Here at Resonance our content strategy is fairly simple, although in a state of constant evolution. Let us walk you through our process.
Identifying the audience
As a content retargeting company, Resonance is all about knowing the audience, we need to understand it to promote our clients and we need to understand it to promote ourselves. In terms of promoting ourselves our audience is explicitly marketing professionals, either those from marketing companies that are contracted, or those who labour in the marketing department of larger companies. Generally, these folks have individual representation on social media, especially Twitter, as opposed to only posting through the company account. This is because they are actively marketing themselves as a useful resource, as well as those for whom they are paid to promote.
We need to appeal to these individuals by engaging them with something they will find useful, and ideally impress them enough that they consider sharing with other professionals, thus doing our marketing for us. As marketers appealing to marketers, it’s a fair bet to assume our audience wants to read about marketing. As with many business that function primarily online, the industry can sometimes move very fast, and unique ideas propagate very swiftly and any proficient marketing professional needs to be abreast of them as they develop.
We have a list of topics/headlines on our Trello account that is reviewed two or three times per week, from it we choose a topic and the creative process begins. Which topic we go for is usually on the whim of the author. Although in the case of major industry events it would seem that we should cover the breaking news, there are a great many other outlets outputting the same information, we are not journalists and would prefer not to be adding redundant information to the background noise.
Creating the content
Once the topic is chosen, the author puts together a piece in their own style. We try not to write too formally as we want to entertain, a distinctive style will help our message and identity stick in the mind of the viewer. However we also are sure to check our facts and figures against reputable sources, which we try to cite where possible, as want to be a trusted source of information to our fellow professionals.
We are mindful of space concerns and are aware that being able to convey a point concisely is important, our readers may not have a spare forty minutes to spend reading our every speculation on a given topic. We write to make a point or convey an idea, we lay a groundwork to understand it, and we justify it, preferably in less than one thousand words. Where necessary we add a TL;DR section to lay out the key points, not simply for those who really don’t have time, but also in a way that facilitates sharing on social media, and that can be referred back to in the future rather than needing to reread the entire article to refresh one’s memory. We also make use of bullet points under certain sections to emphasise the parts that are most important.
All of our content output is headed by an image. We keep the image to 800 x 380 so that they fit properly within our WordPress theme. We feel an image helps inject some colour into our posts, and breaks up the block text. We usually remember to add a ‘Click to See More’ tag so the post doesn’t appear in it’s entirety on the /blog page. Once we have sorted out the paragraphing and formatting (which can be a challenge in WordPress), the post is posted or scheduled, depending on what time of day it is completed.
Each article is reviewed by Resonance’s founder Marcin before being published. So if you read something you objectionable, blame him.
We have looked into usage data for professionals on Twitter and LinkedIn and they tend to peak at roughly 3pm in their respective time zones. Thursday is the busiest day but there is not a huge amount of variation between each day of the week. As you would expect, usage falls in the weekend, although not as much as you might expect. As we stated earlier, many of the folks we are appealing to work through their personal social profiles, so although their posts may turn towards family and sports, they themselves are still present online.
With this in mind and given the audience we are after, we try to post between 1pm and 3pm GMT. This is in time for peak viewing on Europe-based social media, while being early enough to be seen by businesses on the east coast of the United States who are just starting their day.
Once the post is made live, we set about promoting it. At current we make use of two avenues, Twitter and LinkedIn, not counting our website itself.
With Twitter, we schedule one tweet immediately after the post goes live in the mid-afternoon. The 140 character limit constrains us somewhat, but we try to include hat tips to the handles of anyone whose work we referenced as well as a witty sentence that hints at the topic of the post without being too direct. And of course, the link to the page as shortened by Hootsuite. Another tweet is scheduled for the following morning or afternoon. We have made use of Twitter cards so our tweets also contain a thumbnail of that post’s image and the first few phrases of the preamble, which makes a significant difference in terms of grabbing attention. We also post from our personal accounts.
On LinkedIn, we do much the same. On our company profile we post up a link to the content, along with a light hearted sentence or two where possible. This allows followers of our company to see when we post up content and have direct access to it. On LinkedIn we also post links on our personal accounts so as to spread the good word to our connections, and we also share to the various groups we are members of. This ensures that our content will be put in front of as many eyes as possible and as we are sharing to B2B marketing and content-related groups, we aren’t shooting into the dark; these are exactly the people we want to be reaching out to.
The future. Boom.
We’ve noticed that smart, coordinated sharing yields very good results, so we’re working on an exciting project called ‘Boom’. Boom is a content sharing app which coordinates team members’ social media posting. When a member publishes an article, other members are notified and they share in turn, establishing the maximum amount of exposure quickly and efficiently. If you’d like to be the first to try it – drop your email here.
We are constantly tweaking the nature of our content output and what it is trying to achieve. We pay close attention to our analytics, and it has come to our attention that some of our posts are getting a great deal more attention than others. As a result we will shortly be changing the format of our weekly roundup posts and are currently working on a feature-length white paper on a topic that our audience should find both relevant and useful.
We are also investigating other ways of promoting ourselves and our content. It is fair to say that Twitter and LinkedIn are reaching 80-90% of the audience we can expect to reach at this point, but we are also looking at whether Google+ or communities like Quora might be able to contribute.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this and maybe even learned something from it. If you’d like to offer us feedback and tips, please do so in the comments below!