“Content is King” was declared by Bill Gates in an essay he wrote for Microsoft back in 1996. The phrase is thrown around a lot at the moment, and to those in content marketing, it may be the reason they lose sleep some nights. Why? Well, in the age of social media, it seems that Bill Gates might have been onto something, as quality content output is more important now than ever.
“Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.” – Bill Gates, Content is King (1996)
As the internet and consumer behaviors have evolved, it seems that some twenty-four years ago, Bill Gates was prophesizing what many marketing industry leaders would be preaching in 2020. Gary Vaynerchuk, for example, famously suggested that to stay relevant in the ever-changing realm of social media, you need a content output that is 100+ per day. Yes, that’s right, per day.
Of course, with social media, it’s drastically different from the days of broadcasting, as there isn’t just one channel to promote your content anymore. You now have an array of platforms on which to post your content, which in themselves have their own sub-platforms (Instagram Stories, for example).
Okay, so how can you compete? While Mr. Vaynerchuk is quite right, you will eventually resonate with your audience if your output is high, it’s important to remember that ultimately, it is the quality of your content that will be of most value. Take creative LinkedIn agency, Seed to Branch, as an example of how to do both to resounding results. Posting numerous bits of content daily, and accumulating anywhere from 100-1000+ interactions on each!
Here are our top ways to both up your content output, and significantly increase the quality in the process.
Create Original Content
The first step to creating truly great content is creating original content. This may seem somewhat obvious, but you’re probably familiar with the way some brands operate to up their content output. We’ll not point fingers, but let’s acknowledge that copying content and plagiarizing the work of others will not only damage your SEO ranking, but it’s often subject to trial in the court of public opinion!
So, in order to boost your organic website traffic, boost your SEO ranking, and increase leads/conversions, you need to be regularly posting original content to your website or blog.
What’s the key to creating original content? Originality. There is plenty of content readily available on much of what you may want to write about or create. Rehashing these ideas and continuously putting them in front of your audience without adding value will quickly result in unfollows or a drop in website traffic.
After all, why do people head to browsers in the first place? They have questions, and they want answers.
We’ve all had that feeling of finding that “unicorn article” that is like nothing you’ve read on a particular topic. Not only did it entertain and add value, but it was refreshing too. In 2020, people crave authenticity from brands – be unique!
Be Relevant (Reactive Marketing)
Reactive marketing has proven time and time again that it is one of the most effective ways of generating engagement on a piece of content.
In days past, all content would have gone through a fair few people before it was considered for use in a campaign. However, in 2020, brands can communicate with their audiences in an instant, quite literally done at the push of a button.
This immediacy means that when a significant event takes place, or a topic suddenly starts trending online, brands can position themselves to become part of the narrative. Not only does this mean they are recognizable, but relatable and relevant too. This is the cornerstone of reactive marketing.
A brand that seems to be championing reactive marketing is the fast-food chain, Burger King. In 2019, Burger King parked a double-decker bus outside of the UK Parliament on election day (pictured above), the slogan appeared to be a tongue in cheek reference to Vote Leave’s campaign bus slogan that has since divided public opinion in the UK.
Crowdsource Content from Your Employees
A few of the things reportedly suggested by senior management staff when told that the company needs to up their content output include “Can we outsource this to cheap third-parties?” or “Is there any way we can crowdsource this online and repurpose them?” and who could forget “How can we do this as cheap and quick as possible?“
Well, truth be told, that last one makes a lot of sense. Of course, as an organization, you want to work smart. You want to get as much done as possible without spending too much. The problem that tends to arise as a result of this is that while content output goes up, quality slips and engagement drops.
Well, most people haven’t considered that their biggest pool of original content creators is right under their noses – their employees.
Macy’s, the US-based department store, are an example of a brand who have pioneered employee-generated content. Macy’s launched an employee influencer initiative named Macy’s Style Crew in 2018. The initiative started with 20 employees who would post pictures on social media of themselves modelling products from Macy’s stores. The number has increased ten-fold, and each employee has built up a following. As a result, Macy’s has reduced its external marketing spend.
Hiring third party agencies to write on your behalf or create image and video content can be a quick solution. Still, it lacks authenticity, and the fact is that third-party agencies don’t know your industry or organization well enough to add real value.
Image and video content perform particularly well on most (if not all) social media platforms, so why not start an employee influencer program?
Having a great blog is also critical for boosting your SEO ranking, and those searching for related content will link back to it if the quality is there.
Experts recommend that a company puts out 16 pieces of blog content per month in order to maintain SEO rankings, which can put a strain on your dedicated in house team. Nominate your employees to write a particular piece, and offer rewards and recognition for doing so.
Sourcing from employees will not only inundate you with content and allow you to increase your output at scale, but it’ll add a touch of authenticity.
Use the Right Tools
It’s one thing for your content to provide value, but if it doesn’t look good, it will likely be brushed aside. Creating original and professional-looking content has never been easier.
With tools like Canva, your next piece of engagement driving content could come from just about anyone, and for an incredibly low price.
Canva is a graphic design tool that allows you to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, infographics, and other visual content.
The platform enables you to upload and save brand kits, too. With brand kits, all your approved company logos, fonts, and colors can be stored in one place, allowing you to create a piece of original content while still following brand guidelines.
If you’re a brand that focuses more on written content or just one that writes anything anywhere, then a tool like Grammarly needs to be in your content arsenal.
Poor grammar and repeated spelling errors will quickly have users coming away from your content, and your exit rates will soar.
Grammarly is an online spelling and grammar checking tool that uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to score your writing. There are both free and paid versions, and you can get a lot from its free Chrome extension!
Okay, so this is more of a “must-do” than a “how-to,” because if “Content is King” and video is dominating content marketing right now, then you need to be creating video content.
Why is video so popular? Well, for many reasons. V
ideo provides versatility because it is accessible and performs well across all platforms, whether on social media, paid ads on websites, or even televised ads. Consumers love video because it is easy to digest, and it is entertaining.
Explainer videos are essential for most SaaS companies. Why try to explain your product over email when you can show them?
Explainers can help educate people about your product and can be used in conjunction with outreach, customer service purposes, landing pages, and a whole range of other uses.
Demo videos are just another great way to showcase your product to those who are gaining interest and clearly understand what the product intends to do.
Behind-the-scenes videos and company-focused video content are becoming increasingly popular ways for brands to increase awareness, improve their employer branding, and showcase their company culture. Look no further than The Goat Agency’s daily vlog for best practice with this.
Not every company will have a dedicated video producer, and if they do have a social media manager, it’s fair to say that they can’t be everywhere at once.
Incentivize and reward your employees for submitting company videos of those behind-the-scenes moments, and you’ll quickly build an extensive library of video marketing content.
Video is also a tried-and-tested highly effective way of communicating with your workforce. Whether that’s video calls via platforms like Zoom, or company-wide announcements made via internal comms within DSMN8.
From quick check-ins to quarterly video messages with senior management, checking in and keeping your workforce up to date has never been easier.
The list of ways to create great content could go on forever, as the field of content marketing is ever-changing, and social media keeps the field on its toes.
Take TikTok as a prime example! In the space of two years, the platform has catapulted to the forefront of video marketing, and marketers have to adapt fast.
Content is everywhere, and creating killer content is never easy. Still, it becomes much easier when you have the right tools to create great content, and the know-how to do this fast and at scale, without sacrificing quality or losing value.
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Senior Marketing Manager and Employee Advocacy Program Manager at DSMN8. Lewis specialises in content strategy, growing brand visibility and generating inbound leads. His background in Sales lends itself well to demand generation in the B2B niche.