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Mega Content: What It Is & Why Marketers Should Embrace It (Part 1)

MEGA content-01What if you could help create ready-made content for your social media sharing teams while simultaneously boosting the size of your targeted email marketing lists without dramatically increasing the work done by your content marketing team? It’s what every business wants, and it’s surprisingly possible with just a little bit of tweaking to your current strategy.

The History of Mega Content

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 70% of B2B marketers and 69% of B2C marketers say they are creating more content this year than they were last year. Add in the need to serve up a steady stream of both original and curated content across various social media platforms and we sometimes find ourselves drowning under a never ending barrage of content requests.

Why so much content, and what are we trying to accomplish with it? This is what marketers really need to be asking. Study after study has shown increases in indexed pages, traffic volume, leads and sales for websites that have regularly updated blogs. But, the challenge comes in balancing the need to create strong brand building and lead generating blog posts with a slew of other social media postings that are more engaging for audiences.

This can make it difficult for businesses both large and small to balance the knowledge that content marketing produces long term leads with the very real demand for producing trackable data and results on a more immediate timeline. The key to good online marketing is figuring out how to reach both goals, but the jackpot of online marketing is achieving both goals with one set of deliverables.

Thus, the idea of mega content was born.

What Is MegaContentThe Challenges with Mega Content

It started out almost by accident. One of our clients is a prodigious writer. She regularly churns out volumes of outstanding content and has a very strong blog following. This traffic has great carry-over to her e-commerce site and is consistently one of her strongest sources of converting traffic. While this has provided a wonderful bedrock on which to build a solid online marketing business, the need to increase sales and conversions still exists.

Despite strong blog marketing and social media marketing, this client had not done much in the way of targeting or segmented email marketing. As the client prepared to launch a newer version of their e-commerce site with a more flexible backend management system, we decided to prep for more aggressive email marketing in the coming year. Of course, the biggest challenge in email marketing is building out a strong list with good targeting to allow for proper segmentation.

When the client delivered a blog post that clocked in at over 4,000 words, we knew we had a decision to make. We could break the post up into 3-4 posts that were more digestible, or we could beef it up further and consider its potential as an e-book or whitepaper. Since we had already started building out an infographic on the same topic, we decided to move forward with an e-book approach that could be used to draw a list of email addresses that were clearly interested in this specific topic and its corresponding product line.

As our design team worked out the details of the 24 page e-book, we decided to take a more visual approach to the design. Because the topic was targeted at women, we developed a PDF more in line with a pull-out guide from a women’s magazine instead of taking the standard text heavy whitepaper or e-book approach. We included our infographic as well as visual call-outs, quotes and other snippets of information aimed at creating a highly informative piece of content.

The Possibilities of Mega Content

Once our e-book was designed, we then took the time to break the content down into individual pieces of content that could be used on the client’s blog and/or for social media outreach. Two 500 word blog posts were pieced together from the content and paired with the infographic to serve as three separate posts on the client’s blog. Also, a series of images were created showcasing tips and facts about the e-book, which were then optimized for Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.

Next, we knew we needed to build out a traditional style landing page aimed at trading the e-book for an email address. We paired it up with the style, theme and information provided in our content package. We added testimonials from happy customers, and a few sound bites of information from the content piece. Overall, we ended up with more than a dozen “bite-size” pieces of content that could be shared on social media as standalone pieces of content, yet we still had enough meat to them to lead people back to the landing page to download the e-book.

MegaContent_Combines Best ImpactIs Marketing Mega Content Really That Different?

At this point, some of you may be wondering how this process differs at all from traditional e-book or whitepaper marketing. It’s a fair question with a very nuanced answer. E-books and whitepapers are traditionally written for the express purpose of creating a “prepped” buyer. Sometimes it’s about sharing research and data that draws in the exact type of lead you can feed to your sales team so they can pick up the phone and try to close the deal. Sometimes, it’s about sharing a case study or writing a story that leads people down a path to the right decision, right meaning your product or service, of course. And generally speaking, whitepapers and e-books are viewed as leading people into a fairly deep position in your conversion funnel.

Mega content, on the other hand, is about building a launch point for your conversion funnel. It’s about gathering a lead that can be fed into different parts of your marketing machine over time. It earns you an email address and a topic of interest, just enough to start reaching out. In other words, you have to accept that you are getting a lead with less immediate value than you might gather using traditional whitepaper marketing.

Why Mega Content Works

The appeal to mega content is that the lead isn’t your only value. Your social media team also receives a nice package of content that can be released across social media channels over the coming weeks or even months. This not only reduces the amount of time spent curating third party content for sharing and increases your ability to share a wider range of original content that can stand on its own, but it also has the potential to drive people to your landing page.

What’s more, this leads to the amazing potential for both traffic increases and lead increases, but you’ll have to tune into our blog again to find out how that works. For the next post in this series, we’ll map out the value of compound growth when it comes to long term lead generation and explain exactly how mega content fits into that process.

MegaContent_Breaking It Up

Why the Buzz around Content Marketing Matters

 

Editing Content

“Content marketing” has become quite the buzz phrase in recent years. Why is this? Is it just hype, or is there really something to it?

To be honest, there are a couple things going on with content marketing. One is that it’s not a new idea. The concept has been around for quite some time, but companies have only recently realized its value. Two is that some of the buzz around it is merely hype because the term is often misused. For instance, it is often confused with social media marketing. While the two work hand in hand and while there is some cross over in what they each do, the distinction is that a content marketing strategy needs to come before a social media strategy.

Joe Pulizzi, the founder of the Content Marketing Institute, and who has written 3 books on the subject defines content marketing as:

“Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

In a nutshell, content marketing is designed to be a soft sell to customers. Instead of pushing promotional items that they don’t really care about, content marketing adds value. If you, as a business, consistently provide information, FAQs, news, and more that is relevant to your audience, you are delivering content marketing. By doing this, you are giving your customers a reason to continually come to you.

In case you haven’t noticed, traditional advertising is not as effective as it once was. In the digital age of two-way communication, consumers have learned to turn a blind eye to it. Their expectations are high, and in order to reach and connect with them, you must add value.

Where does social media fit into the picture? For starters, social media serves as an incredible distribution channel. Whenever you publish content, you have the opportunity to tease and send your message out on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and the list goes on and on. The great thing about social media is that you can serve your audience content based on their preference. So, for instance, if your customers are very visual, Pinterest or Instagram may be the best options for you to connect with them. If they prefer video, utilize YouTube. This is not a one-size-fits-all game – it’s completely customizable, which is the beauty of it.

Does it make sense now? Content marketing would not have the buzz that it has without the integration of social media. And on the social side, the content would be less than valuable if there was no strategy behind it.

But, as great as content marketing is, there are some stipulations. First and foremost, your content must be good. It seems basic enough, right? But, sadly, there are many companies that are fooling themselves into thinking they have a content marketing strategy when they really do not. In other words, if you are simply putting out promotional materials via social media channels, understand that this is NOT content marketing.

You have to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Do you care about something that only boasts the company such as an award? While it is a great feat, this is not something that adds value to customers. You also have to become an authority. You and your business will be respected more if you speak with authority. And in all honesty, you are the expert. Show off your knowledge to your audience and be confident in it. This is your time to shine, so showcase it.

You also must ditch corporate voice. As much as businesses want it to work, it doesn’t, especially not on social media. You have to speak the same language as your audience. Show that you are passionate about what you do. In today’s world, pretense is lost. Honesty and realism are appreciated.

It’s definitely a different way of thinking but there are brands that are getting it. In a recent post from Econsultancy, Ben Davis highlighted some companies including Red Bull and Louis Vuitton that are doing content marketing right. These companies are taking themselves out of the spotlight and are focusing on what their customers care about. What’s more, they have set the bar high for their competitors as well as other companies that are new to content marketing.

The overarching idea behind content marketing is that by constantly being in front of your audience, when they have a need or a want, they will come to you without a second thought. Why would they go somewhere else? You have enabled them to become smarter and more efficient at what they do by being a reliable resource for them. In turn, they will naturally become loyal, which is a win-win.

Display image courtesy of UndeniableTruth.com.