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Invisible Content Syndrome and the Content Promotion Tactics to Cure It

Invisible Content Syndrome

Eyes fixed on his computer monitor, Jack felt perspiration form on his forehead as he waited in anticipation for the flood of visitors to the new campaign he and his team just launched.

Anticipation turned to nervousness as he looked around the room and asked, “Who’s promoting this content?”

All Jack got in return were blank stares and a bad case of Invisible Content Syndrome.

According to research by the Content Marketing Institute, 83% of B2B marketers use social networks for traffic, making it the most preferred tactic. At the same time, research from BuzzSumo reports that social sharing has dropped by 50% since 2015. With only 23% of CMOs feeling they are producing the right content and delivering it at the right time and format, lack of visibility is a disease content marketing is suffering across the industry.

The good news is that our client, “Dr. LinkedIn”, offers some cure. According to Digiday, likes and shares on LinkedIn are up more than 60% year-on-year, and LinkedIn tops just about every list including the B2B Content Marketing Report as the most effective social media platform for B2B marketers.

But what more can marketers do to cure Invisible Content Syndrome? While you consider engaging a capable marketing agency like ours for help, I’ve asked some of the top marketers in the industry for their best medicine. Here are their prescriptions:

Ann Handley
Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs (and first inductee into the Content Marketing Hall of Fame!)

Wrap your content in context wrapping paper. Your content marketing is a gift you give your audience. Or it should be. If it’s not, stop reading this article on distribution immediately and go back to create something that people want and value. (You know, like an actual good gift.)

Still here? GOOD! Gold star! You’re awesome!

Anyhoosie… share your content gifts on social channels. You know, like you’ve always done.

But now: make sure you wrap it first, using Context as your gift paper. In other words, share not just what the content is… but why it matters to you and your audience.

Your content marketing is a gift you give your audience. @marketingprofs

Why did you write it/produce it/film it/publish it? What about the topic is particularly relevant to this audience on LinkedIn/Twitter/Facebookstagram? What news item does it relate to? What’s so special about your take on it?

Wrap gifts individually for each distribution channel.

Bonus points if you do this by shooting a quick video, so that people can actually see and feel how excited you are.

I did this on LinkedIn with our announcement about our B2B Marketing Forum keynote speakers. I could have just shared the speakers and told how excited I truly am… but instead I shared why we picked them, and how excited I was about it. My excited face and googly eyes say it all.

People love nicely wrapped gifts. Because getting one is way more fun than getting a gift “wrapped” only in a shopping bag from the airport Hudson’s News, right?

Context = the best kind of content gift wrapping paper.

Andrew Davis
Andrew Davis, Keynote Speaker and Best Selling Author at Monumental Shift

Most of us write a blog post, upload our podcast, or finish editing our video, and as soon as it’s released, we promote it everywhere. We tweet it and summarize it on LinkedIn. We post it on Facebook and email it to everyone. We create an Instagram story and Snap it. In an hour our content is distributed everywhere. We vomit our content on our audience all at once.

Some of the most successful content creators see massive success when they focus less on WHERE they distribute their content and instead focus on WHEN. @DrewDavisHere

It turns out that some of the most successful content creators see massive success over a more extended period when they focus less on WHERE they distribute their content and instead focus on WHEN to distribute their content.

For example, first, send your content to your email subscribers. Now, before you post it anywhere else wait. Wait until your most loyal audience has had time to click and consume your content. (Maybe this takes 24 hours or even a couple of days.) Next, promote your content on one social channel at a time, watching the consumption rise and fall before moving on to the next channel.

The result is a much more successful content distribution and promotion strategy that builds momentum and social proof. Go ahead, give it a shot. You’ll be so glad you did.

Ursula Ringham
Ursula Ringham, Head of Global Influencer Marketing at SAP

Social media influencers are an important ingredient in creating and promoting memorable content. As you’ve seen from industry reports, people are more opt to trust influencers than brands. But you must start by including influencers in the content creation process. Whether it’s a blog, video, podcast, or live-stream, collaborate with the influencer on the story you want to tell and how best it will resonate with their audience.

Whether it’s a blog, video, podcast, or live-stream, collaborate with influencers on the story you want to tell and how best it will resonate with their audiences. @ursularingham

Secret Tip? While the content is being created, have the influencer create anticipation about it before it even comes out, like a teaser of what’s to come. That way, their audience will be hungry for it. And that’s when the value of an influencer kicks in. They can take your promotion strategy for that piece of content to the next level with their reach across multiple social platforms.

Larry Kim
Larry Kim, CEO at MobileMonkey

When we promote MobileMonkey’s great content, we don’t “give away” the ending in its distribution and promotion. We hint at the payoff in a way that leaves the reader shouting, “Tell me more!”.

“Don’t ‘give away’ the ending in your content’s distribution and promotion. Hint at the payoff in a way that leaves the reader shouting, ‘Tell me more!” @larrykim

A secret weapon, a major loss, something personal, a traditional model turned upside down… just a hint can avoid invisible content syndrome. This isn’t revolutionary, but it’s overlooked and a constant in MobileMonkey’s campaigns.

Cathy McPhilips
Cathy McPhillips, Vice President of Marketing at Content Marketing Institute

Have a plan. You spend so much time creating epic content, so why not spend that same amount of time coming up with a plan for distribution and promotion? It can be a down and dirty spreadsheet — fill in dates, audience, messaging, and what you’re trying to achieve.

Marketers spend time creating epic content, so why not spend that same amount of time coming up with a plan for distribution and promotion? @cmcphillips

Mix up the messaging, hashtags, keywords, days, times that best suit your customers, set up UTM parameters to then analyze what’s working. Find ways that your content can help someone solve a problem. Don’t assume they’ll find you or your content without you doing legwork on your end.

Mike King
Michael King, Managing Director at iPullRank

It’s remarkable to me that brands will spend a considerable amount of money on building something, but very little on promoting it. I believe brands should take the same approach that networks do with televised content: Spend 5X what you spent to make something to promote it.

Brands should take the same approach that networks do with televised content: Spend 5X what you spent to make something to promote it. @iPullRank

The tactic that we use to drive a wealth of high value traffic is creating bite-sized relevant content pieces that we can guest post on other high traffic sites and link back to our tent pole content. Effectively, you end up borrowing traffic from sites that already have your audience. We tend to make the content asset freely available in HTML format, but with key capture points such as Wistia’s Turnstile feature, which creates a point in a video where you can’t watch any further without giving your email address.

We’ll also use Pay with a Tweet to offer the audience download versions. So, you end up creating more opportunity to capture leads and drive social sharing without completely gating your content.

Carla Johnson
Carla Johnson, Programme Director, Digital Marketing at HARBOUR.SPACE

Great content brings expertise to the table, but there’s hardly anyone who’s learned all the tough lessons themselves. To help promote content, tap into people who have solved the problem that your content helps your audience with. Get their insights, expertise and, if they’re really honest, epic fails so that your audience can get some leap-frog learning and avoid the same mistakes.

To help promote content, tap into people who have solved the problem that your content helps your audience with. @CarlaJohnson

Doing this helps make invisible content visible in two ways – it’s sure to hit sore spots and pitfalls that your audience deals with, so they’re more likely to share. And when you make it easy for the experts you’ve tapped to share the final content, you’ve added breadth, depth and credibility to it as well. People like to be a part of, and share, great advice.

Mike Stelzner
Mike Stelzner, CEO/Founder of Social Media Examiner

My secret to getting content seen is to focus on the real needs of my audience. If they are social media marketers struggling with exposure in the Facebook News Feed, you can bet I’ll be talking about that. When you hit a real need, people will share your content and talk about it.

The secret to getting content seen is to focus on the real needs of your audience: conducting studies, getting on the phone, or meeting them in person. @Mike_Stelzner

The only way to really understand the pains of your audience is to really know them. That’s where conducting studies, getting on the phone, or meeting them in person can be exceptionally valuable.

Sujan Patel
Sujan Patel, GM and Co-Founder of Web Profits

There’s one thing I do every time to ensure my content gets seen, I create a promotion plan for every content idea that I come up with. This sounds very simple and it is however it’s an extra step rarely taken by content marketers.

If I can’t come up with at least 5 ways to promote the content I want to make, than it shouldn’t be written. @sujanpatel

My rule of thumb is that if I can’t come up with at least 5 ways to promote the content than it shouldn’t be written. When you start with promotion you build content promotion into the article itself which ensures it receives maximum visibility.

It’s also important to note that content promotion takes significant time so you need to carve out time and resources for promotion. I often spend 80% of my time promoting content.

Joe Pulizzi
Joe Pulizzi, Co-Founder and Board Member at The Orange Effect Foundation, Founder at Content Marketing Institute

I call this the “Core 20” rule of promotion. In my experience, there are generally 20 people in your universe that will highly benefit from the content you create. If you do your homework correctly, those 20 individuals have loyal audiences themselves. They don’t have to have large audiences, just loyal ones.

The “Core 20” rule of promotion: Get 20 people with loyal audiences involved BEFORE you create your content. Insert their wisdom and then ask them to promote. @JoePulizzi

Get those 20 people involved BEFORE you create the content. Insert their wisdom into the text, the video, the podcast series, the event. Consider these 20 your executive committee. Keep them updated as to how your content is progressing and when it will be released. Then, ask them to do one thing. Possibly an email to their audience. A few tweets…a FB post. Email is always my favorite. In this way, you have built a content promotion team that does not just rely on your own distribution.

Get Started Promoting Your Content Today

We all know that “Build it and they will come” advice was great for the movies but not so great when it came to Jack and his less than healthy approach to content marketing. Take the advice above to heart and give content promotion some serious consideration during the planning phase of your next content marketing program.

Speaking of content planning, be sure to check out the 2018 Content Planning Report from DivvyHQ and TopRank Marketing.

Whether you partner with influencers who will help promote the content you collaborated on or take full advantage of all the opportunities available, it’s important to make content promotion an essential part of your content marketing regimen.

If you would like even more content promotion tips, here is a list of 50 content promotion tactics. Are you more into more visual content? Here’s an ebook version of this post:

A version of this post was originally published on the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions blog


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2018. |
Invisible Content Syndrome and the Content Promotion Tactics to Cure It | https://www.toprankblog.com

The post Invisible Content Syndrome and the Content Promotion Tactics to Cure It appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

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Tales from the Trenches: How to Transition from Marketing Doer to Marketing Leader

I was roughly five years into my marketing career when I began managing my first direct report. It was the biggest challenge I faced yet. I was now being evaluated on the actions, successes, and failures of another person—and I also knew it was my responsibility to give them the support and tools they needed to have more successes than failures.

I felt as if I didn’t know how to influence, motivate, or persuade another person. But I was given the opportunity to try and to learn. I had a great group of bosses, mentors, and peers giving me advice, listening to my concerns or wins, and allowing me to make mistakes.

Quite a few years (and many direct reports) later, today I have a much better handle on how to manage a team. And as I’ve grown, I’ve learned that my job isn’t just to manage people, time, projects, or priorities, my job is to lead.

But it can be hard to make the transition from a “doer” to a leader. And the stakes are high. In fact, a recent study from TINYpulse found that nearly 50% of employees have quit a job because of a less than stellar manager. In addition, those who don’t feel recognized for their work are two-times as likely to be job hunting.

Whether you’re stepping into your first management role, moving onto middle management, or you have your eye on the CMO office, as a leader it’s your job to inspire, motivate, and grow a happy and high-functioning team. The insights below are designed to help guide you down a successful path to a fruitful career and happy, supported, and motivated employees. 

Tip #1: Understand the landscape

Whether you’re managing one team member or an entire department, you’ll be setting goals and playing an integral role in setting the marketing strategy your team is responsible for driving results with. But to do that, you must understand the broad and niche context in which your organization, department, or service line operates. This means getting to know your customers, prospects, and competitors more deeply, so you thoughtfully can guide and educate your team:

  • Seek out opportunities to hold monthly or quarterly one-on-one calls with your priority customers. Ask them what they value most about your organization or product, as well as where you can do better. 
  • Regularly research your competitors. Subscribe to emails, follow them on social media, and attend industry events where they might be speaking. This will give you unique intel that you can bring back to your team.
  • Get out of the marketing silo. Brainstorm with the sales team. Talk to your customer service team. These teams are intimately familiar with the challenges your customers and prospects face.

Tip #2: Set goals … and exceed them

Yes, you’ve probably be setting goals at all stages of your career. As an individual contributor, your goals were likely focused on what you could individually achieve. In a leadership role, you’re likely responsible for setting goals for your team that will ladder to corporate goals. If you are new to a leadership role, achieving goals that map directly to the success of the company, can be a quick win to build trust within leadership and grow your team and influence. 

  • Keep your goals top of mind. Discuss progress, roadblocks, and wins with your team, your boss, and other leaders. The more discussion around goals, the more likely you and your team are to remain focused and accountable on achieving them. 
  • Incentivize if you can. Big and small incentives can keep your team motivated to achieve their goals.
  • Make it a number. In my experience, setting and achieving a numerical goal has more impact on the organization and is generally more impressive than an accomplishment-based goal. For example, make the goal double MQLs, instead of rolling out a new marketing automation system. The marketing automation system is a stepping stone to reach the goal, not the actual goal. 
  • Set goals quarterly. Ninety days is long enough to achieve something big-ish, but short enough to keep you focused. We’ve found quarterly goals helps us track for the year and keep the team more motivated. 

[bctt tweet="The more discussion around goals, the more likely you and your team are to remain focused and accountable on achieving them. @Alexis5484" username="toprank"]

Tip #3: Focus on scalability

Once it’s time to step out of day-to-day execution and supervision and into leadership, you should focus more on optimizing and solving issues on a systematic basis, rather than local basis. When I was a new manager, I found myself constantly on the run putting out fires as they would pop up, instead of focusing on why it started and how to prevent it going forward.

  • Create make-sense processes. Identify the things your team does over and over again such as campaign launches, attending events, or adding new content to the website. These are replicable events that you can create process around and then optimize for efficiency, results, and so on.
  • Don’t feel like you have to stick to the status quo. Just because the marketing team has always had six copywriters, two content strategists, and an analyst, doesn’t mean that’s the ideal structure. Document the needs and functions of the organization and then map out the most make-sense roles to those needs. For the sake of the exercise, take the current situation out of it. You can employ a phased approach to get you from current situation to ideal. 

Tip #4: Shift the spotlight to your team

As you’re moving into leadership, you’re likely trying to build trust and show value to upper leadership, and it can be easy to lose focus on serving your team. Fostering a happy, well-functioning team is your top priority. Not only can you not do your job without them, but it is one of the best indicators of success to your boss and your boss’s boss. 

  • Shift how you find personal value from work. Most of us have moved into leadership, after being highly successful individual contributors and supervisors. As leaders, we must find more value from the task, result, or project we helped someone else achieve, rather than the work we did ourselves. 
  • Clear obstacles. Be transparent when you can; have your employees’ backs. These things build trust and create a secure, happy, and productive team. 
  • Cultivate the next round of leaders. Understand what your team wants to achieve personally within their careers within the next five or 10 years, and help them do that. As leaders, we should always be identifying and growing the team members who want to move to the next round in their careers. 

[bctt tweet="Most of us have moved into leadership, after being highly successful individual contributors and supervisors. As leaders, we must find more value from the task, result, or project we helped someone else achieve. @Alexis5484" username="toprank"]

Tip #5: Stay fresh on the job

At all levels of my career, I’ve found the best way to build trust with a team is to help them solve a problem. The more you understand your team’s job function, the more able you will be able to help them solve problems, innovate, and provide feedback to improve the function of their performance. 

  • Stay fresh. I find the best way to do this is to jump in and help execute from time to time. So, write a blog post or create the tactical plan. This keeps you from getting rusty, but also helps you empathize with your team and the challenges within their roles. 
  • Ask questions. Sometimes you won’t understand the details of what they’re working on, particularly if you’re leading a cross functional team. But ask questions. Help them look at the problem critically, and it’s likely you’ll guide them to their own answer. 

Tip #6: Be the leader

One of the toughest transitions from individual contributor to leader, is owning your role as the leader. For the first few years that I was managing a small team, I was more likely to be found deep in the weeds, doing the tasks I did in my previous job titles, than actually doing my work as a leader.

There were a couple reasons for this. It was comfortable doing the work; I already knew how to do it and I was good at. I also felt like I was most helpful to my team if I was helping them get the work done by actually doing the work. 

This was not true. See tip No. 3. You (and I) are most helpful to your team when you’re solving systematic problems, optimizing workflow and production, and creating a happy and secure work environment. If you’re always in the weeds, all you can see is the weeds. 

[bctt tweet="You're most helpful to your team when you’re solving systematic problems, optimizing workflow and production, and creating a happy and secure work environment. @Alexis5484 on being a #marketing leader" username="toprank"]

Tip #7: Keep learning

The leaders I am most inspired by inside and outside of my organization are probably the most voracious learners. Continuous learning through a variety of mediums will help you continue to evolve your skill set, bring in fresh ideas, and help you be inspired to test something new. Here are a couple of the resources that I go to:

  • Read: HBR is a go to for great content on how to lead, manage and shape a business. 
  • Listen: Dear HBR has a great Q&A format about navigating workplace challenges. 
  • Attend: Industry events are great for providing outside perspective, networking with other leaders and inspiring the evolution of your tactics. MarketingProfs is a great event for marketers.

Take Your Place at the Leadership Table

Each stage of your career offers a unique set of challenges and opportunities. The way in which you handle those situations—tackling them head-on or leaving them for someone else—has the potential to make or break your success in that position… and the one that may or may not come after. Keep these pieces of advice in mind as you work to build your team, your organization, and career as a leader.

Looking for more tips on how to inspire, motivate, and build a more effective marketing team? Check out our tips for getting your marketing team to work better together.

The post Tales from the Trenches: How to Transition from Marketing Doer to Marketing Leader appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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