The way to earn people’s respect and liking, is usually to give. Give them an answer, give them your time, show them the direction. And so, this is essentially what the often cited ‘user journey’ online is all about: Making your visitors like you enough to follow you around. The challenge isn’t really to catch them, but rather how to make them continue their journey. I believe this requires a whole new way of thinking and a focus on their next move. Fortsätt läsa Always focus on their next move!
2016 is already here. It’s time to write your content plan! (And this is where all you lucky people who actually made it already in December can stop reading…) Because a plan for content, you’ll need. To reach your marketing goals, to optimize your time, to be proactive and smart. Fortsätt läsa 2016 Goals: Let’s Plan for Proactivity!
Baffled by the fact that we ended up there again – a “great” web site, which despite all clever people involved doesn’t really meet neither the content owners’ expectations nor those of the web development team, I started thinking: What if one turned the entire web site development process upside-down? What if we would start with the content? Fortsätt läsa Content first in web-site development?
According to the Content Marketing Institute’s annual study, only 44% of B2B marketers in the US say their organization understands what an effective or successful content marketing program looks like. Yet, 76% state that they will produce more content in 2016 than in 2015. So why produce all this content if they don’t know how to use it in an effective way? Fortsätt läsa A Model for Successful Content Marketing
Is it really necessary for a company to be on all social media platforms? Probably not. Spreading internal resources too thinly across multiple channels, there is obviously a risk that none of the channels develop into a truly effective sales and marketing tool. And as social platforms are not the only channels to pursue, the trick is not to be everywhere but to make a smart selection. Fortsätt läsa No Need to be Everywhere. Rather be Good.
To plan or not to plan, that’s the question. Develop a content calendar, or not? There is certainly a risk that a content calendar takes all spontaneity out of social media, making the sender one of the most boring people at the party, but is the answer really to stop planning?
How can a company be interesting every day? How can a blogger? Let’s face it: It’s difficult to come up with new smart and interesting content every day. So we were told to make content plans. And we did. And now the problem is that every company and every blogger make great content plans filling social media channels around the clock, but quality of the content isn’t always what it should be. Quantity over Quality.
According to Brian Solis in his blog The 10 Commandments of Content Marketing (worth reading!), the answer is to stop operating against a content marketing calendar as they make us think quantity, not quality, and as consumers are already overwhelmed with mediocrity. Solis clearly has a point, but knowing how hard it can be to come up with new great content every day, I think content calendars still have a role to play. They’re a way to ensure that a company continue to build its brand also between campaigns, that a team working on the same social channels are aligned, and I actually believe that they can be a way to ensure the quality of the content. It’s only a matter of not letting the plan rule one’s life.
To get the overview, allow time for content quality improvements, and yet open for spontaneous additions, I’d suggest to work with the calendar like this:
- The theme plan: 3-6 months’ sketch of what themes will be the most relevant to talk about. List what’s already known in terms of content releases, e.g. new campaign material, release of reports relevant to the area of business, major events and speaker opportunities, new customer reference cases, planned white papers, etc. Visualise as a simple table/calendar showing the theme and its level of priority over the coming few months. Update once a month and make sure to share the plan with relevant people in the company.
- The game plan: Outline of ideas for posts over the coming 2 weeks. The game plan aligns with the theme plan in terms of prioritized themes and content releases during the two weeks, but adds more details as well as social-media specific activities such as recurring #series of posts. The most important role of this plan is to identify the true content priorities: What piece of info is the most important to share with followers next Tuesday?
If a new content opportunity turns up on Tuesday, the new piece of info should be measured against the priority of the plan: Which one would serve the brand in the best way – the planned or the spontaneous piece?
The second most important role of the plan is to identify the gaps: Are there days when there is nothing to publish? Going back to Solis’ point, there is no reason to fill gaps with crap – it’s ok to be quiet now and then, but these gaps may also be opportunities to re-use/re-fresh some old content and thereby reach a few more people.
- The daily work: Spend some time in the morning questioning the game plan, considering what’s happening in the world and in the company. Something better to talk about today than what’s listed in the plan? If so, make the change. Then schedule your posts to allow time for the real spontaneity: The socializing. Listen – like – share – comment what others are saying. In combination with planned content, active management of social media is the easiest way to make your content flow both current and interesting. Being an active social media friend is probably the best way for any company to stay relevant to the followers.
Going back to my starting point, I must correct myself: To plan or not to plan, isnot the question. The question is rather how to ensure that the plan, i.e. the agreed content calendar, doesn’t become a strict rule. The answer is not to stop planning, but rather to keep looking for fresh content also when the plan is done. And just as in your personal calendar, dare to cancel an appointment when a better alternative turns up.
Let’s face it – very few of our thoughts are really our own, unique, thoughts. The essence of human interaction is to share knowledge and develop each other’s ideas, so whatever I write in this blog someone else probably can claim as their original words. (They’re probably right because this blog is inspired by quite a few conversations I’ve had recently.) So should we stop writing? No, certainly not!
Just make sure that the content you present is something you truly believe in. Fortsätt läsa It’s not my original idea, but I’ve added my view. And that’s ok.
No idea can make an impact unless it’s heard. Content has no value unless someone sees it – it’s as easy as that. Hence, the saying that ‘content is king’ will only be relevant if the king is equipped with a loudspeaker. Or several. Fortsätt läsa The King Needs a Loudspeaker
“Content Marketing” is trending right now. Finally, if you ask me. Catchy, slogan-based marketing certainly attracts attention, but as companies share more of their expertise using a few more words, they help their customers to more informed purchase decisions. This customers like, which is why it’s time for companies to get trendy! Fortsätt läsa The Value of Content Marketing