7 Habits of Successful Online Content Marketers
Do you struggle with getting results from your content? Do you have a hard time controlling your brand assets online and keeping them up-to-date and impactful? Perhaps you could benefit from the best practices of successful online content marketers.
The internet is like the Wild West, and controlling brands online has become increasingly difficult. Once your brand is placed on the web, assets and information get misused and quickly out of date. This is particularly hard because these assets get put on all sorts of websites. Worse, most brand owners have no idea where these assets go and how they're being used.
So, what's a smart marketer to do? Here are seven steps that will get you going in the right direction:
1. Have a plan. Most companies don't think through what content they need and what that content is supposed to accomplish in engaging consumers. Put together a customer journey map and figure out what information the customer needs at what point in the journey.
2. Use your bullets wisely. Often, companies build content and then just "spray and pray," aimlessly sending out content to whomever and wherever they can get it placed. They hope that by sending tons of content all over the place, they're building their brand. That creates noise, not engagement. The smarter approach is to know your audience and where they go. Be very focused about what you're doing; build a set of targets and focus your attention only on those customers and locations.
3. Tell a unifying story. Instead of sending single, discrete pieces of content, integrate your message and package it together in interactive, dynamic experiences that engage the customer more completely in every digital touchpoint. Sites like Prezi.com and SYNQY.com can help you tell more integrated stories.
4. Distribute effectively. Once you know what you want to say and how to say it, you then need to get it into the hands of people who can share your story on your behalf. Again, more planning is useful here to think through the best mechanisms to getting users access to that content. Consider using extranets or other sharing systems. There are a range of tools like Dlvr.it and others that can be used to broadcast your content.
5. Know where your content goes. It's of paramount importance that you know who is actually using your content. Sometimes, good companies are using your content. Other times, not-so-great companies are using it. These "black hat" companies often misuse the content or misrepresent your brand in fraudulent ways. If you don't know where your content resides, you can't control it. Solutions like Google's reverse image search or TinEye are useful in trying to see where your brand content lives online.
6. Control and manage updates. The next step is all about retaining control of distributed branded content. This means keeping the content tethered and managing that content remotely. It makes no sense in this day and age to be sending static content out to websites. Embedding code-driven applications such as YouTube, SlideShare, SYNQY, Scribd and others is a superior approach than sending static files to partners.
7. Report and track return on investment. The final piece is to measure, measure, measure. Like every other aspect of marketing, content investments should be tracked and measured. Make sure your content is always where it needs to be and is always delivering. Otherwise, update it and keep it fresh.
Michael Weissman is chairman and CEO of SYNQY Corporation, the first company enabling marketers to consistently deliver and control brand experiences on websites they don't own, transforming static brand assets into a fully-functional platform that delivers relevant content and services to the consumer right where they're already engaged online.