Attract and retain customers with Frequent, Authentic, Relevant, and Engaging content
So you’ve read all the SEO and online marketing blogs and you know that building dodgy links that are spammier than that awful processed meat is not an option anymore. You know these days it’s all about creating “quality content” and you know social content sharing is pretty important too.…
Small business and innovation go hand in hand. Most, if not all, start-ups are small businesses, often competing against larger, better funded organizations. That means, they need to innovate, differentiate, and be super creative to break through, reach new customers, and grow their business. That takes smart marketing on a budget.
The presentation below (from a guest webinar I conducted in December for start-up client AnyMeeting) sums up the key areas to focus on and provides tips and examples for growing a businesss on a budget.
One of the biggest challenges facing marketers and pr pros today is and how and where to get quality content. The “content is king” adage is repeated ad nauseum. Certainly a significant portion of content is original branded content, produced in-house, by agencies or freelancers and yet there is also quite a bit of room for content provided by others.
This is where content curation comes in. To a certain extent we are all already doing this on our own social networks, such as Facebook for example, where we commonly share and “Like” content, articles, photos, videos, produced by others and as a result, our Facebook News Feed becomes content that we have curated for our friends. We have shared these things because we feel (in most cases subconsciously) they will add value to our friends lives.
But what are the keys to success? What guidelines do we follow to help us provide value to our communities and avoid the “overshare fail”?
1) Know your audience(s). What they like, want to know, feel inspired by, etc.
2) Establish editorial guidelines. Try the F.A.R.E. Content Marketing approach: frequent, authentic, relevant and engaging.
Frequent: But how frequent? Consider your audience (and each channel you are using to reach them). What is the appropriate frequency for your shares? It will be dictated by your audience preference, the quality of your content, the channel selected.
Authentic: Have you read what you’re sharing? Is it authentic to your brand mission? Is the content itself authentic?
Relevant: Are you sharing what you’re audiences are truly interested in? If mainstream news, have you added your own take, or P.O.V. that makes it more relevant for your community?
Engaging: Is the content you are sharing, informative, educational, entertaining, or both? Does it encourage participation, inspire discussion, or bring a smile to someone’s face?
Ensuring your content adheres to these guidelines will help you deliver a consistent flow of curated content that will delight and engage your community.
3) Use the tools. Develop a collection of tools that work for you and use them consistently to find, publish and distribute content. Pawan Deshpande, the CEO of Curata compiled a terrific list of tools in a recent blog post 14 Sources for Content Curation Inspiration for the Content Marketing Institute.
You’ve read all those blog posts. Social media has hit the mainstream and content marketing is buzzing. You have a presence. You produce content. Maybe you even have a social media manager and a content director. But how do you know it’s really working?
Reporting on a recent study, Sam Laird at Mashable blogged:
How do marketers and entrepreneurs measure whether social media marketing pays off? Most do so by measuring the accumulation of friends, likes, followers and other online connections. Thirty-nine percent look at shares of brand content, while 35% measure actual leads from social media. Just 18% measure success by overall brand awareness and favorability as gauged by consumer surveys.
Looking at the data reported, it’s apparent that we measure what is easy to measure: likes, fans, followers, views, visitors, while measuring leads, sales and customer perceptions take more effort.
Still it is very doable and not so overwhelming when measurement is part of a program and a strategy. Simple measurement techniques are usually the result of a lack of a strategy and a lack of a clear set of objectives for what one is trying to accomplish with social media marketing or content marketing.
As an example, perhaps you are looking to improve conversion rates in the acquisition funnel (e.g. get more people to sign-up). You can measure your current conversion rates at each stage in the funnel (e.g., register, attend, etc.). Then, as part of a program surrounding one segment of customers you measure the changes in conversion rates after audiences interact with content assets (videos, blog and website content, eBooks, guest posts/articles, infographics, etc.)
Reported data shows that website visitors who view product videos are 85% more likely to buy.
Through a program designed to measure the impact of activities defined by a content marketing and social media marketing strategy and plan it’s possible to get much deeper insight into customer opinions as well as ROI. The optimal measurement, to truly see if it’s all “working”, requires looking at metrics from total reach to support resolution, from the value of a Facebook fan to share of conversation. That may not be possible right away, but there are ways to get beyond measuring likes and mentions.
What are you doing?