By Tracy Williams
Many companies have a tendency to get caught up in tactics aimed at “overcoming” the latest Google algorithms. The key has always been relevant content — “news you can use,” counterintuitive research or new products that make everyone perk up. That’s what encourages the search engines to take notice.
New terminology like “content marketing,” an alternative to “integrated marketing,” creates a mystique, and that’s not effective communications. Whatever the name, customers and clients care about content and context. That means taking another look at your studies, surveys, news releases, photos, commentary and more — and reworking, shortening/ expanding or even illustrating with infographics. Then publish and share with the audiences most likely to move the needle for your business.
With that in mind, below are six critical content marketing tips to utilize the latest tools and more importantly, drive new business:
- Get senior staff involved. Don’t leave everything up to the unskilled intern who knows more about the “Breaking Bad” finale than they do your business.
- Embed links to social media platforms in everything you do. This one sounds so simple, but often companies don’t even have email signatures with contact information, especially among senior executives. Not only should every email that ever leaves your company include the name, title and phone number of the person sending it — so it’s super easy to contact them — it should have links to their LinkedIn, corporate Facebook page, Twitter handle and any other platforms the company is actively using.
- Stop shooting videos of everything you do and thinking anyone cares. We all have video cameras on our smart phones. You don’t want to watch our videos either. Learn to use video smartly. Educate yourself by studying the most successful videos on YouTube. What did they do differently that works? And remember, the only time there should be a talking head is when the CEO has breaking news to report.
- Crack the code on blogs. There are different kinds of blogs. Some just want free stuff. Others expect you to pay them for media coverage. And then there are blogs that are legitimate, independent news sources offering the same third-party credibility of other earned media such as newspapers and TV news. Not all blogs are created equal. Target the credible ones.
- Make sure everything you do is repurposed across as many of your platforms as you can, and don’t forget SEO. That newspaper article about your latest product launch needs to be shared on all of your social media platforms. And, to assure maximum SEO benefits, make certain your website and blog are optimized to load quickly and take advantage of keywords in headlines, body copy, title tags, meta descriptions and permalinks. Consider creating an enewsletter announcing the news and send to your full database of clients and prospects through a tool like Constant Contact. (We used it for this email.)
- Embrace the power to measure everything, from Google Analytics that track your website and blog, to insights from Facebook that tell you new likes, the number of people talking about you and your weekly total reach, to Net Promoter scores that help you zero in on only the most loyal customers. Even Cision, a popular database of reporters and editors, has an Influencer rating for all reporters and editors to help you target the most important contacts for your business.
So, what really matters for your business? What platforms are the best for you, and how should you be engaged?
That’s all part of your content marketing strategy. If you need help figuring that out, feel free to let us know. We can develop a comprehensive program or assist with an extremely specific project. See “Boosting a Post on Facebook” as an example that worked well for one client wanting to increase traffic at their tradeshow booth.
Forrester Research predicts U.S. marketers will spend $4.8 billion on social media tactics alone this year. Make sure you spend it on the right ones and take full advantage of leveraging your content throughout all relevant channels.
We’re easy to find. Just call, email or direct message us on Twitter.
Williams is president and CEO of Olmstead Williams Communications.