News that Made the Cut
Look Ma, We’re Publishers
“Publish or perish” – a commonly known directive once applied exclusively to university professors. But today, every brand from the personal to the corporate giant, needs to have a plan for creating and distributing content that connects them with their prospects and customers. Easier said than done. Becoming a publisher whose content cuts through is one of the greatest challenges marketers face today. To help Renegade clients figure all this out, we decided to jump into publishing in a big way ourselves with our recent acquisition of SocialMediaExplorer.com (SME), which already had a loyal readership of over 100,000 per month. Suddenly, we have a laboratory to test all aspects of publishing in real time, from design to name capture, headline approaches to content length. Having just relaunched the site this week, here are a few of our initial observations.
Make a Point to Have a Point of ViewWith over 2 million blog posts flooding our screens daily, the last thing anyone wants to read is wishy-washy pulp with an unclear perspective on the subject at hand. For SME, this means harkening back to the voice of the founder, Jason Falls, who stirred up debate as an industry provocateur and offering crystal clear points of view on the issues of the day.
Go to Great Lengths to Be PithyWhile the debate about the perfect length of posts rages on and we test our way to an optimal approach at SME, we’re less concerned with length than we are with structural pith. In other words, the goal is always to tell the story as succinctly as possible leaving length simply a function of the required support to deliver sufficiently useful information.
Write Off Writing it All YourselfGenerating a large quantity of high quality content is definitely the bane of just about any publisher. To solve this challenge, many publishers rely on guest contributors. The trick here is to make sure that there is a fair exchange of value between author and publisher. For SME, we have created an exclusive VIP Explorers Club of 15 prominent bloggers who will receive a long list of added benefits like extra exposure on social media and in our newsletters.
Develop Images that are MovingText is simply insufficient to engage a large audience – especially visually-centric millennials. As such, publishers need to pepper their posts with arresting images and intersperse videos with regularity. Tools like Snappa are helping the non-designers on our SME staff create cool stuff on the cheap. For cost-effective video, we’re taking advantage of our presence at industry events to capture snack-sized insights.
Find the Story in the Story“Just the facts ma’am,” was fine for Detective Joe Friday but it won’t do if you want your content to be shared. Instead, find writers who understand the art of storytelling, who can take a narrative approach, turning mundane facts into an emotionally rich storyline worth retelling. Do that and the blogosphere will be your oyster. Stories will be written of your success, especially in the Cases & Causes section of SocialMediaExplorer.com!
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