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Your Content Strategy is Broken. 
Here’s How to Fix It. 
PRSA Fort Worth 
October 8, 2014 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
Your content strategy is broken. Admit it. 
ACH 
TE CONNECTIVITY
More noise than ever before 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
ACH PRSA Fort Worth
The stats 
• Only 38% of B2B marketers rate their content 
marketing as effective. 
• Only 35% of B2B marketers have a documented 
content strategy. 
• 54% of B2B marketers see producing engaging 
content as their biggest content marketing 
challenge. 
Source: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs 
ACH
ACH 
And, you’re battling this… 
PRSA Fort Worth
How did we get here? 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
ACH PRSA Fort Worth
ACH PRSA Fort Worth 
Look familiar?
ACH PRSA Fort Worth
ACH PRSA Fort Worth
ACH PRSA Fort Worth
ACH PRSA Fort Worth
What do we do now? 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
1: Conduct a comprehensive content audit 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
• Take stock of current content—across social 
channels 
o What content already exists? 
o What content does the client/company want? 
o What content do actual customers want? 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
• What’s working? What’s not? 
• Review 3-4 competitors/brands you admire 
ACH PRSA Fort Worth
Look at the data 
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PRSA Fort Worth
ACH PRSA Fort Worth
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
BREAK: EXERCISE (10-15 minutes) 
Do you ever shut down ideas with a “we can’t do that, it 
will never get by legal”? Well, we’re now on the S.S. 
Communications and you’ve just thrown legal 
overboard! 
• Nothing is standing in your way now – what are the five 
most important stories customers need to hear, or would 
find most helpful? 
• What are the most important vehicles to get these stories 
out – OR – what new channels will you try now that no 
one is telling you no? 
• Now come back to reality: find 3 ideas on your paper you 
COULD actually work with legal to share publicly. 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
2: Identify resources 
• In-house 
• Agency 
• Independent 
• Robots? 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
In-House: Pros 
• Less ramp-up time 
• Knows your brand better 
• Quick access to internal SMEs 
In-House: Cons 
• Not always best resource 
• Existing political barriers may provide roadblocks 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
Agency: Pros 
• Access to more “human resources” 
• Get much-needed outside perspective 
• All-in-one package 
Agency: Cons 
• More expensive 
• Longer dating cycle 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
Independent: Pros 
• What you see is what you get 
• Big fish, small pond 
Independent: Cons 
• Just one person means…just one person 
• Lack of ongoing professional development 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
Robots? 
• Wordsmith 
• 2,000 simple articles per second 
• Not as “robotic” as you might think 
• Boon to personalized content (or reports) 
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PRSA Fort Worth
3: Create a content plan of attack 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
First, ask yourself: What’s our mission? 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
CREATE 
• Stories 
• Infographics 
• Visuals 
• E-books 
• Presentations 
• Lists 
• How-to guides 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
Long-form content -> Micro-content 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
Identify your “sources” 
• Internal SMEs 
• Organizational “connectors” 
• Customers 
• Vendors/Partners 
• Front-line employees 
• Customer service 
• Executives (Note: Further down the list) 
• Existing stories 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
What about content YOU can create? 
• Round-up posts 
• Q&A from the sales team 
• How-to’s 
• Interviews (trade shows, events, etc.) 
• Book reviews 
• Lists (with stats to back them up) 
• Case studies 
• Summarizing comments 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
You know who’s really good at this? 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
BREAK: EXERCISE (10-15 minutes) 
We are surrounded by subject matter experts 
everyday, 
though our keen PR minds aren’t always given the 
license to celebrate their smarts. Time to change that. 
• Select a client or business unit and identify one 
really smart person you have met in that group. 
• Imagine you are charged with starting a brand blog 
to position them as an industry thought-leader. 
• What are the first five blog posts you’d write for that 
blog? Write headlines for those five posts. 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
4: How are you going to distribute the 
content? 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
DISTRIBUTE 
• Social 
• Email 
• Repurpose (LinkedIn publishing, Medium) 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
Keep this in mind… 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
You know who’s really good at this? 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
5: Do you plan to amplify your content? 
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PRSA Fort Worth
AMPLIFY 
• Social advertising 
• Sponsored content 
• Syndication 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
You know who’s really good at this? 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
6: And finally, how do you measure? 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
MEASURE 
• Google Analytics 
• Social signals 
• “Engaged time”/”Attention time” 
• Return readers 
• Visitor loyalty 
• Don’t forget: Email metrics 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
ACH 
44 
Case study - Bike Walk Move 
PRSA Fort Worth
ACH 
45 
• What was our approach? 
o First: Build an online home base with more 
“consumer-focused” content (Bike Walk Move 
blog) 
o Use Facebook as our primary distribution channel 
(also distribute via new Bike Walk Move e-newsletter) 
o Amplify with targeted Facebook ads 
o Measure and tweak approach along the way 
PRSA Fort Worth
ACH PRSA Fort Worth
ACH PRSA Fort Worth
ACH 
48 
PRSA Fort Worth
ACH 
49 
PRSA Fort Worth
ACH 
50 
WITH Facebook ad 
support. 
WITHOUT Facebook ad support. 
PRSA Fort Worth
ACH 
51 
Topic: Quicker to drive or bike 
in the city? 
Topic: More cost-effective to drive 
or bike? 
PRSA Fort Worth
ACH 
52 
PRSA Fort Worth
ACH 
53 
By the numbers 
o Blog traffic almost doubled year over year 
o Grew page from 106 likes to 1,720 likes in 9 
months 
o Facebook top referral source 
o Facebook ads drove 33,960,248 impressions 
o CPC: $.61 
o Spent: $8,983 
o Bike/walk numbers spiked 
PRSA Fort Worth
BREAK: EXERCISE (10-15 minutes) 
Often times, you are asked to develop content to 
promote/support annual events that always come 
back around (trade shows, holiday sales, etc.) While 
challenging, it’s time for you to get outside your skill 
set. 
Imagine an annual event with your client/company and 
describe how it would look if the story were told as: 
o A six-second Vine 
o A top 10 list on BuzzFeed 
o An infographic for your blog 
o A Hyperlapse video on Instagram 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
Content Cornerstones 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
Don’t: Mimic 
what other 
brands are 
doing. 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
Instead: Stay true 
to your brand 
voice, values and 
mission. 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
Don’t: Play off popular social memes. 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
Instead: Create content your 
customers will find useful. 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
ACH PRSA Fort Worth
Don’t: Promote 
meaningless 
holidays. 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
Instead: Amplify your customers’ best content. 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
ACH PRSA Fort Worth
Don’t: Try to 
become the 
next Oreo. 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
Do: Become the next YOU! 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
Don’t: Promote 
your products 
and services 
(too much) 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
Do: Inspire your customers through 
powerful imagery 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
Don’t: Talk about events only you care 
about. 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
Do: Tell rich, meaningful stories about the 
people who make up your company. 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
Don’t: Get too cute. 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
Do: Be a 
resource 
(and 
build 
brand 
affinity 
and 
trust) 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
Don’t: Try to be Seth Godin 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
Do: Write 3-5 different headlines for 
each post 
ACH 
PRSA Fort Worth
One last thing: 
…make sure metrics loop back to 
content teams. 
ACH PRSA Fort Worth
arikhanson.com 
@arikhanson 
arik@arikhanson.com 
ACH

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Your Content Strategy is Broken--Here's How to Fix It

  • 1. Your Content Strategy is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It. PRSA Fort Worth October 8, 2014 ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 2. Your content strategy is broken. Admit it. ACH TE CONNECTIVITY
  • 3. More noise than ever before ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 5. The stats • Only 38% of B2B marketers rate their content marketing as effective. • Only 35% of B2B marketers have a documented content strategy. • 54% of B2B marketers see producing engaging content as their biggest content marketing challenge. Source: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs ACH
  • 6. ACH And, you’re battling this… PRSA Fort Worth
  • 7. How did we get here? ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 9. ACH PRSA Fort Worth Look familiar?
  • 10. ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 11. ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 12. ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 13. ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 14. What do we do now? ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 15. 1: Conduct a comprehensive content audit ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 16. • Take stock of current content—across social channels o What content already exists? o What content does the client/company want? o What content do actual customers want? ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 17. • What’s working? What’s not? • Review 3-4 competitors/brands you admire ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 18. Look at the data ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 19. ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 20. ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 21. BREAK: EXERCISE (10-15 minutes) Do you ever shut down ideas with a “we can’t do that, it will never get by legal”? Well, we’re now on the S.S. Communications and you’ve just thrown legal overboard! • Nothing is standing in your way now – what are the five most important stories customers need to hear, or would find most helpful? • What are the most important vehicles to get these stories out – OR – what new channels will you try now that no one is telling you no? • Now come back to reality: find 3 ideas on your paper you COULD actually work with legal to share publicly. ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 22. 2: Identify resources • In-house • Agency • Independent • Robots? ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 23. In-House: Pros • Less ramp-up time • Knows your brand better • Quick access to internal SMEs In-House: Cons • Not always best resource • Existing political barriers may provide roadblocks ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 24. Agency: Pros • Access to more “human resources” • Get much-needed outside perspective • All-in-one package Agency: Cons • More expensive • Longer dating cycle ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 25. Independent: Pros • What you see is what you get • Big fish, small pond Independent: Cons • Just one person means…just one person • Lack of ongoing professional development ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 26. Robots? • Wordsmith • 2,000 simple articles per second • Not as “robotic” as you might think • Boon to personalized content (or reports) ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 27. 3: Create a content plan of attack ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 28. First, ask yourself: What’s our mission? ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 29. CREATE • Stories • Infographics • Visuals • E-books • Presentations • Lists • How-to guides ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 30. Long-form content -> Micro-content ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 31. Identify your “sources” • Internal SMEs • Organizational “connectors” • Customers • Vendors/Partners • Front-line employees • Customer service • Executives (Note: Further down the list) • Existing stories ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 32. What about content YOU can create? • Round-up posts • Q&A from the sales team • How-to’s • Interviews (trade shows, events, etc.) • Book reviews • Lists (with stats to back them up) • Case studies • Summarizing comments ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 33. You know who’s really good at this? ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 34. BREAK: EXERCISE (10-15 minutes) We are surrounded by subject matter experts everyday, though our keen PR minds aren’t always given the license to celebrate their smarts. Time to change that. • Select a client or business unit and identify one really smart person you have met in that group. • Imagine you are charged with starting a brand blog to position them as an industry thought-leader. • What are the first five blog posts you’d write for that blog? Write headlines for those five posts. ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 35. 4: How are you going to distribute the content? ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 36. DISTRIBUTE • Social • Email • Repurpose (LinkedIn publishing, Medium) ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 37. Keep this in mind… ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 38. You know who’s really good at this? ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 39. 5: Do you plan to amplify your content? ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 40. AMPLIFY • Social advertising • Sponsored content • Syndication ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 41. You know who’s really good at this? ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 42. 6: And finally, how do you measure? ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 43. MEASURE • Google Analytics • Social signals • “Engaged time”/”Attention time” • Return readers • Visitor loyalty • Don’t forget: Email metrics ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 44. ACH 44 Case study - Bike Walk Move PRSA Fort Worth
  • 45. ACH 45 • What was our approach? o First: Build an online home base with more “consumer-focused” content (Bike Walk Move blog) o Use Facebook as our primary distribution channel (also distribute via new Bike Walk Move e-newsletter) o Amplify with targeted Facebook ads o Measure and tweak approach along the way PRSA Fort Worth
  • 46. ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 47. ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 48. ACH 48 PRSA Fort Worth
  • 49. ACH 49 PRSA Fort Worth
  • 50. ACH 50 WITH Facebook ad support. WITHOUT Facebook ad support. PRSA Fort Worth
  • 51. ACH 51 Topic: Quicker to drive or bike in the city? Topic: More cost-effective to drive or bike? PRSA Fort Worth
  • 52. ACH 52 PRSA Fort Worth
  • 53. ACH 53 By the numbers o Blog traffic almost doubled year over year o Grew page from 106 likes to 1,720 likes in 9 months o Facebook top referral source o Facebook ads drove 33,960,248 impressions o CPC: $.61 o Spent: $8,983 o Bike/walk numbers spiked PRSA Fort Worth
  • 54. BREAK: EXERCISE (10-15 minutes) Often times, you are asked to develop content to promote/support annual events that always come back around (trade shows, holiday sales, etc.) While challenging, it’s time for you to get outside your skill set. Imagine an annual event with your client/company and describe how it would look if the story were told as: o A six-second Vine o A top 10 list on BuzzFeed o An infographic for your blog o A Hyperlapse video on Instagram ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 55. Content Cornerstones ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 56. Don’t: Mimic what other brands are doing. ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 57. Instead: Stay true to your brand voice, values and mission. ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 58. Don’t: Play off popular social memes. ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 59. Instead: Create content your customers will find useful. ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 60. ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 61. Don’t: Promote meaningless holidays. ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 62. Instead: Amplify your customers’ best content. ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 63. ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 64. Don’t: Try to become the next Oreo. ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 65. Do: Become the next YOU! ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 66. Don’t: Promote your products and services (too much) ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 67. Do: Inspire your customers through powerful imagery ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 68. Don’t: Talk about events only you care about. ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 69. Do: Tell rich, meaningful stories about the people who make up your company. ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 70. Don’t: Get too cute. ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 71. Do: Be a resource (and build brand affinity and trust) ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 72. Don’t: Try to be Seth Godin ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 73. Do: Write 3-5 different headlines for each post ACH PRSA Fort Worth
  • 74. One last thing: …make sure metrics loop back to content teams. ACH PRSA Fort Worth

Editor's Notes

  1. The social media guru told me about the power of engaging content!
  2. The social media guru told me about the power of engaging content!
  3. Everyone wanted to follow Oreo…
  4. And I mean EVERYONE. Use OLSON—Breaking Bad—Belize example One that worked, but metrics still suffered.
  5. On trend—you were a part of the “cool” crowd
  6. Some cats are just plain lazy…
  7. Hit the pause button, reset expectations and conduct a content audit
  8. What does your existing data tell you? Google analytics? Social shares? Comments on an existing blog? Social feedback/signals?
  9. Patagonia example?
  10. The key—create content that works for YOU. Sleep Number example—they create a lot of testimonial and how-to content.
  11. Buffer
  12. Use me as an example for LinkedIn Talk about Jeff Jones case study on LinkedIn
  13. Is your site/wherever you’re pushing customers to optimized for mobile? Make sure it is, because a growing percentage of your customers are….
  14. Communications Conversations as an example here – PR Daily, Ragan, B2C
  15. Intel—sponsored content on the Verge. 10-part video series featuring people working with technology in different industries. Right fit (tech=Verge), good storytelling (video via mobile).
  16. 63% of B2B marketers use web site traffic as their key metric to measure content marketing effectiveness.
  17. Started with content we believed would resonate with our key audience (people who were biking/walking in Mpls—or people we WANTED to get biking/walking in Mpls)
  18. Google Analytics told us people really wanted more bike maps and routes…
  19. We used FB and FB ads as our primary social driver of traffic to the Bike Walk Move blog
  20. Another content tactic: Make our boring numbers more interesting through infographics Built one big infographic, created a post around it and then, broke it apart and promoted each piece of individual content on FB and promoted it. Worked very well—got a TON of impressions/engagement from all the different posts
  21. Don’t think the paid amplification mattered? Think again. These are typical numbers for posts we promoted and those we did not.
  22. Notice how we wrote the headlines—and how that played off the visuals. Used these as conversation starters…
  23. Thanks to Google Analytics research, we knew our fans wanted more maps detailing MSP bike routes—so we gave it to them by creating this map/grid that highlighted routes supported by BWTC. Using Facebook ads to promote maps we knew our audiences craved. 1,564,645 impressions, CPC: $.31, $300, 106 new page likes, 48 likes, 13 comments, 32 shares
  24. For Bike Walk Move, this was the annual data collection we talked about (we used infographics to tell the story differently, then distributed via FB and amplified)
  25. This one was everywhere a couple weeks ago.
  26. Metrics: 12 million views, 9,000 comments
  27. Love what SWA does here in its “From the Window Seat” Pinterest board. Pinning fans/customers’ IG shots out their plane windows! Not trying to be anyone else than who they are.
  28. Car companies go a little overboard with this…
  29. Meanwhile, Gatorade is producing videos like THIS. One of the best videos I’ve seen this year by a brand. I could have seen a media company producing this.
  30. We can’t all write pithy 150-word blog posts that will garner thousands of likes, comments and shares.
  31. But, you can write headlines that will solicit more social interaction with your customers/stakeholders. Write headlines like the posts on Digg—they HAVE to be good to get on Digg and get voted up. Sources of inspiration for headlines: NY Post, HuffPo, Copyblogger, Cosmo
  32. Share: Share total, engagement metrics, page views, etc