Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 4-13-14

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome back to a new #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding!  Our bi-weekly write-up has a new focus topic this week and that is content marketing.  Content marketing has become all the rage, but truth be told, I see it as a fancy phrase that is an extension of your branding efforts.  I’m sure many will disagree with this sentiment, but that’s my view on the latest catchphrase in marketing.

#1 – 9 Tips for Creating Content that Gets Shared – via JeffBullas.com 

Premise: Jeff Bullas provides his top nine tips for creating content that gets shared.  From identifying your audience/target through “making information accessible”, Jeff provides a good amount of context for each of his nine tips.

Thoughts: All nine of the tips found this article are useful and ought to be kept in mind as you (re-)focus on your content.  The one tip that seems highly relevant given our changes to these #SundayMusings write-ups is “#6 – Pay attention to trends”.  That was the main reason for moving to a topic-focused style of writing for #SundayMusings and our numbers and shares across social media have improved. 

#2 – “Content Marketing Without Being Pushy” – via HeidiCohen.com   

Premise: Heidi Cohen points to a recent study that suggests “less than 50% of customers trust any form of advertising”.  With that number in mind you find the real purpose of content marketing – selling without being viewed as pushing your brand/business on consumers.  Heidi then offers up five types of content marketing and, separately, five tips to support sales conversions.

Thoughts: The one type of content marketing that I want to call out is “#3 – Offer show and tell”.  Heidi mentions Instagram, Pinterest, and including videos in your content marketing efforts.  While I am a big believer of not being everywhere for the sake of having your site on each and every social media platform, you probably want to focus on at least one of these three in order to improve the visual appeal for your brand/business.

Within the five tips to sales conversions, I like the wording Heidi has gone within #3.  Rather than “call-to-action”, she suggests a “coax-to-action”.  Well played.

#3 – “Content Marketing Metrics Your CEO Cares About” via PoweredBySearch.com  

Premise: A common question for marketers is how to measure and track the success of your content marketing efforts.  What metrics do you use and how do you analyze them?  The author recommends measuring both your “content performance” and the “impact on sales”.  From there, what you want to keep an eye on in terms of reporting are “leads to conversions”, “money saved”, and “customer retention / churn”.

Thoughts: Aside from the Kurt Russell reference, this write-up caught my attention as it provides you with options on what to measure.  There are several angles that you can take and measure within the Performance and Sales buckets – you need to decide what they are and what makes the most sense for your business.

#4 – “SlideShare for Business: Tips and Tricks for Success from #SMMW14” via topseowebsitesdesign.com 

Premise: Simply put, you are missing out if you aren’t leveraging SlideShare as part of your digital marketing efforts.  The author provides three key reasons for using SlideShare – 1. Huge visibility, 2. Relevant audience, and 3. Search visibility.  The author then provides several recommendations on how to optimize your efforts on the site itself and several “tricks from the pros”.

Thoughts: The “tricks” section is very useful and a nice checklist to keep in mind if you want to incorporate SlideShare into your digital marketing plans.  Using hashtags was not a surprising recommendation, but SlideShare isn’t top of mind when it comes to using the tool/technique.  It certainly helps being found when searching for specific topics.

#5 – “Content Engagement on LinkedIn Now Measured by Simple, Powerful Metric” via SkyWord.com  

Premise: LinkedIn has launched their own Content Marketing Score to help businesses manage and develop their content strategy.  The score is a simple percentage calculation dividing the engaged members by the active audience available.  The platform will provide recommendations on how to improve your efforts, will provide competitive benchmarks, and allow you to do some basic filtering down of the data.

Thoughts: The Content Marketing Score was just one of several new features that LinkedIn is providing businesses with.  The metric will be an easy to understand snapshot of how your efforts are performing over time and you’ll be able to track the good and bad from your various posts, topics, etc.  LinkedIn isn’t the first, and likely won’t be the last, social network to offer up their own analytics platform.  If you have been reading #SundayMusings for a while now, you know that I am a fan of these efforts from each site.  The more you learn, the more you can adapt your strategy.

Are you running a LinkedIn page?  Have you begun using the new features?  If so, let me know how they are via email or in the contact form below.  Thanks!

#6 – “7 Big Brands are Succeeding in Content Marketing … You Can Too” via SproutContent.com  

Premise: The author dives into seven big brands that are successfully implementing a strong content marketing strategy – through very different avenues.  P&G and Colgate have developed highly engaging reference communities that tie together their brands with experts in those particular fields, video, etc.  Kraft and General Mills have developed branded web sites to provide recipes, tips, etc. for their respective communities.

Thoughts: Building communities is a great way to allow your consumers to help build your own brand’s equity.  These engaged users can become somewhat of a brand ambassador for you – not only online, but also promoting the site (or your business) via word-of-mouth.

What online communities do you engage with?  I have joined a number of G+ Communities and also have active discussions about sports on several sites.

Tweet of the Week:

I found the above tweet from Uberflip and wanted to pass it along as one to keep an eye one each and every week if you are consistently looking to read more on content marketing.  Every week they provide a number of links in their “Content Roundup”.

Those are the content marketing stories that have caught my attention over the past few weeks.  Hope you enjoyed the latest #SundayMusings!  Have a great week!