Wear your competitor’s T-shirt or become a stronger content manager

By Robb Hicken/ BBB’s chief storyteller

Ah … the weekend. Time to relax, mow the lawn or do something crazy. That’s where the warning comes out of Rod Puzey, COO for Zenware, a business technology company in Boise.

“I tell my guys, ‘If you’re going to do something wild this weekend, at least wear our competitor’s T-shirt,'” he says.

Social media – YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, et al.– continue to be the places  “wild” weekends are posted. They also continue concern corporate officers who must manage the company’s brand.

“It’s a place where you can learn all about a person – good or bad,” Puzey says.

But, as Mark Ragan, of Ragan Communications told a Boise workshop of 40-plus content media managers this past week, social media shouldn’t be feared, but embraced for its ability to distribute  news about your business.

Corporations need to become obsessed with showing newsworthy items  on all channels, using various formats, while using journalistic excellence.

He offered 5 tips any business can add to create a strong content marketing platform and drive online visits and conversations.

Stop obsessing about channels. You don’t need a Facebook strategy. You need a CONTENT strategy. Brands need to focus on developing or curating great content before they focus on the channels they will use to distribute that content. If the content isn’t strong, the social network strategies will fall apart. Find your brand voice, decide what unique opinion or point of view you have to offer, and then develop creative ways to share.

You need great metrics to have great editorial. Knowing which stories are most popular will help define your editorial approach. Mark and his team of editors and writers are constantly reviewing their analytics. When a story pulls in lots of traffic, they repurpose it to death – creating quizzes, contests, white papers, videos, and follow-up articles to capitalize on its success. In order to stay in tune with what your audience wants, you need to stay in tune with your stats.

Email is still key. Ragan Communications has 16+ emails that it sends to fans of its five websites – and most of the traffic to their sites still comes from these emails. Mark believes in daily emails, even if you’re just sharing one story, to stay top-of-mind with your audiences.

Headlines! Teasers! Mark believes the greatest copy is scannable copy – and for good reason. He gets the most ROI from articles written as lists (i.e., 3 secrets to viral content from Sesame Street; Personal branding: 5 components to help you land a job). Make sure your headlines and teasers are engaging yet straightforward. They should describe the benefits of the story. Opt for usefulness over clever.

Never bore people. This may seem obvious, but it’s important to remember that whether you’re writing about the Academy Awards or changing the oil of a car, you need to make it interesting and appealing to your audiences. Cut out the jargon. Get to the point. And adding a funny picture won’t hurt.

If a company uses these steps, it can ease the worry of what wild weekend attire your employees are wearing – even if it has your logo.



Filed under News You Can Trust

2 responses to “Wear your competitor’s T-shirt or become a stronger content manager

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