In 2010, I wrote a post on why bad headlines kill good content and why you need great content to support the headline to captivate the audience. This time, I’m going to take it a step further and touch on why content is more than just your currency; it’s the keys to the kingdom.
With so much content out there, a battle is heating up right before our eyes – the battle for attention and readership. Companies are getting more creative with ways they lure readers to click. By doing so, companies are 1) losing trust 2) missing a chance to build that relationship 3) wasting valuable time and 4) creating bad word of mouth.
The old wisdom says that content is king and headlines rule in today’s information age. With so much information flying across the web and consumers’ limited time to read, you have limited space and time to capture and captivate your audience. Unfortunately, companies are missing the boat on many levels. Why?
Content is not king. Valuable and optimized content is. It’s also the new currency by which you build your brand equity and thought leadership. In a blog post titled “What’s a Content King without a Kingdom?” (by @Copyblogger), the writer says, “I think it’s smarter to say that content is indispensable. It’s what people go online to find, and it’s what Google loves. There are only a few online marketing models that don’t require valuable content, and those few are getting tougher by the day, and result in no long-term assets.”
Some marketers think that building great content is enough. Post it and they will magically come and download/read your stuff. Untrue. You need to use methods to spread the word and build awareness around the content using new and old ways.
Build the Kingdom First
Getting back to what @Copyblogger wrote, you have to have the kingdom first in order to anoint the (valuable) content as king. Building your kingdom takes time and the right amount of investment. But once you build it (Facebook Page, LinkedIn, Slideshare, YouTube and Twitter), it’ll be well worth it. However, companies should not mistake social media as the holy grail of new marketing. While it’s great to leverage these channels to gain additional awareness and create word of mouth buzz, this strategy will not sustain as a standalone. Mix in traditional marketing to ramp up your efforts. According to @Copyblogger, your content has a right to the throne thanks to its valuable information, clever hook and killer headline. But brave and loyal allies are needed to create an insurrection against Queen Inattention. These allies are not impersonal Facebook “friends,” they’re real friends and colleagues, and they believe in you and your content.
- Create a Facebook Landing Page that links to your website or landing page (see sample).
- Create an editorial series to help promote the content by extracting key information from the collateral, such as stats and quotes to provide a continuous stream of related information to drive awareness.
- Upload the content on Slideshare and bring it into LinkedIn. Use key search terms to ensure the content is SEO-friendly.
- Upload your videos on YouTube and pull in the YouTube video into your website. Also, promote it on the front page or a landing page with all of the related information around that content.
Leverage Traditional Marketing
Marketers and companies invest a lot of time building their database and their customer base to help push information out. This is an investment that companies make over time. The challenge is not everyone in your database will be part of the social communities that you have so diligently built. Combining these two areas will ensure you’re sharing your valuable content across your “dream” target lists to ensure the continuous nurturing and education of your database.
Our job is to inform and educate – build content that will ultimately add insight into the trends and challenges faced by your customers and prospects. Using traditional marketing tactics to reach your target groups will help continually touch them on an ongoing basis. This can be done through:
- E-mail campaigns – Bring the most compelling aspect of the content up front and sell readers on the value of the content and why it’s going to help improve business performance.
- Monthly newsletters – This is probably one of the most important tools you can have. This is where you can consolidate all of the content you’re building for your prospects and customers and deliver it to them on a regular basis. One stop. Done. This can include thought leadership, product news, company updates, a personal note from the CEO, etc.
- Targeted nurturing campaigns – You have a database of warm leads, but they haven’t moved to the sales cycle. This is a great opportunity for you to continually touch them with great educational content to keep them warm, and hopefully it’ll get them to act. But if you’re not top of mind, they will forget about you so why not find a way to take the content you have worked so hard on and nurture them and help them move along the sales process.
- Customer/partner communication – Get your customers and partners excited through continuous education and by sharing critical information. Turn them into your evangelists and, in turn, encourage them to share with their communities.
Why Public Relations is Marketing’s Best Friend
PR is an invaluable tool. No longer is PR just about media coverage; it’s an extension of your marketing initiatives to drive leads and awareness at the same time. This is a great opportunity to show your thought leadership through press releases and help with sentiment and share of voice. Using a press release, you can highlight the key areas of the content and how the content will help companies address specific challenges. Another important purpose the press release serves – it’s a central resource center for everything related to the topic that you’re pitching.
Leave the readers with the option to download the collateral, view your video on YouTube, check out your Facebook Page for more info, follow you on Twitter to get information like this and future news.
Never miss an opportunity to promote in some shape or form. If there are channels and tactics out there that you can use to get as much mileage as possible, do it. Just because you have it doesn’t mean people will find it. Today, it’s about getting the right information to your customers and prospects.