With today’s online marketing environment, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your content can be integrated across many channels, not just on your own website. I was reminded last week about how content publishers such as newspapers and TV stations don’t implement integration very well. They also tend to view social media sites and platforms as their enemy rather than partners that can help them achieve their goals.
The Golden Voice story about Ted Williams that went viral last week was a perfect demonstration of this. By the end of last week, The Columbus Dispatch had enforced its copyright and forced YouTube to take down a viral video that had over 12 million views. Had The Columbus Dispatch integrated its content and planned ahead, it would have taken another approach. I wrote an in-depth piece evaluating how The Dispatch missed a golden opportunity that explains what happened, but I wanted to relate some tips to readers here to help you avoid that trap.
Companies and content publishers can learn from these mistakes just by implementing these five tips into their strategies:
- Make it easy to share. If a piece of content evokes an emotional reaction, people want to share that experience with others. It’s to your advantage to make it easy to share and “give up” a little control. The benefits of allowing people to share your content are great. From gaining links to driving traffic to your site and so much more, making it easy to share only helps you meet your end goals.
By not making it easy to share, The Columbus Dispatch missed out on the opportunity to be seen and known as the source on the Ted Williams story. It also missed out on the opportunity to garner links, drive traffic to other stories, and gain new readers. If you don’t allow your content to be shared, you run the risk of another company, platform, or site being known and becoming the authority for your “idea.”
- Don’t assume your name for something should remain its name. Audiences might keep the title you name something and then again they might not. Whatever is easy for them to remember something by and relate the value to others with tends to be the name the content will take on. Viewers, readers, and engaged audience members all have their own jargon or slang that is easy for them to remember. It might not be the “proper” way to refer to something, but if it’s easy, it will be used more than the “proper” way.
Being able to adapt your content to these changes will benefit it moving into the future. Search engines will see your content is updated and relate the updates back to your content, and then you can start to appear for the way people are searching for the story or idea.
- Keep an eye on trends. Using tools like Google’s Keyword Research Tool can give you insights into seasonal trends of different words and concepts, but with content creation and integration you need to take it to the next level. Using Google Trends and Insights can help you keep an eye on what’s hot. Along with that, you can use Twitter for trending topics; even CNN has a “news pulse” that can give you an idea of what is becoming important to audiences.
Being able to adapt and relate your content to these trends can help drive traffic to your content. With the search engines now incorporating social media platforms into their results and showing what’s shared for keywords that are searched upon, keeping up on the trends becomes even more important to content creation.
- Don’t expect to go viral, but be prepared. No one can ever guarantee that a piece of content is going to go viral; what evokes reaction in the creator might not do the same to the viewer. There are a lot of factors that cause something to just “take off,” from emotions to ease of sharing to even industry and niche factors; it’s tough to make those guarantees with cookie-cutter approaches. Making sure you’ve got the right environment and being able to capitalize on your content if it does go viral is important. How will you measure success? How can you turn the traffic into conversions? Planning ahead is vital for capitalizing if your content does go viral.
- Optimize and integrate all your digital assets. If you create a video, make sure you create a transcript, make it easy to share, and provide some content around the video so that when both users and search engines encounter your digital assets they can relate it back to the idea, story, or concept you’re trying to relate. The same goes for any photos, audio pieces, or infographics.
Titles, descriptions, tags, and even links go a long way to optimizing your digital assets as well, so plan ahead for all of your content, not just the written form.
Integration across multiple platforms whether its social media, SEO, e-mail, or offline is just as important as creating the content for a particular marketing medium.
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