Creating a Content Strategy

Creating a content strategy can be a daunting task but a very important one. Content Strategy is described as the development, process and delivery of content creation written or visual.

A good content strategy creates a strong process that is measurable, objective and able to support change. Here are some items to focus on to support your content strategy.

#1 Make Structure

Brainstorm all your content topics and rework them. You may not have a staff of writers, editors or other resources but you do have great content all around you. Old content can be repurposed again based on your goal, topic or audience.

#2 Process Matters

Create an editorial calendar. Creating your editorial calendar will help you plan ahead and it’s a great way to watch the whole process. If possible, build your calendar in your CMS. This really helps to streamline duties for the day.

#3 Test, Test, Test

Measure your content analytics. Metrics that can be considered pulled are thumbs up and down, social shares, traffic source, unique visits, comments and pageviews. These metrics are important to see how visitors are engaging in your content. After you get these metrics put your results in a excel spreadsheet for easy analysis.

#4 Evaluate and Improve

Your content metrics should inform you how to move your strategy forward. Changes will consistently be different depending on content and goals. Take what you learn from your content analytics and create new curation and marketing processes.

What do you focus on when developing a content strategy?

Where’s Your Online Audience?

Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, so many social sites, so many people, how do you find and reach your target market?  Gender and age are important demographics for social network marketing.  Pingdom created a study showing you the age and gender distribution on the most popular social networks and online communities.

Some of the sites surveyed include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and many others.  Google+ was not surveyed due to lack of data in DoubleClick Ad Planner which is the tool they used to gather the demographics data.

Interesting data came from the study.  Some examples:

  • 65% of Facebook users are 35 or older
  • The average Twitter user is 37.3 years old
  • The oldest users. LinkedIn has the oldest user base, with the average user being 44.2 years old

Think about your online marketing efforts. Are you focusing on the correct social networking site?

Click here to read full article

Sources: pingdom.com

Alexis Maybank Talks Gilt Groupe’s Success and New Book “By Invitation Only”

By Invitation Only

Pic Credit: Fanbase

The last couple of days this week the weather has been absolutely dreadful. The epitome of Spring; I mean monsoon rain!  That didn’t break my excitement to hear and meet Gilt Groupe Founder and Chief Strategy Officer and co-author of By Invitation Only: How We Built Gilt and Changed the Way Millions Shop, Alexis Maybank speak at a New York American Marketing Association (NYAMA) event. Maybank shared how Gilt Groupe became the e-commerce giant it is today in just four years.  Check out my event recap posted on the NYAMA’s blog.

Managing Social Media on a Lean Staff

Overworked EmployeeThis January I attended a Social Media for Nonprofits conference. One of the topics I found most intriguing was Getting the Most Out of Social Media with a Lean Staff given by the Marketing Manager of DonorsChoose.org, an online charity that helps public school teachers fund school projects to help students in need. When I saw this topic on the agenda, I almost flipped. I thought to myself “this is me”. I work on social media at my current job and we have a very small staff. With a small staff and without proper planning, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with work and there’s never enough time in the day to finish it all. I couldn’t wait to go back to work to share what I learned and apply it to my own business.

Here are some tips that will help with time management and your sanity.

Systematize your content

First, you want to test a bunch of content to see what the community is interested in. There are plenty ways of testing content using analytics, adwords keyword tool or A/B testing .  After you see what your audience likes you can develop rules around what you learned. The six rules used by the presenter includes:

1.  Join the conversation around the cause

Organizations can benefit greatly from this tactic. Become highly involved in the conversation and personally contribute by first listening then joining conversations related to the cause. DonorsChoose.org creates post that are relevant and interesting to thier audience.

2.  Share content and collateral that is unique to the organization

Show how your appreciated by your consumers or people you helped. DonorsChoose.org post pictures of gifts, drawings and thank you’s that they recieve from students on thier Facebook page.

3.  Celebrate big news

Big news is always time to celebrate! Tell your people what you accomplished. After all the hard work that went into it, you should have the right to brag. DonorsChoose.org also uses this opportunity to thank all thier donors.

4.  Share staff culture

Give your audience a behind the scenes look at your staff culture.  DonorsChoose.org staff tweet each other about events and birthday’s to show thier fun side.

5. & 6. Think big picture and frequency

Remember to consider your audience for the platform.  Your fans on Facebook may not necessarily be your followers on Twitter, so your content need to be relevant to each audience.  You also don’t want to post just to be posting.  You will find yourself posting uninteresting and uncreative post that will lower engagement. Frequency is also a factor when posting. There are different times and days to post and get the most engagement per industry, sector, customer demographics, etc. Test, test, test for both content and times to see what works best for your organization.

Is there anything I missed? How do you manage your social media marketing with a lean staff?

Obama Campaign Opens First Ever Tech Office in San Francisco

The days of door to door and tel-campaigning has evolved. In 2008, President Obama rose to success and won the presidential election with the help of social media and a great digital strategy. Now, with his San Francisco campaign team, Obama opens the first ever Technology Field Office in San Francisco. The office primary focus will be on creating online strategies that supports and enhances President Obama’s digital tools such as the official website BarackObama.com.

Deputy Press Secetary Katie Hogan spoke to the SanFrancisco Chronicle:

“We learned from 2008 that using the talents and skills of our supporters was a key to building the most effective organization. We’re taking the next step by providing tools and space for supporters in the technology community to help the campaign extend our current tools like BarackObama.com and our mobile applications.”

The office is still in development. There is still no word on location and no solid plan on what’s actually going to happen there. It currently employs one staffer, but is looking for techie volunteers to open them to new possibilities in the digital space.

Want to volunteer? Email techvolunteers@barackobama.com

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Increasing Fanpage Engagement

Made your Page, Gained Some Fans, Now What?

Facebook is a great location to create awareness and sales for your brand. A majority of businesses big and small are marketing thier product or service on fanpages to benefit from the free marketing and branding to Facebooks 800+ million users.  Now that you have your page up and all your friends have liked the page, how do you keep them interested and engaged?

Engagement is key in a successful social media marketing plan.  You want to encourage your fans to share, like, and comment on your post.  Lower interaction rates decrease the chances of your post showing up on a fans newsfeed which makes your brand invisible to current and future fans.  Here are some tips on how to increase engagement on your fan page.

Build a Custom Tab

Facebook has made it possible for brand pages to create custom tabs.  Custom tabs are similar to the tabs already provided by Facebook such as wall, photos and info, but it is created by the page owner. Custom Tabs can provide many benefits and branding opportunities to increase consumer engagement.  They can state a call to action such as “Like” the page, serve as a welcome banner or provide an area for entry and information on a sweepstakes, giveaways or events.  Either way, your fan will be coming back for updates or share with thier friends.

Put a Question Mark on it

Since when has telling someone what your up to or what your going to do next become a conversation?  By putting a question mark on a statement makes it a question that someone can answer and hence starts a dialouge with your fans.  When your just “updating” on yourself, you’re blocking the ability to respond back and cultivate relationships.  Use polls, posts, tabs, etc. to get feedback and possibly some research from your fans.

Post When your Audience is Listening

A recent study by Buddy Media determined that 86% of post are published Monday – Friday with user engagement on post peaking at the end of the week.  Engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursday and Friday compared to any other day of the week. Friday -  Sunday are also high engagement days, but most brands are not posting on these days.  The time of the day is also important.  Share content outside of regular business hours (10am to 4pm).  Engagement peaks in the morning around 7am ET, after work and at night around 11pm ET. Take your industry into consideration when selecting days and times to post and test, test, test!

Post Pictures and Videos

Two recent studies from software provider Momentus Media and digital marketing agency, Web Liquid, concluded that photos and videos draw the most engagement on Facebook.  Post a visual with a short description to entice sharing and create traction to your page.

Whatever you choose to post make sure that it is relevant and interesting to your audience. Always remember that content is king, experimentation is the key and stay consistant!

 

How Branding Works in the Age of Social Media

Social media has rapidly changed the way brands market to consumers and how consumers interact with those brands. Organizations are embracing and making great strides on social platforms such as Twitter, which now has 100 million active users every month with visitor growth up 60% this year and Facebook with over 800 million active users. Understanding how consumers are interacting with brands on social media is crucial when creating social media marketing plans.

Ask your Target Market (AYTM) conducted a market research study on 2000 U.S internet users on how U.S consumers are interacting with brands in the social media space. Check out the infographic created by AYTM to highlight their discoveries.

Branding and Social Media Statistics – How People Are Interacting With Brands Online
Source: AYTM Market Research

 

Shop with your Fingertips! Mobile Purchases are Changing the Retail Game

It’s that time of year again. The time when I dread going to the malls.  Not only because of the constant holiday music or the fact that I know I am going to “over shop”, but also because of massive crowds flocking for the same items. Many of us beat these crowds by shopping at our favorite retailers online, but there may be times when you still find yourself standing in a long line trying to get the newest gadget or the hottest pair of boots that everyone wants. So, why shop at the counter when you can do it on your phone!?

Comscore just released data on U.S. Mobile retail usage stating that 38% of smartphone owners have used their phone for purchases at least once during device ownership.  Among the top items purchased on smartphones in September 2011 were digital goods, clothing/accessories and tickets.  Digital goods such as movies, music, ebooks and TV led smartphone mobile purchases with 47%.  37% of smartphone purchases were clothing and accessories directly from online retailers, while 35% of purchases were event tickets.  56% of smartphone purchases happened at home while 42% happened out of the home or at work. 

Online retailers are really taking advantage of smartphone mobile purchases.  According to a study by Paypal, Black Friday 2011 increased global mobile payments six-fold by 516% compared to Black Friday 2010.  In addition, Paypal saw more than a four-fold (397%) increase in the number of customers shopping through PayPal Mobile on Cyber Monday 2011 compared to last year.

Promoting your Google+ Brand page

Google+ is growing daily and so are the amount of communities on the network.  In order to create a following and engage with users, you must promote your page.  Here are 3 ways you can promote your Google+ page.  

1.  Spread the word to your Google+ people

Start with your personal Google+ profile.  If you don’t have one what are you waiting for?  Since Google+’s launch, 40 million people have created profiles.  Share the link of your page from your Google+ profile to people in your Google+ circles. You can also place the link on your email, personal blogs and other social outlets. Check out my Google+ profile and add me in your circle.

2.  Add a Google+ Badge

By adding a Google+ Badge to your website you are expanding your Google+ audience.  People will be able to recommend or +1 your site and add your site to thier circles without leaving it.  Additionally, all the +1′s you recieve from anywhere on the web will be consilidated so you can keep track of all your followers.

3.  Mark your spot

Place an author tag on your content.  In efforts to help the search for great or specific content, Google displays author information.  In order for your authorship information to appear in Google search results, you must first have a Google+ profile with a headshot.  With an author tag, your authorized picture and name appears on search results for items created by you like your website, blog, video, content or photos.

Try these methods to help promote your Google+ profile or business page.  What other steps have you taken to promote your page?