Do you consider your business a publisher? Do you believe the paradigm of brand=publisher applies to you?
@KristiKellogg Absolutely!!! Successful brands are 100% publishers. Re: Dove. Red Bull. Coca Cola. etc. They TELL STORIES.
@lancemoore22 I can’t separate the two. Publishers have to money. Businesses have to make money.
@ClairWyant In this day in age, if you have a robust marketing program, should be 50/50 your business & publishing.
@KevinWaugh Not yet, but I am pushing my work to embrace that, it takes some political wrangling.
@tannerpetroff It’s more important than ever to be a publisher, and great at content marketing. We’re not perfect, but working on it.
@lisabuyer If you have a website or blog = you have a publication so… YES! brand=publisher. Each brand decides the quality of the publication.
@MUmar_Khan If any business wants to be a brand, it has to become a publisher first.
@ChrisJEverett Being a publisher is essential for getting your message (your value, credibility, etc) across to your prospective buyers.
@MichelleDLowery I think it depends on the vertical. Forcing a publication to jump on the bandwagon may not work well for all brands.
@joshmccormack Publishing is your way of letting people find your businesses value.
As you transition into a publisher, what have you learned from traditional publications or businesses?
@BruceClayInc Brands can learn a lot from journalism model.
@lisabuyer Ethics, copyright laws, attribution, fact checking, editorial calendars, quality writing, deadlines. Would a true journalist use OMG in a headline? Journalistic standards wins!
@8keith I went from a hands-on services co. to full-time online services – very tough mentally and physically.
@KristiKellogg Upworthy has really taken the reins on renovating the traditional headline — and that model is working.
@Sonray Story telling > traditional optimization. Seeding strategy > posting to social.
@maryi I’ve learned a lot from journalists – importance of a good headline and what to cover in content. Do good research.
@ClairWyant Content that shows credibility, but also content people want to read. More page views will result & hopefully more business. Regarding headline, different headline works for different audiences and industries.
@Sonray I love seeing a large quantity of New Visits to content that convert. Shows the value imo.
@lisabuyer #onlinewsroom sections of brand websites are gaining the most visits @ClairWyant @Sonray #seochat just see @TEKGROUP 2014 report
@KevinWaugh From having hired journalists in the past, enforcing content style with multiple contributors was the main thing they taught me. It is better to be right than first, grammar matters over all, and invest in a thesaurus.
@MichelleDLowery That’s where a managing editor becomes very important as well.
@sharmasights Every Year Google comes with a new update and everyone flock towards it……untill the next year Google Disavow all strategies.
@Sonray Which is why a brand can seperate from the herd by marketing instead of running after the algorithm.
@ScottACroom We set up mission statements and best practices for pretty much every aspect of SMM.
@bloomreachinc We learned from a journalist by hiring one! @mikecassidy joined as our storyteller and has made a huge impact. The style of writing that a journalist brings is so much more consumable. Clear take-aways in a very narrative form.
Mission statements can help drive content w/ purpose. Does your brand have a mission 4 its publishing?
@8keith Abosolutely .. helping level the playing field for small businesses – raising their game Online.
@Sonray I feel like a mission statement could be different than a brandvoice exercise & document which is what we do.
@lisabuyer Good point! Smart brands have a publishing mission
@BruceClayInc We have a content dept mission statement, specifically for the blog. Helps keep our goals in focus when making decisions.
@JennineMiller We follow best practices but I’m not sure if we have anything in writing. It’s one of those work smart not hard scenarios.
@ScottACroom Putting on paper can help make the ideas more concrete and more likely to be followed. Not 2 crazy formal though.
@lisabuyer Right – @today can do only very select news planning months in advance
@ChrisJEverett No specifically outlined mission statement, but always strive to Educate our audience. Being an educator wins.
@paulaspeak Having a mission statement is a big differentiator between media cos and brands. Per @JoePulizzi.
@bloomreachinc Not a mission so much as themes we focus on for a quarter. That content mixed in with ad hoc, timely pieces.
@MUmar_Khan They helps the brands to keep on track. Similarly, people may have an idea about the businesses by their missions.
Does functioning like a media org require more coordination between departments? How do you facilitate communication?
@bloomreachinc Yes and the only way to do that consistently is to have some dedicated to it who can ask the right questions.
@sonray Google Drive for internal and external teams to stay on point is really helpful. Personally love @trello as well!
@ScottACroom Cross dept communication is critical in any business, not just media. God bless @37signals
@JennineMiller Working in a small agency now but if it was larger I’d say yes! Communication is a must. Tools like Asana help everyone KIT.
@MichelleDLowery First, have clearly defined roles for each dept. Then encourage open communication. Important for leaders to set example.
@KevinWaugh If you are already being collaborative, changes are minimal. You still want peer opinion, especially if they’re industry experts.
@ScottACroom Use HootSuite for monitor/listen for the most part. Lifesaver. Can’t rave enough about Basecamp from @37signals . You can pry it from my cold dead fingers.
@MichelleDLowery I’ve used Basecamp and Asana. Still prefer @Podio.
@kmullett We have something called a content opportunity report for that. Leads to an editorial cal.
@UprightTire For monitoring, we really like @mention. Unbelievable what they can index!
@8keith project management – @Asana and @Basecamp – running neck & neck
@JennineMiller they both have good qualities. I like @Asana slightly better b/c of the ease of adding followers to & assigning tasks.
@feviyu We use @mavenlink for collaboration both internal for our team and externally with clients.
@JennineMiller I heard Twitter rewards you by bumping up live tweets rather than Hootsuite-scheduled ones?
@kmullett There was a short period on FB when scheduling was dinged but that was change long ago. No evidence on T.
What content types do you publish most (ex: web pages, blog, curation posts, videos, social posts, infographics)? Why?
@ChrisJEverett A mixture of everything. Diversification is key in publishing/content marketing for max customer reach.
@ScottACroom Totally industry and client dependent.
@Sonray Desired outcome is key. What is the best outcome? Then work backwards from there with a strategy/content type.
@JennineMiller Technically social posts because we’re trying to keep engagement up and it helps w/ content promotion for blog posts, etc.
@ClairWyant Big fan of blogging… plain simple text with a few images to help tell the story. Socially… love images & infographics. Infographics help tell they story in blogging, but a summary is needed, mainly for SEO purposes. @socialmedia2day has a lot. If you have the resources for video, use it. It’s more cost effective not to, but if you can, all the better.
@BruceClayInc We’ve invested most focus in our blog & newsletter for years. Now increasing publishing activity in Google+ & others, too.
@lisabuyer Seems like web pages get lost in the shuffle, if you have an online newsroom, each piece of news content =web page.
@paulaspeak True! Website revision takes a backseat to the latest blog post ideas, and blog has big payoff for SEO, too.
@kmullett ANY quality content that solves problems or answers questions will help SEO, not just those in the blog.
@MichelleDLowery Social, blog, web page, in that order. Video’s a bit out of budget right now. Infographics are overused, IMO.
For titles, do you find publisher goals (optimize for virality/social sharing) & SEO (rank for relevant keywords) are at odds?
@ScottACroom At odds? Not if you are doing them right.
@ChrisJEverett Sometimes Yes, Particularly when the SEO Focus doesn’t match the “Brand Message” (ie terminology used)
@KristiKellogg Sometimes — like when you want to write a ridiculously clever (or alliterative) headline but it fails to wield keywords.
@8keith its a dance .. there is no perfect title. That’s the FUN!
@JennineMiller They can be at odds but the trick (no easy task) is to nail the keywords & create an awesome/sharable title. If applicable use a # or @ in the title. When someone shares it w/o edits it can lead to more real conversation/interaction.
@lisabuyer For titles, needs to be optimized is the key, so sad how much I see NOT optimized at all.
@kmullett yup, people became way too enamored w/the idea of “blogs” when “frequently updated quality content” was the goal.
@emcgillivray As search engines get smarter, it’s better to optimize for humans than keywords.
@paulaspeak It’s not either/or … rankings bring visitors, don’t they? Or is your site a destination in itself?
@Sonray You can grow traffic but if you’re “#1″ you can’t grow that. Rankings can be manipulated, traffic can’t
@kmullett If you are #1 you should be going after broader terms that fit. Traffic can be of wrong type.
@MichelleDLowery Excellent tip I heard from @seanthinks at PubCon Austin: If headline isn’t working, change it.
@ClairWyant I tend to look at the SEO factor. One of the few areas I actually research. You can still make appealing headlines. The keyword research I do is very basic & not very in-depth. Noticed a difference between doing it & not.
@JennineMiller Say you were to do a headline & subheading. Would you list the keyword one or sharable one first?
@ClairWyant Depends on research… mainly use it in the meta title, but if multiple opportunities come up, use one in the H1. If I picked only one place… meta title… followed by URL then H1.
Who writes for your brand? Who edits? Is content primarily generated in-house?
@8keith (sigh) one man band .. for now!
@feviyu All content is in-house bec we are a small biz we take ownership of all gramatical mistakes too.
@ChrisJEverett I write most of the content for our brand with the help of @lysachester and the occasional help of a copywriter.
@lisabuyer Multiple sources of writing 1st draft and have one editor to keep the voice of the brand.
@MichelleDLowery We write and edit in house. But that’s what we do, so the content our brand generates is also our marketing.
@JennineMiller Currently it’s all in-house but if we were to expand for clients-sake I’m sure contracting wouldn’t be out of the question.
@BruceClayInc We have a team of four full-time inhouse writers — @VirginiaNussey @paulaspeak @ChelseaBeaAdams @KristiKellogg
@bloomreachinc Mostly in-house and we have a storyteller (@mikecassidy) doing most of the writing. Content marketing team edits & propagates. While our storyteller does the writing, his journalism background means he uses experts at the company & elsewhere as sources.
Do you encourage your writers to build their own brand and authority? How?
@ChrisJEverett Yes I do! By giving credit for the articles they write and by tying their articles to Google+ Authorship.
@JennineMiller @LisaBuyer encourages me to build authorship by giving me credit.
@maryi All writers should have Google Authorship.
@MichelleDLowery Absolutely. Through authorship, guest posting, and social network visibility. Also keeping brand comms separate.
@ClairWyant Still believe in guest posting, after Google’s crackdown?
@MichelleDLowery Absolutely. There’s a right way to guest post, which we’ve been doing all along.
@kmullett If it is exactly on target for your audience, not paid, not spammy, not dupe, i.e. done right…yes.
@MichelleDLowery Exactly. And only for select publications, not just any and every site. Authoritative, high quality sites. If you’re worried about guest posting, I encourage you to read this.
@8keith I was thinking this was a great premise to hiring my first writer – help a new up&cummer with a platform – thoughts?
@paulaspeak Definitely! Hire someone who represents your brand values & brings powerful following
@lisabuyer Someone who is passionate for your brand and industry!
@BruceClayInc Empowering employees to be brand advocates helps “humanize” your brand & extend reach. #authenticity
@KristiKellogg Writers can build authority socially & through quality writing also — Twitter for Jouranlists
How far ahead do you plan/schedule content? What guidelines do you follow when dev. a content calendar?
@JennineMiller As far in advance as possible, would like to do monthly at the least but leave space to bump ideas for more newsworthy content.
@ChrisJEverett We have a Monthly Content Calendar Planned Out, spacing things out so it’s as consistent as possible.
@8keith As seasonality and trending topics play a role – is flexibility the key?
@JennineMiller Absolutely, consider your editorial calendar as tentative & always stay on top of ideas that will be relevant at the time.
@KristiKellogg Everything you ever wanted to know about setting up your ed. calendar (by yours truly #wink).
@kmullett We start w/a content opportunity report, then rank by value/effort, then decide calendar. As far in advance as pos.
@paulaspeak BTW, heard a super interview this week w/ @alexcote on making employees #brand advocates.
@lisabuyer Plan for the predictable = conferences + holidays but leave room for breaking news!
@constantcontent We plan a rough outline approx. 2-3 weeks in advance, but constantly add in breaking news as it happens.
@feviyu No content calendar, I write when it moves me. But I have one objective at all times.
When do you publish images? Do you ever take the photos yourself? Do you use captions or text overlay?
@8keith Brand dependant IMO .. if the brand is you – then yes, more often.
@paulaspeak We’ve found @HaikuDeck a super tool for making fast, professional images w/ text overlays. (And it’s free.)
@kmullett I almost exclusively take pictures myself, but I have several resources for finding free/cheap stock when needed.
@BruceClayInc Images are great engagement AND #SEO opportunities — read some top tier image optimization tips.
@JennineMiller It varies if we have a good existing image then we use our own or buy something. Text overlay beats captions IMO but always always always upload files w/ good names and use alternate text.
@feviyu Depends for my personal blog, I am old school, usually keyword captions and will re-use photos.
@MichelleDLowery We use Flickr Creative Commons images on our blog. More interesting than stock & gives photogs a little exposure (ooh, a pun!).
@constantcontent We rarely include photos. Usually choose text-based graphics over stock photos like this.
@lancemoore22 I like to plan a year ahead (at least the big picture). Then break it down monthly by content.
At what point in the development cycle do you compare competitor content to your own? How do you evaluate competitor content?
@8keith I watch competitors constantly .. daily!
@bloomreachinc We always use photos – either originals that we take or Creative Commons from.
@constantcontent It’s a great idea to watch competitors, but we like to focus on evaluating the quality of our own content.
@paulaspeak Inevitably, ideas float around, so someone else publishes similar as yours is being created. At that pt, need tunnel vision!
@kmullett Before, during, and ongoing.
@feviyu For clients 10 minutes before it gets published. For personal, never. Life is too short.
In your industry, have you found there are sweet spots for word count? tense? style? format?
@ClairWyant Found apx 500 words is a sweet spot. Google like the length & not too long/not too short for readers.
@8keith 300-500 but with LOTS of white space – headings and paragraphs.
@lisabuyer Personally I am not a fan of writing, editing or reading long format content unless it is visual and an ebook.
@MichelleDLowery We advise clients to stick to ~750 words. Long enough for adequate topic coverage, but not TL;DR.
@constantcontent Depends on the topic. Complicated topics require more words and can be +1k words. Simple topics can be explained in <300.
@paulaspeak Word count limits not as important as quality #content – We’ve had high engagement with some 1.5K posts on @BruceClayInc
How do you gauge your content investment – is it worth it? How do you measure your ROI on content?
@JennineMiller Views, shares, interactions & conversions depending on your goals. Edit – QUALITY interactions. Trumps quantity same as content.
@ClairWyant Pageviews & amount shared on social first 24-48 hours. Pageviews via search there after.
@lancemoore22 Google analytics metrics!
@lisabuyer 100% the most valuable for me! Shares need to = visits
@8keith Its not a science for me yet – but more content = more conversations = more business.
As a publisher, what standards, guidelines, rules do you have in place (or wish U did)? AP style? Banning slang (omg)?
@ClairWyant I try my best to stick to AP style. Doesn’t always happen.
@paulaspeak Consistency is imp, so a brand style guide is a necessity! As a start to creating a brand voice/style guide, this article by @ChelseaBeaAdams inspires.
@JennineMiller Never do something you would criticize competitors for doing. Keep it professional but in your own voice.
@8keith My view on content is like a movie – if you need 4 hours, then its two movies – 1000 words = two posts.
@constantcontent A great way to determine ROI of content is to measure traffic, conversions from the page, bounce rate & time spent on site.
@lisabuyer I think the words “great” and “excited” should not be allowed.