- By Chrissie
- October 5, 2014
Content Marketing Part I (Online and Social Media Tactics)
In my last blog post I talked about how social media is part of a bigger content marketing strategy and offered suggestions on how to think about it as it relates to your mission and goals. Now I'm going to list some specific tactics that I use online.
Website and Blog - you're here right now and if you click around, you'll find a lot of content, under the blog here as well as under each artists' page and his/her press kit. I do my best to host the content here whenever possible, with the exception of some Vimeo videos. I want the links to direct traffic here. Whenever there is artist news, I create a new blog post to highlight the news. I share a photo, video and include appropriate links (that open in new windows). If you're new to blogging, here are some blogging pointers. If your site hasn't been updated in the last 2 years, call your developer now and get a consultation and invest in a fresh look, compelling content, visuals, video, and be sure it's mobile friendly. This site gets updates every year and an overhaul every two years to stay modern in design, efficient, and up to par with tech changes. It's so worth the money.
SEO - When I write posts, I think too about SEO and what words/phrases a user would type into a Google search, and try, without being spammy and keyword heavy to drop a few in a post. It helps the post be found in the organic search results. While most of our presenter colleagues know us and know our rosters, imagine the newbies who do not and due to small budgets, cannot make it to a conference, and are relying on Google searches and colleague recommendations. If between my website and my artists', we can pop up in a search, more power to us.
Email Marketing - I use Mailchimp for a number of reasons: I love the look of Mailchimp's templates. My designer created a custom one for me although there are so many beautiful templates to choose from that stack content and photos in a clean and modern way. Mailchimp also plays well with developers; it doesn't change things up making your custom campaigns and templates looking wonky every few weeks. It allows for A/B split campaigns so we can try out two subject lines and it'll send to the one that had the better open rate. It tracks every link in the email and I can see who opened the email and what the reader clicked. There's also something about the Mailchimp brand - it's voice and personality - that's just fun.
Analytics - Remember in my last post I mentioned how all marketing needs to be measurable? Well often times (like with traditional advertising and media buys), if our phones aren't ringing, we'd be going off the publication or stations media kit, demographics, and word of mouth, trying to get a feel for whether something worked and is meeting our goals. The nice thing about anything digital is it's measurable. Those Facebook page posts? Click your Insights tab and see what's working and how. Add your fellow agents' pages and see how you stack up. My page has 455 "likes" and my page will outperform others with double that number because my content engages and is liked and commented on. Does this meet my goal for Facebook? Yes. My Facebook goals are simple -- engage with presenters and colleagues, stay on the radar, and build brand awareness.
Google Analytics though is the mother of all analytics. It's a piece of code your web developer will place on every page you'd like to track. Then it drills down all my website traffic, by page, entry, exit, bounce, traffic sources (referring, organic, direct), and will show me which social platforms drive more traffic to my site and when. I'll see a boost after a Mailchimp emailer or after I publish a blog post and share it across social media. I love this data although I do not agonize over it. It changes daily. I'll look at it once every few weeks and if I notice that You Tube is sending traffic my way, I'll spend some more time over there content wise. I spend more time reviewing my Facebook insights and my Mailchimp analytics since I can really use that information in the moment to help drive sales.
Facebook - most of our presenter colleagues as well as artists (and their fans) are on Facebook, so this is an ideal place to share updates, news, posts, photos, video and all sorts of content. Facebook algorithms change like the wind and it's difficult to keep pace. I try to post 3-5 times a week, sometimes more depending on the news. I tag my venues and PACs and presenters and cross promote on my personal profile. Experiment with times of day and the type of content. For me, what gets the most engagement (likes, shares) are the humanistic stories and photos - showing the process of something...the photo of my office...a behind the scenes shot or video of an artist. The infographic on the left points out the shift to visual content on social media and this one offers some tips for making sure your Facebook page is up to par.
Twitter - the venues are on here as are artists and the media. It's ideal for newsworthy content, short videos, photos, as well as links to posts that feature tips/tricks/lists and the like. Tagging will likely get a retweet (RT). I use Twitter to let appropriate media and bloggers know about my artists news.
Google+ - The single biggest reason I use G+ is for the search. The minute I share my content on G+, it's on Google and searchable. To my point above about creating content thoughtfully with SEO in mind, my G+ posts around roster artist Lyle Cogen (who offers an anti-bullying theatre piece) will appear on the first or second page of someone's Google search on "anti-bullying theatre for schools."
You Tube and Vimeo - Most of my artists have the original video files and they upload the files to their own video platforms. When I do have copies, I upload them to both platforms, under Piccadilly Arts' account, link back to this website, and make sure I use appropriate searchable keywords and adjectives. I have created a favorites section and playlists on each platform. I also embed the videos on my site so a presenter can watch from my site and not be redirected to another site. While Vimeo is prettier and cleaner (and doesn't run ads across your videos), Google owns You Tube and that means our favorite word "search" rears its head again. The You Tube video with the right language will likely appear in the first or second page of an organic search.
What I have not done yet is any sort of agency specific video. Maybe it's the fact that I grew up with a camcorder in my face from the time I was 9? It makes me nuts. I know I need to do more with it - video blogging, more behind the scenes video of the artists, trips, that sort of thing.
More - Colleagues have asked me about Facebook ads ("boost this post") and I've tried it a few times with a $5 limit and yes, it will absolutely boost the placement of your post and you'll see your average 100 views grow to close to 2000. What does it mean? That the reach was wider. Unfortunately casting a wide net doesn't mean we are targeting the exact people we need to target. I can see how it would work in other industries. After experimenting with this a few times, I've concluded it isn't worth me doing since my line of work and my artists' work is so specific to a small field and specific presenters.
I also suggest using an app like Hootsuite to aggregate all social platforms into one dashboard and control what you post to where and when, schedule posts, and more. I used it for a while. Ultimately, after being everywhere and experimenting with just about every social media platform, I came back to Facebook, Twitter, and G+ and video on occasion and I'd rather focus my time and efforts there and customize each post to the platform. Hootsuite is great if you're starting out and don't have a ton of time.
My best advice is to test out everything and find what works for you/your agency/your presenters like I did. What works for me may not work for you and what works for my artists may not work for me as the agent/manager. Know your audience, know your mission and brand, and know your goals.