Leveraging your platforms for engagement AND content promotion
Regardless of its substance, I’m unwilling to commit to a podcast or audiobook unless the host’s voice is completely captivating. You know, a voice that makes you want to stop multitasking and just listen. Some voice boxes that rock:
- Sarah Koenig —“Serial” (“SNL” agrees)
- Alec Baldwin—“Here’s The Thing” (the pure phonetics of the episode with Sarah* Jessica Parker is what I can only assume to be the adult equivalent of a baby’s lullaby)
- Sonia Simone—“Confessions of a Pink-haired Marketer” (a content marketing thought-leader with a super soothing voice—and a pink mane)
- Anyone with a British or Australian accent (because, obviously)
*Note to self: Investigate more podcasters named Sarah/ name future child Sarah to set her up for audible greatness.
Sonia’s voice first hit my headphones when I began Copyblogger’s Content Certification Program—as Copyblogger’s Chief Content Officer, she hosts the lessons. Sonia was also a speaker at HubSpot’s annual marketing conference in September. (HEY, DID YOU HEAR REPUTATION INK WENT TO BOSTON FOR INBOUND LAST MONTH?!?)
— Michelle C. King (@MichelleCKing) September 9, 2015
— Reputation Ink (@Rep_Ink) October 16, 2015
— Reputation Ink (@Rep_Ink) October 13, 2015
— Reputation Ink (@Rep_Ink) October 3, 2015
— Reputation Ink (@Rep_Ink) September 27, 2015
— Reputation Ink (@Rep_Ink) September 23, 2015
Aside from being privy to Sonia’s general prominence in the content marketing realm, I was drawn to her session because of its topic: the intersection of content and social media—something of particular intrigue given my role managing Reputation Ink’s social media platforms (and my own).
Yeah, I wasn’t the only one.
Sonia’s initial session filled a 750-person room to the brim and I couldn’t even see past the line of castaways crowding the door. I did, however, make the encore session, which was also overflowing.
And, it’s safe to say we didn’t leave disappointed. If you weren’t at INBOUND—WELL SUCKS FOR YOU BECAUSE WE GOT TO SEE AMY SCHUMER. Sorry. OK, I meant to say, if you weren’t there, you can check out Sonia’s “Confessions of a Pink-haired Marketer” episode on the same topic (and enjoy her soothing voice, as noted above).
Spinning social media into your content web
For the sake of spook (Halloween is coming in so, so hot) let’s liken content to a spiderweb.
Your company is the spider spinning one beautiful content web to capture your “prey,” your food. This isn’t a cold comparison. In business, your audience provides the nourishment you need to live, or stay in business: cold, hard cash, babe.
To be effective, your web must be strong. It must be calculated. You must spin it into a design that captures your specific prey. The many threads you’re weaving include:
- Social media
For the sticky thread of social media, it’s a silk spun with two, main fibers:
- Content promotion
Initially, when it came to social media and business, the goal was engagement. Get your business onto social media, make friends with your followers by chatting with them, and turn those followers into customers.
The soon-realized reality for most folks on social? “Engagement” doesn’t—and can’t—scale. And your team can only spend so much time and resources engaging in meaningful conversations with your prospects.
The goal, or view, for social media for businesses then flipped into content promotion. Social media can be a billboard for your content, whether it’s your videos, white papers, blog posts, etc.
The reality is, social media can be BOTH engaging and promotional, not either or. How can you achieve this?
Spin a beautiful content web.
You can do this by including a few key elements as it relates to social media:
A magnetic headline—A hefty chunk of social sharing (think Facebook shares, retweets) occurs without users actually consuming the content. And that’s just fine, Sonia assures. Why? Because your content bounces from person to person, eventually landing on the one who is ideally positioned to buy, or engage with your company.
Captivating, platform-optimized images—Understanding that an effective image for Facebook may not be an ideally sized image for Twitter is Social Media 101. Practice this by optimizing your images for each platform. (Hint: Canva helps.)
Useful, fascinating substance—Ensure your content is “something worth experiencing on the other side of the click,” Sonia says. It should solve a problem or hit a need for your audience, and be communicated in an interesting, entertaining way (easier said than done, I know).
Another must when sharing your content on social? DON’T LIE.
There’s no quicker way to scare away your prey than by making promises you can’t keep. This is best seen as click-bait on your news feed: headlines that seem interesting but have content that, well, blows. The headline lied about how awesome the body of the article was or what it’d deliver.
Sonia called out a few brands she thinks are doing content right on social, including Saddleback Leather Co. and Goulet Pens. She cheered for their educational content that conveys their unique tones. Their content pursues a customer experience, achieved through fantastic social media teams with solid conversations.
Who are some examples of brands you think do this?