If your startup has a digital presence then you have probably heard the words, content marketing being thrown around lot. In fact, according to Google Trends interest in content marketing has grown fivefold since 2011. As of September, 2015 there are over 50,000 searches per month being made for the term – up from 30,000 in 2013 and these numbers are only set to rise.
Upon hearing this, I find a lot of clients break out into what could only be described as a nervous sweat. After all, if EVERYBODY is doing it, then what can one do to differentiate themselves, let alone set up a system that works well without spending too much money or hiring a full time content marketer?
The strategy outlined below will explain how you can very easily set up a content marketing funnel that will post highly shareable articles to all your company’s followers, whilst bringing traffic back to your business. The best part? You won’t have to write up a single piece of content!
The goal we’re trying to acheive is to get a consistent stream of the latest highly relevant, highly shareable content being posted across all of our social media profiles, all containing a Snip.ly overlay with our product’s call to action, or lead gen form.
Step 1: Locating Content Feed
In this example I’m going to sign up to Buzzsumo’s free trial and in order to gain access to their ‘trending now’ section. I find this helpful because under each post there are social stats that indicate how popular a post is at the moment. You are by no means limited to using Buzzsumo, and I’ll talk about how to integrate other services further down.
Select the category that your niche falls into from the menu at the top of the page, and if the relevant category is not listed, press the +Topic button and set up your own filter. Once you’ve done this, hit that RSS button and a small dialog box will appear containing your new RSS url.
Now that you have the source from where you will be automatically pulling content, let’s go ahead and add this RSS feed into Snip.ly so that every new entry on the feed will get snipped. Here’s an example from our company Influx which provides 24 x 7 customer service.
Enter the RSS url you previously generated from Buzzsumo (or whichever content source you are using) and press create feed. If you haven’t chosen your Call to Action yet, or if the drop down box is empty, go ahead and create a new call to action, set it to whatever type you want (i.e. image, lead gen etc), and then repeat the process above.
After you have created your feed, Snip.ly will display some integration options used for scheduling content (hootsuite, dlvr, ifttt). The benefits of each of these services are outlined in the video demo included with this post.
Step 3: Content Scheduling
Though, you can (and should) use one of the suggested services above, I realize that as a startup sometimes you are on a budget, and may not invest in another thing without first seeing if it works.
So for this example, we will be scheduling our content using a free service called TwitterFeed and making some minor tweaks to make our content look prettier on the search results.
Once you’ve integrated your social account(s) with TwitterFeed, you’ll see your dashboard which won’t contain any feeds just yet. But we’re going to change that and finalize your content strategy in the next two minutes, so read on!
Once you click on ‘Add New Feed’ you’ll be redirected to feed setup page (shown below). Go back to Snip.ly and copy the RSS url you generated in step 2, paste it into TwitterFeed and make sure the ‘active’ checkbox underneath is ticked.
You’ll notice there a plethora of advanced settings which I recommend you take note of, otherwise you might accidentally find yourself blasting your followers with dozens of new posts every minute. As you would imagine, the easiest way to avoid this happening is to tweak the update frequency setting. Since we’re pulling content in from Buzzsumo in this case, and it’s being updated every hour, I like to Twitter Feed to check for new posts every 6 hours, and post up to 1 update at a time. This way, our Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn etc will at most post 3 new pieces of content everyday.
It goes without saying that social networks are different, the people most active on them are different, and the expectations they have are different. So, I wouldn’t suggest using the ‘one size fits all’ strategy. Instead, using analytics provided by your respective social media platform, or management tool – find the times that your followers are more responsive on each network and schedule content accordingly.
Note: For higher targeting, scroll through the advanced settings and apply keyword filters to your content so that only content that matches those filters is posted. Likewise, if you are using Twitter feel free to prefix or suffix each post that goes with a hashtag. Just doing this, I’ve noticed incredible engagement on my personal account, coming in the form of other users adding me to their ‘lists’.
To conclude, follow the TwitterFeed wizard, add in your other social profiles and rest assured knowing that your followers will always have great content that links back to your business. Next time, how to really spice things up using APIs, IFTTT & More..