Produce, Post, Reuse: The Content Lifecycle

I’m sure you’ve heard the advice promoting the use of blogging to boost your company’s online presence and increase SEO and brand authority. And yes, blogging is great for all of these purposes. There’s one problem, though. Businesses invariably offer this excuse when they consider blogging: “We don’t have the time.”

It’s true, producing consistent, high quality content is time intensive. You’ve got to come up with a topic, do your research, generate a catchy title, optimize it for SEO, and actually write the thing. It can take up to three hours to get to a finished blog. So why is it worth your time?

Because creating and sharing content shows your audience how you think, what you think about, and gives them a glimpse into what type of business you are. They get an idea of the type of ideas and advice you’d bring to them as a client. Buyers don’t want to talk with a new company until they get the chance to know them a little bit. And there’s no better way for someone to get to know your company than by letting them inside your head!

To find success in blogging, it’s important to step into it with a realistic idea of how it works. Blogging isn’t just about publishing one piece of content, hoping it brings in some leads, and then forgetting about it. At the center of a blog’s value is the content and the capacity for the content to be reworked into a variety of different formats.

The power of repurposing content

Every time you write a blog, you’re compiling a number of things including researched information, useful tips or guidance, and good copy. Putting all of them together in a blog is just one form that those components can take. If your excuse for marketing falls into the “no time” category, then the importance of maximizing energy, work, and resources should be at the top of your mind. Recycling content is the best way to maximize the time and effort you take when creating a blog.

The lifecycle of a blog doesn’t have to stop at the publish date. In fact, it shouldn’t. After your blog has been published, read, shared, and liked, you can begin to use it for other pieces of content.

Say you wrote a successful blog that generated a good amount of traffic. You can then turn that same information in to an infographic, highlighting the main points you made, or even elaborating on one section. You might then share that infographic on social media. And because it’s visual content, it will likely garner more and different attention than your blog post. By using the same information in a variety of formats, you’re expanding the audience who sees it and the way it’s consumed.

Here’s what a full life cycle might look like:

  1. Blog post
  2. Infographic
  3. Downloadable checklist
  4. Short video
  5. Webinar
  6. eBook

You may stumble upon a whole category of blogs that you find really interests your audience. You can then use all those related blogs you’ve created and combine them to create a piece of educational content like an eBook or even a webinar. There is no shortage to what you can do with the research and time you put into creating a post! 

Recycling content

Using your blog post to create new content is a great way to maximize your time and effort, but you don’t have to stop at posting a blog just once. Don’t be afraid to repost your articles on social media platforms–just because you’ve read it doesn’t mean your audience has. You should be reposting an old piece of content every week, as long as it’s relevant.

Another great way companies keep up with high demand for new content is to go back and update old blogs to be republished.

In terms of time spent, recycling old blogs doesn’t take that much time. However, when you’re recycling an old blog post, you can’t just give it a new title and be done.

In order for your blog to be recycled successfully, you need to do a few important things:

  • Come up with a new, catchy title (Keep your keywords)
  • Update old links and statistics
  • Make sure all the information you provide is still relevant and up-to-date
  • Update your headlines 
  • Update any bulleted or numbered lists
  • Update your conclusion
  • Replace the photo

Quit finding excuses

So, if you’re still wondering if it’s worth making the time to write blogs, think about the amount of content you can get from just one blog post. Think about your audience members who will begin to rely on you for useful information, and trust you to be their advisor.

Remember, blogging isn’t a one-and-done deal. You can transform your content over and over again to help you build relationships with your audience and reach more people in different ways. It’s worth the time and effort, you’ll see.

 

Content provided by Q4iNetwork and partners
Photo by
Dean Drobot

HR’s Secret Weapon: Marketing Communications

If you were asked what HR’s job is, I’m sure you’d come up with a list of answers. Keeping the company in compliance, managing workplace risk, providing resources and support to employees, payroll, hiring top talent, maintaining a positive company culture… the list goes on and on. But what ties this all together? 

Communication. 

HR has the responsibility to communicate all this and more to company employees, but all too often the tactics fail to actually get enough attention to be noticed. This is where HR can take some pointers from marketing. Because when it comes down to it, marketing is communication. And HR needs high quality communication to do their job well 

Think about it. How difficult is it to get an employee to read (and understand) their benefits package, or the employee handbook, or any other important information HR needs them to have? Difficult enough to be causing HR professionals some frustrating headaches for sure 

So how do you approach this problem? Following are some marketing tips HR can apply to their communication tactics to getand hold, the attention they need. 

Send out a weekly or monthly email/ newsletter  

HighlightsUse this to highlight work events that are coming up, give a shout-out to a team or employee who has gone above and beyond or completed a big project, and talk about things you want the entire company to know about. This could be an upcoming employee survey, a deadline for enrollment for benefits, or a reminder about checking tax withholdings to help employees prepare for tax season.  

PerksOverview the perks you offer to employees such as opportunities for personal development and career coaching, company retreats, and PTO. Keep the resources you make available to employees top of mind 

GoalsReview company goals and how specific teams and departments can help reach them. This is a great opportunity to highlight what different teams are doing to reach the same overarching goal. This can help align departments and keep everyone focused and feeling the team spirit. Plus, if you give a shout-out to a team or an individual, you’re creating a culture of appreciation and recognition! Talk about a good employee retention strategy!  

TeamworkThis also encourages different departments to see how they support each other, further bringing the community together. The more clarity there is about how teams work together and support each other, the higher functioning the company. And the less time HR spends on mitigating interdepartmental disputes.  

Attract the talent your company is looking for  

Marketing works to help guide people from being prospects to customers by meeting them at all the various points of contact they might have with your company. It’s marketing’s job to draw customers in with useful information, content offers, and guidance specifically targeted to where they are in their journey to becoming a customer.  

HR can take the same approach with attracting the type of employees they want working for the company, sometimes even hitting two birds with one stone.  

For instance, you can create a video highlighting your company values, perhaps interviewing aemployee about their experience or covering a recent charitable event your company hosted or participated in. This type of content is not only one of the more successful types of content marketing, but it could also help promote you to prospective employees. People tend to want to buy from (and work for) a company that shares their values and makes them feel good.  

HR can also take a page from marketing’s book by streamlining the process to apply. Just like you want to make it as easy as possible for customers to interact with your company (i.e., providing social icons for sharing and having easy options for answering questions and contacting support) you want to make it as easy as possible for job seekers to apply to work for you. You can: 

  • Keep the process down to five minutes or less  
  • Offer useful information at different points of the application process to help applicants discover more about you and what to expect throughout the application process 
  • Convey your company values and culture through the job description 
  • Highlight the perks and benefits your company offers 
  • Showcase the employee development and training services you offer 

Great communication = trust 

When it comes down to it, HR has a lot on its plate. So make it easier by learning to communicate often, clearly, and with the employee (or prospective employee) in mind. The better you communicate, the more people feel they can trust you, and the easier it is to do your job. It also means you get your message across in a way that sticks. 

As an HR professional, you work so hard to make other people’s jobs easier and to help provide useful information that will support and inform employees. We know how challenging it can be to find successful channels for communicating. So next time you’re looking for an effective way to provide that helpful information, think about how marketing would approach it and try using some of these tactics to help you. It’ll maximize the work you’ve done to provide support, and it’ll help them receive it.  

 

Content provided by Q4iNetwork and partners
 
Photo by

alesmunt

If Your Company isn’t Using Video, it’s Time to Hit Record

There’s no doubt, communication and marketing have been constantly changing and evolving since the creation of the internet, and it can be hard to keep up. But one thing is for certain, the popularity of video content is on the rise and it isn’t going to slow down.

To be clear: video content is more than just a trend. It’s becoming foundational to the way brands and people communicate online. Every minute, over 500 hours of video content is being uploaded to YouTube. Every minute! That’s a staggering 720,000 hours every day, just on YouTube.

There isn’t any getting around it: video content is here to stay. If your company hasn’t already embraced video as a key communication tool, it’s time to get onboard.

It’s what people want

Any good marketing strategy is based around giving people what they want. It’s just common sense. Video is a lot more popular than any other form of online content. You are much more likely to grab attention and engage visitors with video content than you are with text. 80% of people visiting a site are going to watch a video over reading the text on your page.

It’s the same with social media. Your posts are much more likely to get liked and shared if they have video content. People just find it more engaging to watch video. Period.

Get remembered

Viewers are also more likely to remember visual content. People are able to remember 65% of visual content they are exposed to days after seeing it. Talk about a good brand recognition strategy! The more people remember and recognize you, the more likely they are to trust your brand, which helps build authority and attract the type of employees you want within your community.

This is what good marketing is all about. Creating a brand that people recognize, trust, and want to engage with.

But using video marketing isn’t just about making content people will like and remember, it’s about growing your business and producing results. Any successful marketing strategy should have the goal of educating, engaging, and selling. And what form of content do you think is successful at driving sales? You guessed it.

Drive engagement with your product

You’ve probably heard that people want to watch a video before buying a product or filling out a form. It’s true! Using video to encourage people to engage with your content offer or product greatly increases their final decision.

Here’s what the statistics say:

It’s Not Just About Your Customers

While customers are the obvious target for using video marketing content, there’s a whole community of job seekers out there looking for the company that’s right for them. Using video content—the type of content that grabs the most attention and sticks in people’s brains—to promote your company culture and values to prospective employees is just plain smart.

Imagine you create a video that showcases your employee community and company values. Maybe you even include a recent charitable event you participated in or sponsored. Then think of everyone who comes across the video. You’re not only giving prospective customers a chance to build a personal and emotional connection to your company, but you’re giving job seekers a chance to get a feel for what it might be like to work for you.

Use video content to create a reason for people to want to work for you (and to buy from you!) by showcasing your strengths, your values, and your vision.

Aaand, action!

So there you have it. Your company can raise brand recognition, increase website visits, engage new customers, drive sales, and attract top talent. All by using video content. Don’t think you have the funds to do it? You may be surprised! There are many ways to create fun, engaging video content on a budget. Plus, if you invest in video marketing, you’re almost guaranteed to be happy with your ROI.

If you’re looking for the next best way to improve your company’s marketing strategy, look no further. It’s just a video away.

 

Content provided by Q4iNetwork and partners

Photo by Maxim Lupascu

If You Won’t, Why Would They? A Precautionary Note for Leadership

With marketing practices changing so dramatically over the past decade, it’s become increasingly clear that if your organization isn’t able to keep up, you’ll get left in the dust by companies who are rolling with the tide of new online marketing tools. If you look around the organization and feel frustrated by a lack of clear improvement, it’s time to review your own involvement. 

Many companies are still working under the impression that the job of marketing and communications belongs solely to the marketing department. But they’re grossly mistaken. Marketing is there to roll out initiatives, look for new ways of engaging prospects and customers, help maintain relationships with existing customers, and help communicate messageacross platforms.   

But as social media has taken a front seat in the world of marketing, it has becomincreasingly important for both the sales department and leadership to get involved in the communication as wellAnd being honest, not everyone loves this new direction. There are plenty of challenges that come along with establishing new behaviors 

You might be having trouble getting your sales team to participate on social media by liking, commenting, and sharing content your marketing team is rolling out. Or you could be trying to implement a new CRM that requires your sales team to input data on their contacts, but running into resistance from the team.  

If any of these scenarios sound familiar, you need to ask yourself if you, as a leader, are part of the problem.  

If you won’t do it, why would they? 

You’ve got a lot on your plate, and, if you’re being honest, sharing content on social media may not feel as though it should be a priority for you. Why take precious time out of your day to do what you see as the job of marketing 

Because it matters to your clients, prospects, and team members. That’s why it should be a priority. 

The frustrating truth is that just giving the go-ahead to new initiatives isn’t enough. If you want to see your sales team get on board and start engaging on social media, or correctly using a new CRM, but you aren’t taking the time to do so yourself, you’re setting everyone up for failure.  

Proving value 

When people are comfortable with a system they’ve been using for a long time, it’s difficult to get them to change their practices. They have to see it as a valued priority in the organization and your actions dictate what your team prioritizes. If they don’t see you actively prioritizing the implementation of change, they won’t believe it matters.  

By participating, and leading it, you are showing that you believe in the value of the initiative. If it’s important enough for you, it becomes important enough for them.  

Accountability  

Take accountability for your impact on the success of new initiatives. Hold yourself and your team accountable for their participation. Just saying, “That sounds great! Let’s review progress in a month” isn’t good enough. To help your team stay on track and hold them accountable you can: 

  • Set clear expectations around how and when they participate  
  • Acknowledge team members when they successfully participate in initiatives   
  • Establish consequences for those who fail to meet the expectations 
  • DO IT YOURSELF 

Holding your team accountable can be uncomfortable—especially when they fail to meet your expectations. But this is part of proving the value of the work and motivating everyone to get onboard.  

Commitment  

Your marketing team can come up with as many great ideas and new initiatives as they want, but if leadership isn’t committed to putting in the effort to contribute, then the initiative won’t be able to succeed. 

Showing the team that you are completely committed to the change will push them to accept thatyes, it is really happening, and help them to get onboard quicker and with less groaning. If you want to see your team running with a new initiative, then stop dragging your own feet and get in the race yourself. 

 

Content provided by Q4iNetwork and partners
Photo by
denisfilm

 

Getting Online Reviews: How It’s Done

Online reviews – we all check them out, whether it’s for a restaurant, a new car purchase, or a medical professional. We know how valuable they are when we read them. But are you taking the time to cultivate that type of experience for your customers? Creating that advantage for your business? 

More reviews mean better SEO, more social credibility, and more usable data for your company to source. But how do companies get reviews? Making a one-time push for reviews is common. Brick and mortar retail stores and restaurants will solicit reviews after a grand opening or event. Online companies will get reviews after rolling out a new product or service 

Having current customer reviews makes a huge difference as most people consider reviews that are a few months old irrelevant. So what are ways your company can keep the reviews rolling in consistently?  

Just ask 

A great way to get customers to leave reviews is by directly asking them. The challenge here is doing so in the right way, at the right time. Here are some ideas.  

  • Set up an automated email asking for a customer review. Schedule it to go out a week or so after a customer has made a purchase. Make sure you give them enough time to receive and use the product before scheduling the email to send. 
  • A social media campaign is a great way to get people to engage with and review your company. You can roll out a marketing initiative that asks people to follow your account and leave a review in return for a coupon code, gift card, or other opportunity. 
  • Send out a social media post asking for loyal customers to give back. This can be done in a friendly, personal tone that encourages people who care about your company to come forward and show their support. Be sure to express your gratitude and make it cheerful—you don’t want to appear desperate! 
  • Asking onetoone is also a great way to get reviews. Consider setting up a wrap-up meeting after completing a project for a client. Use this time to ask them about their experience, make sure they have everything they need, and request a review from them. This is a great practice when your business offers services that require in-person or video meetings. People respond well to being asked personally—happy customers want to give back! 

Make it easy 

Optimize the pathways your customers can take to leave reviews by creating multiple avenues for them to do so. The easier it is to leave a review, the more likely people are to take the time to leave you one. You can do this by: 

  • Creating easy, direct routes from your website to pages like Facebook, Yelp, and Google Review by adding badges to your menu bar and footer 
  • Making sure you add a link asking for a review to your email signature 
  • Adding a link for reviews to your product pages and conformation emails 

What NOT to do  

An important rule to getting reviews: Never pay anyone for a positive review. It is not only illegal but can be very obvious to anyone reading them. When customers come across fake reviews they immediately lose trust in the company. If your company is getting fake positive reviews, it will backfire and undermine the social credibility and legitimacy of your company. 

Ready for takeoff! 

Make sure you keep your eyes out for new ways of engaging customers and bringing in reviews. The internet is constantly changing and staying on top of current trends is critical to maintaining relevance. Any way you look at it, reviews are going to help your company get visibility, credibility, and informative, usable data.  

Talk with your team, create a plan for asking for reviews, and then stick with it! Consistent reviews can give your business the social proof you need for a boost in both SEO and credibility. And unlike so many other activities, it doesn’t require a line in your budget! 

 

Content provided by Q4iNetwork and partners

Photo by: melpomen