Is your content social?
Does your content get shared along the social media by admirers, fans, friends? Do you tell your story?
As you tell the story of your business or organization do you find others pick it up and publish it on their own sites? Are news publications interested in what you have to say?
A significant – and growing – element of successful digital marketing is how well your content travels, how long it hangs around the digital spaces, how many other digital denizens like it enough, embrace it enough, to share it with their friends and allies.
In a State of Digital Media report published not long ago by Influence & Co., a content marketing consulting firm, it was suggested editors of digital publications define the success of any published digital content by the number of people who shared the piece. In fact, according to the report, 66 percent of those editors said the number of times the piece is shared across the social media is the best determinant of success.
Following close to the number of shares, however, is the number of times the piece is viewed by readers (not “read,” necessarily, but “viewed”). Sixty-two percent of the surveyed digital editors said page views is the single biggest determinant of success of any particular piece.
The context for these stats is pieces contributed to digital publications by writers and marketeers all hoping to crack the realm of what’s called digital “influencer marketing.” (Yea, we know. influencer is not really a word but since when has marketing stuck to script?)
- It’s non-promotional. Fight the urge to weave multiple mentions of your brand into your content. Readers find it spammy, and editors won’t accept it.
- It’s professionally written and edited. Not only is your content clean and free of mistakes, it’s also a good fit for the readers of that publication, and it meets editorial guidelines.
- It offers original insights and outside data. The content you contribute should be full of stories, examples, and unique insights that come directly from you, as well as the research, to back up your claims. That’s what readers will find valuable — and what editors are more eager to accept.
The lessons to be taken here apply to all content published to the digital spaces. Submitting your content to digital publications is fine and very useful when accepted and shared. But you can also be your own publisher.
Content marketing – digital marketing – is really all about telling your story. Absolutely using facts and figures, insight and a compelling read, but in the end: telling your story.
Oh, yes, and for heaven’s sake: be authentic.
When asked for advice on digital marketing and we typically answer, initially, with this simple suggestion: be authentic online, in your content marketing.
Content Marketing is just a somewhat more expensive-sounding way of saying, “share your story.”
Yea, sure, we know…it’s a core principle of Relevanza but on the Internet of 2016 and for many more years to come your content – what you share about you, your business or institution – will be the premium currency (sound expensive enough?).
Call it anything you want but telling your story – and the stories of others – has been resurrected from generations of history, re-framed and put back to work in the age of the digital spaces, social media. Tell your story. More importantly: through good service, good product, beneficial contributions maybe others will want to tell your story, too!
The question becomes, then, “how” to tell one’s story? The answer is, of course, on a well-done website which features one’s blog. That’s right: a blog. It doesn’t need to be that scary. It’s really no more difficult than writing a letter to a friend or making a note in a journal or talking on the phone.
One’s blog in the core of one’s marketing efforts in the digital spaces. It is also the only place on the Internet where the user is in complete control. It’s home base.
But if the word, blog, makes you shudder in fear (or, even, sound old fashioned at this point) we can call it something else. We’ll call it your news or your updates or “what’s happenin’ now.” It matters little what one calls it as long as you’re using your website to – once more – tell your story.
Oh, and don’t forget the other part of telling your story: listening! It’s almost as important to listen – to what your audience says back to you; to what others say, to the stories of others. You will want to engage them, share their stories with your audience, talk back to them, comment back on those who choose to engage you.
Content, yes, but engage with others too
Tell your story, have something of value to say, inform (and, sure, toot your own horn when it’s warranted and authentic). But, mostly, tell your story. Everyone has a story to tell. What’s yours?
As the online universe expands – as it is so very rapidly – we have to also remember that content alone doesn’t get us where we need to be.
We must follow up content with context and, most important, engagement. This is digital marketing, after all. One can’t be social without engaging others in the dialogue.
This is how we build community – engage unto others as you would have them engage unto you.
We often explain social media to clients and friends who are confused, if not completely overwhelmed, by using the metaphor of the front porch. We’ve all had those glorious experiences of sitting around on the front porch, talking with friends and family, discussing everything and nothing at all.
Social media really is, for the most part, just like those treasured conversations on the front porch. Except, with social media, the front porch can be the entire world!
And just like those conversations need context, sometimes, so does your social media content. In this rapidly growing world – just for a quick example – your online content needs to be able to travel well between the various platforms and, even, devices. What looks and reads well on a desktop or laptop computer must also look and read well on a mobile device, a phone or a tablet.
We call this, “data persistence,” or, “content persistence.” You want your content to travel well, hang around a bit, appear to jump fluidly from one social platform to another; be as relevant and understandable as possible from one platform or device as to the next; maybe even to when and where your community might see you, read you, hear from you.
Finally, engagement is also key. Don’t just broadcast your message. Be ready to listen and talk back to those who reach out to you.
Over 60 percent of all adults in the U.S. are engaged in social media at one level or another. There is a lot of conversation in which to be engaged online, through the social channels. But like any good conversation, one must be actively participating in it.
Tell your story. Make sure your story travels well. Reach back when someone reaches out to you.
Need help with all that? Sure you do. Reach out to us. We’ll reach back. We can chat.