Tag Archives: marketing strategeis

20 TIPS FOR PRODUCING BETTER CONTENT @@

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Producing quality content is like competing in the Olympics: if it were easy, everyone would do it. With the bar set high in an increasingly saturated Internet, here are 20 tips that will help whip your content into shape

know your goal

Creating content means putting in hard work, so knowing what you’re working toward is vital. Are you improving brand perception? Building a following? Engaging your customers? Before you write another word this year, focus on what you hope to accomplish, and your efforts will benefit for it.

know your audience

Purpose is only part of the picture; your words must resonate with those whom you hope to reach. Since your company and content cannot be everything to all people, identify the audience you wish to write to, and understand their unique circumstances, perspective, and mentality.

find their home

Each audience interacts in a different way. Younger individuals are finding a home on Instagram, Vine, and Twitter, while professionals are actively using LinkedIn. One platform or combination of platforms is likely to resonate more than others, so determine where your audience exists, and focus your distribution there.

interact

Content is not simply about a single impression, it’s about building a following, and engagement is what facilitates this loyalty. With the proper social networking channels identified, become a part of the conversation. Answer questions, provide follow-up, and get the ball rolling in order to give your work extra social momentum.

watch analytics

Some pieces will resonate more than others, but gauging that success can be challenging. Fortunately, tracking analytics and even social networking metrics have developed to provide a clearer picture of what works and what doesn’t. Monitor site traffic, likes, comments, bounce rates, and return visitors in order to glean a deeper insight into the effectiveness of content.

make adjustments

Once informative data is obtained, its value lies in its application. Once you’ve determined what your audience likes, build more success from that insight. If your holiday fashion lookbook was a success, prepare one for the Spring and Fall as well. Your audience will tell you what they want, it’s your job to listen.

take requests

Speaking of telling you what they want, sometimes the easiest way to create resonant content is to simply ask. Readers love the opportunity to shape the direction of the publications they rely on, so soliciting their input is an opportunity to farm ideas, increase engagement, and satisfy your base, all in one fell swoop.

identify your specialty

Writing quality content doesn’t take a PhD in one subject or another, but your unique perspective in your industry means that that’s effectively what you have. Your insight is what should drive your content, allowing you to deliver information that no one else can. Don’t miss the opportunity to use your own strengths when it matters most.

find your voice

In addition to your specific knowledge, your business is not the same as others. You have different staff members, a different approach, and, as a result, a different voice. Rote fact sheets and information have their worth, but readers want a human face, and adding your voice to the work will keep them from feeling bored.

deliver value

Content on the Internet is rarely, if ever, consumed without purpose. Readers and viewers don’t spend their scarce time digesting media unless they believe they’ll get something out of it. With each piece, make sure you satisfy that need by delivering something of worth, whether it’s gardening tips or stock picks.

keep it short

The Internet reader is busy, and unless they came to you looking for a long, academic discussion, they’re likely just looking for something digestible. With this in mind, it’s important to keep things readable. That’s not to say you should cut out any value, simply condense your information so that readers get what they want, efficiently.

keep it light

Along with manageable length and a relatable voice, Internet reading should generally be light. Deliver substance, but avoid subjects or tone that are too heavy for casual readers, unless the content calls for it (which it rarely does).

use lists

Readers spend time reading, of course, but every piece you create requires an investment by you and yours. With this in mind, choosing the right format can help cut the time required of both parties down. Bulleted and numbered lists avoid the need for challenging transitions, saving you writing time, and present information in a scannable format, allowing readers to find what they want and move on.

CONTINUE READING

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What time of day should I post?@@

 

I’ve seen this going around a bit today. It’s pretty meaningless, I fear. There’s no data attribution, but I strongly suspect that some of the data comes from this bit.ly research paper which I’d recommend you read: their data are good, and their analytics pretty impeccable. But you should also note that the paper dates back to May 2012. Much has happened in the intervening years. Many other vendors have released “best time to post” research; it’s a perennial favourite. Run a Google Image search on “best time to post”; it’s instructive — if a bit depressing.

Let me share two reasons why you shouldn’t pay any attention to them.

1. The feedback loop

Let’s assume, for a moment, that the data were correct back in 2012, and that some competitive advantage was to be had by posting between 1pm and 3pm EST. That information has now been shared several hundred thousand times. Does that competitive advantage still exist?

2. It’s all mostly nonsense, anyway

We spent over a year looking at a number of accounts we managed, trying to work out when we’d see optimal reach — and more broadly (across a large number of Facebook Pages) whether there was a predictable relationship between post times and engagement.

What we discovered was (in no particular order) that:

Peak Facebook tracked peak TV. Much of our audience was at work, school or doing chores or childcare during the day. Posting later sometimes appeared to confer an advantage, but there was no robust correlation.
Notwithstanding this, almost every brand Page in the UK posted between 9 and 5 during weekdays.
Changes to Facebook’s editorial algorithms had a massive impact on our data.
There were massive discrepancies between Pages.
There were massive discrepancies between content types
There were massive discrepancies

Whenever we thought we’d picked up a pattern we discovered (much to our disappointment) that we hadn’t.

We tried to adjust for confounding factors, but the reality was that almost everything other than time of day appeared to have more impact on reach, engagement and clicks.

The Ryan Gosling Story That Will Change The Way You Talk About Your Business@@

This is one of my favorite stories.

I used to think Ryan Gosling was just okay. Sure, he seemed like a good actor. And yeah, there was a bizarre amount of Internet meme activity around him. But, you know, whatever. He was okay.

But then I learned his backstory.

It learned it one day when I was sitting at a boring event of some sort, browsing the Wikipedia worm hole on my phone. I don’t remember the exact occasion, other than I was wearing a tie. After clicking through several random topics, at some point, I ended up on the entry for Ryan Gosling. Here’s the gist:

Ryan Gosling grew up in Canada. His dad was a traveling salesman, so they moved a lot. The family fell apart when Ryan was young, and he ended up being raised by a working mom and his sister. The family trouble affected him. He didn’t learn to read until far later than most kids. He brought knives to primary school and threw them at other kids, because for some reason his mom let him watch Rambo, and it was one of his favorite movies. (Imagine a skinny six-year-old sitting cross-legged in front of a 15-inch TV day after day, watching Sly shoot explosive arrows at helicopters, while Mom works late.) He had ADHD. He loved Marlin Brando. Kids picked on him; he had no friends.

At age 12, Ryan decided to go to a Mickey Mouse Club audition in Montreal. He was a cute kid, and they let him in. He then moved to Orlando, where he was adopted by none other than Justin Timberlake’s mom! (She became his legal guardian, so pseudo-adopted.) He learned to perform. He learned to read. He learned to focus. He grew up.

…and then he became Ryan Gosling.

And now, I watch every one of his movies when they come out. In the theater.

Ten minutes on Wikipedia turned me from apathetic to advocate. I’m on Team Gosling, and I’m on it simply because I learned his story. He still makes the movies he would have otherwise, but now I see them, because I feel like I have a relationship with him.

Think about that. The relationship-building power of story. We’re all trying to win people to our causes, to get them to believe in our companies or products or missions. Fact is, all other things being equal, we choose the products and movies and stores and people we deal with because of their stories. This is why story-driven companies like Whole Foods exceed financial expectations over competitors. It’s why a lot of us bought Apple products after reading Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography. It’s why people who hate sports watch the Olympics, and root for people they’ve never heard of. Once we know the underlying stories, we’re driven to support.

Of course, stories can be fabricated. They can be used for evil—as many a corrupt politician has proved. But in the same way that technology can power homes or power nukes, storytelling has the potential energy to fuel incredible good for business. And the more personal a story we share, the closer it can bring people to us. We all love a good insider’s story, especially when it’s not dressed up in PR trappings.

Ask yourself this: if your company (or you, yourself) could win complete strangers’ loyalty like Gosling won mine by telling your story—knives and ADD and all—would you?

We all can. So why don’t we?

The Building Blocks of Community@@

building blocks of trust

How do you build a community? I paused. I hadn’t thought about it before. For the past three months, much of my time and focus has been on growing the Product Hunt community. I never considered myself a “community builder” but in retrospect, perhaps I am. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I answeredTo be honest, I wasn’t particularly calculated when building community. I simply treated others the way I would want to be treated.To be honest, I wasn’t particularly calculated when building community. I simply treated others the way I would want to be treated.I love you guys and gals This is where I get sappy… I’m proud of the Product Hunt community and its positive, constructive dialog. We’re all product enthusiasts, empathetic of the challenges in building and growing a company. This shared understanding is evident in the discussion as contributors provide thoughtful feedback, critique, and compliments to product builders.How I think about community building Ultimately, you can’t build community without authenticity. The best community builders exemplify a high level of emotional intelligence and empathy. While I don’t claim to be the most emotionally intelligent or empathetic person, I consider myself higher than average and recognize this as paramount to Product Hunt’s success so far. Here are some of the things I’ve done to cultivate a strong community: 1. Listen People want to be heard. I try to reply to every email and tweet, helping where I can, although more recently I’ve been overwhelmed (sorry!). Buffer does an amazing job of this — just look at their Twitter account and the support team’s absurdly fast response time. 2. Cognizant of Peoples’ Interest and Talents Product Hunt is primarily made of entrepreneurs. The great thing about this is that we all have different talents and complimentary skills. When possible, I make light introductions to people 3. Give Props Many of the people on Product Hunt are doing awesome things. Occasionally I call out these contributions and achievements, whether it’s an insightful blog post on a relevant topic:They deserve the attention and doing so helps create a culture of reciprocation. I also extend opportunities for the community to become a part of the story through a series of blog posts called “Product Hunt Favorite Finds,” highlighting their top product discoveries. Those featured appreciate the attention and the creators of products mentioned — many of whom are also product hunters — love the support. 4. Meet IRL Although we’re more connected and communicate more personally online than ever before, it’s not a replacement for face-to-face interaction. We’ve hosted two Product Hunt happy hours in San Francisco, attracting over 60 attendees each time. It’s a great way to get to know people behind the screen and help others form real relationships with one another.