You may have heard the phrase “content marketing” once or twice over the last few months. Okay, it’s been all over the place—in blogs, on Twitter, even in mainstream media. Content marketing is where it’s at. But it’s a lot more than just a buzzword. It’s important, and the foundation of all other marketing and SEO.
BlueGlass UK Managing Director Kevin Gibbons, and Hugo Guzman, Senior Manager of Online Marketing at HSN, are here to tell you all about how to build powerful content marketing strategies, while CEO of SEOgadget US, Laura Lippay, moderates.
Laura starts off by saying she’s excited about content marketing. It can cover so many sub-topics, so it’s going to be an interesting session.
Hugo starts off by informing us the company no longer likes to be called Home Shopping Network. They’re now known as HSN. His presentation is titled “It’s Magic.” This should be fun!
Enterprise content marketing is a lot like a successful magic trick.
- Executing a simple content marketing campaign requires running through a labyrinth of cross-functional stakeholder approval
- A truly social (and SEO) friendly content marketing campaign is counter-intuitive to traditional business stakeholder
Timely approvals and ongoing funding are much easier when everyone is on board.
- If you don’t get buy-in from everyone, you’re going to have some serious problems. You’ll miss deadlines, you won’t get content out, and you won’t get funding.
- Everyone refers to PR, Creative, Marketing, Merchandising, Social, Finance, and even the C-Suite
This isn’t a plug for BlueGlass, but HSN does use BlueGlass. He says when he brings in a partner with a strong portfolio, and who knows how to speak to the stakeholders intelligently, it makes a big difference. When they provide case studies and data, it makes for a compelling story.
If you don’t run through this approval gauntlet, you run the risk of having your entire initiative scuttled at the 11th hour, and any public-facing hiccups could result in a world of hurt to your career path. That’s why you want to make sure you get that buy-in across the board.
Now the meat of the issue. He talks about this a lot in his organization. You can go to a marketing VP, and they won’t understand what you’re talking about. They won’t get infographics. You have to figure out how to position what you’re talking about to get the green light.
Hence, the magic trick:
- Explain that bloggers, digital publications, and social influencers are unlikely to link to overtly promotional content or share it with their social followers.
- Explain that they will definitely do so if the content is instead editorial in nature (especially if it’s coming from a big brand).
- Explain that these links and social mentions drive SEO authority, which thereby drive increased rankings, traffic, and conversions.
- Explain that you can use analytics data to demonstrate how content that doesn’t sell directly can actually drive very measurable sales increases via SEO.
Protip: Explaining to the PR and social stakeholders that they will share in the glory since they’ll play an integral role in getting press mentions, social shares, etc. can hep fast track their buy-in.
They’re defensive because they don’t have our metrics. Let them know they’re going to help, tell them you’re going to show them data, and let them take the credit. That’s how you’ll get their buy-in.
Next up is Kevin. If you’re not here, you’re missing out on hearing Kevin’s very cool English accent. :-)
Kevin’s presentation is called “How to Create Content Your Audience Loves!“ It’s not about SEO—it’s about writing content your audience will love and understand.
Why do people search?
You have to think about this in your content strategy.
- They want to do something, or achieve something
- They want to know something
- They want to go somewhere
Give them the structure they want: Do – Know – Go
Do = Transactional Content
- Use informational content to assist your transactional content’s rankings – not replace it.
- Don’t lose the conversion!
Know = Informational Content
- Find common questions and answer them
- Who, what, where, when, why, who
- Don’t just do an FAQ; have a really good piece of content for each question
- Set up alerts to answer these questions on blogs/forums/Q&A sites = easy links
Go = Navigational/Branded Search
- These are your top-converting keywords; prioritize them!
Content strategy = keyword research
Keyword research tools lack the creativity you need for great content. What content does your audience really want to see?
What does content success/failure look like? Kevin wrote a post about a month ago on the BlueGlass blog about measuring your content performance ratio. Check it out.
Volume of tweets = popularity of content
This isn’t necessarily true. Comments are an underrated KPI.
You need an audience, and you need a reason why people will share your content. If you don’t have a large audience, leverage someone else’s while you build one.
Why do people share content?
- It’s interesting or insightful.
- It’s from a brand they love.
- Social validation – it makes them look knowledgeable
- It’s funny or entertaining
- There’s an incentive
What types of people share content?
You don’t need a psychology background for this; you just need to understand the people who are sharing content:
- Altruist; they share charitable/helpful content
- Careerists; they want to build a reputations
- Hipsters; they want to be first to share
- Boomerangs; they want to feel connected and get a response
- Connectors; they want to stay in touch
- Selectives; they expect a reaction or response
How can you bring all this into your content strategy?
- Solve your audience’s problems by matching their search intent with great content-auditing
- Leverage audience for ewider coverage and outreach
- Think about why someone would share your content
Here’s Kevin’s slide deck:
Great advice from both Hugo and Kevin! Are you ready to go out and create some great content now? Awesome! Just be back this afternoon for the second half of the first day of BlueGlassX. Stay tuned!