We are in the midst of a content marketing revolution, and businesses, writers, consumers, and marketers are all better for it. The easy-availability of interesting, engaging content means that everyone–regardless of their role in the contribution process–are better informed, and more likely to know exactly what’s going on in an industry.
For the first time in history, consumers were the ones that demanded a change in the way that they were marketed to. It wasn’t a violent event; more passive than anything. Regardless, marketers soon found that, due to the modern technology, consumers and potential consumers alike could easily tune marketing pitches. This, of course, necessitated a change: better, more engaging content.
Fast forward a few years, and the days of content marketing, a “…technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action,” may be numbered. The simple fact that so many have adopted the strategy, and the resulting flood of content, have simply overwhelmed consumers. This theory of an overflow of content is known as “Content Shock,” and it is scaring marketers silly.
While there may be theories and obscure routes to fending off Content Shock, the fact remains that businesses need to stick to what has proven to be successful time in, time out. Firstly, a solid content marketing plan–one that does not overwhelm readers, but rather stimulates them. According to John Siegel, “Readers judge a site in the first few seconds of opening the page. While many sites stick to the format of 500-700 word posts, it’s the longer ones that consistently generate more interest.” This is something that must be taken into consideration when conceptualizing content for the website.
Creating an editorial calendar is key for businesses to not only save themselves from the organizational woes that are sure to follow, but it is also a great way for writers and editors to collaborate on titles and article ideas, based on things like keyword research, current events, and customer reviews.
Sharing on Social
Once the content is created, it’s time to take it to your audience. The first step in addressing a social media strategy, is to identify the overarching purpose of sharing and engaging over multiple social media platforms. Sharing messages at the optimal times–For Twitter it’s 1-3 p.m., Facebook 1-4 p.m., Google+ 9-11 a.m., Pinterest 8-11 p.m., and Instagram 5-6 p.m–allows your content to reach consumers at the respective social media site’s peak usage times.
What many people fail to consider is that many a social media strategy was crafted due to trial and error. Some content resonates with viewers on one social media site, and doesn’t on another. Sometimes content shared at a specific time of day gets nothing at all. According to Hootsuite, “Each social network has unique qualities and a unique audience. Ignoring the specifics of a network basically ensures that your content will not succeed and be shared.”
The final step of the process is to gather feedback from your audience. They are more likely to be brutally honest than noncommittal, and their feedback often speaks for more than just themselves.
Creating a strategy that shares great content over social media is like blending together two perfectly matched ingredients to make a delicious beverage; both components of the drink often don’t work solo, but does so perfectly with a companion. The name of the game is engagement, and to do so, both ingredients need to match perfectly what the consumers desire.