I work for an agency that takes content strategy seriously. In fact I’ve taken content strategy pretty seriously ever since I read “Convert: Building websites for traffic and conversion” and realized every piece of content is a net that brings brand awareness, and drives traffic to your site. This past week I started the week where I have been for along time, ten visitors to pages on my site, and ended it with 250 people on Friday. How? Essentially I hadn’t been posting fresh content and I woke up every day early and posted a blog post I felt would be valuable to the people that follow me and shared it with them on social media. A ton of those were from Twitter, some Instagram, a few Facebook or otherwise.
What didn’t work and what changed
Personally I’m not trying to sell content strategy, but I have to say nothing quite drives traffic like trying to be useful to your tribe. I started a blog and thought I had to sell! Sell! Sell! I did that for a while, and of course people get the idea and don’t come back. Go ahead, scroll back to my earliest posts on this blog and they are glorified sales sheets. Perhaps an occasional post of that type is appropriate. The whole concept behind social media guru Gary Vaynerchucks ‘Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook,’ book is that you put out three pieces of content that are ALL value for your core demographic (or three jabs,) and then give them a really blatant sales pitch. For him that means a big ask for them to buy his book.
I have to say though, as an purveyor of graphic and web design, I almost feel like it’s best if I can just give value until it hurts, and keep giving. If the people in your “tribe” as Seth Godin puts it are taken care of, and are coming back to you for more solid stories and good content, then people outside of the tribe will look to you as well.
A couple tools for great content strategy:
One of the tools I’ve been using this past week is Buzz Sumo, which helps you figure out what kind of content people want, and what’s being shared the most on Social Media platforms.
Another tool is for sharing your content (or any great piece of content,) with the world. Inbound.org allows you to share articles, and other pieces of content with other content marketers, and is a great place to find industry thought leaders as well.
I think the main practical actionable items here are simple:
1. Create fresh, original content that is of as much value as you can manage for the people in your tribe and also your core demographic.
2. Promote that content on your relevant social media channels, focus on a couple that you commit to doing really well.
3. Reach out to people (particularly people that have social influence) that you mention, or people that might be interested in the content you are putting out, and ask them personally if they might share or re-tweet.
4. Do this on a consistent basis. Consider having a day or two that you write or push out content (blog posts, videos, or podcasts,) and/or wake up early on a regular basis and be prolific in creating. Learn to ‘write like you speak.’
To me, writing every weekday is becoming an exciting and fun prospect. It has been a way to manufacture value. I have read so many marketing books, I’ve consumed so many podcasts, and videos, and had great conversations with mentors and people on the digital strategy team I work for at Snap Agency, and on other teams I’ve worked with. It’s been great for me this past week to share my experiences, glean insights and allow people to see my process and thinking, and to focus all of my effort on giving them value. It only increases as you give it away. I’m sure you have stories and insights to share as well. Not only is it going to be of use to your twitter followers, and be a funnel for people to come to your site and see your services on Google, but also it may just enhance someone’s life or career. So create and share and see the results!