"Are blog articles and downloadable content really that important to our online sales strategy?"
That's a question we get asked by just about every client. And it's a fair question as we watch the digital world rapidly changing from the "old days" of traditional media channels to the new, and often foreign, platforms in social and digital media.
In today's article, I'm sharing 3 excerpts and perspectives on content regarding how the content world is changing and why even big traditional media companies are struggling to stay ahead.
Below are the first two (of five) tips from eConsultancy on getting started with content for your company.
Why Media Companies Are Struggling
The internet, tablets, and smartphones have changed the way audiences consume media and the way advertisers use media to engage with consumers. Average time spent with mediums like radio and print have declined up to 15.4% in 2012, according to research published by eMarketer .
And while time spent with mobile, online and TV show growth, the time spent with these mediums are all highly fragmented. According to eMarketer, 57% of people use Smartphones, 67% use PC’s, 75% use tablets, and 77% use TV’s while also using another device. In other words, captive audiences are a thing of the past, and so are the connections that advertisers used to be able to make with them.
On top of the shifts in time spent with media and the fragmentation of audience engagement, media companies are also challenged with shifts in revenue. More traditional media companies like newspapers, radio, local TV stations, direct mail, and directories experienced a total decline in revenue ranging from $25 million to $1.7 billion from 2012 to 2013 according to Borrell Associates 2013 Local Advertising Outlook .
All of these factors are taking a big toll on media companies, forcing leaders at media companies to face their challenges head on. As I speak with more and more consultants, General Managers, VPs of Sales, and Directors of Marketing they tell me that if their companies don’t adapt to accommodate their audience and their advertisers, they’re going to fall behind. Here are the top challenges these media companies have shared with me, and how we believe inbound marketing can help them meet and defeat those obstacles.
[ by Melanie Collins from HubSpot's Inbound Marketing Blog ]
[ Read original: Why Media Companies Are Struggling (And How Inbound Can Help) ]
Does our Business need to publish all the time?
A lot has been written about brands as publishers. Let's face it, to get it right requires planning, investment and the operational agility to react in real-time to breaking news as it happens.
However, the returns can be more than worth it, as a growing list of examples shows.
Becoming a ‘brand newsroom’ isn’t just a trend amongst the big companies either. Whilst there are plenty of big consumer brand examples, smaller brands, B2B companies, non-profits, and public sector organisations are also aligning their marketing and communications plans around content creation and social media.
If you are wondering if you should take the plunge, or have already jumped, the five tips below will help you get the most out of your strategy.
1. Real time is the best time
In these times of media saturation and information overload, brands must be ready to react in minutes or seconds, not hours or days to breaking news and the social web and be equipped to publish, distribute and promote new content - instantly.
Some of the best examples are Paddy Power’s response to Alex Ferguson’s retirement, or an even swifter reaction from Golden Wonder and of course the now obligatory example of Oreo’s “Dunk in the dark” Super Bowl ad.
2. Multimedia makes the difference
Granted this might sound like an obvious point, but content doesn’t have to be text based and it doesn’t have to be posted in the obvious place. Some of the best examples of this have been simple, shareable content that people can quickly digest.
If you look at the recent launch of BT Sport, the Mail Online’s coverage contained 13 images, a video, an infographic, two financial graphs and numerous quotes.
Even more traditional releases can benefit from adding a multimedia element, whether that’s a simple unboxing of a tech product like the Raspberry Pi or an infographic on cyber security that got some good national media pickup.
[ by Adam Cranfield from Posts from the Econsultancy blog ]
[ Read original: Five tips for brands acting like publishers ]
What is the benefit of relevant content to my audience?
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Michael Brito, Senior Vice President for Social Business Planning at Edelman Digital .
Here are 3 quick reasons why relevant content matters.
1. Relevant content adds value to the conversation
Many companies today are not sure where to start. One way to determine if and where the conversation is happening about the brand is to conduct a conversation audit. A conversation audit uses social listening software platforms such as Radian6, Meltwater Buzz or Sysomos to data mine the internet for “brand” or “product” related conversations. The data from an audit will give an organization insight into the following:
- where the conversation is happening (Twitter, Facebook, forums, blogs)
- nature of the conversation (sentiment, product, brand or both)
- share of voice in comparison to competitors or the general market category
- influencer identification; their total reach, community size and where they spend most of their time online
- competitive audit i.e. competitors community size, growth rate, web traffic
The results of a conversation audit will help organizations to determine if they can actually add value to the conversation going on around them. If the conversation is happening on Twitter and the sentiment revolves around complaints about the product; companies should be prepared to jump into the conversation on Twitter and start solving customer problems. If they aren’t prepared to do this for any reason, they need to think long and hard about how they plan on engaging on the social web. By merely saying “thank you” or just following disgruntled customers’ Twitter accounts is not adding value to the conversation and will most likely add more fuel to the fire.
That said, if the conversation is positive resulting in several users praising the product; companies can say “thank you”, retweet content, follow them and decide later how to engage them in a way that does add value i.e. creating formal advocacy programs, adding them to specific Twitter lists, or inviting them to be a part of another community.
For those who are asking general questions about a product or brand (i.e. does anyone know where I can download the latest driver), a great way to add value to the conversation is to simply respond with a link to the page where they can actually download the driver. Sometimes it’s the little things that not only adds value but can potentially create customer advocacy and position the company as a trusted advisor.
2. Relevant content positions the brand as a trusted advisor
In the past, some companies relied solely on press releases to launch products. Others have leaked product information to tech influencer blogs in order to leverage their reach, influence and community size and create buzz. The problem with these two methods is that they result in a onetime communication opportunity. After all the hype and buzz dies down, there is no way for a company to communicate with the social customer again; until of course the next release hits the wires or the next blog post goes live; assuming the 3rd party tech blog is willing to post it.
As organizations today are getting smarter, adopting governance models, empowering their employees to blog and tweet; they are now relying on their owned media channels to share and release information. An owned media channel is a company owned community where they have more control the messaging i.e. corporate blog, Facebook fan page and corporate Twitter account. The result of this approach is that allows a company to communicate directly with the community rather than through a third party. And, it makes sense that most consumers interested in a product or brand will want firsthand knowledge about a release date, future enhancements about a product or service and other corporate communications.
As long as the messaging on a company’s owned media channels is relevant, not inundated with sales propaganda, and delivers valuable information, they will essentially position themselves as a trusted advisor of content related to their own products and/or industry related information. The key is to be authentic and trustworthy; with the end goal of being believable.
3. Relevant content is authentic but more importantly, believable
One could question the authenticity of any politician; but during the 2008 Presidential Election, Barack Obama did something that business can learn from. He was not only authentic in the way he communicated, but the core of his message was believable. During his entire campaign, his message of “Change we can believe in”occupied every piece of media, conversation and bumper sticker from California to New York. This can be attributed to a variety of things.
First, Obama was consistent with his messaging and hammered the “change” point in every television appearance, speech and interview. Also, the content of the message itself was also very relevant for that time period in history. Lastly, his supporters (i.e. advocates) were sharing the same message with their very own micro communities over and over again; in every channel and community that they were a part of.
The lesson for business is that being authentic is an expectation that consumers already have today; and they are holding business accountable to live up to those expectations. From a business perspective, their content and messaging has to go beyond authenticity. It has to be believable. A company can truly be authentic with all their communication strategies but if they aren’t relevant and adding value, the community will not fully believe the message. The end result is a huge disconnect and irrelevant messages that will be ignored.
Building and fostering a healthy community; establishing trust and becoming believable takes time before seeing any positive results. Obama’s message wasn’t believed over night. It took more than a year before voters, especially those who were unsure, to learn to trust his vision for the country and believe in him.
[ by 3 Reasons Why Relevant Content Matters | Social Media Club from Comments on: 3 Reasons Why Relevant Content Matters ]
[ Read original: By: 3 Reasons Why Relevant Content Matters | Social Media Club ]