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Content Strategy: How to Win at Social and Search with a Great Content Strategy


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How to develop a great content strategy across all your social networks to optimize SEO, spark conversations, and ignite engagement.

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Content Strategy: How to Win at Social and Search with a Great Content Strategy

  1. 1. Great Content Strategy PR RoundtableBusiness Marketing Association by robin frank beep beep media April 18, 2012
  2. 2. Why Your Content Isn’t Being Shared• Your customers don’t trust you. – Lead open, honest dialogues• Your customers don’t care about your brand – Overdeliver, consistently - What have you done for them lately – valuable info, great deals, connect with others with shared interests• Your content is boring – VW spoof on Star Wars 40M views vs 1M for more traditional vids• People care more about causes than brands – People rarely wonder what they can do for XYZ brand. But they do dream of ways to help a favorite cause. Make your brand part of something bigger• People are looking for community and social capital – We are all trying to build expertise in the eyes of our friends in some area(s) • 68% of The New York Times study said they share content as an advertisement for themselves. – Give them something to share that makes them look good/smart, etc beepbeep media 2012
  3. 3. Why Your Content Isn’t Being Shared• It’s all about YOU• Your posts are too long – Shorter posts (80 characters on Facebook) get shared 27% more frequently. Keep your writing style at a lower level of understanding for easy scanning. beepbeep media 2012
  4. 4. The Challenge• How do I get fresh interesting things to say that are SHAREABLE, relevant and high-quality? – That are consistent with my brand – That I can post every day/often – That engage my audience and spark conversations beepbeep media 2012
  5. 5. 3 Things to Understand About a Great Social Media Content Strategy1. Engage through conversations2. Power your conversations with awesome content Content is merely a means to an end Content drives conversations and engaging with people is the only way brands will survive in a world of social media overwhelm Reduce the friction of sharing content – make social sharing easy!• Brands often get drawn into the hype around the latest format, platform or tactic – stay the course A few years ago it was all about viral, now it’s all about iPhone apps and Pinterest beepbeep media 2012
  6. 6. The Content Strategy Burger
  7. 7. 3 Most Important Questions to Ask1. What do your customers, audience or community want to talk about? Are you willing to engage in those conversations?• Where does your audience want to have these conversations? Where do they “hang out” online?• How will you measure the results of your conversations to see which ones catch fire? What do you consider success? beepbeep media 2012
  8. 8. Do You Know What Content Format Your Prospects and Customers Want?• Website content• Blog• Press release• Case studies• White papers• How- to guides• News• Events• Photos beepbeep media 2012
  9. 9. Optimizing Your Content Strategy for Social and Search• Start with a keyword analysis – Not just a tool for blog posts or blogs for SEO – Uncover the language that your audience or community is using on the social web – List of words or phrases you believe your audience is using to find products like yours – Use tools to determine how often your phrases and related phrases appear in searches • Google AdWords • Keyword Discovery or WordTracker (paid) beep beep media 2012
  10. 10. Use Keywords to Solve Their Problems• Why are they following/liking your brand? – Deliver what’s relevant to them - overdeliver• Solve their problems OFTEN – Give them the tools to help themselves and you develop TRUST and strong relationships beepbeep media 2012
  11. 11. Know Where Your Audience Hangs Out• Most would be best off focusing on 1-2 platforms – going deep rather than going broad to start• You must LISTEN – Use Listening tools to see what conversations are already taking place and where • Google Alerts • TweetDeck • Hootsuite • Radian6/Sprout Social (paid, more robust)• Know your demographics on platforms beepbeep media 2012
  12. 12. beepbeep media 2012
  13. 13. What Brands post on Facebook is what people like least beepbeep media 2012
  14. 14. Develop Your Plaftorm Mix• Create a unified presence that builds your story, empowers your interactions, and helps you rise up from being just another voice in the stream• Understand economies of scale – Postings to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can be similar• Consolidate you social strategy so that each platform has its goals and messages and your overall brand presence is unified between platforms – Maybe your YouTube is for How-To’s, your Twitter is for curated content, your Facebook is for Promotions – All platforms should work together to establish strong relationships with your audiences/communities, inspire loyalty and get people to tune in.
  15. 15. Know Your Voice• Skittles writes like the candy: colorful, playful, imaginative• Some posts get >1K comments and >10K likes beepbeep media 2012
  16. 16. Identify Your Key Messages• A living “Google doc” of your company’s positions on leading industry trends and issues• Integrates keywords and phrases• Provides consistency of content across all platforms• Atomization of content beepbeep media 2012
  17. 17. Know Your Expiration Date
  18. 18. Time Your Content: Create an Editorial Calendar• Laborious and usually unfinished/not updated• They rock to manage timing and content• Keeps content organized, consistent, relevant to your audience• Keeps content integrated with your overall marketing and communications strategy• Categorize your content – Conversational vs. educational vs. promotional. What is your ideal recipe? beepbeep media 2012
  19. 19. Are You Making Headway?• Are you making headway? – Facebook comments and likes on your posts – Twitter followers, retweets and mentions – Blog post traffic and number of comments – Google Analytics – which sites are sending you the most traffic (referrers) beepbeep media 2012
  20. 20. Measure What Happens• Primary goal: sales, leads, engagement, etc.• Tie these to analytics, such as: – Inbound website traffic referred from social media sites – Inbound blog traffic referred from social media sites – Growth in blog commentary (per post average) – Blog article “Likes” – Growth in Twitter followers, retweets, @replies, and hashtags – Growth in followers on LinkedIn – Growth in group members on LinkedIn – “Authority” measures for blog, Klout – Number of new prospects who admit first following us on social media
  21. 21. Evolve and Iterate• Keyword analysis and social media demographics will only take you so far – You must LISTEN and understand – You must build trust with your audience – that takes time – You must be flexible and evolve your strategy over time based on what is happening • In your communities and audiences • In your industry • In the world beepbeep media 2012
  22. 22. 8 Ways to Ignite Shareability (Blog)1. Provide the right mix of sharing buttons on your blog posts • Make it frictionless• Be relevant • Consistently provide engaging, actionable and relevant content. Focus on delivering added value to your core market at every opportunity. Deliver actionable takeaways.• Make your posts meaty • Give some evidence that what you’re saying works• Provide instant gratification • Don’t go on the “tangent train.” Stick to one idea, develop it, give it some meat• Make your closing count – spark conversation • What’s your biggest challenge with, what is one tip for…? beepbeep media 2012
  23. 23. 8 Ways to Ignite Shareability (Blog)1. Write for someone, not everyone • Target your content to individuals and their specific pain points. – Give your audience thought provoking content and invite their comments • Understand that people share to manage information • 73% process information more deeply when they share. 85% of respondents said that reading other people’s responses helps them understand and process• The practice is the reward (Chris Brogan) • “Be there, be helpful, be more “about” other people than you are yourself. That’s it. That’s the practice. If you practice being there, being helpful, and being all about the other people, you will get more followers.” beepbeep media 2012
  24. 24. 7 Online Sharing Personas• Altruists : share content out of a desire to be helpful and aspire to be seen as a reliable source of information. Preferred tools: Facebook and email• Careerists : well-educated and seek to gain a reputation for bringing value to their networks. content that is more serious and professional in tone. Preferred tools: LinkedIn and email.• Hipsters : Hipsters are younger sharers who have always lived in the “information age.” They use Twitter and Facebook to share cutting-edge and creative content. They share content to build their online identity. Preferred tools: Facebook and Twitter.• Boomerangs : seek validation and thrive on the reaction of others to their content, even when it’s negative responses. Preferred tools: Facebook, email, Twitter and blogs• Connectors : see content sharing as a means of staying connected to others and making plans. They are more relaxed in their sharing patterns. Preferred tools: Facebook and email.• Selectives: more thoughtful in what they share and with whom they share it. They personalize their sharing and expect responses to their content. Preferred tool: email.• Trendsetters : thought leaders, marketers and business leaders who purposefully seek to stay abreast of breaking news and trends in their industry, sharing it quickly and aggressively. These people are typically seen as experts (or aspire to be seen as such). Preferred tools: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. beepbeep media 2012
  25. 25. Content Curation• Finding, grouping, organizing, and sharing the best and most relevant content on a specific issue, topic, or vertical – Deciding how to present this to your audience – what opinions or viewpoints do you add? beepbeep media 2012
  26. 26. Organize Your Content Sourcing• Create a Google Reader of your content sources so they can be easily scanned. – Or mark them with Delicious beepbeep media 2012
  27. 27. Pinterest as a Sign Social Media is Shifting Towards Curation• Scott Goodson of Forbes sees the incredible rise of Pinterest as one sign that social media is shifting from the personal to the curated.• Other examples – Facebook’s Timeline – Twitter acquired social news aggregation start-up Summify in January, as well as social sharing platform Posterous just last month. Experts suggest that Twitter is preparing for a big social media showdown by moving toward a more robust, conversation- and content-based user experience. beepbeep media 2012
  28. 28. Getting Awesome Content Ideas beepbeep media 2012
  29. 29. 8 Ways to Get Content Ideas From Your Readers• Ask them – Create a survey list of 10 topics you think your audience wants to hear • Ask them to say yes/no • Ask them to rank • Ask them to pick the top 3 • Always include an Other option – pay attention to what people take the trouble to write – Use tools: SurveyMonkey, Zoomerang, etc. • Put the survey on your website, email newsletter, and social channels beepbeep media 2012
  30. 30. Check Blog Comments• Bloggers will tell you their most popular posts often surprise them – When you get a lot of comments review them carefully • Write more blog posts about it – evolve your editorial calendar! • Start a series of similar posts – did they like the format? Was it a review? Was it a list? beepbeep media 2012
  31. 31. Check Your Retweets• Value is in the eye of the reader – You always think what you post is useful and interesting – Turn the most popular tweets into conversation topics going forward beepbeep media 2012
  32. 32. Check Your URL Click-Throughs• Link shorteners have detailed reports• Group your links into topics/categories so you can get a total number of click-throughs by topic beepbeep media 2012
  33. 33. Check Your Facebook Engagement• Facebook Insights have a great deal of detail on how users interact with your page• You can see which posts received the most feedback and interaction• Group your status updates into topics or categories. Talk more about the topics that get the most likes and comments. beepbeep media 2012
  34. 34. Use Facebook Questions/Polls• Write your question with multiple choice answers• Make sure it builds on your content strategy beepbeep media 2012
  35. 35. Check Twitter Favorites• Twitter’s Favorites feature lets you mark a tweet in your timeline that you like or want to be able to find again• You can use Favstar to find which of your tweets people have marked as favorites. This gives you insight into which topics resonate with the people who follow you. beepbeep media 2012
  36. 36. Check Email Newsletter Click-Throughs• Track clicks from your newsletter to your website or blog – What are they clicking on? – Where do they go next? beepbeep media 2012
  37. 37. Other Ways to Get Content Ideas• Blog around your keywords – Use Keyword Questions at WordTracker Labs – Enter a keyword/phrase and it will return related questions people have asked at partner search engines• Voila: your next Blog post titles beepbeep media 2012
  38. 38. Search Answers on LinkedIn• Find answers around your keywords beepbeep media 2012
  39. 39. Twitter• Twitter advanced search can filter by geography and attitude• Use hashtags beepbeep media 2012
  40. 40. Farm it Out• Interviews: identify 12 to 20 industry leaders who’ve written books on your subject and interview them.• Find guest bloggers who can help you create content, and do joint promotion beepbeep media 2012
  41. 41. Get Organized• Keep a running list of topics• Create categories and subtopics – If you have 10 primary categories and 5 subtopics for each category, you have 50 blog posts at your fingertips. – You can add another layer to your planning by assigning each subtopic to a style of post • How-to • Top 10 List • Opinion • Case Study • Q&A • Interview beepbeep media 2012
  42. 42. Create an Editorial Calendar• Spreadsheet of all content across all channels, by date for creation, publishing, promotion, and tracking.• Guarantees that you always have something proactive to talk about.• Includes current/older content, but also integrates with PR schedule, event-driven mktg, blog editorial planning.• Ensures you are proactive, not just reactive, to drive eyeballs to owned assets (site, social, blog, etc).
  43. 43. Best Practices• Break it down month-by-month, then week-by-week to day-by-day and even hour by hour for the uber-advanced.• Pick topics or themes for each month into broad categories that can be broken down into sub-categories. – Holidays, trade shows, seasons, fashion, sports, etc. – Or dedicate each month to a different product focus or service of your company and design a collage of content ideas centered around that product or service in the form of videos, Tweets, blog posts and Facebook updates.• Share and collaborate across the team of writers, editors, researchers and also the other departments such as SEO, advertising, public relations, sales, etc. beepbeep media 2012
  44. 44. More Best Practices• Connect with offline and print campaigns – Connect the dots between print and online and carry over print advertising themes and campaigns into the social media calendar and vice-versa• Format in a way that works best for you – Excel is best, but some use Google docs – Have separate spreadsheets or tabs for each specific type of content you are creating. For instance, you may have one tab for your blog, another for your newsletter and another for the additional types of content you create, such as eBooks, white papers and case studies. – Have one tab for new content ideas to develop• Adapt your calendar – As social networks change, adjust to accommodate new messaging strategies and content. For example, Google +, Pinterest beepbeep media 2012
  45. 45. Example #1 beepbeep media 2012
  46. 46. Example #2 beepbeep media 2012
  47. 47. Example #3 beepbeep media 2012
  48. 48. Social Media Playbook• A procedural guide to aid social media spokespeople– Audiences– Voice/Tone– Content Strategy (i.e. timing, editorial guidelines)– Posting recipe: info, promotions, articles, etc mix– What can/can’t be said– Monitoring guidelines– Spam policies– Special policies/procedures– Escalation processes beepbeep media 2012
  49. 49. 7 Social Media Hacks to Use Every Day1. Take and curate photographs – All trend lines point toward photography – If you’re not taking and posting pictures to dedicated photo networks and cross-posting (when appropriate) to Twitter and Facebook, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to grow your network and see the world through the eyes (or cell phone cameras) of thousands of new friends. – Instagram, Pinterest• Use Google + – The SEO benefit is not insignificant – The opportunity to interact and engage with industry professionals in a comparatively quiet and efficient location. Like Twitter before Oprah beepbeep media 2012
  50. 50. 7 Social Media Hacks to Use Every Day1. Pay Attention to YouTube – The world’s 2nd largest search engine. Blended search is important! – It has hundreds of millions a user a day. – Identify the keywords that need to be included in the video description – Include a transcript of the video • indexing by search engines is more accurate – Include a call to action • Use annotation • URL in description – Link to your videos from outside sources• Blend personal and Professional – Don’t leave attention on the table. Unless you’re a sword swallower or an astronaut, your personal life is more interesting than your professional life. – I do social media, but I’m also a mom to twin boys, and I’ve traveled to 86 countries beepbeep media 2012
  51. 51. 7 Social Media Hacks to Use Every Day1. Use Hootsuite (or another dashboard) – Scheduling and monitoring Dashboard – Set aside a chunk of time first thing each morning (or Monday) to find a handful of truly interesting content that is worthy of sharing for your brand.• Experiment with Buffer & Tweriod – Tweriod analyzes your Twitter followers, past Tweets and the people you follow and gives you the best times to Tweet – Buffer lets you easily share Tweets, Facebook posts and LinkedIn updates at optimal times – With one click in Tweriod, you are able to start Tweeting at optimal times inside Buffer beepbeep media 2012
  52. 52. 7 Social Media Hacks to Use Every Day1. Create a stalker list – Make a list of the 20 people you most want to interact with in social media — people you don’t know, but want to know. – Create a list for these people on Twitter and Facebook, and a circle for them on Google +. – Visit their blogs and bookmark them (or add them to a Google Reader) Find them on Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn and connect in those places, too. – Spend 15 minutes total per day interacting with some of these 20 people – Make a new list every 3-6 months beepbeep media 2012
  53. 53. Bonus - A Fun, Useful Tool: IFTTT• If this then that beepbeep media 2012
  54. 54. Check URL Click-Throughs beepbeep media 2012
  55. 55. Thank You!
  56. 56. 3 Must-Haves for Social Media Lead Generation• Get people to connect with you.• Get people to share your stuff.• Place calls to action everywhere.
  57. 57. THE Links to company blog posts 10-4-1 Links to third- party articles Link to a company landing page RULE
  58. 58. How Social Media Leads Happen 1 Twee t Landing Page Form Lead Like Blog Landing Post CTA Page Product Landing +1 Page CTA Page
  59. 59. How to Fix a Bad Yelp Review• Regularly Review Your Profile – Look for consistencies• Assess the nature of the complaint – look at the reviewer’s history• Send a private message• Leave a public response – so the community knows you are listening• Try to get more reviews beepbeep media 2012
  60. 60. Latest Data• B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads/month than those who do not.• 69% of B2B marketers are shifting their budgets toward social media.• B2B companies that blog more than 4x/week see the biggest increase in traffic and leads, according to @HubSpot• 51% of B2B marketers plan to increase their spend on content marketing, per @MarketingProfs• 86% of #B2B companies are using social media• Top use of B2B social media is for thought leadership at 60%, per @btobmagazine
  61. 61. Latest Data (continued)• B2B companies are more likely to use Twitter than B2C companies: 75% vs 49%, per @businessdotcom• 41% of B2B companies are acquiring customers through Facebook.• 39% of B2B marketers say blogging is their most valuable content asset, per @eMarketer• 60% of B2B marketers cite thought leadership as #1 reason to use social media, per @btobmagazine• Social media helps B2B marketers improve search results• B2B social media spending set to explode to $54M over next 5 years per @Forrester
  62. 62. Social Media Statistics• YouTube – 60 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute (more video uploaded in past month than three big TV networks in the past 60 years). – YouTube gets 4,000,000,000 page views a day, which adds up to 1,000,000,000,000 a year. – YouTube has 800,000,000 users (about the same as Facebook) who watch 3,000,000,000 hours of video a month. – YouTube Average viewing session remains a low 15 minutes• Blogs – 70 million – Total number of WordPress blogs by the end of 2011
  63. 63. Social Media Statistics• Twitter – 225 million – Number of Twitter accounts – 100 million – Number of active Twitter users in 2011 – 250 million – Number of tweets per day (October 2011)• LinkedIn – As of December 31, 2011 (the end of the fourth quarter), professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate that is faster than two new members per second. – As of February 9, 2012, LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 150 million members in over 200 countries and territories. – Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are LinkedIn members