Thursday, 18 June 2015

6 Critical Content Marketing Services You Should Provide


Inbound marketing-dominated organizations experience a 62lower cost per lead than traditional marketing-dominated organizations. And at the heart of all inbound organizations, you'll find content. 

Blog articles, ebooks, infographics, videos, case studies, social media messages, emails ... the list goes on.

To spread awareness for the inbound movement and the value of branded content, it's your agency's job to not only adopt the methodology, but also encourage your clients to do so as well. 
Your single point of focus should always be to help grow your clients' businesses, so providing services that cater to their content marketing -- and lead generation -- needs is a must.
We've detailed a list of content marketing services you can offer to provide them with to help them achieve their inbound goals.

6 Content Marketing Packages to Offer Your Clients

1) Content Strategy

While many eager clients will want to dive right into content production, it's important that you reel them back in by reminding them of the importance of a sound content marketing strategy.
The development of a strategy will help you to generate a better understanding of where they stand currently and what they need to do to get to where they want to be.
One of the most important parts of this process is organizing the development of buyer personas. Even if your client already has them in place, it's important that you evaluate their quality and identify ways to strengthen them. This is a critical first step, as the personas you create will then be used to guide the direction of future content creation.

Aside from personas, you'll also want to perform an audit of the client's existing content. Many businesses will have a handful of ungated whitepapers or a dozen blog articles that could be repurposed or reformatted to provide you with a starting point for content creation.
Once you have a sense of what you want to publish, you'll also want to set them up with a way to organize their content efforts. We recommend building a content marketing editorial calendar. Depending on the amount of content they intended to publish, this could be broken down into separate calendars -- blog, social media, and email.
This is a critical step because it helps both you and the client visualize progress, frequency, publishing patterns, etc.

2) Content Creation

"We don't have time to create content."
"Our industry is far too boring for us to create anything of interest to anyone."
"Our audience doesn't use social media."
Sound familiar?

Oftentimes, the concept of creating content can be incredibly overwhelming for businesses that are used to traditional marketing methods. By offering content creation services, you can demonstrate the value of content by walking them through the options that are going to deliver the greatest return.
While the mediums you employ may vary based on the client or industry, most businesses will benefit from a blend of blogging, email, social media, and premium content creation. We suggest revisiting the brand's buyer personas at this stage to determine which types of content would be the best fit based on where the client's audience hangs out online.

Whether you're outsourcing content or leveraging an in-house content team, you need to be sure that those creating the content are well-versed in the client's business and unique needs. This well help to ensure that the content feels authentic and is aligned with the goals.

3) Content Optimization

Today's consumers aren't being shy about doing their own research.
If your clients want to be sure that their content is being found by those looking for solutions to their problems online, they need to be aware that creating the content is only half the battle. Content needs to be both visible and optimized for it to make an impact on the business's bottom line.
With a content optimization service, you can help your clients achieve increased visibility and conversions by using keyword research, SEO best practices, user behavior, and competitive insight to inform their strategy.

However, it's important for both you and the client to understand that optimization isn't a "task" that can be easily crossed of your list. When approaching content marketing optimization as a service, you'll want to think of it more like an ongoing process.

4) Content Promotion

If businesses are looking to get their content into the right hands at the right time, a content promotion strategy is necessary to help them get there.
Aware that many businesses currently operate within the "if we build it, they will come" mentality, it's important that agencies are focused on offering a service to help clients expand their current reach.

While there are an overwhelming number of outlets for content distribution, being able to identify which ones generate the greatest return will save time and budget. This should start with an analysis of the client's current distribution channels, and it should include an understanding of how competitors are promoting their own content.
While this will typically include channels like email and social media, you can use the buyer personas to uncover alternative platforms that might have been overlooked.
Another effective option is to help the brand to connect with industry influencers who would be interested in sharing the content. This can help to expand the client's reach in her industry, and it provides instant credibility for the brand.

5) Content Maintenance

Having stale, outdated content is worse than having no content at all.
Let's say your client has a post they published months (maybe even years) ago that is still driving a significant amount of traffic. If that content is left untouched and becomes outdated, it's likely that visitors that land on the piece of content won't get what they need, and as a result, they'll leave unsatisfied.

If the business's website content hasn't been updated in several years (this isn't uncommon), you should start by making a note of which pages should be prioritized based on the business goals.
If your client seems a little skeptical about the importance of this service, be sure to explain to her that Google loves fresh content.
Swapping out outdated statistics with fresh ones, removing old screenshots, or replacing internal links with more relevant ones will reinvigorate the brand's content.

6) Content Reporting

There's an old business proverb that says, "You can't manage what you can't measure."
Offering content marketing reporting services will provide your clients with numbers they need to adjust their content marketing strategy so it aligns with what's actually working.
While most marketing software platforms are capable of delivering a wide range of reports, you'll want to narrow your focus to avoid bogging the client down with too much information.
To do so, you'll want to first determine what success looks like to her business.
Does it mean driving more traffic? Increasing social engagement? Doubling webinar registrants?
This will help you identify more meaningful KPIs and set well-defined goals based on these indicators. Then, when it comes time to run a report, you'll know exactly what information the client wants and needs to know.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Slideshare Content Creation and Marketing Checklist

Want to make it on Sideshare? You should, it is one of the most under-praised yet powerful tools out there right now. Since LinkedIn stepped up and took it under their wing, it has even more social clout. Professionals that want to connect with other industry powerhouses should be jumping on board, stat.

The problem is that not many users know how to make it really work for them. Which is fitting, given how few understand how to use LinkedIn, either. It was a match made in heaven.

Luckily, it isn’t rocket science. You can learn to use Slideshare correctly through experience, trial and error. But to get you started, try this helpful checklist for both content creation and marketing your presentations on the platform.


Before You Get Started

  1. Know your audience. Who is it you are trying to connect with, exactly? Are these high ranking CEO’s in massive corporations? Peers in your industry? Potential employers? Potential customers? Because it is a versatile platform, it will have a versatile group of users. Target the right demographic for your needs.
  2. Ask what you have to offer. This is not a blog. You can’t recycle the same tired advice and have it take off because you gave it a snazzy name. You are among two major groups: experts and wannabe experts. So to be seen as valuable there you will have to give them something both high quality, and that they haven’t seen before (at least in the way you present it).
  3. Outline: Make sure you have a clear idea of what you are going to say in the Slideshare (I usually re-purpose the subheadings from my article to make the outline). Otherwise, you’ll waste lots of time moving the slides around.
  4. Decide on your slide number. This is important, because it is easy to get carried away when you go into creating a Slideshare presentation without some kind of guideline beforehand. Take a look at other popular presentations to see how many slides they average.


Your Content

  1. KISS. The real challenge of creating a Slideshare presentation is cutting down your information into the simplest possible format, with the fewest possible words. You don’t want more than a sentence or two, or a small bullet point of information. You have to deliver all info in a rapid fire way. If it takes more than a couple seconds to get through a slide, it is too complicated.
  2. Design (Know your tools!) Most important thing: Make sure your slides are readable when they are zoomed out (that’s how many people will watch it through Slideshare). Having visuals, readable font and colors are great ways to make it more eye catching. Don’t clutter! Too many elements will quickly overpower the content itself, and work against you. Try to keep it clean and attractive, and make sure everything is relevant. If in doubt, stay away from images for anything but a cover background. Your viewer’s will thank you for not having yet another eyesore presentation for them to tolerate in order to get to your information. Here are great tools to create the presentation. Optimize!
  3. Use an essay format. A quick way to get your point across is to use an essay format for the slides. For example, you would start with a cover image with the title, then the next slide would tell them the points you will be making. Then each slide after explains each point. The final presentation slide will give your conclusion and tie it up nicely so there are no loose ends. The last slide will be your CTA, which we will discuss in the marketing portion of this post.
  4. Ask for feedback. Sometimes we can get blind to problems in our content because we have put so much heart into it. That is why third party feedback is so crucial. Ask a couple of people you know and trust what they think. Pick them for having different strengths; one for aesthetics, such as a designer; one from your industry to check over your information; one with no industry experience to see if the language and explanations are clear enough for a layman to understand. Don’t take criticism personally, but instead use it to inform any useful changes that could improve your content.

Marketing Your Presentations

  1. Direct people to other content. This is one of the single most things you can do in a Slideshare: redirect. Create links that open in new tabs and go to either other Slideshare posts, or other relevant content you think the viewer might benefit from/enjoy. Don’t overdo it, instead providing one to three. This one action can vastly improve your traffic and visibility.
  2. Create a CTA slide. As mentioned before, a CTA slide is an important inclusion to your presentation. It does not have to be counted as part of your slide count. Decide where you want to direct conversions: communication and engagement? Social media? Your website? Product pages? Your Slideshare profile? Don’t overcrowd the slide, but provide a few conversion efforts there, so you can make the most of your content.
  3. Gather emails. LinkedIn enacted a feature on Slideshare called LeadShare. You can ask people for their email addresses in order to download your content. This is a quick and easy way to build a viable list of leads, and to start an email marketing campaign. That can extend well beyond your slideshows, so it is a must for anyone that wants to really kick things up a notch. It is available for Pro members, which is a cost efficient way to build an email list.
  4. Embed your Slideshare presentations. This is a no brainer. Your blog is a great place to embed Slideshare posts, as are guest posts from sites that don’t mind the redirect. Make sure you are promoting anywhere you can.
See? It isn’t difficult. Just follow the checklist above and before you know it you will have an awesome campaign running based around Slideshare content. It is one of the best ways you can use visual and rapid fire data to promote yourself and your brand. Not to mention a platform that isn’t as crowded as Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook.

Have any tips to add to the checklist? We would love to hear them, so share them in the comments below!