One of the big questions companies ask themselves as soon as they’ve decided to “start the conversation” in social media is: how should they fuel the engines? How can you open up the channels and start conversations, instead of just reacting to them?
The answer is simple: with a content marketing strategy. Or in other words, by producing and publishing lots and lots of content. Not just written text, but anything that promotes high levels of interactivity in social media, such as photos, videos and blog posts.
In the September 2010 report ‘b2b Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends’, content marketing evangelist Joe Pulizzi defines content marketing as follows:
‘Content marketing/custom media (sometimes called custom publishing, custom content or branded content) is the creation and distribution of educational and/or compelling content in multiple formats to attract and/or retain customers.’
But what exactly is compelling content?
Contentmarketinginstitute.com just published an essential checklist for creating valuable content. The checklist is designed for digital content creators and marketing teams, and it defines valuable content using five benchmarks:
Let’s have a look at the fifth benchmark, Shareable. Will the user share the content?
- Something to provoke an emotional response
- A reason to share
- An ask to share
- An easy way to share
- Personalization (add hashtags to tweets, etc)
Or in other words: make sure your content behaves like social objects, dominant and influential topics in on-line conversations as they are conducted in social media.
A good story is key! Every good story has all these characteristics.
...and it adds something extra that doesn’t seem to be on the list: emotion!