Content will become more critical than ever before. To cut through the noise, brands need to continuously serve the most useful and relevant content to their target audience.”

 

We think that content marketing is one of the most important subjects of today, therefore we would love to read your comments on it. You can download the white paper from here and share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

Clickbait: Information overload! How can brands cut-through all the noise?

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 10.11.34You won’t believe the hidden message in this blog post! Or rather – there isn’t one, I just wanted you to click through and read this. But bear with me – I’m about to suggest something incredibly controversial – a never-heard-before admission by a social agency!*

As much as clickbait is the emotional catnip of our online experience and can drive consistent traffic for publishers like The Daily Mail and Huff Post who churn out multiple stories each day, it’s still hugely annoying to discover you’ve been duped by an over-excited headline promising to give you all the feels. For brands, adopting the same practice can negatively affect perception and ultimately – sales. So how can brands cut through all the sensational copy and deliver successful results without falling prey to creating clickbait themselves? How do they beat them rather than join them?

 

Platform crackdown

In the early days of social, Facebook optimised content based on engagement, meaning that if users clicked on a piece of content, it received a higher ranking in newsfeeds. In 2014 Facebook took steps to try and crack down on those gaming this ranking using clickbait, and in February this year it introduced an update based not just on what users engaged with in their feed, but what they wanted to see. Facebook’s advice is that Pages should avoid encouraging people to take action (such as encouraging lots of clicks), because this will likely only cause temporary spikes in metrics that might then be rebalanced by feed’s ranking over time – meaning the latest ranking favours content that users naturally engage with rather than content that users click on through coercion.

 

Last month Instagram followed suit and announced it would alter user’s feeds to optimise the content users “care about the most”, and Twitter has also adopted a similar change (although users can opt-out and revert back to the chronological feed). The changes will hopefully make it harder for clickbaiters to game feeds with meaningless content, but the real aim for the platforms hosting is to surface more engaging content more frequently so users return often and stay longer.

 

The same goes for brands on social. If the content they produce is consistently engaging, then users will interact more frequently, leading others to discover it through preferred ranking. Ultimately, these new newsfeed algorithms exist to generate more meaningful engagement, driving not just clicks, but conversations via comments, and shares.

 

Learn and adapt

Meaningful engagement begins with relevant content that creates value for the user and the brand. While an insight-driven content strategy is key to delivering this, brands should also adapt stories and messages based on the emotional needs and behavior of their audience. This is more than just a case of ‘test and learn’ or refining what has already been done. Brands must also evolve their approach in line with new behaviors, platforms, competitors and rankings or risk being left behind by those who do.

 

A good example of a brand that does this well is Buzzfeed, who’s CEO recently shared their new strategic thinking, revealing how their objective has changed from getting users to click through to their main site to view stories, to allowing content to be consumed directly on other platforms. The new direction was prompted by analysing which content generated clicks and discovering that users prefer to consume some types of content within the platform they are already on. The company also found a discernable difference between user interactions with the same content on different platforms, demonstrating how content demand and consumption vary across sites. What spreads like wildfire on Facebook might fail miserably elsewhere.

 

Relevance is key

For brands looking to use social content to drive click-through to their site, it’s important to balance the goal of the company (clicks to eyeballs, or conversions to sales, for example) with the desire and behavior of users on different sites, and monitor response over time. Relevance is key to interaction, and brands that think like publishers will know that relevance is an ever-changing chameleon. While users are bombarded with meaningless clickbait, there is ample opportunity for brands to channel the social zeitgeist by delivering valuable content that meets audience needs in the format, time and platform that suits them. If they get this right, they won’t need clickbait.

 

At Mindjumpers we help companies and brands to think as publishers and provide end-to-end social media management across multiple markets, encompassing full social strategy, planned and reactive content creation, analysis and reporting.

 

If you’d like to find out more please get in touch.

 

*Don’t be naughty and scroll to the last paragraph – I’ve hidden the controversial part somewhere to optimize your dwell time in finding it!