How would you like 15.8 million people to subscribe to your content? What does it take to achieve such massive, enthusiastic engagement?
For many it sounds like a dream. For TED, the global conference and media organization, commitment is a superlative reality. Almost every video published by TED is viewed hundreds of thousands of times. And everyone is going viral on social media.
What could the success of a massive media group teach a small business owner? As it turns out, quite a bit. For example, TED offers an exceptional example of content marketing. As a result, even small businesses with limited resources will benefit from the example of TED.
TED's videos cover a range of topics. They range from politics and economy to biology and culture to understanding the universe. And every content is based on a single creed. This creates ideas that are worth spreading. Sure, the brand has large, eye-catching stages. And it has a globally recognized name. But that's just icing on the cake. The cake is the quality of the curated content that TED publishes.
Beyond market research and SEO optimization, TED focuses on publishing informative, interesting, and shared content that appeals to the audience. There couldn't be a clearer road map for content creation.
Content marketing is a tool that should be in the toolbox of every small business. A steady stream of high-quality blog posts, videos, and other content helps a brand draw attention to itself on social media, prove the expertise of a business leader in its field, and prompt the Google search algorithm to rank a company higher.
As long as the content provided is original, valuable to readers and optimized for sharing, it is on the right track to build a committed audience – as TED has been doing successfully for 35 years.
Are you ready to take your content marketing advice from TED and apply it in a small business context? With these tips you are on the way to a first-class content marketing strategy:
Creating a large portfolio of content across multiple platforms may seem daunting, especially for a small operation, but it doesn't have to be. If you're already blogging, there's no reason the same content can't be turned into a webinar, infographic, short video, and more. TED developed similarly with its podcast TED Talks Daily, in which YouTube TED talks are offered in audio form. Fans can eavesdrop on their daily commuting and the company can catch newer users they might otherwise have missed.
According to Edison Research, 41% of monthly podcast listeners say they have more podcasts in their feed than a year ago. So the time is ripe to come into play. "You create a content brand that has a life of its own and its own energy," says Mark Jones, chief storyteller and CEO of the marketing agency Filtered Media. "If you understand it correctly, people will join your new podcast base and offer you a new platform for business growth."
Build a target group that regularly deals with your content. This consequence is indeed the name of the game. Many TED subscribers want to regularly publish new content. And the organization delivers. Publish new content regularly and consistently. And you'll be more reliable with both your target audience and Google's algorithms.
Just as consistency can be useful, the opposite can do unintentional harm. “Without a doubt, inconsistency is number one of the biggest faux pas in content marketing across the board. Startups, medium-sized companies and companies can succumb to this form of self-sabotage, ”warns Cydney Hoffnagle, market leader in digital go-to-market at Microsoft. If you get dark after a couple of tempting posts, your audience is likely to feel spooky. And if you're not Tom Hanks in "Youve Got Mail," a no-show doesn't lead to a thriving relationship.
Check out this tip, which is especially useful for small business owners with tight budgets. Invite other industry experts to share their knowledge on your platform. This keeps your company's content queue full. And it offers third-party validation for your guest authors. This includes guest speakers, authors, podcast moderators and more.
TED also outsources a large part of its content work. While the flagship brand has had thousands of conversations alone, countless other conferences are held every year under the TEDx sub-brand. Independent conference organizers get the rise of the TED name, while the umbrella organization gets more content without the internal work of making the name. This win-win scenario is ideal for all parties, and small businesses can benefit from a similar model.
From startup to multi-million dollar company, the same rules apply across the board: offer quality, digestible, shared content and the audience will follow. So find your own "ideas worth sharing" and send them out into the world.
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