Maximizing your content, or “merchandising” it, as CB Whittemore of Simple Marketing Now LLC says, is stretching each piece of content for everything it’s worth, like a retail store merchandises to get the most out of each dollar spent. What’s more valuable to your business: a hundred blogs that only a handful of people ever see, or a few great pieces of content that have been reworked and reused in multiple modes of communication to reach a maximum number of viewers? Content is useless if you don’t get it out there in the open for people to read where they prefer to consume content. It’s much more effective and efficient to spend time amplifying each content piece’s reach than pumping out more and more content that just doesn’t go anywhere.
What are the best ways you extend the reach of your marketing? Here are three of our favorites:
Does good editing make a difference to people who receive your content? It does, according to a test run by IBM and reported at WritingforDigital.com.
Big Blue’s researchers took sample pages from the company’s site, gave them to an editor, and then randomly displayed both edited and unedited versions over the course of a month and measured “engagement” – defined as clicks to desired links on the page.
The edited pages got 30% higher engagement than the unedited ones.
While far from conclusive, the small test underscores the need to present not only content your readers will find interesting, but also to take time to craft and polish that content.
A side note: In referring to the editing of the Declaration of Independence, the writers are correct about the impact of changing one crucial word. But by all accounts, Thomas Jefferson felt each change personally, though he kept largely silent as the committee hashed over his comments. Your editor should always look at the work as a way to teach and improve your contributors’ writing, as a way to soothe ruffled feelings.
[Cross-posted on RexBlog.com]
For the past several months, I’ve served on the search committee to find a new president and CEO of the business-to-business media association, American Business Media. Today that committee disbanded as the Board of Directors of ABM made official the hiring of Clark Pettit as President and CEO, succeeding Gordon T. Hughes II. (I’ve included the press release at the bottom of this post.)
As mentioned here earlier, you’re knocking it out of the park if your readers and viewers eagerly await your latest update.
As described by Ardath Albee, “Contagious Content” is about your clients, customers and prospects – about what you can do and have done for them, not how much better than sliced bread your product or service is.
As Steven Covey would say, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
Contagious content catches readers’ attention during that brief moment (about as long as it takes to sneeze) that they allot to decide whether it’s worth reading more. It’s also contagious because others may decide to pass it along via e-mail, Twitter or a blog.
You can make your content more contagious by following three basic steps: * Define and refine search terms to improve your visibility
* Define and research your audience and their needs
* Using what you’ve learned, create compelling content that employs your optimum search terms.
Actually, there’s a fourth step: Analyze what works and what doesn’t, and further refine your search terms or your content or both. It’s an art, not an exact science, and it requires a commitment to improving your skills using what you’ve learned.
Your website’s analytics can provide you with a lot of helpful information: How long people stay on your site, how they get there, what keywords bring them in, etc. But if you don’t know how to drill down deeper and make sense of what your numbers are telling you, they’re not going to do you much good. If you are concerned your web analytics are failing you, TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog has a few suggestions as to why:
The statistics are fuzzy: Be sure you’re breaking down the data and not relying on a top-level, summary look.
The averages are flawed: Spikes or dips will throw off your averages, so be aware when making a decision based on them vs. looking at the whole picture.
Incorrect implementation: If you’re getting no results at all, make sure your tracking code is placed on your site correctly.