The Trouble With Content

| 8 minute read
Each day, billions of pieces of content are posted on the internet. That's not an exaggeration. Today, 682 million tweets are sent. 4 million hours of content is uploaded to YouTube. 100 million Instagram pictures and videos are shared. And 4.32 billion Facebook posts shared. 

So that means, today globally, there are billions of pieces of content which the world has to plough through….and then tomorrow, it all starts again. Another round.

The obvious question that everyone is now starting to ask is, how do I get heard amongst all of this noise? Elsewhere I have dealt with the issue of the declining effectiveness of social media in general, and the need to consider a wider channel mix (but there are many steps prior to that exercise as well) but in the meantime, what can we do to expand our content reach?

1) Sell, Sell, Sell

Every person who creates material for the internet thinks there is a magnetic appeal to what they have written or drawn, or photographed; that somehow, punters will come flocking. But reality will soon creep in, when the numbers and analytics don’t come together.

You need to sell it, and sell hard. The very best at this will tell you it is a relentless process, managing several social media sites and keeping up to date with the ‘latest’ which incidentally, continually changes. But if you expect to get heard, then you will need to work hard at promotion. Here are some pointers:

  • Update your regular channels with content regularly
  • Maintain a steady flow of premium content, such as e-Books and video
  • Re-use material again and again across all the media
  • Quote influencers
  • Maintain a constant stream back to your own website, and in particular use CTAs a lot (call to action)

2) Continually Optimise Content

Social media is becoming increasingly transient, and the algorithms behind it, equally changeable. It would be easy for me to say, ‘hire a good agency’ as the solution, but unless you have a basic understanding, you won’t know whether an agency is good or not. (I could alternatively say, ‘hire a good marketing director’ which is probably better practise for your business).

Here are a few more tips to consider with content:

  • Get basic on-page SEO right
  • Review your keywords regularly – yes that means reading the reports they send you
  • Create an accurate title tag and meta description that includes your keyword(s)
  • Maximise your keywords and primary keywords in headlines and sub heads
  • Optimise your images and ALT tags in every instance

3) Use your network to help build your profile

Friends, family, employees and associates have their networks in place already – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. You should at all times utilise this network to increase the reach and scale of your own marketing effort along these channels.

So, let’s encourage our networks to:

  • Share your company posts, eBook, videos etc
  • Like, follow, retweet any posts that appeal
  • Bring your material (and this is a biggie) into any LinkedIn Group Discussions going on – not just your own LinkedIn group
  • Use content in other non-social media settings, such as presentations, email etc

4). Show us your money

The effectiveness of social media’s organic search is declining, probably faster than the media giants would like us to know. Quite simply, so many people are engaged in this process, and the global scale of content is so vast, that the effectiveness is no longer there. It can take years to build an organic presence that will lead to concrete leads, and most people give up early on, frustrated.

The answer is to build up a paid presence, and the good news is there are a lot more options out there than ‘Adwords’. Paid advertising is becoming essential if you want to build a profile.

  • Set a budget, and allocate a portion to experiment.
  • Much of this comes down to what suits you, in terms of time and expectation ie if you have little time and inclination to write, simply put the money into Adwords
  • Marketing 101 – get highly targeted about who you are going after
  • Look carefully at LinkedIn’s ‘sponsored content’ (or FB Boosted Post, or Twitters Promoted Tweets) to target effectively

5) Email is still powerful

While there is lots of ink spilled as to the decline of email, most people in business are still using it and relying on it as a medium.

We rely on it enor mously to build our business, and all of our blogs go out through an email campaign subscription. To us, it is still effective in communicating the business.

  • Maximise the subscriber function on your website; it saves duplication with the likes of MailChimp or other mailing programmes
  • Increase the frequency of what you post, to in some cases daily, but at least bi-weekly
  • Use it communicate, nurture and foster, as well as to give insights into up and coming things
  • Segment who you send things to

6). It's still about marketing

Social media is a media channel, just like television or press, or billboards. It is not the panacea to your sales and marketing woes, it is a channel to use once you have worked out what you want to say, and to whom.

When we set up Marketing Director Centre, we wanted to teach people how to communicate with their customers first and foremost, in ways that are meaningful and relevant. We have some strong IP that takes customers through that process to get to these core messages and value propositions.

Once that is done, where to spread our message becomes a natural element of the mix.

Everyone talks today about ‘content’ – the question should be, ‘what content and for whom?’

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