Over the course of the next 10 days I’d like to share with you some of my occasional and dubious flashes of brilliance on the topic of Content Strategy. To tell you my top content strategy tips are in no particular order be to would break the first rule of engagement. You’ll find my tips below and you can see Andy’s content strategy tips on the Big Ooga blog.
1. Sequence Matters (so do sequins but that’s my other blog..Gypsy – kidding!)
Planning, scheming and noodling. The Socratic Approach. When Andy and I decided to strategize how to share our knowledge of content strategy we began with a series of questions. What is our objective? What would interest you most? What would be most useful? How do we present it so it’s fun and digestible? And lastly how do we leverage it?
What we came up with was a duet, he writes on my blog – I write on his blog – we both tweet it with links and upload it to our status on LinkedIn every other day until his presentation. That way you get to know me, my peeps get to him and everyone in our universe (let’s call that the marketing piece) gets to know good new tips on creating great new content strategy. To recap. By Jove we have a plan!
2. Know thyself. Know thy topic.
This may sound painfully obvious but if your strategy is designed to support your expertise, then it’s your expertise that you should be writing about. There’s been a lot of discussion on how to humanize business by adding a personal side i.e. the gardening web designer, the motorcycle racing manicurist, but if you really want to make your point and be known for what you do, find your voice and use it to tout your expertise. The fun (if fun is part of your strategy) is in how you keep your ideas fresh and relevant. Oh…and out there. That’s the execution piece.
3. You, You, You not Me, Me, Me – Play nice and be generous
There’s no bigger bummer than meeting people who hold their info close to the vest. They secret away their good juju hoping you’ll pay them for it one day OR they keep it to themselves to get a jump on their competition. When we were kids we called this selfish.
As we turn content strategy on its head and go from online brochures about me, me, me to sharing our information with you, you, you – the generous conversation has to become a way of life and a new dawn for content. This approach is a personality change for your brand but not a change in your brand position. You’re still you only better. People will like you more and respect you more because you are giving more of yourself to the universe.
4. Finding Your Voice – Sincerity Trumps Tap Dancing Every Time
When we were naming Andy’s keynote presentation How To Create A Kick Ass Content Marketing Strategy we took a risk. The risk was honesty. We considered the audience – that’s you and we thought you’d get it and probably appreciate it. Then we thought about us and decided Kick Ass was so us.
Big Ooga doesn’t use words like “comprehensive.” Orbit Media doesn’t use words like “preposterous.” When you are writing copy, what you are really doing is putting your thoughts on the page to the one pair of eyes at a time that will read them. Write from your heart with your head – (did I actually just say that?) within the context of your knowledge and let people inside your world.
Some would call that intelligent conversation and an honest forum of expression. Others will think it’s refreshing and want to converse back. And those who use the word “comprehensive” will either be jealous (gee I wish I had the freedom to write the word boner) … or they won’t like you.
5. A Matter of Practicality – Search Terms Don’t Have Cooties
Since we now ALL reside on Google and where ever, we need to be found. There’s foot traffic, talk traffic (word of mouth) and there’s search traffic. Help Google, help you. I know you think they don’t need your help but they do. Use the exact words people who Google use to find you and help the search engines find you too. It doesn’t mean if you’re talking about content strategy that every other word out of your mouth has to be content strategy and how to create great content strategy. But it helps, silly!
6. Create an Editorial Calendar – I can’t believe it’s the holiday again!
There’s predictability to the year. You can either be like a last minute Christmas shopper who blubbers “OMG! I haven’t done my shopping yet!” or you can be like the organized, healthy people who plan, write a list and check it twice. Take time to develop twelve topics for the year and break the topics out into articles, blogs and sales initiatives. It takes the pressure off last minute content generation and frees you to develop your good ideas into great ideas.
7. Content Strategy and Sales Initiatives – Sales is not a four letter word
I’m not sure when Sales became a dirty word, but my company runs on them and so does yours. Content in the form of ebooks, free downloads, webinars and tutorials are very powerful tools to engage. Add them to your strategy and you’ll add people who have signed up for them. These are the people who WANT what you’re selling. In marketing speak this is “consensual or attraction marketing” and in sales speak they’ve become leads, fans and potential clients. (See, that’s not so bad, was it?)
8. Me Talk Pretty
Be known for something while you’re known for something. Writing style is the outfit you wear on the soul of your intellect. Say it so it’s remembered and attributable to you (your company).
9. Observations, Rants and Timeliness – Be Here Now
The ability to enter a conversation while it’s happening in your industry, in the news or in the culture gives you all sorts of extra opportunities if you’re fast and brave enough to seize them. Last spring I attended SOBcon and after an amazing and humbling experience jamming with the digital vanguard I went to my desk to write my reflections. The blog post was called Walking Among Beacons and Beams and it became an anthem of articulation. It opened doors to relationships I could not do with conversation alone – yet it was my way of contributing.
10. The Best Relationships Are Ongoing
Grow out loud and with others. You’ll like the new kids you meet in the universe. Add and layer your knowledge freely, often and honestly. Everyone will be richer and that’s not just good business, it makes for a better life.
Kick Ass Content Marketing Strategies
October 2nd at the Catalyst Ranch
We’ll be turning attendees into kick ass content marketers, showing how to turn key messages into client magnets. Learn the skinny on how content strategy works with search marketing and social media.
Andy will be asking for a few volunteers to create an on-the-spot strategy for your company. If you’d like to be chosen, come prepared to answer this: “What questions does my target audience ask about my product or service?”