Why going viral means nothing

Why Going Viral Means Nothing

Last March, I published a blog post about the death of the social media manager. I wrote the post as part of LinkedIn’s #MyIndustry campaign.

Within a day, more than 1,000 people have seen it. The views kept on coming, reaching over 50,000 views by the end of the week. I got a lot of mentions on Twitter. I received the most LinkedIn requests I’ve ever received in one week. My LinkedIn following easily crossed 1,000. Today, that post has more than 76,000 views.

I’m not sure when a piece of content technically goes “viral,” but at least in my standards, that LinkedIn post did just that. Some of the blog posts I’ve written in the past have reached a wide audience, but those views trickled in over a long period of time. Not this one.

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9 proven ways to become a content marketing creative genius

9 ways to unleash creativity

As marketers, we’re expected to be always on. We’re expected to be creative, to be able to come up with new ideas all the time.

And in marketing, creativity is a critical component of success. You won’t see traction in your content marketing efforts unless you have new ideas to share or you present them in a way that hasn’t been done before. On social media, we need to constantly come up with new blog post ideas and new ways of engaging our audience.

So, how do you keep the creative juices flowing?

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Winning at content marketing: How long-form content can help

the rise of long-form content
Photo credit: Steve Rhodes (Flickr)

“This blog post is too long.”

“We need to cut this down to 500 words.”

“Make this shorter. Maybe split the blog post into two?”

As a social media manager, I’ve heard these comments numerous times before. Many marketers are biased against long-form content. “Less is more,” they claim. “People have short attention spans.”

It is true that being concise is often a good thing. That’s why Twitter is such a hit: It forces us to distill our thoughts and communicate only what’s truly important.

But having short content for the sake of having short content is not valuable…and it’s not a good content strategy. Brevity shouldn’t come at the price of completeness.

The rise of Big Content

In the past year, several well-respected SEO and marketing folks have been advocating for “big content.” And when people say “big content,” they often mean long-form content. But it’s worth noting that marketers and analysts are using the term “big content” differently:

  • Craig Roth from Gartner says big content is “a term that helps highlight the subset of Big Data related to the less-structured side of it.  Big Content isn’t new or different than Big Data; rather it helps focus on uses of Big Data for unstructured information for the kind of folks that think the Library of Congress is filled with ‘content’, not ‘data.’”
  • Contrast this with this definition from Moz’s Dr. Peter J. Meyers’ definition. He says big content is the type of content that takes time and effort, that breaks the mold and that talks about big concepts. In other words, he’s talking about pieces of content—either a blog post, an interactive infographic, an ebook, etc.—that is well-researched and that is often (but not always) lengthy.

Big content should serve a higher purpose in your company than just to increase pageviews. In this post, my focus is more aligned with Moz’s definition. I’ll cover why long-form content should be part of your content marketing mix. (To be clear, I am not advocating that you stop creating shorter blog posts. The point of this post is to highlight why creating long-form content in addition to shorter pieces is a great idea.)

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5 B2B blogs to inspire your content marketing

Personalizando WordPress 1.5

Marketers today are more savvy in content marketing than ever. In fact,  76% of B2B content marketers indicate that their brand already own a corporate blog. But the content beast is insatiable: “Lack of time” and “producing enough content” are top challenges that content marketers contend with, according to a MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute study.

This predicament is something I’m very familiar with. As part of a small social media team for a B2B software company, one of the many things that really keep me up at night is how to grow our company’s blog. This challenge is partly about engaging and relevant content: How do you consistently produce content that your target audience will love? But on the other hand, it’s also about distribution: How do you increase readership and attract the right people? 

The good news is that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time. Many B2B corporate blogs are already doing well. If you’re looking for some great examples, consider the following:

Marketo

URL: http://blog.marketo.com
About Marketo Marketing blog: Marketo, a marketing automation software company, keeps a steady stream of blog posts. In most weeks, they produce 4 to 5 quality blog posts, which is no easy feat.

What you can learn from Marketo:

  1. Make it easy for people to subscribe. If you look at the right hand side of the Marketo blog, you’ll see a persistent form that invites people to sign up.
  2. Invite people to stay longer. Share a list of your blog’s most shared posts to get people to access your hottest content.
  3. Keep it fun! Marketo occasionally publish fun—but still relevant—blog posts. To see an example, check out their post on the 17 Signs You Eat, Sleep, and Breathe Social Media.

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