Welcome to the Content Marketing Revolution

Today’s post is courtesy of Edelman Digital and though the main focus of the piece is content marketing on social media (meaning it should fall under Social Media Wednesdays), it is important to view this new way of content marketing as a PR Tip necessary in order to adapt to the dynamic changes taking place in the world of public relations.

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Posted by 

Edelman Digital, Melbourne

Follow on Twitter @trevoryoung

While corporate gets hung up on the tactical aspects of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, the real action is bubbling beneath the surface. For many it’s not as sexy as the social technology platforms we hear about and see in the media every day but it’s equally powerful. Indeed, it’s the ‘secret sauce’ – the fuel that keeps the social web cranking along at breakneck speed.

I’m talking about content and how it can be used to keep your brand connected to the people who matter most to your business, cause or issue – how it can help organisations to:

  • Attract Attention
  • Gain respect
  • Build trust

… with longer-term goal of generating leads and ultimately growing sales revenue. (And let’s face it, which brands don’t want to tick those boxes?).

Emerging from Social Shadows

While we’re (finally) starting to take the notion of social media more seriously here in Australia, in the US the concept of ‘content marketing’ has emerged from the social shadows and is set to explode.

The creation, sharing (and in some instances, curation) of content is becoming a cornerstone marketing activity for many major brands and fast-growth companies.

Strategic Intent

Content can include everything from videos, podcasts, e-books, white papers and case studies through to blog posts, infographics, webinars, microblogging (Twitter), online news releases, mobile phone apps and interactive newsrooms. Used effectively and with strategic intent, content marketing is a powerful means of reaching and engaging with current and potential customers, media and other influencers.

The irony, however, is that despite its huge growth, content marketing is not exactly new. Videos, hard-copy newsletters and custom-published magazines – all corporate communication tools that have been around for years – can be considered content.

Why the sudden interest in content as a cornerstone marketing strategy?

Blame (or more importantly, thank!) the emergence of the social web.

Distribution Channels

Today, any person, company or organisation can establish its own online TV show (vodcast), radio station (podcast) or web-based magazine (blog), while social networking tools such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook serve as effective and powerful two-way content distribution channels.

Think about it for a moment. Let the concept percolate a bit – swill it around in your mind.

At the risk of repeating myself, we can now communicate directly with the people who matter most to the success of our business – and we can do it with a degree of scale and intensity of connection we’ve not been able to do before. I might also add: cost-effectively and in real-time.

This presents massive opportunities for companies and organisations to bypass the traditional ‘gatekeepers’ – journalists and editors – and engage directly with their constituents.

Empathy and Respect

But this opportunity comes with a caveat – several, actually.

Content marketing is not a sales pitch. Have empathy for your audience. Treat them with respect.

Create compelling content that’s interesting, relevant and worthwhile to your audience: it’s about them, not you.

Solve problems experienced by your audience (add value); tap into the experts in your company (hidden assets); provide credible information (without selling); and shine the spotlight on your customers (take a back seat).

Content marketing can be a powerful strategy. Get involved, but use it cleverly and respectfully … and reap the benefits!

Image credit: Rafael Peñaloza

Social Media Lingo

blog.gauffin.org

blog.gauffin.org

In the general sense, we all know what the sky is. however, explaining to a toddler what the sky is in terms they can understand may be particularly hard especially if you are not a scientist. Some have the same problem when it comes to social media; they know a term and it’s applications, but explaining to others the meaning of that particular term may prove difficult.

Here are some social media terms courtesy of Constant Contact  for your understanding.

App

App Short for Application, this is a program or add-on, usually for Facebook or for a mobile device (i.e., an iPhone or Blackberry). Its purpose is to deepen user interaction and provide greater depth of functionality and engagement.

Widget

Similar to an app, a widget is a small block of content that one provider can offer to another, for use on another blog or website. Widgets have a specific purpose such as showing weather forecasts, stock quotes, or news updates and are constantly updated by the creator of the widget, not someone who hosts it on his site.

Avatar

An online picture that’s associated with your social media accounts. Business people typically use a headshot for personal accounts, while companies and organizations use their logo.

Blogroll

A list of recommended blogs on a person or business’ blog site.

Crowdsource

The practice of asking a collection of individuals online for opinions, suggestions, or submissions.

Embedding

The act of adding code to a website so that a video or photo can be displayed on that site while being hosted by another.

Flickr

An online photo sharing site owned by Yahoo!, Flickr lets individual users upload photos and short videos to their account and share them in photo groups based on a certain subject.

Foursquare

A geo-location service that allows users to check in at businesses and other locations, earning badges and other virtual rewards along the way. Users can share their check ins with fellow Foursquare friends as well as through their social media networks if they choose.

Google Alert

A service offered by Google that allows users to save specific searches and receive an update whenever a new result appears on the Internet for that particular search, typically delivered by email or RSS.

HootSuite

A service that allows businesses, organizations, and individuals to monitor, manage, and schedule their social media marketing activity.

Microblogging

The act of broadcasting very short messages to an audience, such as on Twitter, where posts are limited to 140 characters each.

Podcast

Audio programs or recordings that are syndicated online. They can be streamed or downloaded. Many are posted on and downloadable from iTunes.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

A marketing tactic that, when combined with SEO, helps a business or organization attract customers, generate brand awareness, and build trust by increasing its website’s visibility. This is done through the purchase of pay-per-click advertisements and paid inclusion in search engine results.

Social Media Marketing

Building your social network fans, followers, and connections using relevant and interesting content that is shared, allowing you to reach and engage more people and drive more business.

Handle

Your Twitter username is referred to as your handle, and is identified with the @ symbol.

Hashtag

Words preceded by a # sign (i.e., #ctctsocial) can be used to tie various tweets together and relate them to a topic

Live-tweeting

The practice of documenting an event through tweets that are posted while an event is in progress. (See also “live-blogging.”)

Timeline

The chronological listing of all tweets in a given feed, be it your own, in a list, or another user’s.

Tweetup

A term for events (i.e., meetups) that spring from Twitter connections. Tweetups are typically informal gatherings that let Twitter followers meet in real life, and coordinators often use a hashtag to unite tweets related to the event.

URLT

he technical term for a web address (URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator.)

Vlog

A blog that contains videos instead of text entries.

Viral

When a piece of content on the Internet is shared organically, without prodding or encouragement from the business, organization, or person who created it, it is said to have “gone viral.” This means it has been shared on social networks, posted and reposted, tweeted and retweeted multiple times.

Here are a few more hand picked social media terms from Social Media Wikispace

Aggregation is the process of gathering and remixing content from blogs and other websites that provide RSS feeds. The results may be displayed in an aggregator website like Bloglines or Google Reader, or directly on your desktop using software often also called a newsreader.

An archive may refer to topics from an online discussion that has been closed but saved for later reference. On blogs, archives are collections of earlier items usually organised by week or month. You may still be able to comment on archived items.

Back channel communications are private emails or other messages sent by the facilitator or between individuals during public conferencing. They can have a significant effect on the way that public conversations go

Content management systems (CMS) are sometime described as the Swiss Army knives of social media. They are software suites offering the ability to create static web pages, document stores, blog, wikis, and other tools.

Culture: social media only works well in a culture of openness, where people are prepared to share.

Cyberspace has been widely used as a general term for the Internet or World Wide Web. More recently blogosphere has emerged as a term for interconnected blogs.

Feeds are the means by which you can read, view or listen to items from blogs and other RSS-enabled sites without visiting the site, by subscribing and using an aggregator or newsreader. Feeds contain the content of an item and any associated tags without the design or structure of a web page.

Mashups* are the smart mixes that techies do to combine several tools to create a new web services.

Mapping networks enables you see who are the main connecting people.

Permalink is the address (URL) of an item of content, for example a blog post, rather than the address of a web page with lots of different items. You will often find it at the end of a blog post.

platform is the framework or system within which tools work. That platform may be as broad as mobile telephony, or as narrow as a piece of software that has different modules like blogs, forums, and wikis in a suite of tools.

Presence online has (at least) two aspects. One is whether you show up when someone does a search on your name. The second is whether you use tools that show you are available for contact by instant messaging, voice over IP, or other synchronous methods of communication.

Subscribing is the process of adding an RSS feed to your aggregator or newsreader . It’s the online equivalent of signing up for a magazine, but usually free.

Troll: A hurtful but possibly valuable loser who, for whatever reason, is both obsessed by and constantly annoyed with, and deeply offended by everything you write on your blog.

Whiteboards online are the equivalent of glossy surfaces where you can write with an appropriate marker pen and wipe off later. They are tools that enable you to write or sketch on a web page, and as such are useful in collaboration online.