I recently had the pleasure of speaking at Converge South in Greensboro. My topic was on Content Marketing Automation and Integration. A copy of the presentation is embedded below.
With all the digital media channels out there you can spend a huge amount of time curating and sharing content across multiple social networks and channels. Integrating content across networks and channels via an automation strategy can save time and money spent doing repetitive tasks. But I want to note that this is not an all or none strategy and should not be adopted for all your communication. Instead I approach content automation as a strategy to integrate original content with curated content in order to develop a stream of content.
Some of the basic tactics necessary to deploy this strategy include establishing a digital diet of content. Content aggregators and curation tools are a great way to do this. Creating great content day in, day out is a challenge. There’s no reason why you should not view curation as a way to keep your social media streams active and healthy. Every social media expert will tell you share great content in addition to creating your own.
Think of your content marketing automation as a daisy chain, whereby each event links to another. There are several ways to do this.
Search to Syndicate
Search queries on Google and Twitter allow you to create an RSS feed. These RSS feeds can be displayed on your blog or can feed a social media account like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+. You can also use email to syndicate content via email to add articles to a queue. So here is how I do it.
I use content curation tools on my iPhone and iPad like Zite, Flipboard, Pulse and other sources. Articles that I read and think my friends and followers are interested I share by sending via email to Buffer. Buffer allows you to schedule and share content on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and set up a schedule according to what day and times you want to share for each network. My buffer feeds my personal Twitter, LinkedIn and the Square Jaw Media Facebook page.
Remember the daisy chain I mentioned earlier? Here’s where that comes in. Buffer only hits 3 sites but I want to also share to my Square Jaw Media Twitter as well as save to my bookmarking account on Pocket. Here’s where my trigger tool comes in. If This Then That (ifttt.com) is a trigger based tool that allows you to daisy chain your content automation to several networks. So I have one trigger that is activated when my Facebook page shares a link and post it to Twitter and a second that bookmarks the article on Pocket for archiving.
Here’s where the daisy chain effect comes in. I don’t want my personal and brand page to push out the same link at the same time. So I use IFTTT to push out my Square Jaw Media tweet at a later time by staggering my Facebook fan page Buffer queue. That way there’s some time distance between the two tweets.
At a less complex level Facebook, YouTube and other tools allow you to port links to other networks when you add or bookmark content. For example when you you add a video to YouTube you can have it post a tweet and status update on Facebook. At the same time you can also do this for content that you save as a favorite. This is a great opportunity to share content that is relevant to stakeholders.
Another great syndication tool is NetworkedBlogs. If you are reading this post on Facebook, NetworkedBlogs did that! NetworkedBlogs allows you to syndicated your blog to your Facebook page and profile when you publish.
The concept of repurposing content on social media should not be overlooked. One way to accomplish this is to use the Tweet Old Post WordPress plugin to share older posts along with more current content. As long a your content is relevant and timely this works well to drive traffic to your site.
RSS feeds have so many uses in content automation it’s hard to list them so I’ll mention a few. If you host events or blog about them many times you want to include links to other blogs and sites that reference your event. In the past this meant going back to articles and adding links. But you can use In Post RSS Plugin to update a post without having to login to your blog. By adding a link to a bookmarking site like Delicious or Pocket it will add the link to the post dynamically. Remember to use tags to separate and segment content so you don’t spam our post or feed with unrelated links.
Don’t Forget the Sidebar
Sidebars are a great place to display content on our website or blog. Videos, slides, photos, links and other curated content can be shared on every page of your site or segment the content and share only the specific relevant links for specific vertical markets like health care, technology or manufacturing if necessary.
In conclusion, these tactics are not a replacement for interacting and responding with users on social networks. If you try that you will soon find out that your readers will call you out and you will lose some level of trust with your audience. Instead employ a content automation strategy to augment your content marketing efforts.
I want to thank Ignite Raleigh crew (@therab, @timarthur, @damondnollan, @lisasullivan) for selecting me to speak on this topic that I had a lot of fun with. I really had a great time on stage and enjoyed doing Ignite Raleigh again. I highly recommend this to anyone that is passionate or just plain excited about their interests and culture. I met so many people for the first time that night as well as connected with some of the best people Raleigh has to offer and good friends!
If only State had held on to beat Duke that night!
At the February Triangle Social Media Club event I had my eyes opened to the world of “social TV.” The speakers were Gregory Ng (@gregoryng), Tim Arthur (@timarthur), Damond Nollan (@damondnollan) and the MC was Ryan Boyles (@therab). The panel showed what their entertainment centers consisted of, their top 5 shows and one guilty pleasure as well as shared insights, wants and desires of social TV.
The rise of digital enabled devices has allowed for greater integration of social networks and websites with our TVs. All four on the panel had a gaming device such as Wii or Xbox to stream video but the setups were different in other areas. For instance Damond’s strategy was to reduce his monthly entertainment expense while allowing everyone in his household to have their own streaming device. While Greg preferred to subscribe to Direct TV for sports as well as the ability to watch live events as they happen.
The presentation embedded at the end of this post gives a great view into the different setups. The panel also listed their favorite shows and guilty pleasures. All four panelists picked “The Walking Dead” as one of their top 5 shows. While I’m not a fan of Zombie genre, I was interested to learn why they were enthusiastic. The show had a big following and even the largest cable debut of the season. Combined with fan chats, celebrity after show appearances; The Walking Dead created a community of fans and a forum.
That’s where social TV has real potential. It’s one thing to check in to a show and share that on Twitter and Facebook. This can lead to shared interests among your social circle. But where it takes off is creating a true fan community that works similar to bulletin board forums of the early 90s. Ryan explained how super fans create private blogs on Tumblr with their own language and rely heavily on aliases. Most best practices posts will tell you to be authentic, but in the world of social TV DISQUS did research that showed that alias communities had greater interaction and participation.
What does all of this mean to marketing and advertising folk like me? It represents a new opportunity to build relationships with fans in a new way. While Ryan recanted GaryVee’s mantra of “marketing ruins everything” it does not have to. The panel discussed how media companies can build respect and report with users versus just selling to them. For instance, what if a social TV app could provide live channel notifications and share that among friends? The idea that sharing old school living room experience allows for more intimate content and engagement with a global audience is truly unique.
Tonight the Oscars is being broadcast and I’ve already seen hype around the fact that this will be the most social and interactive award show to date. That’s an easy claim if the majority of last year’s activity was Twitter and Facebook chatter. But as social TV develops there is opportunity to engage fans and talent in real time.
I want to thank Ryan for hosting the panel and sharing the presentation on his SlideShare space as well as the other panelists for sharing their frank and honest views on the tools, technology and changing landscape of social TV! Plus Greg’s guilty pleasure of “I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant” was classic! Also I was finally able to meet Tim Arthur in person after several months of chatting on Twitter and blogs and found out that we have many similar interests including Breaking Bad and Californication, two of my favorite shows! Also thanks to WNCN NBC 17 for hosting the event and studio tour from Kim Green @producingk.
Found a great animated infographic on the role and impact of digital marketing in healthcare on Life Healthcare Agency’s YouTube Channel. This video does a great job of communicating the importance of digital communications in how we research and discover health information. It follows great storytelling practices by:
Creating a compelling argument for the role of digital communications and social networks using user and traffic statistics.
Establishing that healthcare as a topic is huge in volume: 2nd most search topic on google and 3rd largest web activity across generations.
The physician survey data displays how doctors are using digital media to research and learn about practices and medicine.
Consumer research shows how web research can lead to patient asking doctor for a branded drug.
The closing message “healthcare is digital…life is digital” shows how we are becoming a digital nation more every day. Plus I really like the use of Lego people!
Last week during the first Monday Night Football game I watched the ad for The Johnny Cash Project on ESPN. I was blown away for two reasons.
I’m a huge Johnny Cash fan.
It’s the best use of crowdsourcing I’ve seen to date.
Now I will admit that I have not been a big fan of crowdsourcing for marketing purposes. But I don’t want to bash crowdsourcing for marketing and communications (that will come in a later post!).
What I want to do is focus on why The Johnny Cash Project is such a great use of crowdsourcing. It allows users to contribute to a single finished project that is a work of art. Not a shoe or a video download service, but one of the greatest songwriters and legends of country and Americana music. The Johnny Cash Project allows users to draw a single frame of what will be a music video for Cash’s final song, “Ain’t No Grave.” There is already music and archival footage that has been assembled for the project.
There are several drawing tools available to draw your frame. No fancy Photoshop tools here. There are brush shapes and sizes and the the choice of colors are white, black and shades of gray. You have to be very creative and several submissions demonstrate that. Once you feel comfortable with your drawing you can submit it for consideration in the finished video.
Another interesting part of the project is the documentary footage consisting of interviews with different artists and regular users that were moved by Cash and submitted frames. It’s simple and shows the emotion that Cash created in his fans, the feeling of despair, hope and life that comes through Cash’s baritone voice and life experiences. My favorite quote about Johnny was that he could read a matchbook cover and make it sound interesting.
The end result is that all the portrait frames are strung together and played in sequence over the song. The portraits will create a moving, ever evolving homage to Johnny. The other cool factor is that as new people discover and contribute to the project, their submissions will update the video playback, so it’s never the same video twice.