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Developing an Effective Content Marketing and Social Media Strategy

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II prepared this presentation for the Future Proof Workshop at the Online Retailer Conference in Sydney, Australia in August 2013. The presentation focuses on the importance of a content marketing strategy, the 3 necessary components to a mature strategy, tips from professionals and traps to avoid.

II prepared this presentation for the Future Proof Workshop at the Online Retailer Conference in Sydney, Australia in August 2013. The presentation focuses on the importance of a content marketing strategy, the 3 necessary components to a mature strategy, tips from professionals and traps to avoid.


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Developing an Effective Content Marketing and Social Media Strategy

  1. 1. Developing and Effective Content and Social Media Strategy Sarah Mitchell Global Copywriting
  2. 2. Definition Content Marketing: The art of understanding exactly what your customers need to know and delivering it to them in a relevant and compelling way. CONTENT MARKETING = EDUCATION
  3. 3. Traditional vs. Content Outbound activity:  Lead Generation Inbound activity:  Lead nurturing Tip: Consumer behaviour has changed.
  4. 4. Average Cost Per Lead Inbound vs. Outbound
  5. 5. 3 Components
  6. 6. Original Content
  7. 7. Top Tactics in Australia 1. Articles on Website 2. Social Media 3. eNewsletters 4. In-person events 5. Case studies (customer success stories)
  8. 8. Tip: Make it Mobile
  9. 9. Tip: Don’t underestimate email! Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your website but many businesses discount it as ‘old school’.
  10. 10. Social Media
  11. 11. Tools used by the Pros
  12. 12. Tip: Pinterest Links Make sure you link to the landing page of your ecommerce site – not a sales page. Broken links on Pinterest do nothing to improve your SEO.
  13. 13. Trap: “Post and Hope”
  14. 14. Trap: Making Claims ACCC considers claims made on social media by you or your fans/followers subject to scrutiny.
  15. 15. Beware of “Vanity” Metrics
  16. 16. Consumers “don’t want a “relationship” with you. Just help them make good choices.” Advice to brand marketers from Harvard Business Review
  17. 17. Content Sweet Spot
  18. 18. Search Engine Optimisation
  19. 19. Mature Content Strategy
  20. 20. Easy Ways to “Wipe Out”
  21. 21. Small Band of Followers
  22. 22. “Think about what a user is going to type” Matt Cutts, Google
  23. 23. Buckshot, aka Hello Adwords
  24. 24. “Without content, conversation is mere networking. Without conversation, content is dead.” Tipping Point Labs
  25. 25. Land of SPAM
  26. 26. Content People are seeking their own information. TRAP: The days of self-serving, self-promoting “blah, blah, blah” are over
  27. 27. TIP: Marketing = Publishing
  28. 28. Think Like a Publisher 1 Support each product/service you offer 2 Target each customer segment 3 Consider vertical markets 4 Use multiple content types
  29. 29. Act Like a Journalist 1 Titles / Headlines 2 Storytelling 3 Deadlines 4 Reference, cite, attribute
  30. 30. Reuse Repurpose Recycle Blogs White papers Case studies Online video eNewsletters Powerpoint Infographics Webinars eBooks Podcasts Digital magazines Mobile apps
  31. 31. Managing Your Strategy
  32. 32. Editorial Calendar “Content Brain” 1
  33. 33. Don’t Pay For Attention BUY attention: Advertising BEG for attention: Public Relations BUG people: Sales
  34. 34. “EARN attention online by creating great information that your buyers want to consume such as YouTube videos, blogs, Twitter feeds, photographs, charts, graphs and ebooks – and it is all free.” David Meerman Scott, Web Ink Now
  35. 35. Sarah Mitchell @globalcopywrite

Notas del editor

  • Definition of Content Marketing according to Joe Pulizzi, co-founder of the Content Marketing movement and the Content Marketing Movement. Source: GET CONTENT GET CUSTOMERS: Turn Prospects into Buyers with Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett
  • Traditional marketing uses outbound activity designed to generate leads. Marketers push a message out in broadcast mode, “yelling and telling” consumers why they should buy from you.
    Content marketing relies on inbound activity – information and education – to pull people toward your company. This activity is a great way to nurture leads.
    The important point about content marketing is marketers must move away from a broadcast model to be successful. They need to focus on pulling people in with quality content that helps them make decisions.
  • Content Marketing is more cost effective than traditional marketing – an important consideration for small business owners.
  • An effective content marketing strategy is composed of 3 components, each necessary to achieve the ultimate goal of driving more business. The components are complementary. When a 3-pronged focus is implemented, the results are pretty exciting.
  • Original Content underpins your entire content strategy. It allows brands to build assets – both online and offline – that will allow you to demonstrate your expertise in a given area, establish you as an authority, and position you to become a thought-leader in your industry. Unlike traditional advertising and marketing investments, content is a tangible result of your marketing efforts that continues to generate a return on your investment and attract prospective customers.
  • According to the 2013 report from the Content Marketing Institute on Australian Budgets, Trends and Benchmarks.
  • More people will view your content on a mobile device than on a desktop or laptop. If it’s not easy to read on a mobile device, you’ll frustrate and lose customers. To test your site on any variety of devices, check out this cool little gadget:
  • See chart in Mediapost article:
  • The second component of content marketing is social media. Social media allows you to distribute your original content to a worldwide audience for little, if any, cost. Consistent, active and mature social networking allows us to form relationships. influence and engage our target audience.
  • The list of social media channels is growing every day. The challenge becomes finding the places your target audience is hanging out and building a valuable presence there. It’s a slow burn activity and many organisations give up long before their efforts realise a return. According to the2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report 2012 by the Social Media Examiner, marketers with more than 3 years experience using social media tools rely on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Blogs. YouTube and Google+ are coming on fast. Of course, B2C and B2B companies have different requirements just as they do with content.

    Stop for discussion on what channels attendees are interested in using.
  • One advantage of using social media is to create backlinks to your eCommerce website. A backlink is created when another website who has a link to your website. These are incredibly valuable for SEO and Pinterest is particularly good at providing them. When you add a photo of your products to one of your Pinterest boards, make sure the link is set to a landing page is it’s not a permanent part of your inventory. Online retailers often link to a temporary sales page. When the sale is over, the backlink becomes invalid.
  • Hubspot’s 2012 State of Inbound Marketing Report shows a clear benefit for social media activity for both B2B and B2C companies. ‘Posting’ an article, blog or other piece of content on your website and ‘hoping’ someone comes along and finds it is a great way to bypass your target audience.

    Credit for the “Post and Hope” goes to Mike Stelzner. Mention the Hubspot research report, also in the Dropbox folder.
  • The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) reminds Australian retailers the Consumer Act applies to all social media marketing activity regardless of who posts the information on your site. Just as with in-store ticketing, the way you display your promotions and the claims made online about your business must comply with the ACCC’s rules. Read this post I wrote at SignIQ for more information:
  • It’s very easy to get focused on popularity measures in social media – how many fans, followers, retweets and ‘likes’ you collect. It’s also a terrific way to derail your content marketing strategy. The only real measure for social media in a content strategy is conversions – how many of your business goals are being met. It’s great to have 40,000 fans but it would be better to have 400 that answer your calls to action.
  • In a report from the Harvard Business Review called “To Keep Your Customers, Keep it Simple”, marketers are warned that consumers (B2C) are overwhelmed by marketing messages and don’t actually want to ‘engage’ with a brand. Marketers are pushing customers away with “relentless and ill-conceived efforts to engage”. What they want is help making decisions on purchases.

    This is an important point as it requires a shift in thinking from the early days of social media.
  • Research published on Jay Baer’s Convince and Convert blog examined the effectiveness of content creation vs. content curation. Research conducted by Argyle examined more than 150,000 tweets and status updates from more than 1,000 Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts. The conclusion supports a 60/40 split - companies who link to their own content about 40% of the time and get the best CTR and conversion. The other 60% of the time they link to high-quality content from other parties.
  • Jill Taylor, the co-owner of ActiveWear Online attended this same workshop in 2010. She’s done a great job with her content using good images and a blog providing information and education about the body building industry. She does NOT push product with her content and, as a result, has acquired a loyal following and lots of word of mouth referrals.
  • Search engine optimisation – SEO – is a fast-changing sector that allows your audience to find your content. Dominated by Google, search engines are continually modifying their algorithms in order to deliver higher quality results to their clients. The days of ‘gaming’ the search engines are over which means content marketers must be aware of the science driving search results and develop all their content with search engines in mind.
  • Original content is the leading influencer of search results. However, your web developer may not have a content focus especially if they offer SEO services. Your content needs to be mindful of SEO especially keywords, long-tail search terms, META titles, descriptions and summaries.
  • Each component of a content strategy contributes to positive outcomes in relation to building trust, creating a buzz and generating targeted traffic.

    Build Trust: Relevant, high-quality information delivered to potentially every corner of the globe. The prospective audience for marketers has exploded with social networking

    Create Buzz: Internet habits of your target audience are researched to understand how they behave online. This allows you to share information and promote content to a relevant, engaged audience.

    Targeted Traffic: Custom created content attracts your target audience and fills the gap of information.
  • All three components of content marketing strategy are critical. Newcomers to the discipline often look for shortcuts by eliminating one component. It’s a great way to derail your efforts.
  • Using original content and social media but ignoring SEO is going to keep you in the ‘boutique’ camp. You've got a great thing going but no one ever finds you. The decision maker remains elusive.
  • Google is working hard to provide better search results for their users. Keeping an SEO focus on all the content your produce is essential to being found on the internet. It’s important to remember the terms people will be searching for aren’t necessarily the ones you want associated with your business. For example, the aged care industry has done a lot of work on improving their image. Modern facilities go out of their way to distance themselves from the old-fashioned ‘nursing home’. But the fact remains when people are researching properties to find an organisation to look after a family member, they invariabley type ‘nursing home’ into the search bar.

    Business has to be thinking what consumers might be typing into a search bar. If you don’t take this into consideration, you may never be found. Keep in mind the advantage of local search and long-tail search terms. These can be very effective in helping you in competitive industries.

    We’ll do some hands-on work here getting people to use Google Search Insights and Google’s Keyword Tool.
  • Avoid social media at your peril. No doubt you'll find an audience but you'll spend a lot on Adwords and won't develop a loyal following. You miss out on the coveted “Word of Mouth” recommendations.
  • Regardless of how you feel about social media, it’s an important distribution method for your business. It will help you find targeted traffic and reach a far wider audience.
  • Blasting your message with no content puts you firmly in the SPAM camp - and no one likes that. Furthermore, the only asset you develop is a disengaged social network.
  • People want information and they want help making purchasing decisions. They specifically do NOT want to hear advertising, advertorials or anything masquerading as information that’s really a sales ‘push’. Brands should be focused on building a relationship of trust with their prospects and customers. Blatant self-promotion, with the possible exception of Donald Trump, is no longer an effective marketing strategy. Brands must realise that to maximise the success of their content marketing strategy, they have to shift the focus away from their company, products and services and think about what the consumer wants and needs.

    At this point I’ll introduce the infographic (also in Dropbox) which shows the 3 essential components of Content Marketing along with the drawbacks for an incomplete model.
  • Businesses must consider the paradigm shift away from traditional advertising means they have to start thinking like a publishing house.
  • A magazine or newspaper publisher is working hard to develop content to attract the highest circulation. You need to think the same way about your content – what do you need to pull in the largest group of prospective clients?
  • Consumers have so much choice and are being bombarded with information. Only compelling content that will get open, consumed, shared and acted upon. That means you need to make each piece of content highly readable. The people creating your content should be acting like journalists and you need to have someone in the editorial role, as well.
  • Content is expensive to produce but you can extend the life of it – and generate wider audiences – by reusing it, repurposing it, or recycling it. For example, a white paper could spawn multiple blog post. A blog post could be turned into an infographic. A case study could be made into a presentation. A presentation can be made into a YouTube video. Don’t stunt your own content – keep thinking up new ways you can take your current research and format it into a differnet length, medium or find a new place to distribute it.
  • Feeling overwhelmed? Who wouldn’t at this point?
  • An editorial calendar is essential to keeping your strategy ticking along. Review CMI and Hubspot examples (in the Blueprint) and also show some actual editorial calendars.
  • David Meerman Scott’s comparison over 2 slides of how content marketing fits into the business model
  • Please keep in mind content marketing is a slow burn method of marketing. You won’t see immediate results. You might not even see intermediate results of any significance. If you stay on course, keep producing great content, continue to use social media wisely and effectively, and be mindful of Google and SEO, you will build momentum at the same time you’re creating valuable assets for your business.
  • With all you do – content, social media and SEO – you’re building a web of influence and trust for your eCommerce business. The longer you keep with it, the more customers and prospects you’ll snare.