How to Kick-Start Your Content Marketing [Report]

A few days ago, the content production platform Skyword released a white paper on how to kick-start your content marketing. It includes a seven-step approach that can be used by any organization to develop or re-energize a successful content marketing strategy and program. Additionally, it includes insights from 21 experts and influencers within the fields of content marketing, search engine optimization and social marketing.

According to the paper, the formula for success is fairly simple: Provide people the information they want, when they want it and where they want it – but this may not be as easy as it sounds. Businesses need to transform themselves into publishers and develop the processes, technology and employees to deliver highly relevant content at scale in order to obtain success. In the report, Founder & Group CEO of Mindjumpers, Jonas Klit Nielsen, states:

“Companies need to be ready to think as publishers and not marketers. They need to know what value they can provide their target group (above and beyond the value offered via their brand or products) and implement a robust editorial process in their workflow.”

 

The seven-step approach to delivering success

As with any other marketing initiatives, the ultimate goal of content marketing is to turn prospects into customers in order to increase revenue –  but not through relentless promotion of products. Your business needs to deliver information and advice of actual value to the target group and that calls for a well thought out plan. The seven steps to follow towards a successful content marketing strategy and program is illustrated in the following figure from the paper:

 

 

Define what you want to obtain

In the white paper, each of the seven steps are described in further detail, including advice on how to proceed and get closer to reaching the goal of your business. But the first and most important step in the approach is to define the objectives for your business. What are you trying to achieve and how can content help in this regard?

Before having established whether you aim to drive brand engagement, traffic, generate leads etc., it’s not possible to plan the actual strategy. Each step of the approach refers back to what you have determined to aim for, also implying that the objectives should be clearly defined and not focused on several goals. It’s important to keep it simple as wanting too much at the same time can end up making your strategy fail. As suggested in the report, choose one or two of the business objectives you consider the most important to your business specifically.

“You need to start with defining your business objectives and build your program and metrics around those goals. If you are not measuring against business goals, the whole effort is meaningless.” (Bill Ives, Partner, The Merced Group)

 

Go through one step at a time

Having established the foundation of the strategy to meet your objectives in the first step, it’s time to move on to the next steps. Here, the white paper also gives you a helping hand, providing great advice on how to form your strategy and which elements to take into consideration along the way.

It’s crucial to spend time on establishing the foundation for a long-term approach, which helps you provide your audience with relevant content on a continuous basis. The strategy you develop must adhere to your overall marketing efforts and thereby become an integrated part of your business initiatives.

To get more detailed advice on how to kick-start your content marketing strategy and program, please download the full report by clicking here.

 

 

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!