Posted by randfish
Are you and your content suffering from the blues after this long Winter? Well have no fear, warmer weather is here and it's time to overcome that winter of dis-"content". Today we will be talking about 5 ways to overcome the content fatigue you may be experiencing. After watching the videos, please share the ways you help keep your content fresh, unique, and successful.
Howdy, SEOmoz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we are trying to help you overcome the winter of your discontent, meaning, well, really the winter of your dis-content. You see, I hear a lot of people talking in the industry about the challenge of successful content marketing and I understand. Producing content is hard. If you don't produce great, fantastic, amazing content, it tends to do this: launch, reach some people, fall flat on its face. This is sad, this is tragic, this is frustrating. It makes you not want to invest in content anymore. I understand that, and I want to give you some strategies, some specific strategies that will help you overcome this problem.
My top five are, number one, precede your shares, whether that's links, whether that's people talking about it in social media, whether that's people e-mailing it and sharing it, whatever it is, by including the people that you want to share in the process itself. This sounds complex. It's not that hard.
Here's what I mean. Imagine doing this. These are the people I want to share this. I'm going to send them a survey. I'm not even going to send them a survey. I'm going to send them an e-mail. That e-mail is going to say, "Hey, we'd love your help with a blog post I'm going to write or an article I'm going to write or an infographic I'm launching. Which of the following five appeals the most to you?" Guess what? Not only do you get from them the response that says, "Oh, yeah, this one, that's the one that I really am interested in. That's the one that I think is the best idea of the bunch that you've got," but once you get that feedback, that person has now bought in.
So when you launch it, you can e-mail them again and say, "Hey, remember that thing you helped me with? Really appreciate it. You rock, dude, and by the way, we made it. Here it is. Can you check it out? Give me any feedback." Then once you launch it, you can ask them for their help in sharing. By involving these people, and it doesn't have to be just a survey. It can be something where you actually get data from them, where you interview them, where you're featuring them in videos, or you're featuring their content in some way or whatever it is, but involving the people that you want to share in the process or the content itself means that you're going to get them helping you. This works tremendously well. This will help you get over that problem.
Number two, try to appeal to an influential or underserved or marginalized or politically, culturally, cohesive and connected group. Here's what I mean by this. What I mean is that there are a lot of times on the Web when we're trying to find a group of individuals who are going to share something. If you can find a group that already feels passionate about a topic, for example, in this case, I've got these guys, right, and they really care about the open source movement. You can find someone who cares about a political issue, an issue like taxes or gay marriage or fashion or whatever it is, but they have to be passionate and they have to be united and unified around that, and you're essentially going to leverage the unified power of that existing community and produce content that appeals directly to them.
For a ton of people who are in B2C and B2B, there are a lot of opportunities to do this even if you think you're in a boring industry, because supporting a cause, making a large donation, essentially running a promotion that helps something can get that group behind you and can get that group sharing. That's why so many companies support things like breast cancer awareness or a multiple sclerosis run or whatever it is, because it's powerful in and of itself. It helps create great branding, and it means that you're going to get things shared. When you can do this content-
wise on the Web for an event, for a promotion, for whatever it is, this can really go a long way.
Number three, turn things that are interesting, data in particular that's interesting but poorly formatted data, so what I mean by this is something that's hidden in a PDF somewhere, something that's just literally a list of bullet points that exists in a slide show on Slideshare, something that's merely a few data things that someone shared in a blog post but hasn't turned visual yet, and make it exciting and interesting. So make that beautiful and useful through whatever sort of graphic system or visual system you can, and then go and reach out to the people who made it and get their review, their buy-in, their approval, because when you do that, you not only make sure that you're protected against any legal problems, but you also get their community and themselves behind that. Of course, you can share with them and give that to them and they'll promote it. They'll help you promote it because, of course, you're citing them and you're saying that they're the source and you're helping them to look good. So of course they're going to help you to look good. This is a great way to build up some industry credentials, some respect in your sphere, as well as to get a better content piece to launch.
Number four, popular conversations and discussions are happening all the time in whatever industry you're in. I guarantee they are. If you're in the startup world, Hacker News has all sorts of discussions all the time. If you're in the meme space, there are all sorts of things going on, on Reddit. If you're in the political world, there are all sorts of things going on in political forums and blogs and the news and that kind of stuff. No matter your sphere, there's almost always interesting conversations. If you're having trouble finding these, I highly recommend going and searching on Topsy.com. Just take a look at that website, and you'll be able to find a ton of opportunities. Just search for your keywords. Broad industry keywords are best. I wouldn't go for very highly specific things, but you'll find a lot of content.
Then jump in. Essentially, I want you to jump into those conversations and continue them. Add to them, and by the way, please, by all means, ping the people. Send an e-mail over to the person who wrote it and say that you did. Go find their profile of whoever it is through Follower Wonk and tweet back at them. Go find your connections on LinkedIn. Go talk to the people who are already engaged in the conversation. Make them aware of the content that you've produced. Then they will be likely to check it out and also to share it. It really, really helps when you're looking to join a new industry or become a voice inside an industry, gain some thought leadership and get that content out there.
Number five, my last and final one, is just too easy. Rank stuff. I'm serious. Rank anything. Rank people. Rank social media profiles. Rank blogs. Rank content. Rank companies. Rank investment bankers. I don't care what you rank. If you rank things, then people who are high in those rankings will want to share that information, and people who are in the industry will look to that as a leadership board. The more beautiful and creative you make this and the better job you do with real data, so gathering data that people would actually think is influential and should be in the rankings, this works tremendously well and it works every single time. I'm constantly amazed that more people in more industries don't take it upon themselves to rank interesting people, interesting blogs, interesting websites, interesting companies, whatever it is, in their sphere because this is just an easy, easy win in the content sphere.
All right, everyone, I hope that you're over your winter of discontent. I hope to see some great content from you in the future. Take care, and we'll see you again for another edition of Whiteboard Friday.
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