Category Archives: Content Strategy

10 Editorial Tactics You Can Use Now

Online content is at its peak level and the competition has become so great that if you’re going to get into the game you need a toolkit to help cut through the clutter. Through research and mostly experimentation, I’ve collected ten of the best tactics I use to help get the audience to consume my content. These tactics are primarily used for online publishing, but can be applied to anyone that’s creating content and trying to reach an audience.

These tactics are a great place to start but only serve as a compliment to great content. Make sure your content is good quality or you’ll be wasting your time with the tactics. It also helps if you know who you’re trying to target, but that’s another topic altogether.

10 Editorial Tactics You Can Use Now –

  1. Urgent Headlines
    Use words that will be searched locally and around the world. It helps to front load your headline with the targeted key phrase of your article.
  2. Summary Section
    Off the top of the story give three or four bullet points. Update these short elements as the story evolves. This makes it easy for people on mobile to learn the overall story quickly.
  3. Subheadlines
    Give subheadlines through the story to make it easy to scan as people scroll. Use these to divide the story into themes including police response, victims, and about the school.
  4. Social Elements
    Tweets and Facebook posts from official sources can be added to the copy to illustrate the points of the story…this can include tweets from your reporters and station.
  5. Other Stories
    Have links in the story that point to sidebars. Have a list of the other stories at the end with links. Don’t depend on automation to suggest where the reader should go next.
  6. Video
    Embed a video or two within the body of the story.
  7. Streaming
    Include a link to your live streaming page.
  8. Pull quotes
    Emphasize a segment of the story and pull it out so the reader can easily digest it.
  9. Social Handles
    Include the Twitter accounts you want people to follow. Embed social posts to reinforce key points of the story.
  10. Continuing Coverage
    End the story pointing to content on your other platforms. Tell your audience there will be more content to come.

Facebook Changes News Feed; Is All Lost for Publishers?

It looks like the day has arrived. The day Facebook seals their effort that cuts down on sending traffic to publisher (and brands) sites. It’s not surprising since they’ve been working on this effort since April. And they’ve cut down on the effectiveness of page posting for over the past 2 years.

It makes sense. Since they went public, they need to make money. To do this, they need to provide their customers with the best possible experience so they stay connected to their platform where they provide services for advertisers

According to comScore, Facebook ranked #3 in unique visitors in the U.S. last year. It’s only natural for publishers to ride the wave and drive traffic from this resource. However, with the News Feed change, the free lunch is over. Publishers will need to adapt a digital marketing playbook if they want to keep their content in front of their audience.

Some vendors argue that publishers, particularly news outlets, will not be affected like retail brands. However, I disagree with this. Of course a vendor offering a social media posting platform will tell you this their business model relies on this not being true.

If the average Facebook user has more than 200 friends and follows an average of 70 pages and the News Feed algorithm determines the top 300 posts that it thinks users care about most, where does that leave brand pages exactly?

I don’t want to sound like a broken record, and if you’re reading this article, I’d assume you’ve heard this before. The key is for brands to ensure their posts are highly engaging if they want to stay in the game and they need to make sure to pay attention to their insights if they want to stay successful. Unfortunately, most news publishers just steadily stream out their content without paying attention whether or not it resonates with their followers. Until they adapt a digital marketing philosophy about how they post their news stories, they will see huge reductions in their social media traffic.

I’ve had this love/hate relationship with Facebook in the years I’ve been working in online publishing. From a digital marketing standpoint, Facebook is great with the targeting capabilities it offers when you pay for advertising. From a publisher perspective, there’s no longer the free lunch it used to provide. This is a hard pill to swallow for many publishers because they spend a lot of resources in providing content to Facebook.

Will this impact publisher content? It will if they rely solely on inbound traffic from Facebook.

According to Facebook –

The specific impact on your Page’s distribution and other metrics may vary depending on the composition of your audience. For example, if a lot of your referral traffic is the result of people sharing your content and their friends liking and commenting on it, there will be less of an impact than if the majority of your traffic comes directly through Page posts.

News publishers will be affected by this change and they will need to make decisions about what kind of resources they will need to put into Facebook to find the returns they’re looking for.

Mobile Behavior Takes Action

I just finished watching Micro-Moments: The New Battleground for Brands by Google and the message is clear that customers don’t just go online anymore, they live online. For most of us in technology fields, this is no surprise, but with mobile technology getting easier and consumers becoming more dependent, the behavior is changing from merely searching to taking action.

The video was hosted by Google’s Digital Strategist, Marcus Yco, the Director of Performance Marketing, Matt Lawson and explored the current trend in decision-making behavior of consumers. Mr. Lawson coined the phrase “Micro Moments” which are short bursts in behavior, where the expectations of relevancy are higher than ever before.

micromomentsslide
Screengrab from Micro Moments presentation by Google

With the fragmented consumer purchase journey, it’s important for marketers to track intent and context of the user’s path as it leads to conversion. Ways that this can be accomplished are:

  • Identify micro-moments that matter.
    • When and why people reach out to us and identify those moments to win.
  • Deliver on the customer’s needs on the moment.
    • The digital strategy needs to be focused and in place and the motivation of the consumer needs to be understood.
  • Measure the moments that matter.
    • Define the KPIs. Find the different paths that users can convert to customers.

If brands can satisfy the immediacy and relevancy of customers, it leads to loyalty. Customers have an expectation of getting their needs met immediately and brands need to satisfy this need in order to be successful in the mobile space. In a nutshell, the mobile consumer wants content that is useful and timely.

Do Facebook Ads Use the Same Recognition Technology as Images

I’m always surprised when split-testing online ads. Lately, I really can’t describe why one ad out-performs the others.

I set up an acquisition campaign on Facebook to drive more followers to our company page. We set up 6 ads utilizing the normal optimization techniques. The goal is to test all six and when the top performer emerges, we will adjust our budget to the best ad.

What I found interesting is that all six were fairly similar with slight changes to test for effectiveness. However, one ad in particular wasn’t visually different but was significantly different in the execution of the design. The other ads used tested techniques of showing faces along with our company logo, but one ad did not have a graphic of our logo placed on the image, but instead was a picture of one of our news trucks with our logo on the side. This ad is the highest-performing ad.

Now I don’t know for sure, but I theorize it has something to do with Facebook’s recognition technology. I believe that Facebook cannot read the actual text of the graphic because it’s embedded within the picture, instead of placed on a layer inside Photoshop.

I can’t really prove this, but I find it peculiar. Therefore, after this ad campaign has ended, I’m going to attempt the same scenario with ads that are compositionally different. I will update what I find out.