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  1. 1. E A R N I N G Y O U R R I G H T A S K I N G O F T H E S O C I A L M E D I A O C E A N . H O W T O C R E AT E C O N TA G I O U S C O N T E N T.
  2. 2. N O M N O M N O M N O M * S H A R K N O I S E * N O M N O M N O M N O M * B U R P * W O R D S A N D I D E A S C H A N G E T H E W O R L D . 2
  3. 3. O B S E R V E S O C I A L M E D I A S H A R K S F R O M F L O AT I N G L E M O N S . The ocean of social media is vast. Pay attention to every detail, from plankton to predator. Treat all who are attracted to your content the same. Everyone now has an audience, and that audience has an audience. A Twitter user with fifty followers may seem small, but if one of those Twitter followers has thirty million followers, then you are one fifty-follower link away from a global audience. Is the information being shared online anchored on personal experiences of your product/brand? Can your brand and publishing platforms help promote the work of your audience? Are there subject matter experts on your team who could engage with audience members who share the same passion? Chew on the legs of surfers to sample the meat - be voracious in consuming content from your clients and audience because they will give you ideas. If you find yourself unsure what to write about, glance through what they’ve written and study the comments on LinkedIn or your website. Often a thought found in a comment can form the epicentre of a new idea. 3 C R A I G @ W O R D S O F S T O N E . C O . U K
  4. 4. B E T H E F U N G L O V E P U P P E T S H A R K AT T H E T H E AT R E F O R M E R M A B I E S . The key to influence is to create articles of real value. Your audience likely won’t want to hear about minor improvements to a product or service. They want something that has utility: think educational, aspirational or inspirational. Your content has to be something that you would share, it has to be interesting, because if it isn’t, nobody is going to care. Your content has to inspire your audience to have their own ideas, you have to turn the light bulb on in their head, so they engage with others on your behalf. Embrace the glove puppet shark, put it on over your hand. Face the world and speak in a grumpy shark voice. Entertain. Dazzle. Educate - and just remember to put your company logo somewhere on the glove puppet. 4 C R A I G @ W O R D S O F S T O N E . C O . U K
  5. 5. E M B R A C E T H E B A R K T O P U S . Add your own twist on original genius. Do not fear the shark bear octopus. Embrace it. You will find content about sharks and bears, but you won't find anything about a Barktopus. If the audience is right, and depending on your brand, be imaginative. Try new content. Improve content that is out there by combining bits from other places. Content cultivation is more than pulling together a list of interesting posts from the week. By carefully selecting elements of social media traffic and providing additional context, resources or insight on the subject, you can add value to the latest hot topic. Someone out there will take on your idea and write an idea around it. Together, the online community drives content forward, and discovers new ground and deeper oceans. Which means your company becomes the big shark, the first to notice things – instead of looking around and copying what others are doing. • Record a weekly/monthly blog roundup of industry happenings with your own analysis on top • Showcase the best content • Tell a story by pulling together the different ways your business community talk about the same subject 5 C R A I G @ W O R D S O F S T O N E . C O . U K
  6. 6. I N T E R L U D E : P I C T U R E S O F W I S D O M 6 C R A I G @ W O R D S O F S T O N E . C O . U K
  7. 7. E A R N A WA R E N E S S : D O N ’ T A S S U M E Y O U ’ L L G E T I T. Awareness is the oxygen of business. Without it, nobody is talking about your brand, nobody is buying from you, no new clients are getting in touch and your sphere of influence is narrower. Content marketing has exploded, which is good news because you’ve finally got a pole to vault over the defensive wall built by the frustration people have for old-school marketing. But, it’s bad because you’re competing against a Tsunami of competition from wannabes, bloggers, youtube celebrities, competitors, thought leaders, influencers, loners and moaners. Good content simply isn’t good enough. You need ridiculously fantastic content, that’s strategic and incites action. And you need to deliver it in a consistent, ongoing program. To do that, you will likely need to leave your comfort zone. True entrepreneurs embrace new ventures, they don’t shy away from them. Content is critical because people care about their own problems more than they care about your products or business. By writing killer content of value to your audience, you earn awareness instead of assuming you’ll get it. 7 C R A I G @ W O R D S O F S T O N E . C O . U K
  8. 8. S AV E S H I P S F R O M S I N K I N G W I T H Y O U R M A S S I V E S H A R K FA C E . To become influential in the digital space, most people need to produce compelling content on a regular basis. Just like you, they are looking for ideas, inspiration and interesting stories to tell. Content is the currency of influence. Become part of someone else's story by becoming a hero. Rise out of the ocean and save a sinking ship. Help the sailors by nudging them back onto the ship with your large shark nose. The survivors tell your story. Your story will become the tale of legend. Legends never die. Providing resources or experiences that allow your clients and their business' to create new and unique content is the fastest way to win their hearts. Not only are you supporting content creation that will ultimately support your business goals, you are nurturing relationships that will last much longer than a short- lived campaign. To do list: • Use your experiences to help your audience tell their own story • Give your audience tools to create unique images/content • Do industry surveys and provide the results • Provide exclusive or tough-to-get content for free 8 C R A I G @ W O R D S O F S T O N E . C O . U K
  9. 9. K I D N A P W H O E V E R Y O U R A U D I E N C E C A R E S A B O U T. M A K E T H U N D E R T O G E T H E R . If you sell comics, then instead of shouting "I sell comics' you could interview the biggest comic reader in the world, or failing that, you could kidnap Thor, film Thor trying to escape using a chainsaw, and put that video onto Youtube. Creating a piece of content with a community influencer involved is the most collaborative and challenging way to gain significant momentum. To make this work, you'll need to find individuals who are relevant to your audience – people at the top of your business who have something to say. Lots of people know what the director of an insurance company thinks about insurance, but would the director ever jump out of plane for a laugh? These types of content tend to be larger pieces involving more planning. While more challenging, these pieces have the potential to generate an enormous response. To do list: • Begin with what your audience wants to hear: not what you need to say • Confidence and a bit of attitude go a long, long way • Less can be more: fewer major pieces of real value win 9 C R A I G @ W O R D S O F S T O N E . C O . U K
  10. 10. D O N ' T B E E AT E N A L I V E B Y A B A D D E C I S I O N . Choose your content marketing expert wisely. There are reasons why some experts are more expensive than others. The price of good content can be costly, but investing in great content will eventually pay for itself. Having good content is one of the most important criteria for the success of your business. Of course, it’s time-consuming and difficult – and you may not have the necessary resources, facilities or expertise in-house. Finding a competent content marketing expert/agency is a challenge business leaders have to face. Be careful who you trust with your content – the person or agency you choose should have a real writer or author in place. Preferably someone published and reviewed. Someone you can go online and read about yourself. And someone who is on Twitter and LinkedIn. These types are hard to find, and expensive. I mean, where would you hope to find someone who is a published author, knows what he is doing, can deliver results, is in the top 0.5% of social media users in the world and is reasonably priced? Where? WHERE I ASK?* *craig@wordsofstone.co.uk 10 C R A I G @ W O R D S O F S T O N E . C O . U K
  11. 11. Focus is essential You can’t do everything or be everywhere. Define what matters most to your business and direct all of your attention to that topic. Keep an inspiration file Ideas tend to show up in their own time, so create a document where you can record ideas as they come to you. Just write it There are countless resources for writer’s block, but the bottom line is: write. Planning is half the battle Set realistic goals and create a plan to accomplish them. The plan will help you stay focused. People are complicated Not everyone will respond favourably to you. That’s ok. Stay focused on the end goal, roll with the punches. Understand motivations The more you know about someone before reaching out, the better your chances of creating influence. Make participation easy Whatever you ask, make it as easy as possible. Provide a draft, be clear and show respect for their time. Time box your writing time Limit how long you have to write, but do nothing but write during that time. You’ll get more done than you thought possible. Measure success Work with content marketing platforms, learn them. Master them. They are essential in displaying ROI. Take small steps You don't need an influencer program in place to start. Reach out to one person or write one post based on an influencer's content. Iterate & build One post, comment or email can bloom into a relationship over time. Recognise you are building, not bossing. 11 C R A I G @ W O R D S O F S T O N E . C O . U K H O W T O F L O AT T O T H E T O P A N D B E C O M E P O P U L A R W I T H O U T E AT I N G Y O U R F R I E N D S .
  12. 12. A B I T A B O U T W O R D S O F S T O N E LT D . • Craig Stone is in the top 0.5% of social media users • He is a published author • He has a proven track record of driving traffic to websites and increasing awareness in sales • Repeat clients and relationships spanning years • Not a shark • Loves goldfish • He didn't start writing for money. His day rate is affordable. 12 C R A I G @ W O R D S O F S T O N E . C O . U K
  13. 13. – C R A I G S T O N E , D I R E C T O R W O R D S O F S T O N E LT D If you wish to discuss anything in this document, or need any content marketing advice email craig@wordsofstone.co.uk 13 C R A I G @ W O R D S O F S T O N E . C O . U K