Social media marketing has been a hot topic for a few years, yet few mastered the formula to social media success. Those who are highly successful at social media marketing employ compelling story-telling through blog posts, web videos, webinars, infographics, tweets, pins and more. Successful content marketers place content at the core of everything they do. Content is their religion.
And that comes with a set of content marketing rules. These 10 Commandments will be your keys to content marketing success. I give you the Content Marketing Bible.
I cannot stress enough how important a website is to content marketing. And not just that, to your business! Just because content marketing is a new term doesn’t mean we have to throw the website out with the database dump. Your website is still your home— it reflects who you are and it’s where “the action” happens.
Don’t listen to the “experts” who say Facebook can be your website. A Facebook page belongs to Facebook—you have no control over its future and no control over competitors’ ads appearing on the sidebar. Also Facebook users don’t go to Facebook to buy. They go to have fun and interact with friends and family.
So start with your website and start today. Make it useful and easy to navigate. It is the most important thing you can do for your business right now.
It doesn’t have to be pretty either. The main purpose of a website is to convert a visitor into a customer. Although how your information is presented must be pleasant to the eye, giving your visitors what they need and the ability to check out easily, quickly and pleasantly is the most important feature of a website.
Make sure your website has analytics built in, such as Google Analytics. And make these tools your best advisor. The data you see will both motivate you to do more, give you guidance on what works and what doesn’t, and measure the success of your efforts. Even experts can be wrong, but data never is.
Move fast, but only as fast as you can get results. The rest of your time should be spent observing, reading, listening and learning. Who on the web writes valuable content? What are other successful people doing well? What are the top search term opportunities? Your Google Analytics will tell you that. Do some keyword research and some social media trends research. Then move onto Commandment No. 4.
Write, map, design and write some more. Writing takes practice, and feedback, because the content should be interesting to your audiences first. And then you need more practice.
In the age of Social Media, how appealing content is matters more than perfect content. Don’t worry about being perfect. Focus on writing from passion, delivering helpful solutions and interesting material based on what your audience wants and needs.
Sorry, it’s not about you anymore. It’s about them. It’s about learning to write like a teacher. It’s about delivering value … to others. If you’ve obeyed commandment No. 3 this should come easy.
Plagiarism is one of the ugliest realities of the web. Those who plagiarize think they won’t get caught, but as they say in Romania, lies have short legs, so they can’t run very far. Plagiarists always get caught. Copyscape.com makes it easy.
Remove the word “post” from your vocabulary. You can write and publish, you can search and interact, you can teach and have conversations. Content marketing is not about posting. It’s about words, pictures, and people. It’s about storytelling and shared experiences. It’s about the glue that’s been keeping people together from the beginning of time.
People spend time online watching videos, listening to podcasts, and looking at pictures and infographics, not just reading. So diversify your content. Create short stories and long stories, short tutorial videos and marketing videos, build infographics, and post presentations on Slidshare. Leave many footprints in multiple places.
Here is one of our favorite pieces of content, that combines thoughtfulness, research, originality good writing and graphics: Content Chemistry-The Periodical Table of Content.
Please don’t leave your social media and content marketing decisions in the hands of an intern. Interns are great, but they need supervision. Most interns lack the experience needed to predict and prevent a PR disaster. Even worse, they can cause a PR disaster.
There is no competition (except in SEO). You will almost always find ways to collaborate. Support other content marketers and they will support you. Be genuine and friendly. Look to share your true expertise and uplift not damage.
Content storytelling can grow and reach further through collaboration, through blog-type conversations, through blog responses and so on. Reshare valuable content, even if it comes from competition. It will make you a part of the online conversation. Be in the middle of the conversation, not an outsider.
You need more than just online content. Your story should extend through all channels. Don’t ignore culture, brand, SEO and PR.
Follow these 10 commandments and you’ll be successful not only in content marketing, but in business and in life.
Brilliant information, Mana!! I like where you started at #1 and recommended a web site as opposed to the Facebook page as a replacement for a web site.
TimPio You've got to start at the beginning, right? And your website is your foundation! :)
TimPio I can't believe that in this day and age there are still businesses with no websites, or with terrible websites, which is the same as not having one in my opinion.
manamica I agree with you and Kate about your web site serving as your home base, your foundation....it's very necessary these days. Also, I cannot believe (though I understand why they might think this way) organizations would use a Facebook page instead of a web page.
Related to this, I cannot believe how many individuals in the work world don't have a LinkedIn profile. Some people I speak to (especially outside of the marketing industry or in an older demographic) think that having a LinkedIn profile makes it seem like they're looking for work or is somehow disloyal to their employers.
In any case, keep up the great work!!
TimPio Great point! We've been telling our clients to encourage their employees to update their LinkedIn profiles. What happens when employees don't, is that they forget and then they leave a company and still show as working there 2 years later. So it's healthy for businesses to encourage their employees to get used to keeping active online.
TimPio I've also found younger professionals don't have LinkedIn profiles or don't connect with everyone they meet. They often say it's awkward or they don't know people well enough. On a social site that's all about networking for professional reasons, it boggles my mind why you WOULDN'T connect with professionals that you have something in common. manamica
blfarris thanks! :) But seriously, there are so many "oppinions" out there about what works and what doesn't. The reality of it is that even given all our experience we still can't make decisions blind of the realities of each individual business. And we can't go by opinion, because I'm sure you know how problematic "assumptions" can be. I take social media marketing seriously, so I can't make any assumptions.