Getting a worthwhile return on investments is a matter of livelihood for content marketers and creators. If your team is struggling to provide results for clients, then it’s time to take the necessary steps to boost social traction. Here are a few simple steps to kick your ROI into overdrive. Remember to review these steps once in a while to keep yourself from slipping into old habits and lackadaisical tendencies.
1. Revisit Old Flames
The first key to keeping your ROI impressive for clients is to revisit old content. Do what you can to dress it up and send it out into the social scene again. Here are a few options that will make old content come to life again:
- Update the statistics for change,
- Review your factoids – consider replacing them with culturally relevant/trendy facts.
- Respond to comments.
- Submit to new and emerging social networks.
- Post a controversial comment – remember to be authentic.
- Replace images with current pictures
- Link to newer posts and link from newer posts to this piece
Clients can help you keep old posts afloat. Ask them to get involved with reader responses and provide technical answers to questions. Clients can also help by sharing these older posts on their Facebook pages so that their friends and family will ‘like’ it.
2. Keep Your Pitches Low or Foul-Out
Sales pitches from clients need to be kept to a minimum. If you have to stuff an awkward keyword phrase or link into the content, then the readers will be suspicious of your agenda. Shape content around the keywords and links so that they feel organic.
Keep sales pitches to a rate of 10% or lower. The remaining 90% should be valuable and worthwhile for the reader. Provide something worth sharing, and the readers will overlook that 10% sales pitch for the meaningful 90%.
3. Place CTAs as Carefully as Present Bows
Your calls to action should be carefully presented to the reader. Make sure they draw attention without detracting from the content. Graphic designers should be instrumental in placing the CTAs if they are graphic or larger than the standard font, because your designers will have an eye for what draws positive attention.
In general, CTAs should be a contrasting color to the general scheme. They should be placed at the top and bottom of the page, or at a point that draws attention during a pause in reading. Here’s a great piece by Amanda Dodge on maximizing ROI without sounding pushy.
4. Know Your Audience
By knowing your audiences you can better provide them with what they want. Get to know them by reading their comments, studying their habits, and monitoring the ebb and flow of your readership.
5. Know Your Competitors’ Game Plans
Studying clients’ competitors will teach you what their game plan is, as well as what they are publishing. It’s a bad idea to publish similar titles within a few months of competitors, because the shared readership will feel you stole the idea, or they will simply be tired of reading about it. Unless you can drastically improve upon the competitor’s content, put it on a hit list to avoid.
6. Be the Tortoise of Content Strategy
There’s no such thing as magic: you shouldn’t bet on creating one magic bullet for your content strategy that will “go viral” and result in fame and success. Rather, marketers should carefully develop a lot of solid content that has value for readers.
If you try to be the business hare and cut-out the hard work by crafting one perfect piece of content, you could waste a lot of time and effort. If the piece fails, then your efforts are all wasted and the client will be disappointed. By slowly but surely winning the race, the tortoise of content strategy will build a long-lasting readership that is loyal, dependable, and devoted.
7. Plan for Each Battle, but Focus on the War
Facebook, Twitter, and StumbleUpon are each merely battles in your content war. Each of these tactics will add up to success or failure, but no one social site is going to amount to a social win or failure. You need a strategy that employs many tactics, but that focuses on the big picture.
Remind clients not to focus too heavily on any one source of fans and readers. Spread out your efforts to maximize on potential customers.
8. Diversify Your Content Types
When you diversify your content types you can more easily market to a client’s readers on all of the social networking sites without seeming out-of-place. For example, your client can’t post a great article on Tumblr or Pinterest for fans, but they could post the accompanying infographic or snapshot there.
Try to oscillate from quick photos to infographics, articles to tweets, and then back again. There are more forms of content than most clients consider. Pitch each of these types to your clients for great diversity:
- Venn Diagrams
Articles, blogs, and infographics are the most popular because they are easy. However, a video on YouTube might work best for certain clients, and a recipe shared on Pinterest could be great for others.
9. Pay It Forward (to Yourself)
Link back to your client’s very best articles. Never miss the opportunity to get that renewed burst of activity on your old pieces from your new ones. Clients will love the boosted ROI on forgotten media, and your new content will seem more meritorious to readers if the links are relevant.
Getting a great return on investments depends upon a solid readership, a lot of hard work, and diligence. Content marketers should take the time to revisit old posts quarterly to increase their social traction and to ensure that clients enjoy long-term content success.