Thursday, June 14, 2012
An ongoing series of valuable lists for 2012 and beyond
Leave content breadcrumbs for prospects to follow By Ronn Levine
At last month's SIPA 2012 Conference, Martin Hensel, founder of Texterity & CEO of SelfRx, and Jim McQueen, director of media for Cenveo Publishing Services, presented a session on Navigating Newsstand ePub Formats. eContent creation was the subject on their minds.
"Search has displaced brands as primary content source for news," they said. "Print/email newsletters [are] no longer strategic for growth or new audience acquisition. Apps and HTML5 are ubiquitous – have features of print, better design language than web. Social is the new authentic voice!"
"You need to make the learning affordable," Hensel later said at a roundtable. "You have to get into [this area] but do it on a basis where you don't bet the farm. Hensel had two big questions on his mind: "What wins digitally? And how do we create enduring value [for our customers]?" One way, he said, is to be very narrow in what you focus on. "Remember that you can always build on a success, but you can never build on a failure."
Here are 11 modes to successful eContent creation from Hensel and McQueen:
1. Add video, lots of video – Tell better stories. Maximize engagement first, get efficient later. Accept that social voices have validity and integrate them.
2. Turn ads/edit into conversation. Extra pages are free in digital so let your advertisers have some. Use polling and surveys that create value and insight. (Interactive content is certainly what everyone is talking about and responding to.)
3 Extend brand promise. Create directories and satisfaction surveys, and use data aggregation. Actively use analytics to manage edit/channels.
4. Just do it. Or as a song by Kander and Ebb called "Say Yes" goes, "Don't say 'why,' say 'why not?'"
5. Find new audience via current audience. If you can get positive quotes from current customers to use, those are great. Recommendations. Retweetings. Friend of friends.
6. Use webinars and virtual events to define and find audience. It's a continuous profile enhancement process.
7. Repurpose all content—quotes, industry knowledge, polls—as social posts to drive reach.
8. Create/ride passionate conversations, with rest of story on website, behind registration.
9. Every publisher must become a social curator. Re-center the conversations under your brand. Be careful on your website not to send people to other places. Amy Africa was also very keen on this. "Search makes people leave. And when we lose people on the web they never come back."
10. Find and integrate engaging conversations. Augment with relevant information to retain/build brand authority. Use on-staff editorial team but not personal accounts.
11. Market content via the social channels. Self-promotion rarely works. Create content breadcrumbs that prospects follow to your offers.