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Creating Compelling Content for Social Media -- Toolkit


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The toolkit to accompany my 2015 IABC Heritage Region Conference presentation on Creating Compelling Content for Social Media.

It references the content in the presentation as well as some additional readings.

Should you have any questions about my speaking, consulting or workshops, please don't hesitate to ask.

Published in: Social Media

Creating Compelling Content for Social Media -- Toolkit

  2. 2. TABLEOFCONTENTS Our Promise to You Introduction Compelling Content: The Ground Rules 1 2 3 Shareability 9 17Additional Resources 18Should we chat? Vow to Make Remarkable Content Be Audience Driven Understand the Platform Make it Functional Make it Sexy! Why People Share Make it Visual Make it Beautiful Make it Video
  3. 3. OURPROMISETOYOU Our Promise To You Just like my presentation in Baltimore, and all the social media, video and training work we do at Advantis, this toolkit is specifically designed to provide value so you, the communication professional, can meet your organization’s business objectives. Whether we’re developing a social media strategy, conducting a Social Media Health Check or producing compelling video content, we promise to deliver tangible business value at every touch point. This is why we have clients like Rand Worldwide in Baltimore that have been seeking our agency’s expertise for more than a decade. Now that’s a real business partnership! This toolkit highlights some key aspects of the IABCHRConf presentation, Creating Compelling Content for Social Media. You’ll also find some innovative online content creation tools that will enhance your communication outreach. We also included a few helpful resources for planning and producing various content as well as some supplementary reading. If you have a question about social media strategy, tactics, monitoring or audits or want to discuss how to produce compelling video content, please call me, Cyrus Mavalwala, ABC at 416-848-1885 or email me at Regards, Cyrus Mavalwala, ABC Founding Partner Advantis Communications Inc. │ Page 1 of 18
  4. 4. INTRODUCTION Introduction Case studies, corporate videos, bylined articles, seminars and more ̶ these are examples of informational content that PR and marketing professionals have been producing for decades as part of the classic marketing mix. In recent years, interest has grown in content marketing, mostly fuelled by social media’s voracity for new, engaging content to drive community engagement. To be effective, content needs to serve two purposes: 1. As a tool, it must deliver against your organization’s business objectives. 2. It needs to be relevant and useful to your intended audience. As communication professionals, you already begin each project by mapping content programs to business objectives and ensuring that the content resonates with intended audiences. But you may be struggling with some of the following questions : Page 2 of 18 How can we differentiate our content?
  5. 5. GROUND RULES What you need to be successful
  6. 6. THEGROUNDRULES The Ground Rules – Vow to Create Remarkable Content There are several ground rules that you have to get right for successful sharing. But let’s remind ourselves of the Content Marketing Manifesto. Page 4 of 18 “I [Name] pledge to create something remarkable. Something that people will love. Something that they will want to share. Something I can be proud of. And if it fails to achieve my marketing goals. I won't give up. I will try again. My failures will be the practice I need. To earn future success. And future customers.” “I [Name] pledge to create something remarkable. Something that people will love. Something that they will want to share. Something I can be proud of. And if it fails to achieve my marketing goals. I won't give up. I will try again. My failures will be the practice I need. To earn future success. And future customers.” *Rand Fishkin, The Content Marketing Manifesto, May 10, 2012
  7. 7. THEGROUNDRULES The Ground Rules – Be Audience Driven Authenticity: The language you use will either attract or alienate your audience. Ensure that it’s straightforward and representative of your industry. Although your industry may be full of jargon and abbreviations, try to simplify your content so that it can be understood by anyone in the demand chain – from the end-user to manager to procurement officer. Credible Voice: To be credible, content shouldn’t be promotional in nature. Share unique perspectives, innovative solutions and new insights with your audience. Help them, don’t sell them. Repurpose Content: Repurpose content whenever possible into web content. For instance, a speaking engagement can be videotaped and segmented into short, bite-sized pieces for easy consumption. The short videos can be posted to your website via YouTube, used as fodder for your blog and are helpful to drive traffic via Twitter or Facebook. Purpose-Built: Ensure that content is purpose-built. As you refine your marketing plan or sales process, certain types of content work better for engagement than others, depending on where the prospect is in the sales pipeline and how they prefer to consume information. Understand your target audience and satisfy their preferences. Easy to Consume: Above all, successful content creation depends on your ability to package information in a way that’s compelling, enjoyable and educational. Key messages placed in the right order, the use of simple language and engaging storytelling are critical elements for memorable content that users will want to share and come back for. Excerpt from blog: CommsCrusaders Page 5 of 18
  8. 8. THEGROUNDRULES The Ground Rules – Understand the Platform Every social media platform has its own nuances – keep these rules in mind when crafting and posting your content. For instance, a Salesforce Marketing Cloud study showed that Tweets with one or two hashtags have 21% higher engagement than those with three or more hashtags. Tweets that use more than two hashtags showed a 17% drop in engagement. But on Instagram, studies show that five to eight hashtags optimize engagement. In order to be discovered, it’s important to be strategic about how many hashtags are placed alongside your Instagram caption and what those hashtags actually are. Pigora offers the following guidelines for selecting effective hashtags for your brand: • One hashtag should be your brand name (example: #nike) • 1-2 hashtags should be a hashtag your brand owns (example: #justdoit) • 2-5 should be community-focused hashtags (examples: #fitness #running) Page 6 of 18 Tweets with more than 2 hashtags show a 17% drop in engagement
  9. 9. THEGROUNDRULES The Ground Rules – Make It Functional From my presentation at IABCHR2015 you learned that ‘Consumption is king, not content’ (Michael Port Author, Book Yourself Solid). Content that is useful, functional and nourishing gets consumed. Content that is easy to consume and easy to share gets amplified. Consider this story about Everest Home Improvements company in the UK. They are a general home improvements company offering windows, doors, and much more. In 2012 they produced a Kitchen Cheat Sheet to drive traffic to their website. The infographic was made available in an easy to share format. Even though the company no longer installs kitchens, the cheat sheet is still available today on their website and continues to be actively shared by bloggers and cooks. Page 7 of 18
  10. 10. THEGROUNDRULES The Ground Rules – Make it Sexy The following tools can help make your data a joy to consume: Page 8 of 18 “Having the data is not enough. I have to show it in ways people both enjoy and understand.” Hans Roslings
  11. 11. COMPETITIVEINTHEWORLD OFCONTENT #4 - shareable SHAREABILITY What you need to be successful
  12. 12. SHAREABILITY Shareability – Why People Share If our content is to be shared, we need to understand why people choose to share content in the first place. A New York Times study revealed some of the reasons people share online: • Bring valuable & entertaining content to others • To define ourselves to others • To grow and nourish our relationships • Self-fulfillment • Support a cause Page 10 of 18
  13. 13. SHAREABILITY Shareability – Make it Visual Steer clear of stock imagery that looks and feels like stock imagery! Consider these sources of beautiful, impactful imagery: • • • • Flickr • • Page 11 of 18
  14. 14. SHAREABILITY Shareability – Make it Visual Page 12 of 18 VS
  15. 15. SHAREABILITY Shareability – Make it Visual Create visual quotes using these tools: Page 13 of 18
  16. 16. SHAREABILITY Shareability – Make it Beautiful Always use the Rule of Thirds to capture attractive composition: Page 14 of 18
  17. 17. SHAREABILITY Shareability – Make it Beautiful Use image editing aps to improve images: Page 15 of 18 VSCO
  18. 18. SHAREABILITY Shareability – Make it Video Rich media increases engagement. How do you ensure your target audience actually clicks on your video? Part of a successful video isn’t the video itself, but the material surrounding it. Use the title, thumbnail and description to tell a story about the video. Keep the following in mind: • Ensure that the title, thumbnail and description are tightly aligned with the content of the video – deliver what is promised • Create a high resolution, clear thumbnail. Images should be bright, high contrast close-ups. • Consider the thumbnail as a mini-poster for your video • The title should be short and should fit the character allowance for the platform that you are sharing to (titles that are too long get cut off) Produce video content that can be consumed in small chunks. This means limiting the number of messages and keeping videos short. Suggested word counts for scripts: 15s: <40 words 30s: <85 words 60s: <150 words 90s: <225 words 2m: <300 words Page 16 of 18
  19. 19. RESOURCES Additional Resources Page 17 of 18 ADDITIONALRESOURCES Book: Contagious: Why Things Catch On Author: Jonah Berger An easy read that reveals the science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission. If you’d rather watch a video click here: YouTube: Jonah Berger: "Contagious: Why Things Catch On" | Talks at Google Book: How to Shoot Video that Doesn’t Suck Author: Steve Stockman If your budget doesn’t allow for professional video support, this book will help your in-house resources avoid some common pitfalls. Book: The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand Author: Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio The authors help you take your visual content to the next level.
  20. 20. ABOUTADVANTISCOMMUNICATIONS Should we chat? Over the past two decades our team has been solving challenges for communication professionals, and in the process, making our clients look like stars in their organizations. We’ve heard a lot of stories from the communication professionals we’ve worked with. Many of them are frustrated because: • Their competitors are in the news instead of their own industry experts • They find it challenging to connect their social media investment to business ROI • They’re interested in multimedia and video, but want to ensure their investment will pay dividends Does any of the above sound familiar? Wouldn’t it be refreshing to work with a strategic team of seasoned communication and visual marketing professionals who understand your business and the science of communication? Advantis Communications is an award-winning public relations and content marketing agency. We help organizations grow by developing and executing strategies that achieve their business goals. We drive results by communicating the right messages to employees, prospects, customers and the media. Combine our savvy expertise with our methodical, integrated communications approach and you’ve got the most effective way to reach and motivate your audiences. Need objective advice about an initiative your planning? Feel free to contact Cyrus Mavalwala, ABC at 416-848-1885 or Page 18 of 18