Expert Panel: Jeff Bullas, Joe Pulizzi, Ian Cleary & Ted Rubin
At DrumUp, we are passionate about bringing valuable information to the forefront and providing readers with expert insights into topics related to social media and content marketing. We have launched a short interview series on this blog through which we’ll be “conversing” with the who’s who of the social media and content marketing industry.
If your job is related to social media or you own a blog, you have most likely heard the phrase content is king. In this first part of the interview series, we take a look at content marketing – its significance, how to construct strategies and tips for creating successful content marketing plans. We asked four experts for their views on content marketing in social media and how you can employ it to build brand awareness, increase followers and in short, become successful on social media.
Though this panel of well-known experts doesn’t need any introduction, here is a quick glance at their profiles.
Jeff Bullas is the author of Blogging the Smart Way – How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media and has been ranked as the #1 Content Marketing Influencer by Onalytica.
Joe Pulizzi is the founder of Content Marketing Institute, an organization for training and educating content marketers. He is also the author of Epic Content Marketing, Content Inc. and many more.
Ian Cleary is the CEO of RazorSocial and an award winning tech blogger and speaker. He also contributes to many of the top social media blogs.
Ted Rubin is a social marketing strategist who introduced the term ROR (Return of Relationship). He is also a well-known keynote speaker and a brand evangelist.
Q1. How important is content in social media marketing?
Jeff Bullas: “Content is the foundation and the fuel. It is vital. Social media marketing is the top of the funnel brand awareness and traffic attractor. Consistent content creation and optimizing can lead to an explosion in brand awareness. The holy grail of content marketing. Viral content success.”
Joe Pulizzi: “If your goal is to build an audience leveraging social platforms, content is, well, everything. The key is to create your content marketing strategy first, and then decide which social channels will work to help you build your audience, and then what your execution plan will be.”
Ian Cleary: “Content is the fuel that drives your marketing. Without great content your marketing engine won’t achieve the success possible.”
Ted Rubin: “Social Media is all about Content, but it so incredibly important to remember that Conversation is the best Content when it comes to Social. Content that leads to engagement, interactions, sharing and relationship building is how you use social media to it’s best advantage.”
Q2. What is the single most important thing to consider when it comes to building a content strategy for social media?
Jeff Bullas: “It is understood that the strategy will need to be resourced. That means a commitment to investing in the tools, the expertise and the people. If you write a strategy without a commitment to this, then don’t bother.”
Joe Pulizzi: “While leveraging social platforms can be incredibly important to us building audience, we don’t control those platforms. We could wake up tomorrow and they would be gone. So we need to leverage these platforms while we can, if it makes sense, to drive subscribers to our own content (preferably email).”
Ian Cleary: “Create great content focused on a particular niche. Seth Godin talks about the purple cow that stands out. Make sure your content stands out.”
Ted Rubin: “If your content is good, you should be able to ride it until the wheels fall off. Re-sharing and reposting the good stuff is a critical distribution tactic that can help you get the best mileage. By sharing quality content multiple times on multiple channels, you expand the reach of your marketing efforts and make it that much more likely to build a loyal following. In addition, repurposing and syndicating good content will be a powerful tool that builds on your most successful ideas. Stay on track by developing a strategy and processes for sharing good content over and over, and you’ll establish better thought leadership and keep your brand top-of-mind.”
Q3. Can you share 2 success tips with our audience on hitting the right note with content marketing on social media?
Jeff Bullas: “I have found that these two tips are essential to achieve success:
Automating the content distribution with the right tools and digital marketing automation platforms. This the only way to scale in a very complex eco-system.
Understand the need to “convert” the traffic and engagement from social media into leads and sales – you forget that last step then the first two are a waste of time and you will fail.”
Joe Pulizzi: “Social media content works best when it functions just like any other media property. For example, Matthew Patrick hit 5 million subscribers on YouTube because of his consistent video distribution over a long period of time. Same goes for PewDiePie and Smosh. iTunes works the same way, as John Lee Dumas and EntrepreneurOnFire has proven. We at Content Marketing Institute leverage Tuesday Twitter chats around specific topics to drive an audience. We’ve found that those that participate in our Twitter chats are much more likely to buy products and services from us.”
Ian Cleary: “1. Write detailed content – The average length of articles in the top 10 search results on Google has over 1,200 words.
2. Promote your content – No point in publishing great content if you don’t spend the time promoting it. Spend more time promoting than writing!”
Ted Rubin: “1 – If you’ve only been using one or two online channels to share your content, try expanding your reach by posting it on multiple platforms. While you obviously want to use the social media channels most relevant to your audience, don’t forget about SEO and search results. For instance, even if your target demographic isn’t typically found on Pinterest, a properly optimized infographic posted there will still appear in search results and may attract traffic. Even the images from your post can be shared there by you and your followers. Be sure to make your blog images “pinable” right from the post with the click of a button.
To promote your content, create unique posts that are relevant to each channel and, without being repetitive, create multiple posts viewers can see throughout the day on each channel. Keep in mind that the number of posts you can create for each channel to promote the same content will vary depending on the platform and audience preferences, so try to pick an aspect of your content that is well-suited to your audience on each channel. For instance, a blog post about small-business accounting tips can be promoted via several tweets but perhaps only one or two Facebook or LinkedIn updates, and one Pinterest infographic.
Another key to getting more mileage from your content is to repost only good content. How do you know what’s good? Well, audience response is one measurement, so avoid posting content that receives a lukewarm response—or none at all. Lack of response may be a factor of timing, but it may also be that your content didn’t spark interest. Content is more likely to be shared by social audiences if it’s evergreen, popular, valuable, funny, interesting or useable.
2 – Another way to get mileage out of good content is to create multiple pieces of related content to piggyback onto each other. For example, a slideshow featuring tax-time tips for small businesses can be further explained in a blog post. Individual slides can be posted to Facebook, G+, LinkedIn and Twitter, and an accompanying video can be posted to YouTube and then your blog. Repurposing content can help you laser target your prospects and address them with content that accurately connects with where they are in the sales cycle, creates multiple opportunities for engagement…and helps you create usable content at scale.”
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