content creation

How to ensure a pain-free sign-off process

There are many companies reluctant to let their marketing execs have free reign with their owned and earned media.

This is understandable where reputations are easily won and lost. It doesn’t pay to give just anybody the keys to your website, email builder or social media channels and ask them to go at it. Social media faux pas in particular are well documented. 

18 reasons to love Virgin’s BLAH Airlines content marketing campaign

Every once in a while a campaign comes along that just puts a massive smile on this churlish blog team’s face. 

Virgin America is having an excellent year in the digital world. In June it managed to turn the process of booking a flight into a joyous process with its brand new website (as thoroughly documented in Ben Davis’s 30 little things I love about the new Virgin America website).

It’s also excelling itself in the world of social video. I’m a huge fan of its branded Instavids.

This week sees the launch of a gigantic multichannel, world-building content campaign that is as hilarious as it is inventive. It’s also kind of boring and an expert lesson in what not to do on almost every digital channel in existence. 

Welcome to BLAH Airlines. Here’s why it’s so brilliant.

The SME content creation toolkit for images, video and text

I’ve kept this list simple and it’s a fairly accurate idea of what I use day-to-day.

I didn’t use any of these tools when I started working on the Econsultancy blog. I’m still not an advanced content creator but I do have some small tricks up my sleeve.

Take a look at this list of tools to aid you in your image, video and text travails.

Enjoy!

The secret of creating reactive content

Being first with a piece of content isn’t necessarily a guarantee of victory in the traffic stakes, but in timely situations the sooner you can join the party the better.

When news breaks, and there’s a legitimate reason for your brand to share its voice then it’s all systems go to collaborate with your PR and marketing teams to produce something that will capture the attention of your audience.

A handful of good tips to win great links

This blog post is based on a presentation given at last week’s BrightonSEO 2014 entitled ‘The habits that land you links’.

Stacey Cavanagh is the head of search at Tecmark and she talked extensively on how to organically achieve links by creating awesome content that people want to share without cheating or playing the system, optimising attribution and improving outreach.

We still need links for SEO. Links are integral in returning the best, most relevant and topical search results.

Matt Cutts has stated that Google has experimented internally with an algorithm that ignores backlinks and the results are a mess. “It turns out that backlinks, even though there’s some noise and certainly a lot of spam, for the most part are still a really, really big win in terms of quality of search results”.

To many this news comes as reassuring, to others who don’t have a strong content marketing strategy and the fact that link building is increasingly being seen by Google as a signal of black hat practice, this is a wake-up call and that creating useful, entertaining, engaging and therefore shareable content is the way forward.

So how do you build links through content creation? Stacey Cavanagh laid out three key areas that can help you start building some good habits.

Multimedia content strategy: considering different formats & sizes

In the first part of this series, you would have run through the methods for mapping the customer journey and big ideas.

Once you’ve worked out these, you need to work out how you can meet the customer needs or wants through different content formats. 

It’s better to think beyond the blog and consider all the different channels that you can reach the customer on, and think to their particular advantages.

In the next part, I’ll talk more about the distribution of these formats on different platforms.

periodic table of content marketing

Introducing The Periodic Table of Content Marketing

I’ve written a lot about content strategy over the past decade. I’ve also highlighted various niche tactics that can help content creators to succeed, as well as plenty of examples of excellent content. But I haven’t created many visualisations, and recently I have been keen to do one.  

Surprisingly, nobody has yet created a periodic table for content marketing, so I thought I’d have a go. 

Before I introduce it, allow me to doff my hat at Dmitri Mendeleev, who first published the periodic table of elements. I’ll also nod in the direction of Danny Sullivan, who created one based around SEO success factors

Let me also say that I hope that this is helpful, as the world is awash with dubious infographics and I really didn’t want to produce something just for the sake of it.

The usual caveats apply: there will be obvious omissions, possibly duplicated symbols, and other schoolboy errors. I shall fix these things in a future iteration, so please raise a flag if you spot anything. 

Ok then, let’s take a look at the table, and I’ll explain my thinking along the way…

A helpful image sizing guide for social media profiles

I spotted this surprisingly useful infographic yesterday, over at Visually. It should come in handy for anybody who creates image-based content to add to their social profiles.

Five of the biggest social media platforms are covered, and it will help you to understand the various sizes needed for your profile pictures, cover images, backgrounds, and so on.

if you’re anything like me you’ll be yearning for some kind of cross-site standardisation in the future. For example, all of the profile pictures are different sizes, and one is a different shape. We can but dream!

Anyhow, it should make for a handy cut-out-and-keep guide for you…