This week my friends over at Mynewsdesk will be launching an experiment. They will be following a senior citizen on her first week online over at the campaign site Mynewsdesknow (the site is in Swedish).
- Watch her try out the internet for the very first time here (video).
- The AMA (ask-me-anything) on Reddit.
I think the campaign will show that people can adopt to a life online quickly and actually start to produce real-time content themselves. As we’re waiting for the next 1,000,000,000 people to come online in the coming years, archives of valuable content will be a corporate asset to reckon with.
The rising need for valuable content was also why I was invited by Mynewsdesk to speak about inbound marketing at their annual Mynewsday events in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. And also, why I was invited to share my thoughts on the world where everyone creates content.
Because here it is:
Content may be king. But how do you produce ‘royal content’ worthy of the precious attention of others — especially if you’re a small- or medium-sized business?
How Content Came To Be So Important
When I studied strategic communications at the Mid Sweden University, media logic was a big thing. The premise was clearly divided:
On the one hand, we had interpersonal communications. How we perceive and interpret others depend greatly on context and psychological factors.
On the other hand, we had mass communication. How we transfer information and persuade audiences depend greatly on structures and the needs of the many.
Since this was back in 2000-2003, we obviously focused more on media logic affecting mass communication. But as Jesper Falkheimer, Professor in Strategic Communication at Lund University, pointed out when I met him in Helsingborg a few weeks ago for a joint seminar — we might just see an advent for interpersonal communication theories with the rise of inbound communications.
As more and more people actively are seeking out the knowledge they need in their lives (instead of being fed information through mass media), instead of manufacturing the illusion of consent through surveys and events, providing knowledge-based content becomes crucial for all companies.
But serving up your knowledge on a plate can prove to be a tall order.
Challenges With Producing Royal Content Fast
Content marketing has risen like a Phoenix from the ashes. I say this because PR professionals have been producing corporate content for owned channels since the birth of strategic communication as a discipline.
And in a world where everything has been upside-down for many, content is tangible. And it works.
But everything isn’t all about sunshine and playful bliss. Here are some of the challenges with producing content:
- Massive competition: Every content provider on the internet competes with every other content provider on the internet.
- Native content: Packaging your knowledge requires professional communication skills for various channels across text, audio, video and graphics.
- The sharing dilemma: Share your knowledge for free, but never ‘give away the farm’. Knowing that difference = strategy.
How To Produce Royal Content On A Budget
1. Ask your prospects for their no. 1 challenge. By asking your prospects what they’re struggling with, you get perfect inspiration for producing content that matters. Ask everyone who signs up for your mailing list. Ask everyone who takes your surveys. See more inbound examples here.
2. Blog! Blogging may be around for quite a while at this point, but corporate blogging is still king of the hill when it comes to inbound marketing. Don’t get discouraged by all the boring corporate blogs out there — be the difference! Check out this framework for corporate blogs.
3. Check out Fiverr for copy-editing. Did you know that you can find a professional that copy-edits your blog posts over at Fiverr? If you find a couple of great professionals, they can make your process much easier! Try Fiverr here.
4. Use 99Designs for your content design needs. I’ve used 99Designs several times and I’ve been very happy with the results. You submit your idea and several talented designers will compete for your business. Try 99Designs here.
5. Try Canva for making quick designs yourself. Canva is a great service and I use it all the time now. They provide easy-to-use design templates in common sizes and with a little tweaking, you end up with original designs that still looks quite professional. Try Canva here.
6. Use Mynewsdesk as an online knowledge hub. Most companies use their newsrooms to host their press releases. But you could also use their plug-and-play platform to serve knowledge-content to your prospects as well. Try Mynewsdesk here.
7. Use CoSchedule with Buffer for scheduling. To free up more time for content creation, find ways to plan your publishing across platforms. I personally like to use CoSchedule paired with Buffer (for WordPress users). Try CoSchedule here.
8. The 15-minute trick. Provide actionable knowledge, i.e. knowledge that is so easily actionable that your audience can apply your advice and get a result within 15 minutes. Check out this storytelling technique as an example.
9. The 2-year trick. Before publishing online content, ask yourself: Will this piece of content still provide valuable knowledge two years from now? Across acquisition, retention, search and conversion, this baseline filter could multiply the total value of your online content over time.
10. Add a CTA (call-to-action) to your content. This technique forces you and your team to ask yourselves the question “then what?”. Because getting people to your content is not the end game — it’s the start of the customer journey! Learn more about CTA here.