This year’s Content Marketing Show takes place at London’s Logan Hall and features sixteen talks that cover a variety of hot topics including strategy, personas and creating content for social. We will be updating this post throughout the day with key takeaways from each of the talks, so be sure to check back.
Content can either persuade, entertain, educate or convert and should always be goal driven. Endeavour to create content that makes things better and that people will love, so that people will share it.
The Facebook algorithm shows updates from your company at first, but then over time if users do not engage with that page, your updates will not show on their feed. Therefore permission may no longer be enough – to bypass filters, content should be shared by others, not just you – they need you to share it.
Content to persuade is not shared unless it entertains and/or educates and your brand is not what you sell, it’s how you sell it.
Any content marketing induction form should ask questions about their audience, what do they like, hate, what do they do offline etc.
Frame content appropriately. Read made to stick. Tells you what makes an idea shareable. Write at least 25 headlines for one piece and you’ll hit the right one that’s shareable.
Silos are the bane of content marketers. But thanks to technology there are mature services e.g twitter uses an api to pull data from your email. However this doesn’t work for the editorial process, there are too many silos and services.
Multi-channel editorial at crunch. Their old editorial workflow caused a huge time sink. There’s no editorial software to help. But their new workflow went back to basics – it’s a whiteboard with post it notes on it.
Having a whiteboard removes the tools and let’s you focus on the task, so you don’t have to waste your time working in silos.
If software solutions aren’t working, scrap them. Traditional methods work best.
By ditching software they are saving £160 per month. Reduced planning and reporting by about 60%. The stages of the content process are instantly visible, so they no longer have to send lots of chasing emails.
Consistency across accounts is key – develop trust by being reliable in content, tone and approach. People will identify with the content more and this allows for easy crossing of territory. Try to tailor across markets where appropriate.
Segment your audience, accounts as well if relevant. Relevance and appropriateness is important.
Be human and approachable – let staff get involved in conversation, and mention them in tweets. There are people who can and will happily amplify your message if targeted in the right way. Focus on those who are pretty active on social.
Be interesting or helpful or offer insider perspective.
Find what works for your brand – don’t platform hop. Test, but analyse what works and what doesn’t. Test different approaches over time and evolve. Play the long game, be patient as followers grow.
Success, Failure And Making Content Work In The Long Term
Research study – out of 525 sites, 80% did not have an active blog, 35% of the remaining 20% hadn’t been updated for a long time.
A sep survey showed 18% hadn’t heard of content marketing.
Aim to create exceptional content by getting ideas, news and opinions from heart of business.
Focus on creating specific content for your industry by working closely with client sharing relevant content to inspire the plan.
If content is central to what you do, the community will do the work for you.
The GOV.UK Approach To Content
By Simon Kaplan
Their goal at .GOV.UK is to produce content that’s simpler, clearer, faster.
User needs are different to what the government think that users need to be told.
They must consider what’s the point of the content, do people want it and is there anyone else meeting this need? Sticking to this approach helps them create the best and most relevant content.
Their want their content to not only look simple, but be simple to use as well. Stripping down to the information that is needed only, culling the content that is not. They split the layout into easy to read sections. Fewer pages, but more users engage.
No space for waffle – opening up complicated information by using plain English, allows for faster collection of required information.
Content marketing definition – creating and sharing to promote an idea, inspire audience and spur action.
Connection is the new king. The key is to be able to resonate. Content with fresh ideas is more memorable.
Context is the queen; audience context looks at where they have come from and what environment they are in when looking at your content. Content context – production, promotion of content. Timing of piece and placement is crucial. Considering these will maximise connection.
Visual content is to become even more prominent. 65% of the population are visual learners. Big data will only get bigger with technology advancements, but making it meaningful is key.
91% of all mobile activity is social – jump on board or fall behind.
Marketers have a problem – We’re not loved. And that’s because we sometimes create bad experiences e.g. Creating emails that arent personalised. Our efforts are sometimes generic, interruptive and selfish.
To avoid being generic, we first need to create buyer personas. Not just one persona, but multiple buyer personas. You need to reach the right audience. A successful marketing strategy is anchored around your different buyer personas.
Instead of interrupting, aim to be remarkable. Create content that adds value or solves a problem. Don’t be a slave to text. Think about different types of content to solve problems.
Promote value instead of being selfish. How do we distribute this content to the right people? Segment all the possible eyeballs you can generate across all the different distribution channels you own.
If you spend 10 hours creating content, you should spend 10 hours promoting it. Leverage your audience. Ask them to share content. Optimise your thank you pages. Paid content discovery e.g. Outbrain is going to get much bigger.
It’s very hard to get your content on the telly for free. Broadcasting still has a prestige about it, that’s why it’s still so valuable.
Content has a cyclical effect. Starts online, goes to print and the appears on telly. TV is adapting to how audiences are consuming content. The landscape is ripe for brands to take advantage of this and think of themselves of media owners and content producers.
News is the most economical way to get a brand story on television. If news = content, then content = news. Reuters have started to spend a considerable amount of time outreaching for news stories.
Essential ingredients for a news story – Common interest, celebrities and a launch. Don’t let your story get killed. Avoid excessive branding, use editorial and not advertorial, avoid lazy delivery.
The key to broadcasters’ doors is a VNR – video news release. VNR’s must include images, video footage, interviews, soundbites, and footage of up to ten minutes of your news story. This makes it easier for editors to use.
There are three different types of media; Paid, earned and owned. The media landscape is changing. The silos of paid, earned and owned are merging. You are now competing against everyone!
So you need to amplify your content. Social media is the best place to start. Content is fire, social media is gasoline. You need to build relationships with influencers e.g. Journalists, brands, bloggers.
Paid content distribution is another method. Native advertising is a way of serving relevant content on a site – the reason it’s native is because it looks like it’s part of the site and the experience the user is looking for.
Networking is a way to get your message from your circle, to a second and third circle.
The only way you know if something has worked and is good is by testing and measuring. 60 to 100 characters is the optimum length for successful titles.
It’s not just about the media, it’s about the devices too. Lots of media and lots of devices, so Google established a model called Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT).
How does ZMOT impact on content? Content needs to be visible, resonate, it needs to be trusted, and it needs to influence.
Our buying behaviour is complex. Matt told us a story of purchasing a hand held projector that started with a specific model, then went to generic search terms, where he encountered reviews and various pieces of content. And that’s where he thought about what processes we can add to help with ZMOT.
Prioritise, audit, plan, execute, measure and review.
You need to be aware of ZMOT and how content is fundamental to this idea. It’s a team game, and needs to involve a number of departments, as well as a specific role to manage this.
By Gemma McNaught
What are personas? Imaginary people you should use to target your content. they can be very complex, but they can be simplified. They are important because they help us target our customers and make your content stand out.
To simplify personas you need to: target your audience, you can use Google Analytics to look at age, gender as well as how, when and where users are visiting your site.
Best place to start is to consider the left side and right side of your buyer’s brains. Start with the more creative right and work across to the more methodical left.
On the right side consider: direct content, price, imagery, emotion, promotions and rewards. On the left consider: full content, usability, security, transparency, reassurance and pain points.
How to put this into action? Think of your content as a product on a shelf and what makes it stand out and grab the attention of your buyer. Test it as well.
Now is a good time to embrace long form content. Long form content is needed because: Mobile technology means we have more time for content, it reflects expertise, it creates a bond, it supports the sales funnel, it’s sharable and very search friendly.
Write because you have something to say. Make sure you have enough research and time, and enough to say to make this piece work.
Design a great content experience – craft beautiful content. Experiment with images and fonts. Create an experience akin to a published magazine.
Make data driven choices. Tailor your strategy. Look at trends, query data, shares, comments, bounce rate conversions and top landing pages.
Tap into expertise. If you’re not an expert and you’re writing about an unfamiliar subject, you have to consider that the audience will see through mistakes in jargon and terminology. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and speak to the experts.
Offline events can help to facilitate your content marketing efforts. We should not be ignoring the real world.
Branded offline encounters produce effective social media engagement.
We have forgotten that online and offline marketing is a two way street. Offline can’t exist without online. Offline events get live streaming through online activities.
Customers prefer to see and touch your products in real life experiences.
Create memorable experiences with consumers, you don’t have to just hand out samples or vouchers at events. Brands should be creating experiences and letting the conversations happen, don’t try and control the conversation, let it happen – be brave.
Content Strategy Process – From End to End in 15 Minutes
If you do not target your content you’re wasting your effort. If you’re serious about it, don’t get one person to be a web editor – collaborate.
Content strategy is like a burger. On it’s own it’s nice, but it’s better with cheese, bacon and in a bun. So content needs, Analytics, site structure, content and promotion.
Analytics – quantitative audit of your site, the best performing pages versus the amount of pages produced. This will help you to create a mind map of ideas.
Site structure – awesome mind Map assists information architecture. The goal is to have a logical structure.
Content – work on your headlines. How would people find a page and make sure the title fits. Don’t forget Google authorship. Consider planning content around stock and flow. Focus more on stock (the evergreen content). Produce an editorial calendar.
Distribution – build your own networks. Use social networks, the ones that are most valuable to your audience. What’s the point of being on a network? Give your newsletter more of a focus. Consider Paid distribution, but you have to use click bait titles.
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