A content planner speeds up the content cycle by providing editorial direction, scheduling, creation and positioning of content. A results-oriented content planner will optimize the content to draw in new people and engage repeat visitors. Here are several ways to speed up your content cycle to meet content marketing objectives.
An estimated 62 million people will fill out a March Madness bracket this year. Last year 20 million watched the NCAA Basketball Championship game. Clearly, the audience for March Madness has grown way beyond the college basketball fan. When new words are created around an event [bracketology], you know you have reached the big dance.
March Madness draws people together around a common interest, and for a few short weeks in March, there is always something to talk about at the water cooler. With the popularity of mobile devices, March Madness has continued to grow, with people accessing games and scores from anywhere. And March Madness fans have also taken to social media channels. The NCAA Facebook page has more than 259,000 “Likes” and the official @marchmadness Twitter feed boasts more than 47,000 followers.
The opportunity to reach an audience through the NCAA Basketball Championship event hasn’t been lost on marketers. According to Kantar Media Intelligence, ad revenue in 2011 reached an all-time high of $738.0 million, up 20.2 percent from the prior year. But what about March Madness as an opportunity to build community among your B2B customers and prospects? Consider these examples:
- Northwestern Mutual used an email and publicity campaign to invite their customers and prospects an opportunity to participate in an NCAA® March Madness® Bracket Challenge.
- Law firm HRMA of Southwest Florida used the March Madness theme to launch an event about social media issues.
- Garden and Gun magazine used the opportunity to create “The Ultimate Southern Food Bracket.” In a first round match up, country fried steak beat out pecan pie.
I believe March Madness offers an opportunity for conversations and engagement with B2B customers and prospects online. Center a campaign around a local team, and ask customers to engage.
Nothing gets folks more engaged than competition. Host a bracket contest or find out which local team has more support. The water cooler is now virtual, on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Are you ready to get in the game? Maybe you’re already there. Share how you take advantage of interest in March Madness.
Before conducting customer interviews know how you can build better content and basic interviewing techniques. Interviews are a great way to obtain information for creating personas, customer-centric content, case studies and testimonials.
Here is a digest of interesting insights on the topic of content strategy published this week on the Web.
I continue to be astounded by the number of shy B2B companies – I call them web wallflowers. Their customers love them; their employees amaze everyone; and yet their stories remain hidden except to people in-the-know. Ironically, these are often the same companies that were built through a strong referral network. They fall into the trap of believing that there are no new customers to be found on the web; and that their website is just for people who already know them. They haven’t ever really put themselves out there online.
“We like to keep a low profile,” said one company I was trying to interview for an article. “We don’t like to brag,” said another B2B company, as I began to write their website copy.
It’s not that I am in favor of bragging, but how about sharing just a little of what you know with the world? At any point in time there are hundreds of potential customer searching for answers to the problems your business knows how to solve. A strong social presence lets your company’s expertise shine in a way that is helpful, not boastful.
Sure signs that your online presence lacks confidence and social savvy
1) There isn’t a real person to be found on your site.
There are no names, and even fewer faces on your website. Your company spends thousands of dollars on trade shows and networking events to meet buyers face-to-face, but when buyers actually come to your website, they can’t find anyone they know or trust.
2) You make it really hard to start a conversation.
There is no place for people to comment or connect with you, except perhaps through an awkward and cumbersome online form. Do you know how frustrating this is? It appears requests go to a black hole, and they often do.
3) Your social connections are somewhat limited.
Perhaps not in real life, but from what people see online, your company and employees look like wallflowers. Do you have a company page on Facebook or LinkedIn, but it hasn’t been updated in months. Do you think the time to open a LinkedIn account is when you are job hunting? Whether you embrace social media or not, the fact of the matter is that people are now forming opinions about your business based on what they see and read about you online. Are you sending the right message to prospective customers, potential employees and investors?
4) You don’t share your knowledge.
As a customer or prospect, I don’t just want to know about the products and services you offer, I want to know about your success stories and how you solve problems like mine. Showing how you solve problems let’s buyers get to know you and reassures them that you’ll do a good job.
5) You measure social media purely by the numbers.
Social media success is as much about quality as it is quantity. It’s not just about having the most tweets or the greatest number fans and followers but also about the quality of the interaction. Be sincerely interested and responsive when people reach out to you online.
So what can a B2B content writer do to get the wallflower to enjoy the dance? Plenty. A content writer can instill personality into your site through interviews with real people — customers, employees and management. These can be incorporated into blog posts, testimonials and case studies. A content writer can teach you how to pose questions to solicit response; create events and activities that are share-worthy; and grow your online social networks. In social media and on websites, content writers are conversation starters.
A B2B content writer can also suggest ways to make your site more interactive, such as through a blog, a contest or even a simplified form. A B2B content writer will organize information so visitors are never overwhelmed. They can easily find the information they need.
Many people and businesses aren’t comfortable talking or writing about themselves. But ask them a question and they will have no trouble providing you with a great answer. See what happens when you let a professional writer ask the questions.