I’m up early, noodling on the input from day one of Content Marketing World, and just realized the great advice I heard yesterday all has a common theme, and it’s this: content needs a downstream strategy.
Over the years we’ve heard a lot about planning editorial calendars, developing buyer personas, doing keyword research and plumbing social conversations for insights that together will help you create and publish amazing content your audience will love. However, almost all the speakers yesterday talked in some form about what happens post-publication. Or, more specifically, what needs to happen.
Promote your content. Both Jay Baer and Todd Wheatland emphasized the importance of supporting your own content, and they weren’t talking about just posting a few tweets. Wheatland noted that most viral videos were boosted at some point with paid promotion. And Baer went further, noting that advertising isn’t the content marketer’s competition – it’s an enabler that drives qualified views. Advertising campaigns and PR can fuel significant visibility for the content your brand produces, and in addition to exposure to the audience, they can generate media along the way, which will launch your content into a different stratosphere.
Own the authorship. Copyblogger’s Brian Clark made no bones about the fact that authorship is becoming increasingly important, both in Google’s eyes and in affecting individual decisions about consuming content. Rel=author and rel=publisher tags, which essentially authenticate the source of the content by creating a linkage between the content and either a person’s or a brand’s Google+ page, will play an increasingly important role in surfacing content, as Google de-emphasizes anonymous content. And according to Clark, authorship is something we need to be paying attention to when writing articles or guest posts. ”Who gets the canonical link is a negotiating point,” he noted in his session.
What’s the driver behind this new focus on content post-publication? Without a doubt it’s the finite amount of audience attention, and the spectacular amount of content every marketer is competing with today. As Baer noted in his presentation, we’re competing for that attention with our audiences spouses, friends and family — not to mention cute baby animal videos — within Facebook news feeds, on Twitter and in almost every other social network. The simple act of publishing great content is no guarantee of success. To win qualified attention, content needs support, promotion and a badge of authenticity. In short, we need to build downstream strategies into our content planning.
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