Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Steroid Effect of Collaborative Content Development

Great news…you have a content rich, thought leadership fueled social media marketing program in place.  Yet, readership and audience engagement has become stagnant and, like many organizations, you’ve struggled to raise the impact of the campaign.

At Strategic Communications Group (Strategic), we’ve repeatedly stepped into this dilemma in the execution of client programs during the past four years.  Audience interest tends to grow in a series of steps, rather than the always desirable (yet rarely achieved) hockeystick model.

An approach we now employ to juice up the readership ranks, as well as the frequency and intensity of their engagement is collaborative content development with customers, partners, market influencers and other industry thought leaders.  In addition to how it swells readership, this collaborative approach to content also instills third party credibility on a social site.

Here is a recent example:  Strategic clients British Telecom (BT) and Polycom come together to produce and jointly promote a Web-based video on the environmentally-friendly impact of video teleconferencing:

To get the most from your investment in collaborative content, consider the following best practices:

1.  Not all customers, partners and third-parties are equal.  You’ll want to select those with a strong brand and reputation, as well an extensive social following.

2.  Always…and I mean always…remember that social-distributed content must engage, educate and entertain.  Regurgitated marketing slop or overly promotional gunk will rarely garner much in the way of interest.

3.  Promote the content through multiple channels (i.e. social media, Email marketing, events, sales team distribution, etc.) to reach the broadest number of targeted readers, while tying everything to a defined organic search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.

4.  Study your analytics each and every day.  Readership and audience engagement provides near real-time feedback from the market in how your messaging has resonated. 

Who is visiting your site?  How do they find you?  How long do they stay?  Do they share the content with anyone? 

This knowledge will inform your content strategy moving forward, as well as empower the sales team with insight and intelligence that can help them more effectively close deals…and faster.       

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