Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Nick Rojas. Nick is a self-taught, serial entrepreneur who’s enjoyed success working with and consulting for startups. Using his journalism training, Nick writes for publications such as Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, and Yahoo. He concentrates on teaching small and medium-sized enterprises on how best to manage their social media marketing and define their branding objectives. He reached out to Verblio (formerly BlogMutt) and we worked together on this post. If you’d like to submit a guest post, please contact us.
To be successful with content marketing, absolutely mind-blowing content is a must today. The days of creating a lot of short articles in order to have an article rank for every long-tail keyword are over. Instead, the strategy must shift from quantity to quality; create a few hero pieces that bring so much value that promoting is obvious.
But how much budget should you invest in creating each of these pieces versus promoting them? Should you focus your resources on content creation or content promotion?
Content creation isn’t valuable without promotion and you can’t promote if you don’t have content. Your website, Facebook page, Twitter feeds, blogs, etc., all need to have content which works as parts of a greater whole. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the main points when considering content creation and content promotion strategy and determining how to allocate resources to each.
Content Creation vs. Content Curation vs. Content Promotion
Your content strategy has three options: create, curate, and promote. First, let’s start by discussing the difference between curating and creating great content.
Curated content is a must for your social media campaigns and to create “filler” content for social sharing. Social media works a lot like social networks in the real world. How long have you maintained your interest in someone who only talks about themselves? Diversity and relevance in content are vitally important for serving the interests of your followers. It correlates directly to “likes” and “shares” of content tied to your site.
But can you successfully amplify curated content? Curated content is great, but original content is better. In order to truly experience a “viral” effect and benefit from content amplification, you need to focus on content creation. Content creation should be the foundation of your strategy, supplemented by curated content, and then you can start promoting content.
Effective, Strategic Content Promotion
What should the focus of your content be? Smart ideation is key when it comes to creation and amplification. You cannot successfully amplify content that is uninteresting or irrelevant to your target audience.
If something is trending on Twitter and it’s related to your cause, capitalize on it. This has often been called “newsjacking.”
Same rules apply for Facebook or LinkedIn. Consider your audience on these channels and the news that is relevant to their interests. For news stories that cross every major social network, cross-promote your content across social media posts when you think it helps. And finally, don’t forget to have your content circle-back to your website.
Let’s look at this in the real world.
TeenSafe, a company who offers social media monitoring for teens, noticed that there was a lack of content about hidden apps. So, they decided to create content about hidden apps geared at teaching parents what to look for. Next, they created a Facebook ad campaign targeting editors in major publications talking about the dangers of hidden apps. Finally, they combined paid amplification with media outreach, emailing editors and telling them about this phenomenon. As a result, the New York Times wrote a piece including an article written by TeenSafe. The strategic combination of strong ideation, paid promotions, and direct outreach yielded a powerful outcome.
Creative, Promotional Tactics
New ways to catch the attention of followers are always evolving. Mixed with all that great content, it’s not a bad idea to try new types of content and information which may not necessarily be informative, but rather fun, provocative, and engaging to your audience.
Oreo figured out the perfect mix of leveraging social networks for promotion during the 2013 Super Bowl. One tweet can pack a bigger punch than an expensive TV ad. If guerrilla marketing doesn’t fit your social media persona, try something else, but keep it light and entertaining.
Content Amplification: To Pay or Not to Pay
Paying for content amplification is a powerful way to reach your audience. Boosting your content on Facebook is a cost-effective way to reach new audiences unfamiliar with your brand. For $5, you can just try boosting your content. It’s a matter of trial and error.
If you do, give careful consideration to your specific objectives. What will justify the cost? More subscribers to your newsletter, more web traffic, more leads? Any time that you’re going to be allocating money, it’s important to measure the effectiveness of that spend.
Bringing It All Together
Balancing all of these and reaching a large audience also means that you’re bold, brief, quantitative, and visual in your content strategy. Being visual means balancing content with images and/or video that engages and delights readers. Focus strongly on ideation, but make sure you set aside resources to promote the content a larger audience should see.
Find that sweet spot between content creation and content promotion. Become passionate about your cause, and follow these basic steps to become a smarter content creator and promoter.