Good morning, my name is Howard Flint with Ghost Partner. We are a full service marketing firm specializing in CONTENT. To simplify that: “ We write it. You publish it”
I want to spend the next 30 minutes talking to you about content, how to generate it and how to use it. You probably already know that you should be using it, you just may not know HOW to get it done. I hope to give you some tools to help. First off, how many of you HAVE a newsletter or blog? Ok, keep your hands up IF you publish content on regular basis? How many of you have that as a 2012 goal: Start a Newsletter/Social Media/Blog?
Content can GROW your business.
New customers find you.
Current customers become ADVOCATES for you.
What is STOPPING you?
This slide represents the biggest CONTENT MARKETING CHALLENGES in 2011 for Marketers … if you own your business, or if it’s a small business, you probably spend some part of your time with a “Marketers” hat on, Yes? The biggest “challenges” highlighted in this survey
#1 and #2: “Creating Original Content” and “Having time to do it”. Would most of you agree with these challenges? Even if you produce content on a regular basis, it’s probably still a challenge for you.
I want you to walk away from my presentation today with a new commitment to Creating original content, Curating or Repurposing content to use, or to find a way to get it done for you. Why? Because CONTENT is the ultimate ….
Killer Ape… wait
Killer App. You the term, right?
“ App” short for application. “A killer application has been used to refer to any computer program or service that is so necessary or desirable that it proves the core value of some larger technology. A killer app can substantially increase sales of the platform on which it runs.”
Content is the Killer App. Your business is the ‘platform’.
Since the invention of the Internet, our lives have been full of “Killer Apps” : the Internet itself, Email, Facebook, Twitter, and many more… including CTCT!
In fact, Content has changed the world… Can you indentify these… they are pretty easy…
Content is not just interesting to you, it’s vital. Traditional advertising is waning, now it recommendations from your network (others) and your expertise Share your expertise, not all of it. but enough to entice someone to TAKE ACTION
And when I say “someone”, I mean current clients OR prospects. When you use content marketing you are trying to reach both. It’s important to remind clients WHY they do business with you. YOU are the _____(financial, gardening, pet, etc.) expert in their life
The Internet IS content. Period. This is the big change that happened before our eyes over the last 10 years. We’ve used to rely on corporations and publishing companies to create content for us to read. Now WE create it. You create it. With websites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and myriad blog platforms, its easier than ever to publish what you create. Billion dollar companies have been created to capture and distribute all your content. Advertisers want the eyeballs reading your content. Google wants to index your content. This is a revolution …
… and this is good news for you, if you are participating in this revolution and creating content.
Much of what I am going to cover today falls under the “Simple, but not Easy” categories. Please don’t mistake my points up here as “this is so easy everyone can do this”. If it was, I wouldn’t have a business. This is hard at times and takes discipline. My main point is that it’s worth it. There’s a revolution you can actually take part in. That doesn’t happen often in one’s lifetime.
Like any good writing project, I want to cover the 5 Ws and an H. Remember that from school? For this I’m going to add and start with…
WHY? Why do you need content? 2 reason…
Keep top-of-mind with current clients. In this economy if I haven’t heard from you, perhaps we don’t do business all that often, I might think you are out of business. You never know when a client might have a need for your product or service. Don’t pester them, but find a right frequency to keep on their mind.
SEO For those up on Search Engine tech news, you are familiar with Google most recent BiG news: “Panda”. This new change basically says: “Fresh, Original, Content = better ORGANIC search results”. IOW, new business finds you with content. SEO is less about tricks (Google always working against you), more about FOC*. This is GREAT news for you! It levels the playing field between you and your competitors… even a Goliath in your industry. They can write, you can write. BOOM!
WHERE to publish? Newsletter? Blog? Social Media? CTCT has developed a really easy way for you to distribute content. In fact I believe CTCT is more a “content publishing platform” that an “Email Service Provider”. Email is just one element these days. So WHICH of these?
ALL. If you have content, do them all
OPTION ONE 1.) Load new content into your newsletter. Get a custom layout, by the way. It makes a big difference. Talk to CTCT or talk to us about that. 2.) When you are ready to push SEND, you can use SimpleShare … how many of you are using SimpleShare on the scheduling page? More of you should. Briefly, it’s a way to push your content out to all your Social Media sites at the same time that you send out your email. Such a no-brainer. As an aside, and not to steal from Desiree’s part this afternoon, but if you have content, you should be using Social Media. When I say SM, I include LinkedIn and YouTube (depending on your business). I would with some industrial clients who have videos of how a machine works, or how they make something. It make sense to create their own channel on YouTube and use it as a SM platform. Ok back to SM and content. Social Media is Content. Don’t get bogged down on too much hype on SM, it’s content. If you have content, you should be on SM.
OPTION TWO 1.) If you use a Blog, your could load your new content after this process, or… 2.) If you are frequent blogger, you could pull the RSS feed from your blog… do you all know what an RSS Feed is? Its stands for “Really Simple Syndication”. I am not going to get into a technical discussion of how it works, just suffice that it is a way that people can access your content. I use Google Reader to aggregate all the blogs that I follow. This reader pulls in whatever RSS Feeds I tell it into an organized way for me to look thru these blogs. Your readers may chose reading your content thru an RSS Feed. So if you load your content into your Blog first, you can pull that RSS Feed into a newsletter in CTCT. Isn’t that cool? Let’s say you have weekly blog updates. Then you could do a monthly blog round up in a newsletter. The RSS Feed capture function grabs the first few sentences of each blog into your newsletter layout. The bottom line here is that there are a lot of options for getting your content out. I urge you to get content written and get it out there.
Who am I addressing? What do I want to tell them? We like to break this up into (3) areas:
PROMOTE - INFORM - RELATE
PROMOTE : Motivate purchase, increase event attendance (Coupons or Event marketing) INFORM : demo your expertise to potential customers AND existing ones, differentiate your business (Newsletters, Social Media, blog) RELATE : Increase loyalty, encourage more referrals (Surveys, bonuses for refer-a-friend, etc)
AUDIENCES If you have more than one kind of audience (service clients vs. product clients, basic vs. PRO clients), don’t be afraid to segment them and create 2 different newsletters or offerings. Your open rates will be higher when the message is more focused. Also, use a Survey if you’re not sure WHAT your audience wants to hear from you. Be prepared for “Nothing”. You might get some of those. Just keep your Social Media links in your email sig and on your website so that those who DON’T want your emails can read you other places.
SUBJECT LINES: This is practically a whole seminar in itself, but I will be brief: What catches your attention? What titles/subject lines pull in your attention? What subject turn you OFF? Start paying attention to that. We recommend, if applicable, a promise: “5 Tips to keep your focus when your wife is talking”, “3 Mistakes everyone makes when potty training themselves”, “10 Steps to avoid a mountain lion attack”. Therefore…
7 steps to writing a great story
Identify your audience Whom are you targeting? Potential clients, existing customers, your employees, your peers? Write as if you’re talking to them.
2. Get organized Define your purpose. What do you want to accomplish in this particular piece? Write it down at the top of your file/paper and keep it on top of your brain.
3. Incorporate your passion You do what you do well. Others could learn a thing or two from you. When you speak/write passionately, you are more memorable and that is key in getting people to read your content.
4. Use stories Reports transfer information; stories convey emotion, which is more memorable? Just because you’re writing about your business experience doesn’t mean it can’t have emotion (and passion) attached. Audiences can’t stand overly clinical, mechanical or robotic material. I always recommend case studies from your own business if possible.
5. “Save string” Collect quotes, insight, anecdotes and research that underpin your points. Keep a notebook or computer file and fill it up. Evernote anyone?
6. Prioritize – this is close to “Get Organized” What’s the most important part of the message? Hone in on that and don’t meander. Stay on point.
7. Create a knowledge gap Tell the audience something they don’t know. Create curiosity... an “intellectual itch” they’ve just gotta scratch.
Repurposing content. There’s no shame here. Make sure you always attribute to the original source. This is done a lot in Social Media, right? As long as you are not repurposing and calling it your own, you’re good. I wouldn’t recommend that this is your ONLY content. You could also use the inspiration of a certain article for your piece. “I read an article by so and so, and it reminded me that…”. This requires that you are reader of your industry content. Not a bad idea either. Stay on subject. This probably goes without saying, but stick with your business. Stay out of Politics and Religion. Unless THAT’S your business.
WHEN do I publish?
Frequency : many factors here deepening on your business, etc.
“ Always better to sprinkle with pearls occasionally rather than dump [crap] too frequently. This will get you unfollowed, unliked, hidden and unsubscribed.”
These are simply our suggestions. The best part of this revolution that there are NO rules. You do what’s right for you. BLOG: Twice per week is good
NEWSLETTER : Twice per month to Bi-monthly. Quarterly is too infrequent. Again, it really depends on your industry. If you are the real estate agent I bought my last house from, I don’t want to hear from you every week…. But you should stay in touch.
SOCIAL MEDIA : Somewhere between the 2 I like reading regular posts by blogs I follow: Seth Godin, Jonathon Acuff, Mashable, etc. If you are an expert, you should be publishing frequently. This is SIMPLE, not easy.
WARNING: Be consistent. There is one thing worse than NOT creating content. Starting and not staying with it. Who here thinks they are pretty consistent with content and wants to share their secret?
HOW? How do I get this much content created? Writing will drive you…
Nuts! It will
“ The world’s greatest writers are all drunks and fighters” -The Mighty Mighty Bosstones So….
7 tips for staying consistent on your content Develop an editorial calendar 1 st . Lay out 12 (or 26 or 6) topics you want to cover this year
Create titles for each subject. We create the title 2 nd because it needs to be attention grabbing. It’s the tail that wags the dog.
Set dates and deadlines for yourself. Like any other habit you need to adopt… schedule it.
Write in the early morning when you are fresh. If you wait until later, all kinds of excuses could come up. It’s like exercise. Do it early. Just do it. Or, maybe you’re a night person. Do what consistently works best for you. Some people like it quiet. Some people like it noisy. I like people energy. If you come thru Roswell, you might see me at the Starbucks or Panera. I like to be OUT when I work. If it’s too quiet, I can’t concentrate.
“ Spill your mind” onto a page Whole thoughts, outline, whatever works, just spill
Finish a piece, walk away, come back and edit later. Walk away
Keep in succinct, to the point. No one wants to scroll and scroll. Perhaps ask a spouse or colleague to edit for you. Editors are the unsung heroes of good writing.
The world is ruled by content. Some big and some small. If you are consistent and sound informed, it can really GROW you business.
If you have trouble in any of these areas, I would love to talk with you. Ghost can help you with
Content creation and strategy for newsletter or Blog. We can get “just about anything” written. Social Media branding and strategy Custom Email Templates Press Releases and Distribution SEO and Website work And something brand new…
Content Coaching If you’d like to write your own material but aren’t confident that it’s strong enough, we can help. We now offer Content Coaching . We’ll set you up with one of our experts to go over your Editorial Calendar and ideas. We’ll help you get titles written that catch attention. Then we’ll look over your work, edit and make suggestions.
Whether we do it for you, or help you do it yourself, we want to start using “The Killer App”. THX for your time. Can I answer any questions? I will be out front at the Ghost Booth. I would love to speak with you.
Killer App“A killer application (commonly shortened to killerapp), in the jargon of marketing teams, has been usedto refer to any computer program or service that is sonecessary or desirable that it proves the core value ofsome larger technology. A killer app can substantiallyincrease sales of the platform on which it runs.”
Content is the Killer App.Your business is the ‘platform’.
Who What When Where How WhoWhat When Where How Who WhatWhen Where How Who What When ?Where How Who What When WhereHow Who What When Where HowWho What When Where How WhoWhat When Where How Who WhatWhen Where How Who What When
WHO & WHAT?Who am I addressing? What do I want to tell them?
WHO & WHAT?Who am I addressing? What do I want to tell them? PROMOTE INFORM RELATE
• PROMOTE: Motivate purchase, increase event attendance (Coupons or Event marketing)• INFORM: demo your expertise to potential customers AND existing ones, differentiate your business (Newsletters, Social Media, blog)• RELATE: Increase loyalty, encourage more referrals (Surveys, bonuses for refer-a-friend, etc)
Audiences• Don’t be afraid to create different newsletters for different audiences• Use a Survey
Subject Lines• Grab attention without being too outrageous• SEE Spam Dos and Don’t• Make a Promise
7 steps to writing a great story1. Identify your audienceWhom are you targeting? Potential clients, existing customers,your employees, your peers? Write as if you’re talking to them.
7 steps to writing a great story2. Get organizedDefine your purpose. What do you want to accomplish in thisparticular piece? Write it down at the top of your file/paper andkeep it on top of your brain.
7 steps to writing a great story3. Incorporate your passionYou do what you do well. Others could learn a thing or two fromyou. When you speak/write passionately, you are morememorable and that is key in getting people to read yourcontent.
7 steps to writing a great story4. Use storiesReports transfer information; stories convey emotion, which ismore memorable?
7 steps to writing a great story5. “Save string”Collect quotes, insight, anecdotes and research that underpinyour points. Keep a notebook or computer file and fill it up.
7 steps to writing a great story6. PrioritizeWhat’s the most important part of the message? Hone in on thatand don’t meander. Stay on point.
7 steps to writing a great story7. Create a knowledge gapTell the audience something they don’t know. Create curiosity...an “intellectual itch” they’ve just gotta scratch.
Curating or Repurposing content• Always attribute• Don’t do this solely
HOW? “The world’s greatest writers are all drunks and fighters” -The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
7 tips for staying consistent on your content1. Develop an editorial calendar first thing.Lay out 12 (or 26 or 6) topics you want to cover this year
7 tips for staying consistent on your content2. Create titles for each subject.We create the title 2nd because it needs to be attention grabbing. It’s the tail that wags the dog.
7 tips for staying consistent on your content3. Set dates and deadlines for yourself.Like any other habit you need to adopt… schedule it.
7 tips for staying consistent on your content4. Write in the early morning when you are fresh.If you wait until later, all kinds of excuses could come up. It’s likeexercise. Do it early. Just do it.
7 tips for staying consistent on your content. “Spill your mind” onto a pagehole thoughts, outline, whatever works, just spill
7 tips for staying consistent on your content. Finish a piece, walk away, come back and edit later.
7 tips for staying consistent on your content. Keep in succinct, to the point.o one wants to scroll and scroll. Perhaps ask a spouse orcolleague to edit for you.
• Content creation and strategy for newsletter or Blog.We can get “just about anything” written.• Social Media Branding and Strategy• Custom Email Templates• Press Releases and Distribution• SEO and Website work• Brand NEW…
NEW Content Coaching• Professional editing help• Consult with editorial calendar• more…