In a world that screams for new content constantly, how can you keep your SEO needs fulfilled, and your content marketing targets met, driving more visitors back to your website, without furiously typing at your keyboard 23 hours a day as you consume several litres of coffee?
I mean, don’t you need to post to umpteen social networks once you’ve created this content, and which is the best one to post to? And when should I post to these? My keyboard can’t take much more of this and neither can I! Is content marketing even worth it?
Well let’s get organised together, because there are ways to still drive traffic back to your website, without overdosing on caffeine, and throwing your poor keyboard out of the window.
First let’s create a great blog post.
If you’re reading this post on content marketing, then chances are you are no stranger to writing the odd blog post. But let’s review the fundamentals, just to be sure.
- Is there a need for it? – Do the people you want to reach, whether that’s potential customers or readers, have a desire to find out more about this topic? Remember if there is no need, there is no post.
- Can you write about it? – Now you have established the need, do you have the knowledge to talk about it? If not, it’s time to get researching, and find out all you can that will be relevant to your post, so you can put together something worthwhile.
- Are there other great bloggers who have also talked through this topic that you can link to? – It is always best practice to link to more useful information for the reader. This post is for them, so if another blogger has a great post which follows on or relates to yours, create the link.
- Is there a suitable image(s) within the article that will capture people’s attention? – Visuals are a must for capturing people’s attention, both on the blog itself, and when you are sharing the content, so be sure to include a relevant picture where possible.
- Is the finished article intriguing, informative and entertaining? – Now you have put everything together, is it something your audience will want to read, will they learn something from it, and will they feel some emotion to it that they may remember throughout the day? The more your audience connects with the post, the more likely they are to return to your site.
- Have you sorted your meta data? Last but not least, have you checked your meta data for your post, so that when it is shared, the correct details appear, and when your ideal visitors search online, they are directed to this post that would be useful.
Great, now our post is ready. We’re feeling good. Reward yourself with a biscuit and a walk (wait, that might just be for the marketing dogs …) before we move on to the next step.
Then let’s create this into several formats.
It is a well-accepted fact now that people consume content in different ways. Some people love to read a blog, other want to see a video, some may just want a quick infographic to consume the information quickly. It may sound exhausting, but this gives you several opportunities to share your content, over a longer period of time, and reach more people.
So what other formats can you consider for your blog?
- Mobile article
This can be the creating the full blog as these styles, or perhaps you want to create several images that are then used to promote your main blog article, or a short GIF to inspire people to click.
The below infographic from Andrea Stenberg encapsulates perfectly the notion of re-purposing your content.
Still with me? Let’s look at where you can share that content.
You don’t have to post everywhere, but you do have to post somewhere. Great content is nothing without being distributed. So what options are available to you?
- Links back to your blog – Consider your regular (and probably the most popular) social networks: Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, google+, and don’t forget to also consider your email list of contacts who have already shown interest in what you have to say. A link to the blog accompanied with a personal message can do wonders.
- Re-posting content on to Facebook articles, or LinkedIn pulse – You may have seen our last couple of blogs posts on Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP where you can post almost instant content. This requires a little more work. So it may not be the ideal option for a time strained content marketer. But they are something to consider if you do have the time. Also considering options like LinkedIn pulse or StumbledUpon, where you can post your content to their platform to stand alone, or to intrigue people enough to click back through to your website.
- Images – Images are great to share when linking your content anyway to create more visual impact. But consider Pinterest, Instagram and even Snapchat as potential places to share your images too.
- Infographic – Infographics are great visuals for any social network but also work especially well on visual platforms such as Pinterest and Visual.ly.
- Slideshow – Slideshows are still popular across many platforms, but consider trying SlideShare, and sharing to LinkedIn.
- Video – Video has blown up throughout 2016, with more people than ever wanting to watch video. You have more capability to show it across popular social networks, but also on video based platforms such as YouTube, Google Video and Vimeo. (There’s a more broad list of video share websites here, along with their reviews).
- Podcast – Podcasts should be shared across your regular social networks, but also consider sharing your podcast to iTunes.
Another reminder, just because you have a huge amount of options available, does not mean you need to post to every single one. Do not stress yourself out posting to 20 different sites if you only get engagement and impact from 11.
Assess what you are using already, and make the decision on what to stick with, and what to leave for now. Then explore some new platforms. There are so many being released, you don’t know what may just work for you.
Okay, so when should I share this?
There are so many blog posts on when is best to post on certain networks, from places like Hubspot, shortstack and hootsuite. And as most of them will say, there is no right or wrong answer. You have to cater to your fans, so take note of your analytics above anything else. But here are some of the facts that have been thrown up when it comes to social platforms and the best engagement times:
Posts that go up on a Thursday or Friday between 1pm and 3pm are said to attract the most engagement. (Perhaps procrastination has something to do with this one, while we’re waiting for the weekend? Just a thought.)
Twitter is a little more diverse in times, with 5pm being most the most frequent in studies as a popular time. Wednesdays also feature quite heavily.
For a social network that people would seem most likely to use at work, we seem to stick to using this one outside work hours. Consider early bird posts at 7am till 9am and lunchtime posts at 12. Posts for when people are on the wind down, or commuting home between 5pm and 6pm. And staying within the working weekdays are likely to gain you more post engagement.
Pinterest is very much an evening activity, and for those who can’t sleep. Consider 8pm to 11pm over the weekend, and 2am to 4am over weekdays. Yes you read that right, AM. (Perhaps we should stop drinking those litres of coffee!)
Apparently we can’t get off Instagram though. Peak times really vary dependant on audience, but a slower time has been identified as mid-afternoon 2pm – 4pm, where engagement rates tend to slump.
Once again though, please remember that your engagement rates completely depend on your account. Though studies may have shown that people use a certain platform at a certain time, you may be the exception.
It is best to just run a trial and error method when you are beginning your content marketing (and periodically throughout your time managing social/sharing content to keep on top of things), to decide on the right times to post. Try using some of the scheduling tools below to try different times and days for your content.
Can I schedule this?
I thought you said I wouldn’t be drove to caffeine Lauren? All of this is making my head spin, what are you doing?
Well yes, to quote the infamous line ‘I never said it would easy, I only said it would be worth it’. All of this will drive more traffic back to your site. But let’s look at ways to make this a little easier for us.
Let’s look at scheduling tools, your new best friend. Which as I have mentioned are great for trialing when your content gets the best reaction, or for ensuring your content doesn’t reach social media in one giant bundle before your lunch break.
Some of the most notable social scheduling tools that are free, or have free options are:
One of the most popular social media management tools. Which allows you to schedule updates, view stats on your post, and use streams to view what is going on on various platforms, all from one place. Oh and it has a free version which is pretty darn good.
Another very popular tool that helps you to save time with social media. Where you can queue content, measure analytics and view your most popular and least popular posts. Again, it has a free version, which works rather well when you are just setting out.
If this then that is a little more broad of a tool. The basic principle is you set recipes to trigger events. So in social, you can use this that if you post a new blog, it automatically posts to your social account, or if you post to Instagram, it automatically posts a tweet to. There are literally hundreds of recipes. For almost everything you can think of (think internet of things), so it’s also can double as quite a good productivity tool too.
Tweetdeck has a very similar set up to Hootsuite, but focuses purely on twitter (if you hadn’t already guessed). You can set up streams to follow various activities and searches, and schedule tweets to go out. However, with tweetdeck you can add more than one twitter account. Meaning if your social efforts are mainly focused on the micro blogging site, you can manage all of your various accounts (personal, author, company, customer service, tech etc) from one page.
However, there are endless tools out there for you to try, so see which suits you best.
Use these to automate some of your processes (taking the strain off your poor keyboard) and for posting certain content at certain times of the day.
Always remember though, these are not substitutes for actually using the social networks. To get the most from them you have to ‘social’ unfortunately. But these tools do help ease the load, and allow you to spend more time interacting with other actual users rather than posting up content constantly.
We’re almost done. You’ve got the content. You’ve made the most of your content. You know where to post, and when to post, and you’ve scheduled it into place, now you’ve just got to stick the landing.
Well as the infographic above points out, you ‘wait for the traffic to role in’. But this isn’t a magic recipe, and it takes a lot of elements working at their best, as well as a bit of being in the right place at the right time, to get the right customers to your content.
But that doesn’t mean just post your content and leave it be. Use your analytics, both for your site, and on your social, to see what people are doing, and just do more of it! If you are getting no engagement from a certain site or time or day, then experiment until you begin to see results. Perhaps something else to schedule if it helps is when you check your analytics, and what you will check each time, so you don’t get lost in the sea of data available.
You can read more about using social analytics in one of our previous blogs, which will take you through how to find, and use the analytics available to you on three of the biggest social networks, and you can read more about measuring the real impact of all of your content marketing effort in this fabulous blog from marketing land.
Now go take a short walk away from your desk, take a deep breath, maybe put the kettle on in the knowledge that you can do this, maybe even with a smile on your face too.
If you’re looking for help with your content marketing, or overall marketing strategy, why not speak to us at The Marketing People, and see how we could help.