09 Nov Four Strategies for Developing Winning Content Campaigns
Whatever you think of the outcome of yesterday’s presidential election, at least it’s done. As we’re all aware, this was probably the bleakest, most divisive, and downright depressing campaign in our lifetimes. And while it’s going to take a long time before we can truly move on, I’d like to take a moment to help start the healing by focusing on something positive.
2017 is just around the corner, and it’s not too soon to start thinking about ways to propel your editorial content “campaigns” in new and positive directions next year. Let’s take a look at a few strategies you can employ to move things forward and make your editorial and content marketing efforts great again.
Start by performing an editorial content audit. Take stock of where things stand and perform — or have a third party perform — an in-depth analysis of where your content stands today. Look at how many authored articles or blog posts you’ve written to date, the number of white papers or infographics you’ve published, how active you are on social media, and more. Identify where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Compare these statistics to what your competition is doing to get a better idea of how things stack up. Then, create a plan for moving forward to build a more robust content marketing plan.
This first step may sound like a lot of work, and it is. But you don’t get to where you need to go without putting in the effort and mapping out a strategy. Just ask our president elect.
Build your own editorial calendar. Don’t let the media dictate the time and place of the stories you want to tell. Build your own editorial calendar around the topics you’re preparing for your blog, authored article program, and other outlets (such as LinkedIn – see below).
Consider the types of stories you want to tell, and when you want to tell them. Map these concepts and themes to particular events that you know will be taking place, such as a major product announcement, or even something outside of your company, such as a holiday or world event.
Thinking through these types of story ideas in a strategic manner might open your eyes to new ways of getting your messages across. For example, you may find that certain months or quarters will better lend themselves to specific messages, making those messages more impactful. Or, you may choose to group your content by theme; I know of many clients who have done this successfully and have gotten a couple of months worth of good coverage and brand recognition simply by beating a consistent content drumbeat. Consider it the “stronger together” approach.
Look beyond the outlets you normally use to convey your opinions. Corporate blogs and news publications are obviously still very important outlets for reaching your target audiences, but don’t limit your efforts to these traditional channels. Expand the scope of your editorial content efforts and explore new and compelling options that can help you grow your brand beyond your typical readership. Vehicles such as LinkedIn and paid editorial opportunities can offer terrific opportunities for individuals and companies to gain increased recognition among prospective customers.
LinkedIn provides every member with an easy-to-use blogging platform that enables them to communicate directly with their connections. The best blogs will sometimes get featured on Pulse, LinkedIn’s daily news feed. It’s a great way one-to-one communication tool.
Also, remember that many publications offer paid programs that allow individuals and companies to publish blogs or other types of content (such as white papers) on their sites. Publications such as eWeek, InformationWeek, and others offer different forms of sponsored editorial programs. They’ll often provide prime placement of the content so that it’s easily discoverable by their readership. While the cost is not insignificant, it can sometimes be worth it for companies looking to expand their scope and messages.
Syndicate the heck out of your stuff. In addition to LinkedIn and sponsorships, look for syndication partners who will publish your content across the web. Companies like Outbrain will push your content to a network of high quality partners, garnering it greater exposure than you could have probably ever dreamed of having.
I’ve also had clients find success by being active in Q&A forums like Reddit and Quora. While they’re probably not the first places someone would think of when considering content syndication, they’re very good for stimulating thoughtful conversation and engaging other users. And you can include links to your own written content to back up your claims or offer further evidence of the points you’re making.
So let’s put the past few months behind us and move forward. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, it’s morning again for your content. Be sure to make it a good one.