Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Duncan Enright on what sort of content do you need and how do you make it engaging?

Duncan Enright: in all the right places
Content marketing ultimately is about selling your goods and services, but doing so using fantastic, relevant and interesting content customers are interested in. The challenge is trying to get it to them in the right places.

Making your content accessible and discoverable is the key challenge. Traditional marketing channels include newsletters, alerts, RSS feeds, direct mail, advertising, conferences, white papers and thought leadership. It is not that these are defunct, but new channels may adopt some of the characteristics.

For academic and educational publishing markets white papers are a well understand idea of an introductory and defining piece that attaches your company to the area. It's a big and valuable piece of work. What can you do to make it more digestible? Use bite size pieces through social channels, blogs and so on.

Twitter quickly distributes sound bytes of information. It can allow a group of staff to tweet. You need to think about who you can reach or communicate with. It's a personal medium - you have to engage, listen and interact. It's about growing an audience through community engagement. It's important to use the key influencers to help get the message out there.

LinkedIn enables you to identify and join groups with shared interests. You can post series of discussions across timeframe to maximise exposure. Content marketing is key as there are restrictions around marketing built into the platform. If you encourage staff to like posts it will increase discoverability. Most of all, inform, but don't sell.

SEO is better with back linking (back and forth to other good sites) and citations to raise search ranking. Online advertising and SEM generally work in Enright's experience. You can buy your way to the top of search results, particularly with 'speciality terms'. Do a simple Google Adwords and LinkedIn campaign to groups. Test with specific terms, subjects. Don't spend a lot until you analyse your results. Remember there are a range of content marketing metrics (e.g. clicks and opens for email campaigns).

YouTube is now the second most used search engine. Video brings content to life. Record interviews with authors discussing a piece of research, show examples of how researchers have used your work or do interviews around a theme to promote content collections. Visualise the author's experience and capture customer testimonials.

Community sites and webpages enable posting of free content. You can include links to related sites and content, group by subject or theme for specific audiences, then promote using the channels above.

Duncan Enright is a Senior Associate at Maverick Publishing Specialists. He spoke at the ALPSP seminar Content Marketing - using your publishing assets?

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