By: Casey Stokes
Creating Great Content Is Only The First Step
Driving thought leadership and building an engaged audience with compelling content is no secret. PR and marketing experts have spent the last decade developing strategies to build and engage audiences, be top-of-mind for decision makers and get attention from editors and journalists. There are a number of well-known methods for going about this, but here are two of the most common:
1) Connect with your audience and understand what is important to them. That can be through online interaction, conferences, surveys, casual conversations with customers and more. This gives you an idea of important topics for content.
2) Follow influencers and publications focused on your audience and set Google Alerts for keywords important to your audience. This gives you insight into topics that are current and trending in the relevant industry.
After you have the requisite topic idea, you need to create your content in a timely fashion. Almost all content has a lifespan during which it is most relevant to an audience (due to regulation, season, world events, etc.), and delivering that content within that time-frame ensures maximizing the positive effects of that message. Even after creating and posting compelling content in a timely fashion, you still won’t magically get traffic. What’s the deal!?
Share, Share, Share
Social media sharing is a key part of generating traffic with your content. The first step is setting up the social media channels your audience frequents, then you can share the piece. Don’t just share the piece once, share it multiple times over a predetermined period of time.
Company account sharing simply engages with your existing audience, though. So, how do you reach a wider audience? Having employees throughout your company share the post bolsters your audience and includes all the contacts of your company’s employees. Often individual employees have significant networks that can rival or beat the audiences of small companies!
Another option is promoted posts. Promoted sharing allows your company to focus a specific amount of ad-spend on a key piece of content by ‘promoting’ it. This allows you to reach audiences not in the immediate network of your company or its employees. Promoted content can be targeted specifically based on the social media network you are sharing on. Is promoted content worth the cost? Maybe. Well written content with an effective call-to-action can benefit from promotion to specifically targeted audiences that you know matter. How do you know if your content is well written and effective?
Track Metrics, Adjust Process, Go Again
Just guessing that your content is effective because it got ‘liked’ or ‘shared’ is not an effective means of marketing. Counting ‘likes’ or ‘shares’ is important, but what does it really mean? Did it help the business? By using tools like ‘Goals’ in Google Analytics, A-B testing, Google’s Webmaster Tools and the metrics tracking built into social media platforms like LinkedIn, you can accurately track key performance metrics. Tracking key metrics provides crucial insight into what works and what doesn’t, allowing you to maximize your efforts. Determining that a graphical ‘Call to Action’ link is twice as effective for your visitors when it comes to converting a lead may change your approach site-wide, leading to huge boosts in the effectiveness of your content. Tracking which sharing days, content lengths, styles and other variables boost goal conversions and will help your team optimize content for your audience.
Writing great content is only the beginning. Understanding how to share it, where to share it and when to share it (then ensuring it is shared widely and tracking how it engages your audience) is just as crucial as the writing phase. Though many PR firms focus on only the writing and review phase of content creation with your team, Write2Market is metrics-driven. We focus on ensuring your content is both compelling AND effective, and we’ll back that up with numbers.
Contact us to learn more about our digital marketing and content creation services.