Marketing in the past often consisted of one off campaigns that didn’t build a relationship with your customer or prospect.
It was about the “deal” …closing the sale. It was sometimes called “Hit and Run” marketing.
Content Marketing is about creating compelling, contagious content and sharing it freely on social networks and blogs.
It is about building a relationship with your prospects and customers that builds credibility and trust that turns propsects into buyers and customers into high value repeat buyers.
The initial goal is to obtain the buyers permission to receive that content whether it is a subscription via an opt-in email or a Facebook social opt-in ” like” that delivers information into the Facebook news and “Timeline” stream.
Creating content is time consuming and a creative challenge.
8 Content Marketing Challenges
These are the challenges among many.
- Finding inspiration and ideas for the content
- Creating it
- Making it relevant
- Resourcing it
- Managing it
- Monitoring it
- Measuring it
- Making it “Liquid” and Contagious
Sometimes you need some inspiration and you need to try some new ideas and different media that may provide a nudge to try something different and creative outside your comfort zone.
As Steve Jobs says, “Stay Foolish”
The Power of Multi-Media
Many of us still don’t think about alternative media to text and articles because online video is still in its infancy. YouTube has only been with us for 7 years and in the world of business and brand marketing this is only a “blip”.
We need to “switch on” our multimedia mind and consider other media rather than just words to get our message out to the world that wants and demands multi-media.
Images and photos are much more likely to be shared than an article or a white paper. Videos or infographics will be shared at high velocity compared the the humble “written word” that have been with us for millenia.
Idea 1: Include Images and Photos
There has been a significant evolutionary shift on the social web in the last 12 months as marketers and social media network startups have realised the growing power of visual content.
By the end of 2011 the number of photos being uploaded to Facebook had reached 250 million a day.
This number hasn’t gone unnoticed and has led to 3 key and noticeable events and changes.
- The “Success” of Pinterest
- Google+ being launched with the user interface designed to display photos, and images in high defintion and in a large format.
- Facebook responding with the Facebook “Timeline” designed to give images and photos greater prominence. In fact you can now “feature” an image in a bigger size. Expect this change to be migrated to Brand “pages” in the next 6 months.
Photos and images drive high engagement on Facebook and if I look at my top ranked content on my Facebook page , measuring the virality index using the Facebook “insights” tool, the top 10 are all images or photos.
Some are cartoons that are relevant and congruent with my other content written or visual and with questions are used to drive conversations, stimulate and create stories.
There are photos that may reveal the human side.
The marketer needs to embrace this and work out ways they can use images and photos in their social media and content marketing that
- Increase Facebook “likes”
- Inspire comments
- Drive sharing
Also don’t forget to just have some fun!
Fashion Brands such as Threadless use images in clever ways to survey customers on their Facebook page that ensure that the garments they produce will be successful driven by the crowd sourced voting through “likes”. The garment with the most likes is the one that is manufactured!
The indirect benefit of increased engagement on Facebook with likes and comments is that it increases your Facebook EdgeRank with your fans and so improves the flow of your “Page” updates into their Timeline.
Idea 2: Create a Contagious Online Video
One good example of a contagious video content is Dynamite Surfing created in 2007. It contained all the 4 main elements that were needed for it to become contagious and viral
According to Brent Coker a marketing professor the four key elements required for a video to go viral are:
- Congruency – The themes of a video must be congruent with people’s pre-existing knowledge of the brand it is advertising.
- Emotive strength – Creating strong emotions is essential if you want to ensure you are giving your video the best chance of becoming viral and the more extreme the emotions, the better.
- Network involvement – Videos must be relevant to a large network of people and the larger the better, some examples of large networks are college students or office workers.
- “Paired meme synergy” – These memes can be elements such as “Voyeur” or “Unexpectedness” that were contributing factors in the success of the “Dynamite Surfing” video
The Dynamite surfing video tapped into all 4 key elements.
So how can you harness these elements to assist in giving your video the best chance of becoming viral?
Idea 3: Design a “Shareable” Video Graphic
Eric Qualmann is well known for his social media revolution video graphics which like “infographics” take numbers, facts and figures and make it entertaining and easy viewing via a video format. These concepts can be applied to many industry sectors.
Idea 4: Use the Hottest Trend in Content – Infographics!
Infographics has emerged in the last 12 months as one of the most popular and shareable forms of social content.
What are infographics?
“Infographics are visual representations of information, data or knowledge that present complex information quickly and clearly”
The internet and social web are a firehose of information and Infographics is one of the appealing and efficient ways of sharing it.
What are the major types of Infographics and applications?
- Business models and processes
What sort of Infographic could you create that would be shareable in your industry?
Idea 5: Create a Well Structured Blog Post or eBook
Creating a blog post, article, whitepaper or eBook is a vital part of your content marketing strategy and for B2B companies is the foundational element.
Giving it the best chance that it will be shared and talked about is the biggest challenge.
What are some of the basics that need to be considered when creating text content?
- Awesome headlines – This is needed to “Tempt and Tease” the person to click on the link and read your Tweet or
- Great writing – Be a story teller, find your voice
- Good Structure – Sub Titles, bullet Points and reasonable readable fonts
- Educational – How To’s
- Informative – News, Facts and Figures
- Visual – Include images in your articles and posts as well as infographics, photos or even cartoons from time to time
Here are 4 great blogs that provide examples of good articles writing but have different styles and strategies but are all effective
What About You?
How do you use images or photos in your content and social media marketing? What do you find works for you in your content marketing.
What could you do better?