Articles Tagged with Content Strategy

3 Reasons Why I Might Not Share Your Roundup (Even If I’m Included in It)

Over the years I’ve participated in a few roundups (a.k.a. crowdsourced content) – sometimes via HARO, sometimes by being approached directly by email. Whenever the latter happens, I’m always chuffed that someone’s asked me and wants me to get involved with what they’re putting together. However, a few recent roundup experiences have left me a little… unhappy. I know that sounds harsh, perhaps even ungrateful, but there’s been a few bugbears with them that I’d like to share, so that other roundup rounder-uppers can avoid them if they can. I don’t know about you, but if I’m included in a roundup that fits one of these three criteria, it’s unlikely that I’ll promote it on your behalf (sorry)…

1) There’s too many people in it

Crowd imageI get the appeal of roundups, on both sides. The contributor gets a link to their site. The ‘host’ (for lack of a better word) not only gets content written for them, but the contributors are likely to share it and promote it on their behalf. If 5 people are included, that’s 5 potential tweets/RTs. If 50 people are included… well, you get it.

I was recently part of a roundup that included over 100 contributors – so many, in fact, that while there’s a pic of a bunch of the contributors, I’m not even one of them, hah! I’m sorry but that’s just too big a number to even be readable – either people will glance through it and/or read the first few, or they’ll simply look for people that they know and only take their contributions on board.

2) There’s no women in it

Graffiti imageAs a young, white, middle-class male, I feel like a complete jerk for even bringing it up – but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t. Rand Fishkin (@randfish) shares this way of thinking and is a good person to follow on the subject in our industry.

A recent roundup that I was involved in contained about 12 people – a nice, decent number. The only problem? There were 12 men (including me) and 0 women. I didn’t share/tweet/RT it – I was too ashamed to.

The same also applies to ethnic minorities. No one likes an all-white, all-male list. Not even white males.

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Deconstructing the Worst Article I’ve Ever Seen

"Dear lord..."Ladies and gentlemen, we have reached peak BuzzFeedification.

By “BuzzFeedification” I refer to the recent onslaught of articles that fit BuzzFeed’s style (i.e. full of GIFs and memes) and/or follow the get-as-many-ad-impressions-as-possible model, which has been adopted by many publishers at the moment – more and more by the day, it seems – in an attempt to get that elusive click.

I came across one article that ticked all the usual boxes…

  • Unnecessary multi-page image listicle? Check.
  • Memes? UGH. Check.
  • Goes on for much longer than it needs to in order to try and accrue more ad impressions? Oh god yes check.

…and is simply one of the most frustrating and pointless articles I’ve ever read. The things publishers will do to get you to click and get you to view ads is becoming laughable.

The article and site in question (which I’ve nofollowed because I sure as sh*t don’t want to give them any SEO love)? “A Woman Makes A Shrine Of Her Used Condom Collection” on Rebel Circus.

Let’s take the time to dissect what’s wrong with this absolute sh*tshow:

They’ve turned a simple one-page story into an unnecessary multi-pager

Below the heading and opening summary, there’s a small paragraph about the ‘collection’ and an image of said collection. Below that, there’s a ‘Next Photo’ link:

RC Fail - page 1
Ok, fair enough. So far so good – no harm done.

The inclusion of the ‘Next Photo’ link led me to believe two things:

  1. It’s a multi-page image slideshow article (or whatever the technical term is), but more importantly,
  2. That there’d be more photos of the collection – and more information.

Click onto page 2 and you get this:

RC Fail - page 2
…An image of a record collection? Alrighty then.

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CR 25 Revisited – My SEMrush Webinar

In late May I was approached by the team at SEMrush about hosting a webinar, going into more detail about the CR 25 campaign that I ran in January. I’d already given a talk about it at BrightonSEO, but with only 20 minutes available, I left out a lot of useful information surrounding the ‘content blitz’ campaign, where we published 25 blog posts in one month (pretty much one each day during the month). I had toyed with the idea of creating a YouMoz post (and had in fact started to draft one), but when SEMrush approached me about the webinar, I thought that it would be a better way to get across all the info.

The webinar took place in early June. In addition to relying on PowerPoint slides, I jumped out of the slides, jumped into my browser (all while the audience were still watching) and quickly ran through all 25 posts as live examples. I thought that this was a good way to demonstrate the many different types of content – especially those with an interactive or particularly visual element to them (such as the custom Google Map, the 25-year timeline, the multiple-choice quiz and one post that featured an embedded tweet containing an autoplaying Vine video).

The video of the webinar is below, with a transcript below that.

Video Transcript (including slide stills)

Slide1-560
Hi, thank you very much for the introduction. I’m Steve Morgan, @steviephil on Twitter, and today I’ll be talking you through a big campaign I ran back in January earlier this year. I actually talked about this campaign at BrightonSEO in April, but I was only given about 20 minutes to talk on-stage and I was only able to talk about a couple of examples of content we did – we had 25 blog posts in one month – and just talk about how much it all cost, so it’s great to have the opportunity… a big thank you to SEMrush for having me. And it’s great to be able to talk about the campaign in more detail and run through more examples than I did when I presented at the conference.

Slide2-560
The webinar is split into three sections. I’m going to jump out of the slides a third of the way through and show you real examples of content, because I thought: “why bother showing you slides of examples when I can actually show you the examples on Firefox?” But before that, I’ll talk you through a bit of an introduction to the campaign and how we prepared for it. And then after I’ve shown you examples, I’ll give you some insights into what performed well, what didn’t, what worked well on certain social media networks, and talk you through how much everything cost, which – even though we had 25 posts created and we tried to avoid just having bog-standard, 400-word advice articles – we did lots of varying types of content and we tried to have interactive content as well. We managed to keep the budget very low by sourcing guest blog posts, by using free or cheap WordPress plugins – things like that really. I’ll tell you more as we go along.

Slide3-560
First, some background for Computer Recruiter.

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25 Posts in One Month: Co-ordinating a ‘Content Blitz’ Campaign on the Cheap – My BrightonSEO Talk

Speaking at BrightonSEOHaving previously been to BrightonSEO 4, 5, maybe 6 times (I’ve genuinely lost count), it was an absolute pleasure and honour to be given the opportunity to speak about my recent CR 25 campaign, as part of the Content Strategy segment.

From the BrightonSEO website (which I’m copying-and-pasting as well, just in case it gets removed from the site at some point):

In January 2015, I helped my parents’ IT recruitment agency to launch a ‘content blitz’ campaign, posting 25 posts in one month to mark the company’s 25th anniversary.

6 months in the making, we created and co-ordinated a plethora of content types beyond the usual bog-standard blog post, including guest posts, crowdsourced posts, a timeline, a list of local events, a list of local co-working spaces… and even a quiz.

Utilising free/cheap resources and WordPress plugins as much as possible to keep the budget nice and low, the campaign was intended to boost their site’s SEO as well as the company’s branding awareness, PR, social media followings and ultimately help them to earn new clients and candidates.

Here are the slides:

Someone let me know that the talk was Periscoped (is that a verb yet?) as well – here’s a screenshot. Really exciting!

As I said towards the end of the talk / on the penultimate slide, I’m hoping to do a full write-up of the campaign – its good, bad and ugly moments – which would cover everything from the talk and more stuff that I would have liked to have covered if I had more time. I’ll most likely submit it as a YouMoz post – keep an eye out for it over the coming weeks/months.

I’d also like to say a big thank you not only to @kelvinnewman (BrightonSEO’s organiser) for allowing me to speak, but also to @MUmar_Khan, @krystianszastok, @ichbinGisele and @Tony_DWM for taking the time to give me feedback on an early draft of my slide deck. Tony especially was incredible, giving thoughts and feedback on every single individual slide. Top bloke.

[Main speaking image credit – @octink (from Twitter)]

Tweet To Win! 3 Lessons From Running My First Twitter Competition

I loved running CR 25 back in January. Beyond SEO, it gave me the chance to properly flex my content marketing muscles. From guest blog posts to crowdsourced content; from Google Calendar embeds to Google Map embeds; from interactive timelines to infographics; we did a little bit of everything.

We even did a bloody quiz.

We finished off CR 25 with an ‘IT Acronym Quiz’ – a 10-question multiple-choice quiz created using SlickQuiz.

CR 25 quiz screenshot
We decided to make the most of the opportunity and also gave away three £25 iTunes vouchers if people posted their results on Twitter.

It was my first attempt at a competition. It went well. Not quite how I’d hoped (as I’ll explain below) but we had a good number of entries and a good, positive response overall.

Here are the three lessons that I learnt.

1) Make sure that your competition’s terms are air-tight

As I said above, I’d never run a competition before – but I knew that you had to have some good set of terms & conditions behind it. I’m sure there are some decent templates out there, but I decided to draw inspiration from real-life examples. I can’t remember all of them, but I do remember that one of them was an iPad giveaway on The Guardian‘s website.

CR 25's competition terms (full screenshot)
(Click to enlarge)

It contained the usual suspects: participants must be UK residents over 18-years-old; it specified the closing date; in order to be eligible, they had to tweet a few particulars, including a link to the quiz and the hashtag; etc. etc. It had a total of 19 clauses.

I even thought that I was being extra-clever: I put in one clause that said that their tweet had to be live by the end of the closing date – just in case they deleted it a couple of days after tweeting it.

…And yet I missed out one (or maybe two) that was hugely important and should’ve been obvious.

A few days into the competition, a friend of mine entered. He asked: “how many times can I enter?”

Aww crap.

We didn’t have a clause that said ‘one entry per Twitter user.’ We also didn’t have a clause that said that a person could only enter once, full-stop. In other words, if someone managed more than one Twitter account, technically they could’ve entered more than once – even if we had that previous clause. It wouldn’t have been too much of a problem if we only had one prize to give away (aside from the fact that they would’ve increased their chances of winning that one prize), but we had three prizes – meaning that one person could’ve won two or all three prizes, and we couldn’t really do anything about it as our terms didn’t cover it. Whoops.

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