Finding the Best Value in Your Content and Social Media

Share |

"There's an opportunity for publishers to repackage content, and not to [give away] content on social media," said Tracy Samantha Schmidt, principal of Socially Authentic, at an SIIA Marketing Boot Camp in Chicago last week. "Explore other ways to find value in your posts, so that [your customers] are paying for content."

This subject will be explored twice in the coming month—first in a SIPA webinar from Emily Neville-O'Neill, senior product manager, Harvard Business Publishing, titled How They Leveraged Their Content Archives to Boost Subscriptions, Engagement and Retention; and next at the SIPA Annual 2017 Conference, June 5-7, in a session titled Monetizing Archived Content and Leveraging Your Data, led by Kalani Rosell, VP & publisher, NewsRx.

Neville-O'Neill helped to develop an editor-guided review for access to their archive. "How do we highlight the value of the archive to our readers?" she asked. Also, their Social Archive Program sends out evergreen articles from their past each week. That has brought an average of 180,000 page views a month in almost three years. And they have been taking archived articles and breaking them down into ideas so they're easier to apply to real situations. "We kept hearing that people wanted that," she said.

Schmidt is a social media expert who doesn't always think that social media is the answer. James Arnold, VP of digital sales for Farm Journal, applauded after she warned about giving content away. (Read about his success with social media here.) But Schmidt—and her co-presenter Charlene Blohm, president of Blohm and Associates—did have some good suggestions for getting the biggest bang from your social media.

1. Measure everything. How many responses do you get? How many people contacted customer service? "At Crain I insisted that all employees were constantly trained on social media," said Schmidt. "And we would create specific links to track different campaigns. Our audience development team tracked everything. "Clearly articulate what it is you're going to measure," added Blohm.

2. Look at paid social. "We're seeing success with paid social," Schmidt said. "What's your content marketing strategy? How do we use paid ads on social to drive them back to our website?"

3. Think carefully about when you send. Schmidt has had great success with The Sunday Night Memo that she sends to executives. "It takes two-minutes to read and we really think about value [when putting it together]," she said. "CEOs are thinking about work at 7 pm on Sunday. I'm totally against putting everything on social media at 9 am Monday morning."

4. "Empower your sales team to become brands themselves," said Schmidt. "How do we empower employees to be advocates of our brands? Video is everything this year. [Brands] can make money off of that. And images are essential for all content being shared. Create images to support your content." LinkedIn is becoming a thought leadership place, Blohm added.

5. Have a standard social media policy for employees. The best thing for companies to do with social media is to have a standard policy—with really strong guidance. Who's doing what? How do you respond in different situations?

And from Arnold:

6. Use social tools to create personas from the specific audience profiles in your database. "The social tools that you're given to find lookalikes of who you're targeting gives you scale you that weren't able to see before," said Arnold. A few years ago, Farm Journal was struggling to find prospects in the Southwest. "We put up 50,000 names of known cattle guys in our database and found a million lookalikes on Facebook and marketed to those folks."

Ronn Are you subscribed to the SIPAlert Daily?
If not, you're missing out on daily strategies, tips, profiles and case studies that can build your audience and increase revenue. To sign up, please contact Nevena Jovanovic.

Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…