Category Archives: Strategy

Content Marketing Automation and Integration

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.

Repurpose Content

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.

Blog Talk Radio Interview | Digital Marketing

Last week I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Damond Nollan (@damondnollan) and the Room 3026 crew on Blog Talk Radio about Digital Marketing.  I’ve known Damond for a few years now and was excited to be a guest on his show.  My interview starts around the 24 minute mark.  Thanks again for Damond Nollan for inviting me to be a guest.

Click here to listen to the episode.

6 Content Curation Tools For Your Daily Digital Diet

You hear that content is king and the latest curations applications and tools allow you to take advantage of the content kings to manage your daily diet of news and information.  With the large volumes of content being produced today by everyone from the major networks, businesses and local bloggers and enthusiasts, individuals have a huge amount of content to curate and share with others.  RSS readers where the early innovators in curating the constant firehouse of information into our shotglass attention span but they were cumbersome and text heavy.

A few years ago I wrote about how aggregators like NetVibes and Pageflakes were allowing us to create mash up pages in minutes.  These tools are great for listening stations and but lack the intelligence that the new generation of curation tools offer.  These tools are also driving clicks like never before. These curation tools are helping us fill Facebook and Twitter streams, driving significant traffic volume, making corporate brands take notice.  I’ve even noticed how Delicious has updated their interface since the last update a few months ago with the release of stacks.

Scoop.it

Scoop.it is a nice tool to gather and distribute content from around the Web based on your interests and passions.  Scoop.it creates a page with previews and links to content you “scoop”and has good community tools for following other curators. Most of these sites have the ability to “Re” post content another user has already flagged.  Scoop.it has some great B2B curators in specific vertical markets and found it to be good resource to gather industry-specific content.

Scoop It website allows for content curation
Marty Smith's "Business Intelligence Revolution" on Scoop.it

Paper.li

Paper.li seems to be the most used of the content curation tools among people I follow on Twitter and probably has the most traffic of any This site has really done the best job of attracting uses and generating links. The aspect of publishing a daily paper based off your articles of interest and giving recognition for the source as a key contributors via Twitter is both annoying and brilliant. Even though I don’t want a daily paper for myself I find myself clicking through to friends papers and enjoying the clean interface.  And if you use Paper.li change your title to differentiate the daily tweets other than the typical tweets of “The YOUR NAME HERE Daily is out…”

Paper.ly Daily Newspaper Style Curation Site
Phil Buckley's "The 1918 Daily Amalgamation" on Paper.ly

Pinterest

Pinterest is the latest media story as it started popping into the list of sites driving the most traffic on the internet last month.  For the most part the initial growth was driven by women using it as a virtual scrapbook for visual items of interest such as clothes, interior design and food.  Pintrest is one part bookmarking and one part image gallery with a clean interface that allows you to create a more engaging curation.  You can only “pin” images to a board, but the link is preserved to allow for the click thereby driving traffic to the source site.  Also other community members can post comments similar to Facebook wall posts threads.  Pinterest is different from traditional bookmarking sites like Delicious, Digg and StumbleUpon in that it pins an image, movie or other media object with link to page.  However the ability to visually scan designs and rich media content is very nice.

Pinterest is driving major traffic and users to create electronic pinboards

Zite

My wife @MCDezigns showed Zite to me and we both love it.  Zite not only has the best content for what I’m interested in reading it also has great one-click bookmarking, easy social sharing with flexibility using multiple accounts.  I recently downloaded the iPhone app and use it everyday to quickly scan articles of interest and either read or bookmark them to read later in the day.  Zite has simple thumbs up/down approval tool similar to Pandora to customize your content.  The stream will even draw from your social stream with lesser presence than Flipboard.  Zite has a large library of Sections to choose from and they have groomed their content well in terms of quality and frequency.

Zite seems to have the best content and overall user experience.

Flipboard

Flipboard definetly captured everyones attention when iPads first came out.  Using simple swipe navigation it offers a great magazine of news and social media content.  For social media content I like how photos are previewed in larger sizes and it’s easier to view photos than on your Facebook wall or Twitter stream as well as photos sites like Instagram.  The latest release allows for multiple accounts so that you can share on iPad for multiple users as well as new iPhone version.

Flipboard creates personalized magazine of content from news sources and social media

Google Currents

The latest entry tinto the curation space is Google Currents. Matching the new Google interface design it works best with Google+ but has sharing and bookmarking integration. No doubt that curation and clicks resulting from Google Current users are are going to factor into how the Google ranking juice is made.  Currents has a library of major content sites as well as the ability to pull from any RSS feed in your Google Reader.  There is also a trending list of links that you can browse that is similar to search results you would see in the “News” result of a Google Search.  The clean interface and design is similar to Flipboard and Zite with the ability to simply swipe between pages and topics.  What I think Google should have done was skip the redesign of Google Reader and instead migrated it into Currents with a website interface.

Google Currents offers library of content sources and trending stream

The last three tools listed here are only avaiable as a tablet or smartphone app. Scoop.it, Paper.ly and Pinterest all offer websites to create your pages and manage your account.  These tools have bookmarklets and other simple tools to tag a page and categorize the content.

What’s your content curation tool of choice?

Marketing Lessons from The NFL

The National Football LeagueWe’re halfway through the National Football League (NFL) season and this is the time of year that I love.  Temperature is cooling down, leaves are changing, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are the holidays and the NFL season is in full swing.  There’s a reason why NFL football is the number one sport in the United States, well-done marketing!  Everything you need to know about marketing can be learned from watching and studying the NFL.

Talent Acquisition

The NFL devised the draft in 1935 to acquire the top college players and have held a draft every year since 1936.  Since then it has become a prime time television event and the model for other leagues to acquire talent.  Even though there are several rounds, the first round and top dozen picks get more media attention and millions of dollars for the picks than some companies in a single year.

Branding and Merchandise

Official NFL jerseys sell from $80-150 depending on the team and player.  Watch or attend any game and you see a large portion of the fans wearing them.  Go to any sports bar on a Sunday and you’ll see even more.  In addition to jerseys, team logos appear on just about every product and each one pays a licensing fee to the NFL for the right to use or risk serious lawsuit from a team of high price lawyers and copyright infringement from the feds.

Advertising

Ads are everywhere but the uniform and the field.  The NFL knows that if they slap logos on the teams and the field of play it cheapens the game and could create backlash among fans.  Yet we see ads everywhere else and placed without all the tackiness of NASCAR and European Soccer that slap ads anywhere on the vehicle and athlete possible.

Special Events

The Superbowl, do I really need to explain this? It’s the most watch sporting event on the planet, every year.  Commercials cost a million dollars and can give you exposure for to launch a company.

Timing

Humans love routines and a consistent time and date makes it easy to build a regular routine around a sporting event.  The majority of the NFL games are played on Sunday and usually at 1 pm local time.  Even with Monday Night Football and the second-half Thursday night games, most fans get their fix starting at 1 pm on Sunday.  For the uber-fan you have primetime games on Sunday and Monday and the occasional Thursday night game.

Analysis

Instant replay was once a TV feature has now become part of the rules.  This year we see automatic review of scoring plays to eliminate error.  While I’m not a fan of instant replay as it slows the game down and takes out the human element, it is an analytical process that helps ensure accuracy.

Crisis Communications

When Hank Williams shouted Obama is a Nazi on Fox News ESPN cut the cord before the NFL had to step in. ESPN knew that the NFL does not need Hank Williams to sell MNF and realized his time had come.  Smart move and thank you!

Social Media

Early on the NFL realized that players tweeting during games would be a distraction and issued a social media policy banning tweets and social media messages starting 90 minutes before the game and lasting until after the game finishes.  Instad of waiting for an incident the NFL realized that a clear, concise policy was the best way to keep the attention on the field for players and staff.

Recognition

Only a half dozen players, coaches and contributors to the game get elected into the NFL Hall of Fame every year making it an honor and priveledge that most players aspire to.  Instead of flooding the Hall with great players, it’s reservered for the best of the best.  Wonder what it means to the inductees? Watch any induction ceremony and you’ll see a full range of emotions.

Word of Mouth

More water cooler chatter on Monday mornings is about football and specifically NFL football than any other topic on a regular basis.  How many times have you heard, “did you watch the game?” on Monday morning?