2015 is the year of a major shift to content marketing. It has been coming for years and now it’s here. Businesses know they need to be communicating with customers in a variety of ways. It’s why plumbers are showcasing their expertise with how-to videos on YouTube and linking them to Google Plus to increase followers and to gain rave reviews for their small local businesses.
There’s only one problem; coming up with the topics to write, share, or make a video about to keep your business on the forefront of your audiences mind. It is one thing to attract your audience to your content, but it’s quite the other to keep them engaged.
For your marketing campaigns to be sustainable for the long term, you need an innovative way to make your planning and organizing more efficient.
This is what these three services let you do and it doesn’t cost you anything apart from time to implement.
How to utilize the unseen part of major social sites to organise your content marketing
1) Use private story boards on Pinterest
Pinterest isn’t all about cutesy kittens and funky crochet designs.
Primarily, it was set out as a visual website to cater to an audience who digested information better when presented with it in image format.
If you’ve ever tried mind mapping to come up with ideas, you may already have used an image to get your creative juices flowing. Freelance writers use a variety of tools to keep the mind engaged and thinking up creative ideas for client topics.
Mind Meister is one because it allows users to put an image right at the centre of the mind map and then create branches to represent sub topics of the main content idea. As the topics get narrower, the content becomes more tightly focused, and when that happens, it helps get niche specific to an audience, which in turn helps it turn up in search engines.
Narrower topics fair better in organic search because of their long tail keywords, which cannot be avoided when you go super specific to a target audience.
With Pinterest, you only need a free account and you do not need to make your boards public, nor do you need to interact with the community or build a following on there. If you can, it’s ideal but it may not be the right platform for you to focus your social media efforts towards.
That doesn’t mean it’s not handy though because what anyone can do is create unlimited boards, and set the secrecy settings to yes. That locks your board down to your eyes only.
You can have ideas, mind maps, infographics, or even just images that inspire you. Just select the yes option beside the secrecy settings when you create your boards and you can log into Pinterest to find a host of stuff you’ve shared to your personalised visual idea board. When you find something online you think would come in handy, press the Pin It tab and select the board you want to save it to.
It helps keep all your visual data for ideas (and research statistics) all in the one place; for your eyes only.
2) Facebook interests
This feature has been available for years on Facebook, yet so many businesses fail to utilise it to its full potential. You can add as many interests as you like. Just go to facebook.com/bookmarks/interests, click on add interests and add people or businesses you want to follow.
It’s a personalised news feed and you can change it any time you like. The important thing for you to do when you create this list is to lock it from public view. You can use this the same way as you’d use the Pinterest boards to create visuals of topics to cover. Facebook interests let you go a step further by following your competitors, without them knowing because you’ll have made the list private.
To get ahead of the curve, it helps to have an influential people list; these are easy to find using Topsy.com by searching your industry keywords. If you’re a recruitment consultant, search for career advice and other related terms and that site will spit out a number of topics but down the left column, you’re able to select influencers and wham – job done. Find them on Facebook and add them to your interest list.
When you have leaders showing up in your newsfeed, you get the latest information for your industry before it becomes widely known. That will help get your content into the spotlight before your topics go into the mainstream media.
When that happens, it increases your chances of having your content cited as a source, which increases your reach online. Just be sure to give credit where it’s due.
But not the one you know but instead Google.com/advanced_search. This is as the URL states, the advanced version and there’s a ton of stuff you can do with this. You can find only case study material released in the past month to keep your data fresh, limit your results to your specific region, define the type of material you want, such as only PDF reports, which is a handy feature for finding white papers. Then you can distil them into an easy to digest read with pertinent information only on the subject, cutting the rest of it out.
The other thing you should not be neglecting is the wild card feature. This was a popular query among bloggers and freelancers as there were automated tools that used the fill in the blank query to tap into the search engines database to find the information people were actively looking for. Then in August, Google removed the API function, disabling autosuggest software, but the wildcard feature still works – just in manual mode.
Your best bet, if you’re doing your own content marketing is to familiarise yourself with the numerous search operators.
Content marketing can be hard work, but only if you let it intimidate you. With the amount of resources available online to help with organizing, planning and executing your marketing plan, the only things you have to do is find and use them.
The three services listed here are superb time savers and do a great job when combined to streamline content marketing.
It might take a short time to set it all up to work for you but it is well worth it. Actually, do it in the reverse order of how it’s listed, mine the data from Google using the advanced search operators… then plug the awesome material you find and want to include in your marketing material onto your story boards, a mind map, or add a new resource to your interests list. Whether it’s a blog post to inform or a find to share with your audience on social media – you need to have your interest board and story boards set up to store all your data.
With enough data, you’ll never be short on up to date ideas to keep your content marketing flowing with fresh and relevant information targeted to your audience.
If that seems too much for you, or you don’t fancy the laborious tasks of searching, refining terms, studying material to create your own compelling content, then get in contact with myself because this is all stuff I do for each of my clients to get their content marketing plans up to speed and executed for results.