How Marketers can use Data to Create Compelling Content

How Marketers can use Data to Create Compelling Content

Over 70% of marketers are planning to increase their content marketing efforts over their previous year. Gone are the days of creating a blog post and content based on what you think your customers are interested in. It is critical for you to look at your data / analytics and see what your customers are looking at and searching for. We live in a digital world and now is the time to think about how data is playing a role in your content marketing strategy.

The goal of your content marketing strategy, whether it is a blog post, Youtube video or social media post is the same, to get that piece of content in front of the right decision makers so they come to your website and make a purchase. I am going to talk about putting data at the heart of your strategy and how it can help your content marketing.

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The Difference Between Content and Content Marketing

Content and Content MarketingWith every business from private to public to non-profit, including tourism organizations, producing more content today than they did last year, it is important for marketers to understand the difference between content and content marketing. Everyone is creating content. But with content marketing, you’re attracting an audience to a brand-owned destination versus interrupting an audience on another platform. Many businesses are creating content that supports the brand or products they sell, not because it meets the customers need. The problem with most of this content is that it isn’t created for the audience you are trying to reach, engage and convert. Stop creating content that sells. Stop creating campaigns that have a short shelf life. Start creating content that is helpful and lasts more than your traditional campaigns. Create evergreen content that can be used over time.

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Top 5 Things Brands Should Stop Doing On Social Media

Top 5 Things Brands Should Stop Doing On Social MediaAs the new year is now in full gear, I have read numerous articles on Digital Trends and what to look for the upcoming year. The more I look around and notice that brand / businesses are still falling short on social media and digital. In order to advance digital in 2017, we first need to correct our mistakes and enhance what we were doing in 2016. Social Media has been around for awhile now, and many people managing¬†brands Social Media channels have years of experience doing so, and should be well past the ineffective social media and digital habits. If you have not made any New Year’s Resolutions yet, there is still time to do so, and you and/or your business is still doing any of these, let’s make a resolution to stop and adopt better practices, strategies and become better marketers.

Here are my social media, digital and web items that should be left in 2016.

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Why Creating A Video To Go Viral Shouldn’t Be The Goal

VLC Music VideoViral Videos. They happen all the time but one simply does not go viral. Believe it or not, I hear, ‘we have a video coming out tomorrow, can you share it because we want it to go viral’. I do not laugh or shake my head, it is the new normal and they just may be taking orders from the higher ups. How can you blame them for wanting eyes on their video? Everyone wants that when they publish a it to Facebook or YouTube.

I believe that many videos that go viral, do so because of timing, current events and luck. With that said, the goal should never be to go viral. Too many marketers and brands go for the Hail Mary, rather than utilizing Google Analytics and social insights to drive more engagement. Usually, the video that is launched is not backed with the appropriate content strategy or fits within the current strategy. Brands, marketers and upper management are obsessed with the big view video that ultimately has a short lifespan.  Read more

How your Content Strategy Can Help your Social Media and Traditional Marketing.

Creative-Content-Marketing-MechanicsI was recently asked if I would be a conversation starter for the Social Media Roundtable discussion at the PR Council of Lake County meeting this upcoming Thursday. I use to be the chair of this amazing group of people, so it is always a privilege to share my knowledge with the group and learn what they are working on and how we can help each other. Anytime I start a topic on Social Media, marketing, blogging, etc, I always start by asking, who in attendance has a Content Strategy.

When I ask this question, I get a good feel for the attendees knowledge and expertise level, but I usually receive a 50/50 response to sometimes 3/4 of the audience saying they have one. Which is good but is it working with their social strategy is the next thing that is on my mind. Read more

Facebook Organic Reach still Achievable

If my memory serves me correctly, in roughly the spring of 2014 Facebook changed their algorithm. Well, they change their algorithm it seems like once a quarter, so last spring is what I am going with. As we have all witnessed and read, Facebook’s algorithm chnaged drastically that only 1 – 2% of your brand’s likes will see your posts. In this Blog post, I am going to discuss on the Facebook Organic Reach is still attainable and how one of my brand’s posts did it.

I believe that if you build the right Facebook audience you can achieve more than the 2% organic reach. The right audience is key. Remember, what works for me may not work for you and your brand. Facebook has good analytics, so be sure to utilize those and they will help you with feature postings. On our page we currently have 29,700 likes, which isn’t a whole lot when compared to the bigger brands. Each day, I try to reach 2,000+ people organically with our posts. If my math is correct, that is about 8% of our total likes. Not a whole lot in the grand scheme of things.

bulldogsI started out the first week of December with this post about a Lake County restaurant being featured as 1 of the 17 best burgers in Enjoy Illinois by Thrillist. I knew going in, that these types of posts typically do well. I was expecting this post to organically reach anywhere between 5 – 6k people. I did not expect it to hit 13,400 organically, with 148 likes, 10 comments and 113 shares. People like food, they love trying new places to it if the restaurant is highly rated, so overall, this was a solid post from the start. I made sure to tag our local restaurant, the state of Illinois Tourism, Enjoy Illinois and put the link in the status. I also made sure the photo showed up as a link as well, so people could click on the link in the status or the picture to be taken to the article. People then started tagging other people in the comments.

The next day, I thought I could have a high organic reach day again with a post about Ravinia Festival announcing it’s first performance of next summer of Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga. In the past Ravinia posts have a done ok, nothing to write home about. The post did not do as well as I thought it would have.

holidaytrainThen came Wednesday. From my website Google Analytics and my Social Media stats I know that Wednesday starts the include of people looking at our site and researching things to do for the upcoming weekend. That upcoming weekend, there was the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train coming through the area. I was excited about it personally because my 2 1/2 year old son is into trains and we had went the previous year. With this event being on a Sunday, I knew it would attract a good crowd. So I found an engaging picture of the holiday train and a made a post that tagged the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train page, the Gurnee Park District page where the train would be arriving and put a link in the status to the event description on our website. What then happened, was something that I never imaged would happen for me. 212 likes, 36 comments, 347 shares and 23,912 people reached organically. The posts reach kept growing each day through Sunday. People where tagging people in the comments and the shares continued to rise. I had hit a sweet spot with this post with my Facebook audience.

The next step now is to look at the analytics, see why this post did so well, figure out what my audience wants and try to recreate it. I am a digital marketer for a family tourism destination, so my audience wants unique family events. Things that you can not do every day and something the entire family can enjoy.

What I have realized is that this type of reach is achievable no matter the size of you Facebook page, as long as you have the right audience. Also, lucky for me, I do have some Social Media Ambassadors who do consistently like and share my posts, so that did with this specific one. By giving your audience the right content that they are looking for and properly timing the information, a post can successfully reach a large amount of people organically.