In an era of never-ending content, it’s hard for companies to compete without numerous audience touch points to help generate interest in their business. However, some of the top businesses have learned to navigate this digital terrain effectively by emphasizing content. Think of sites as varied as LinkedIn, BuzzFeed and Moz. The marketers at each of these sites have learned to leverage content in order to become leaders in their respective fields.
At our advertising agency, we believe that well-developed content strategy is one of the most effective ways to improve your business’s reach. Even better, according to 2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America from the Content Marketing Institute, 86% of businesses with effective content marketing strategies claim that having someone who oversees those strategies is one of the best ways to help produce relevant content.
[quote]If you are thinking of developing a content strategy, doing your homework is a great place to start.[/quote] Once you identify the best channels, you can then create an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar helps you keep track of big promotions and the types of content you want to create. Vertical Horizons offers an excellent free content calendar template to help you develop your strategy.
In planning your content calendar, it’s important to take in holidays, seasons and events. Historic dates are also fun ways to generate content, and being flexible in terms of what that means can help open doors to a ton of fun content ideas. For inspiration, think about the way Google does doodles on its homepage for interesting historical dates.
Lists, current events topics, tutorials and expert interviews tend to be popular content formats. Videos are also consistently gaining popularity, and how-to videos and tutorials tend to be easy for people to consume information, plus they are more sharable. Assess each of these types of content and think about how they might impact your content goals.
For companies that decide social media should be part of the content strategy, it’s important to understand the social media landscape. Many businesses begin Tweeting and Facebooking without a real strategy, and as such, they may fail to see the value in investing in content creation and curation.
On Twitter, tweets with images tend to get the best responses as measured by engagement. Additionally, asking for retweets by offering a catchy hook works due to the clear call to action. Links should appear 25% of the way through a post, and links should be shared slowly on Twitter so people don’t get the sense that you’re spamming their feeds. Tools like HootSuite and Klout can help you schedule and manage these tweets.
If Facebook is part of your content strategy, short videos do well. Brands using Pinterest to help promote their brands can use images, but can also allow visual tutorials. Some companies have created really interesting Pinterest campaigns, such as this Procter and Gamble campaign which features content from athletes thanking their mothers. Instagram, Vine and Snapchat may also be great networks for heavily visual brands.
LinkedIn is best for B2B content, as nearly half of all B2B companies use LinkedIn. As part of your social media strategy, you can spend some time answering questions in LinkedIn groups.
As far as blogging, blogs that post multiple posts per day get the most success across the board; however, it is very hard to sustain that momentum, as it typically takes a team of writers. If you want to invest in a good blog strategy but do not have the resources to hire someone full-time, consider hiring a freelancer. You can find numerous people looking for writing work at eLance and Odesk. Some of these freelancers may be qualified to help you in creating the strategy and in publishing content for social media as well.
If you need help with developing a content strategy for your brand, let the team at BIGEYE assist you. We want to lend our expertise to make your content more effective!