It’s no secret that in today’s business world, companies must constantly produce new content. But are you producing quality social content with a WOW factor that gets you found? The truth is it’s really not that hard to do. There are so many options to consider when it comes to creating quality content that stands out in a crowd. Blog posts, videos, eBooks, whitepapers, webinars, social media updates, Slideshare presentations…just to name a few. It just takes time, the right dedication and effort.
When done consistently and correctly, quality content will improve search engine rankings, drive new traffic to websites and nurture leads into customers for years to come. Below are 10 tips so that you can start creating killer social content with a WOW factor that gets you found!
Follow Industry News
Keep up with information relevant to your industry. Setting up RSS feeds, subscribing to industry newsletters and setting up Google Alerts on branded and non-branded keywords are all ways to keep up with news relevant to your industry. You can take these industry articles and create social content with your own spin that identifies trends your clients would be interested in reading and learning how it will affect them. For example, I might create a series of blog posts covering recent Google algorithm updates to teach potential clients about the changing needs and challenges of content marketing and SEO for their business.
Monitor and Engage in Social Conversations
Social media conversations are a reflection of your brand. Therefore, it’s important that you monitor and engage with your audience to humanize your brand and let them know you care about them and their needs. Tools such as Hootsuite and TweetDeck can help you manage, monitor and measure your social content marketing effectiveness. Below is an example of engaging social content in Twitter from Celsius, a healthy energy drink company. This is a great example of a company engaging with a customer, making this person feel important which in turn humanizes the brand.
Recruit a Social Content Creation Team
Gone are the days when content is just written by CEOs and managers. Everyone in your company can write social content around their individual areas of expertise. Create an editorial content calendar that maps out who writes what and when. An editorial calendar really keeps things organized and lays out your content strategy and plans. My area of expertise is SEO and content marketing, so I contribute blog content around topics such as how social media affects SEO results and Pinterest marketing tips. You could have your sales staff create a short video series on how best to choose the products and services you sell. You might even post Q&A with some of your customers like IT business and consulting services firm Tribridge did and how they benefit from your products and/or services.
Keep a Social Content Backlog
When it comes to writing, sometimes you just feel tapped out for ideas. Or maybe you have an idea or concept but don’t know how to put it into words at the moment. Keeping a content backlog helps to save your ideas so that you can come back to them at a later time and write then. Keep bullet lists, product reviews, videos, photos, how-to guides and interviews in your backlog so you can write more social content pieces at a later date.
It’s perfectly alright to take content you’ve written in the past and republish it as a fresh, new piece. It saves time, resources and provides an updated spin on a topic. Add a short video and provide updated content to an old whitepaper. Use questions taken from a webinar or presentation to put together an eBook. Turn videos into blog posts or a blog post series. Turn one piece of social content into as many formats as possible – turn a whitepaper into a YouTube video, a shortened Slideshare presentation, a blog post series, a webinar. The possibilities are endless!
Take Your Video Camera Everywhere
Creating interesting and fun videos is simple to do and not as labor intensive as in the past. Smart phones are equipped with video cameras. Regular cameras come with video now as well. Take your smart phone or video camera to an upcoming tradeshow or industry conference and conduct mini interviews with thought leaders or people that stop by your booth. Ask them to give you a top 10 list of anything relevant to your industry and post these videos to your website after the tradeshow or conference. Video content can then become a blog post or blog series, an eBook, whitepaper…well, you get the picture. Supply chain software company Kinaxis does an excellent job of producing videos on a variety of topics, including those at their User Conference.
Conduct Online Surveys and Original Research
Have you thought about conducting online polls, customer satisfaction surveys, market research surveys, questionnaires, or customer job satisfaction surveys that can then be turned into blog posts or other social content? A tool like SurveyMonkey offers free and paid services where you can quickly and easily create surveys about interesting topics for your customers. Take the answers and trends and create blog posts, tweets, Pinterest photos, Facebook posts, press releases and more. These surveys can create lasting buzz and brand awareness for your company as people search for answers to questions you’ve posed in your surveys.
Create “Best-Of” Features Blog Posts
I love lists. Most people love lists. Therefore, it’s not a bad idea to create social content about the “Top” list, “Best-Of” list, “Year in Review” or “What’s Next” in 2013 or 2014 list. Consider doing list-type content every quarter which can help boost your readership, leads, strategic website KPIs and conversions. After attending an industry conference, write a blog post listing the key take-aways from that conference. Check out an example of this here: 71 Key Marketing Take Aways from Bend WebCam 2012. Organize your “Best-Of” blog posts into an eBook toward the end of the year. Make a list of your top products and/or services this year. Create a “Best Videos to Watch” blog post. List-type content can definitely help you stand out in the crowd.
Look Outside Your Industry and Audience
In today’s digital age, we are now more connected that ever, even outside of our niche industries and audiences. Take a recent well-known situation or crisis and write a blog post that ties into the theme of that situation. For example, our top dog CEO at Find and Convert, Bernie Borges, recently wrote a blog post on how the Tampa Bay Times is embracing digital disruption in the newspaper industry. We’re not in the newspaper industry, but he went out and tied the current state of newspaper readership to the digital age.
Write Content that Never Goes Out-of-Date
In addition to writing real-time, relevant content, consider writing content that never goes out-of-date. It’s important to write content that is timeless and has a long shelf life. This social content will always remain useful to your audience most likely for years to come. Some ideas for timeless content include how-to articles that solve challenges, tips for saving time and money and motivational articles that can help your target audience do something new or approach a problem with a new outlook on how to solve it.
There you have it. Content plays a key role in laying the foundation for your inbound marketing strategy. Produce social content that WOWs your readers and you can enjoy SEO results, social media engagement and lead nurturing that turns your prospects into customers. I hope you find these 10 tips helpful in creating content that gets you found. Have any other WOW tips to add to this list? I would love to hear them from you!