The Yellow Brick Road

The Yellow Brick Road:
Content Strategy, Development, and Delivery

How to Build Your Yellow Brick Road with Internet Magic

The goal of all professional salespeople is to meet a prospect at the exact time and place where the prospect has decided to make their purchase.  Of course, the salesperson has exactly the product the shopper wants to buy, and the sales presentation has been fine-tuned to a fare-thee-well.

In today’s market, the place of a buying transaction is more than likely to be on the internet, and comparative shopping bots have already decided the right price and other variables.  In fact, if Amazon.com gets its way, your purchase will have dropped from the sky to land on your doorstep as you left for work this morning.  Amazon will deliver your purchase even before you knew you wanted it.  Ah, the wonders of technology to homogenize our culture.

But back to the six-sided, eight-pointed, cloud-shaped internet.  On the surface, it seems like successful buying transactions are almost inevitable assuming the willing buyer and willing seller just show up.  And therein lies the problem, with the internet homogenizing the hell out of life, and people being people.  What are the odds of a sales collision?

The old sales maxim that says that a prospect must encounter your brand or your product at least five times before they will have the confidence to buy from you is flexible and essentially true.  Fortunately, the internet is really good at calculating confidence levels.

So, the major variables are:

o   Time of day

o   Place – the three-dimensional coordinates where this sales smack-down is to happen.  (Website location.  IP vs. URL)

o   Confidence, or positive familiarity.

o   And, of course, Lord willing and the Creek don’t rise.

1. Content Marketing Strategy

Our strategy from three points of view:  creative, technical, and business… 

o   Define tactics and goals:  Help with determining what the corporation intends to do and say.  What is our message?  Our audience and partners want to be able to see and understand.  If they don’t, they won’t phone in.

o   Content defined:  Content is simply data put into context.  It can take the form of text, images, photos, video, audio, multi-media, or any other context that easily transmits information from source to consumer.   In today’s world, “content marketing” must include social media and paid content distribution (such as Outbrain, AdSense, Facebook and Twitter ads, etc.)  CityRoom currently has close to 40 social media channels, and all content is delivered to at least 15 of them immediately upon publishing.  Then, depending on the content, each social media post is repeated for maximum visibility. This strategy has proven effective. 

o   Content Architecture:  Help define the content requirements for each site, and plan how content intermixes with revenue-generating activities.

o   Cluster mapping:  With so many diverse prospective clients, it saves considerable time and effort when their locations are clustered by geography, language, demographics, and other common denominators.

o   Defining the prospects and audiences (plural):  Sorting by demographics, geography, and interests.  Defining types of content optimized for each audience.

o   Content Audit:  Content auditing is simply taking an inventory of your content that already exists and adding it to a library (which includes a list of edits and other notes) for ideal accessibility in the future.

o   Editorial calendars (plural):   We create calendars that serve as road maps for our content developers and distributors throughout the year.

o   Publishing calendars (plural):  To increase the efficiency of your campaign, we plan in advance which sites will need what content, and when.  This allows for articles to be repurposed and published on multiple sites over time.

o   Content templates:  We develop a series of content templates for transferring ideas and information from expert sources to our writers.  This constructs a content flow within your campaign.

o   Content library:  We establish a database of articles and other content elements, which can be sorted and searched by category, author, tags, publishing date, sites published on, relationship to the editorial calendars, etc.  You will find this library to be a very valuable corporate asset.

o   Develop a style guide:  Style guides are necessary for presenting a consistent voice in a consistent manner.

 
o Recruit and train contributors and the content team:  Much of what is described above will be necessary in finding, vetting, and working smoothly with content contributors.  Acquiring contributors is a long-term goal of the YBR project as they will serve as faithful allies to your brand.

2. Content Creation

o   Creation:  We create textual content, audio/video material, and images as needed to tell your story and sell your brand.

o   Curation:  We source information from across the web that is relevant to your project and integrate it into your campaign.

o   Editing:  All of your company’s content assets can be edited by our team of writers and artists to bring up-to-date, polish your company’s message.

o   Translating:  Whether its obscure articles, artistic literature, or technical writing, our translation team can bring content from any language into English or other popular modern languages.

o   Research:  Our research staff specializes in ‘deep & intensive’ research to bring information to light that has never hitherto been discovered.

3. Content Delivery – Be Everywhere on the Internet

With the amount of data accumulating on the Internet doubling every year, the size and scope of information has long ago reached unbelievably hysterical proportions.  Just wait until next year.

Through a systematic posting, reposting, and auto-posting a single element of content, be it text, image, audio, video, VR, 3D, or a combination, can find its way to all corners of the Internet.  That is, if indeed the Internet has corners.

The current strategy of Kleos Campaigns and CityRoom is to build engaging content in many media and then to publish first to one of CityRoom’s premier sites, then to revise, replace, or modify that content as it proceeds through 14 different social media platforms.  From there, we employ other tactics to move your brand’s name from place to place.

o   Post your article to one or more of CityRoom’s top network websites

o   This article is immediately posted to 14 of the best social media platforms, with encouraging notes about how readers can share the messages with their associates

o   Post your article to another of CityRoom’s network website (one week after first post)

o   Send the second post to CityRoom’s social media accounts.

o   Send to our private syndication

o   Paid distribution services, such as Facebook Ads and Boosts, Outbrain, and Instagram Shoutouts.

o   Press releases have not been as effective over the past few years, but they can and do reach a very wide audience.  The distribution services that we use guarantee placement on Google New, Bing News, Yahoo News, and many other prominent websites.

o   Blogger and Influencer networks

o   Outbound emails to our private networks of just over 10,000 and 98,000 B2B professionals,

o   Podcasts and online radio

o   Opportunistic placements.

o   Repeat.

We recommend that new content be started along the same paths each month for at least three months.  Following the old advertising adage that a prospect has to hear your name at least five times before they buy, placing your brand at the far corners of the Internet consistently, and with persistence is your best chance for a successful conversion.

4. Content Merchandising (Closing the Sale)

The difference between Content Marketing and Content Merchandising is that content merchandising specifically uses content to inform consumers about the features and user benefits particular to your products. And while content marketing occurs through a wide variety of platforms and locations (social media sites, emails, websites, and so on), content merchandising almost exclusively occurs at the product page, at the point where the consumer decides whether or not to “Buy Now.”

5. Client Continuing Care (Remarketing, Resale, Customer Satisfaction)

Many companies provide a retargeting platform for those who’d like to keep it as simple as possible. All you need to do is insert a script/code in the body section of your (or our) website, create lists of visitors’ types to retarget, design campaigns to target certain segments in your retargeting lists, and your ads will start appearing on visitors’ screens; it’s as simple as that.

Are you ready to find your name, your brand, and your message on every corner of the internet? 

Please contact Dennis@KleosCampaigns.com for more information.

Dennis Payne
CityRoom LLC

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