More companies are engaging in content marketing strategies to build their brands, generate leads, and boost thought awareness than ever before. These companies are writing blogs, creating podcasts, producing videos, releasing reports, and designing infographics. But what happens after the creation phase?
That’s exactly what we learned during a panel discussion on strategies and tactics to get found, which took place on Day 2 of Content Marketing World. Experts included:
- Lisa LaCour, VP of Marketing for Outbrain
- Amy Laskin, Content Strategy Director for Ogilvy
- Michael Pranikoff, Global Director – Emerging Media for PRNewswire
- Michael Marzec, President of Smart Business Content Marketing
Marzec held true to the rock and roll theme for the event, leading the discussion with a clever twist. Here are the key takeaways for those of you who were unable to join the chat.
The stairway to content heaven
How can companies create great content and, more importantly, how can companies make it easily found?
- Do research on your target audience to truly understand their interests and issues, in addition to understanding what they find engaging and how they prefer to receive information.
- To create great content, marketers must listen to their audiences and create what they are yearning for, rather than to simply paying attention to search engines. More simply put, engaging content often speaks to the interests or issues your audience faces.
- Include distinct calls to action in your content, and design your content to inspire your audience to take the action you want them to take.
I still haven’t found what I am looking for
With the Google Panda update, some companies have experienced changes in their search rankings. What does this mean for content marketers?
- Don’t forget search engine basics! Ensure pages have titles, tags, and keywords.
- Incorporate multimedia content types and a solid linking strategy within your written content to add opportunities for engagement.
- Use your customers’ language rather than speaking in your corporate goobledygook.
- Create and release videos and images with keyword-rich descriptions.
Should we be on Facebook? How do you get value from Facebook?
- Decide what your voice is going to be on Facebook. More often than not it will be different from the voice on your corporate site because it is a more personal platform.
- Set guidelines around what is on-message and what is inappropriate.
- Determine how often you will post and what time of day you will listen and post updates or content.
- Remember most people are on Facebook because they want to be on Facebook. Keep this in mind, and try to engage your audience on your page rather than solely directing them back to your corporate site or blog.
- Lastly, not every company needs a Facebook presence! Always keep your audience in mind – if they are not on Facebook, you shouldn’t be either.
Let’s stay together
What about communities? Is it possible for B2B and B2C companies to build and foster communities for their target audiences?
- It’s not just about Facebook. There’s Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and a slew of other social networking sites. Be sure to create a presence on the sites where your customers and prospects hang out.
- Create your own networking groups or communities centered around issues or pain points rather than creating a group for your company.
- Tweak your message so that it fits in with the channel, as channels have their personalities too!
- Reach out to influencers within your community. See if it makes sense to contribute guest blogs to their sites so that you can begin developing a relationship with their audience, as well as your own.
- Again, develop a solid linking strategy across your communities so that you are driving traffic back to your site.
Before the panel discussion ended with a Q&A session, Laskin offered some valuable advice for those looking to develop and distribute content, comparing the task to creating one hit wonders. Many music artists became famous with just one song. Take a step back in your strategy and FOCUS on the few things that matter (hint: your customers’ and prospects’ point of view) and nail them.
What did you think of the discussion? What other questions do you still have about content distribution?