Content Marketing and Social Business – Janet Fouts

Content Marketing and Social Business

billboard-in-the-desertContent marketing is the new buzzword on the lips of every marketer these days, but what does it mean for your newly social business?

The easy answer is that depends

  • It depends on what your goals are and how you plan to measure your success.
  • It depends on whether  you can consistently create content that is of high quality, useful and shareable by the people you need to care about it.
  • It depends on if you have a clear picture of who you want to reach and why.
  • It depends on if you can clearly show your value proposition through the content you create.
  • It depends on if you are in this for the long haul or expect to do a little work and reap fantastic rewards and manna will fall from the sky.

That last one is a trick by the way, you need to know that content marketing is a long-term strategy. If you create scads of content and expect people to flock to your brand out of nowhere you’re nuts. Equally, if you expect it to stand alone without the support of the people in your social networks you may as well rent a billboard in the desert.

Where do we get content?
You write about the passion that makes your company great. You write about issues that are important in your industry. You write about innovations that are changing the world.  That’s a great start. But writing the most amazing content in the world isn’t going to build a following if there isn’t a comprehensive plan behind it and ways to get it shared and re-shared by the people who need to hear it.

Create an Editorial Calendar
Create a social editorial calendar that consists of a stream of information you feel is important for people to know about your industry. Sometimes when working with clients we will do a big brain dump session in which we throw out every idea, no matter how vague or silly it may be. The we start tossing those ideas into buckets. A bucket exists for each topic area, then we split those buckets up by:

  • How long will it take to produce?
  • Who will create it?
  • Do we need outside verification or data to make it really sing?
  • Seasonal and industry cycles
  • Forms of content (video or audio takes longer than text)

Then we take all of that and start assigning a realistic timeline for delivery, mix it up so there is a logical story line to follow overall and then assign tasks. Now we have an editorial calendar of sorts.

Social media managers are then charged with locating supporting content and resources to support the editorial calendar, locate influencers who are interested in these topics and begin to engage them on the appropriate social media sites.

Timelines however, must be fluid
If you are creating an  editorial calendar with a plan to follow it in lock-step fashion you are going to miss a lot of opportunities for genuine engagement and exciting breaking news. We recommend only half of the content be planned in the calendar. The other half (75% if you can stand it) is created on the fly through curation of relevant content, responding to news items and conversations discovered through social listening tools.

Social media is a fluid thing, you can’t cram it in a box and expect to really engage. Go with the flow the same way you would at a huge networking event. Look for the people you want to talk to, then let the conversation guide you. Respond naturally. Comment on blogs or social posts adding value to the discussion.  A truly social business puts the community content ahead of their own and raises up the new thought leaders rather than trying to dominate the space with “Me, Me. Me.”

If all you want to do is shout over and over how great you are and buy my products?

Get a billboard and call it a day.




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