Effectively utilizing your media budget can help ensure your content marketing campaign has a long shelf-life.
Content marketing is a growing practice with huge upside --- yet marketers are struggling big time to figure out how to position value of content marketing. (I'm stealing this quote from Joe because he so eloquently sums up the issue that keeps me up at night, too!)
"While content marketing has positive momentum, it remains an experimental line item for most brands. It’s hard to do well, which is part of the reason most CMOs think their content is failing. Despite the good vibes, it’s easy to see the industry continuing to fall back on uglier alternatives — like the nearly $15 billion that’ll be spent on programmatic display advertising this year." ~Joe Lazauskas, Contently
So, in an industry seemingly determined to revert back to what it's comfortable with, how can we help organizations see the real value of content marketing so that proportional investment levels follow? Let's offer folks the one thing media companies never can -- a campaign that never ends, even after the media budget is spent. (Tweet This!)
Check out our whitepaper on measuring the value of influencer marketing campaigns to learn how you can impact customers along the entire customer journey, and track that impact every step of the way.
Here are five simple ways to ensure your content marketing campaign lives on long after the paid promotion of that content ends:
Aggregate the Content
Give content new life by featuring all or pieces of it in new ways with little or no additional content production costs. This can come in many forms. Develop custom aggregation sites that can themselves be distributed to reach target audiences. Embed aggregation hubs on your .com to reach and engage site visitors in new ways. Or use out-of-the-box aggregation tools.
We're also particularly fond of aggregating content from Carusele campaigns on collaborative Pinterest Boards hosted by social influencers. Not only is this a great way to aggregate content to reach pre-existing audiences in an influencer's followers, but the technology and hosting costs are $0 no matter how long the board lives AND Pinterest has social discovery built in so now we're knocking out two birds on this list with just one stone. A+
Publish on Content Discovery Engines
There are two kinds of Content Discovery Engines: Paid and Not Paid. (I know. Shocker. Call me Einstein folks!) You should absolutely leverage the paid ones during active campaigns to reach targeted audiences (paid distribution is key to the Carusele method) but too many brands rely on their media agencies to serve as content distributors. As a result, they're missing out on a huge universe of content syndication mechanisms that will continue to pay dividends after the media dollars stop flowing.
Like I said. We love Pinterest. And you should, too. Assuming it's the right place for your brand. Are you going after women 25-34? Is food, fashion, family, home, or beauty relevant to your brand? If yes, you NEED a content strategy for Pinterest. It's one of the fast growing social networks, with built-in content discovery mechanism and a user base that wants to buy!
According to research from Millward Brown, 87% of Pinners claim to have purchased a product because of Pinterest and 93% have used Pinterest to plan a future purchase. (Tweet This!)
At Carusele, we partner with creators who already have a well-establish social following to get content about brands on social discovery engines like Pinterest. We regularly find that as a result of the built-in optimization and long-tail approach users take to finding information, our content is served up to users long after the brand's media budget is spent.
In the example below, we partnered with creators to develop content inspired by the new vintage of Apothic White - labeled a white with darker motives. Their beautiful content including recipes, party plans and tablescapes featuring the wine was aggregated on a collaborative pin board during the campaign. One year after the campaign ended, the content was repinned thousands more times and followers to the board as a whole grew 20% without a single dime being spent on new content or distribution.
Pinterest isn't the only option though. Did you know StumbleUpon still exists? Seriously! People use it! Really any publishing platform that offers up a way for people to discover new related content will work here. Here's a short list of some of my favorite "free" opportunities:
- LinkedIn Pulse
Here's an example of the beautiful Issuu Party Bluprints created to feature the content developed for Carusele's #NoWifi campaign for APC Schneider. It continues to live on more than a year after the campaign ended, serving up below other Issuu's on related topics.
Build a Content Library
A significant value add for brands running influencer marketing campaigns is the fact that a TON of high-quality content is often generated. At Carusele, we partner with influencers who have built a following thanks to their amazing content production capabilities. In doing so, we're able to get high-quality, authentic-style content created for brands with the added value of reaching these built-in audiences, incredibly efficiently. That content can then be used later by the brand in any way they choose. Just make sure you negotiate those usage rights up front and as a best practice, give credit to the original creator any time you re-use their content.
We've seen clients re-use beautiful content from Carusele campaigns in print and digital communications, on their social channels, and even on Time Square billboards and on TV! Each and every time, the original creator is flattered to be featured and brands are often seeing additional earned media value come from their social shares of the re-purposed content.
Find New Ways to Engage Creators
One of the most simple ways to do this is to follow them from your own brand channels and put them on a special watch list, engaging whenever you see a good opportunity to interact. You can share information with them, invite them to events you're attending anyway, or throw them a simple #FollowFriday once in a while. What you'll likely find, is that by just extending your relationships with these folks into the other online activities you're already doing anyway, they'll continue to engage and advocate for your brand. Here's a list of a few more ideas:
Create Content EVERYWHERE!
At Carusele, we've fully embraced our Content EverywhereTM mantra because of the dividends it pays for our clients. By syndicating content from influencers across a variety of channels we're able to reach people wherever they care to consume the content, not just the followers of our creators, and let it go wherever the internet wants to take it. This philosophy is what led a Carusele campaign for Jared the Galleria with a base of influencer-generated content totaling just 120 blog posts, images, and social shares to generate more than 8,000 separate pieces of branded content indexed by Google. Content that will live on, through long tail search and social discovery for the brand. Today, that same search is returning more than 12,000 results without any sustained effort by the brand.
While we certainly don’t expect people to find our content by searching a campaign hashtag as displayed above, these results show just how successful the campaign was at placing branded content across the web.
Tell us, what other ways have you found influencer marketing campaigns generate long-term value for brands?