“When asked to rank the importance of the services they use, 25% of users rated their company blog as critical to their business, while a further 56% considered them either important (34%) or useful (22%)” for a total of 81%. (Marketing Charts). B2B companies with blogs generate 67% more leads per month on average than non-blogging firms. (Social Media B2B)
And I am living, breathing proof that this is, in fact, the case.
Last month I wrote a seemingly innocuous article for this very newsletter, called Who’s REALLY Consuming Print? Little did I know that it would go viral!
Here’s what happened:
- In the last 30 days there were nearly 1000 views and the article was shared close to 100 times via LinkedIn.
- I received several emails (in fact I’m still getting them), one from as far away as the UK (I’m based in Toronto, Canada) with feedback, questions, requests to re-publish, and overall positive comments.
- I have many new Twitter followers and contacts with whom I would otherwise never have connected
- And the icing on the cake…I received a request to speak to students in the Graphic Arts Society at the Western University of Michigan, which comprises Graphic Designers and the Marketing Promotion Group. I will blog all about that experience in the fall.
Everyone hopes that their content will go viral. That they will “trend” in Twitter. But the reality is that you cannot force viral. Sometimes what you think will take off simply fizzles. Before social media, we used to rely on “word of mouth”. And in fact in many ways, that’s what social media is … a way to share your likes, and dislikes, with the masses. The main difference is that word of mouth primarily relies on a one-to-one relationship. Butwith social media, you can express your opinions to literally hundreds, or even thousands, of your “closest” friends!
According to digitalbuzzblog:
- Out of the 6 billion people on the planet 4.8 billion have a mobile and only 4.2 billion own a toothbrush
- 34% of marketers have generated leads using Twitter
- Each week on Facebook more than 3.5 billion pieces of content are shared
So what are some things that you can do to ensure that your content is not only consumed, but shared? Here are some tips:
1. Know Your Objectives – Do you want to: Generate new leads? Turn prospects into customers? Introduce new products/solutions to existing customers? Nurture your database? Test marketing messages?
2. Know Your Audience – Are they technical or business focused? Do they prefer audio over visual? Do they consume digital or print?
3. Identify Existing Content/Assets – You likely have more than you think! Assets include: Brochures, articles, product reviews, whitepapers, webinars, case studies, podcasts, online calculators, videos, and of course blogs!
4. Fill the Content Gaps – Try to add one new piece of content/month. Your goal should be to have at least 2 pieces of content for each type of asset (see #3).
5. Repurpose, Repurpose, Repurpose – Take what you have…make it something new: Whitepaper becomes webinar, Blog becomes article, Article becomes podcast, Case study becomes press release, etc.
6. Know How Your Content is Being Consumed – Who’s reading it? Are you giving it away or are you capturing your prospect’s information when they download?
7. Ensure Your Content is Well Written and Well Delivered – Spellcheck is a good friend… but not 100% reliable. Invest in a couple of professionally-crafted pieces of content…then repurpose, repurpose, repurpose (see #5). Some people LOVE writing…find them…use them
8. A picture is worth a thousand words – It’s a great way to break up chunks of text and can result in stronger brand retention. Incorporate infographics, product shots, icons, graphics, etc. Reinforce your brand
9. Cross Sell – Think in 3s: Deliver the right content to the right audience at the right time in the sales cycle. Aim to have three pieces of content that focus on the same topic in different formats. Test, test, test. Say Thank-You…With more content!
10. Use Your Content to Feed Your Social Media Engine – Drive folks back to your content! Make sure people can find your blog on your site. Don’t be afraid to share your blog. A blog can provide more information about your products and services from a personal standpoint – without coming across as a sales pitch. Your social media outlets should mirror the ones frequented by your audience (see #2).
Going viral requires the alignment of the following: Interesting content, timing, access to a variety of networks, and making sure people can actually FIND your content. Here’s what Ad Age says: “Online sharing, even at viral scale, takes place through many small groups, not via the single status post or tweet of a few influencers…Content goes viral when it spreads beyond a particular sphere of influence and spreads across the social web via ordinary people sharing with their friends…the median ratio of Facebook views to shares (is) merely 9-to-1. This means that for every Facebook share, only nine people visited the story. Even the largest stories on Facebook are the product of lots of intimate sharing—not one person sharing and hundreds of thousands of people clicking.”
Content means different things to different people. But no matter what format you choose, remember that its goal is to provide information that generates interest in your product/service/solution and to help move prospects through the sales cycle.
About Joanne Gore
Joanne Gore has nearly twenty years of marketing and communications experience, including corporate and small office environments. She is a talented and creative marketing professional, always positive and able to see the big picture. She possesses the organization/prioritization skills which allow her to manage multiple projects from inception to implementation, meeting deadline demands and budgetary constraints.
A true mentor, Joanne marries her passion for marketing with clear, creative feedback and inspiration. Joanne develops lead generation and conversion programs, re-brands product lines, implements social media strategies, manages PR and media relations campaigns, overhauls websites, develops highly targeted marketing campaigns, and delivers results.
Joanne graduated as a Graphic Designer and, prior to joining the corporate world, worked in the print industry as an art director, typesetter, and printing consultant. Joanne is a marketing geekette by day, a fitness instructor by night, and a mom 24-7.