Creating a lot of engaging, quality content is tough. We’ve all got a lot on our plates. But especially if a big selling point for your company is expertise and knowledge, if your team attends conferences or work-related events, you’ve got content.
Writing about events you’re attending is a key part of any content marketing strategy. It puts you in a thought leadership position without a speaking gig, gets you exposure without the bill for a booth, and validates your expertise in the eyes of clients and prospects. Not to mention, conference or event organizers, speakers, and attendees are likely to read and share what you create, broadening your audience. And a bonus: original content gives you something other than “Glad to be here” to tweet on the event hashtag.
Of course, when you’re headed to a conference, you’re extra busy travelling and trying to keep up with work that’s not getting done while you’re away. Never fear: You can create content about an event even before you go.
Below are different types of content you can create before, during, or after an event. Pick a few that will be quick and easy to execute because of your particular skill set, plan ahead, and coordinate with team members who stayed behind to help make it happen.
- Write about what you’re looking forward to. Why are you going? What sessions are can’t-miss? Write a quick post about what you’re most excited about, and your target audience—as well as any speakers you’re looking forward to meeting—will eat it up. Check out this post about Content Marketing World for an example.
- Curate content about the event from around the web. Are other attendees creating content? Pull it all together in one post, and you’ll have major share candy for anyone included. For example, the organizers of Content Marketing World created this post.
- Design an infographic about the conference. If you’re a designer, create a conference infographic. For a pre-event infographic, grab some data about conference speakers and attendees beforehand. Or if you’re feeling ambitious, create infographics about the conference as it’s going on, like JESS3 did at LeWeb ’11. Of course, you can wait until after the conference to create recap infographics, too. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve been keeping a marketing strategist’s eye on a recent campaign, Who Needs Feminism, which was staged by a class of students from Duke University (my alma mater!). Inspired by a class discussion in their “Women in the Public Sphere” course, these students launched a campaign to battle the stigma around the word “feminism.”
Marketers can learn from this campaign, so I thought I’d break it down. This post is not a comment on feminism, or the meaning of the campaign. Rather, it’s a story about the strategy behind the campaign, which never could have been this successful with the technology available a decade ago.
Here’s how it worked:
Online and Offline Integration
The campaign was community driven from the start. The students collected photos of their classmates displaying their personal reasons for feminism—see below. They then turned the photos into posters, and distributed the posters all around campus. The posters, of course, had links to the Facebook page for the campaign, where the entire collection of images was uploaded.
News of the campaign spread fast. The page launched on April 6th, and according to the group’s post, grew by 1500 fans on April 11th alone. The campaign spread to Tumblr and Twitter, and was covered by sites ranging from Mashable to FeministsIndia.
Yet with such a controversial topic, some of the discussions occurring on the group’s Facebook page were more contentious than constructive. Initially, the group allowed the debate to rage—personal attacks flying, counter arguments descending into insults.Tweet
In the content marketing business, writing skills are essential. Yet no matter your role in the corporate (or entrepreneurial) jungle, writing well is not an option—it’s a requirement. After all, tweets travel faster than earthquakes.
Even if you’re not a confident writer, you can become one. You may never jump with joy at the thought of writing 40 pages of website copy, but writing quickly and effectively will help you when you write for the outside world (tweets, blog posts), and for internal use only (business plans, emails).
This post was sparked when a friend approached me: “Tracy,” she said, “I have a feeling my job is going to demand more writing soon. I’m just not good at writing! How do I improve?”
What a great question—and one writers of all levels should ask themselves. In answer, here’s some advice I live by:
- Read. It’s simple. Reading makes you a better writer. As long as it’s written well, it really doesn’t matter what you read—Harry Potter, the morning paper, you name it. Reading will give you a sense for what’s elegant and what’s awkward—and you won’t have to diagram a single sentence. If you’re trying to write something specific, say a business plan or a resume, get your hands on some specific examples (ask Google, or a writer friend). The blank page will be less intimidating if you have a style and format to mimic.
- Study “The Elements of Style.” Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style” will reveal many new ways to write concisely and elegantly. You may want to modify some rules if you’re writing in an informal, personal style, but the basics are sound. My favorite advice from this little manual? “Omit needless words.”
- Start with the way YOU naturally think. Don’t love writing? Would rather draw a chart? Great! If you’re dealing with a complex concept, organize your thoughts in the easiest way possible. For me, this is scribbling notes all over a piece of paper (real paper!). For an engineer, it might be mapping out precisely how ideas fit together with geometric shapes. For others, it may be making an outline on PowerPoint and moving the slides around until you get the best order. The actual writing will be much easier if you’ve already organized your ideas. Read the rest of this entry »
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for making business connections—but it is just that, a tool. Even the most active users miss on some simple ways to optimize the way they use LinkedIn. This was true for me—I recently attended a seminar on LinkedIn by Colleen McKenna, and learned a few ways to kick my LinkedIn presence up a notch.
Now, I’m not going to give away Colleen’s secret sauce (you’ll have to head to one of her seminars for that) but below are a few tips from both my experience and Colleen’s talk on how to make the most of your LinkedIn presence.
1. Think about your goals. Why are you on LinkedIn? To find new employees, partners, and contractors? To be found? A mix? Your goals should drive your entire presence.
2. Post a picture. Please. Of your face. You should have a professional looking headshot as your LinkedIn photo so people can put a name to a face. If you’re uncomfortable with recruiters or prospective clients seeing your picture next to your professional credentials (a valid concern), you can change your privacy settings so only your connections can see your photo.
3. Use LinkedIn to remember names. LinkedIn can help you with offline networking too—simply checking out someone’s profile after meeting them at a networking event, even if you don’t connect, can help you remember their name and what they do. This is another reason why having a picture is important—it will help people remember you.
4. Make the most of your headline. Colleen really stressed this one—your headline does not have to be your job title alone. Job seekers, use “Talented [Your Profession] Seeking New Opportunity” not “Unemployed.” Students, use “Aspiring [Your Profession] Seeking Internship,” not “Student at [Your University].” Keep it concise, but make sure it communicates what you do and what your skills are. Here’s mine:
5. Post statuses. Updating your status gives you visibility on your connections’ LinkedIn home page. If you have found something online your business connections would like, or have good news to share about your work, spread the word by posting it on LinkedIn.Tweet
No, Facebook did not fly to Ireland to propose to its boyfriend on Leap Day (though that would have been cool), but it did make some big announcements that will change the way brands interact with their audience on Facebook.
We know a lot of people are writing about this—but we’re sensing a great deal of confusion from our clients and contacts, so we thought we’d explain the most important changes.
Details are still coming out, and we were not at the invite-only Facebook Marketing Camp Wednesday where announcements took place, but here’s a recap of the most important changes from the past few weeks as it applies to marketers.
Timeline for Brands
Ever since Facebook Timeline pages were rolled out for individuals, we suspected that this would be coming soon for pages. Well, timelines are here, and you must switch over by March 30th, whether you like it or not. Here are three things you should know about right now due to this change:
No more landing tabs: You can no longer set a default landing tab for your page. If you were planning on running a contest, driving people to click “like” to get a fan-only coupon, or even pointing ads to a particular landing tab, fuhgetaboutit. Applications will still work in Facebook, but they will show up in the same place where the photos, videos, and friends buttons are now on an individual profile. Woohoo for the bigger image to advertise tabs and apps, but boo for the loss of the landing tab.Tweet