A hashtag, according to the Urban Dictionary, is a way for people to search for tweets (when using Twitter) that have a common topic and to begin a conversation. It has spread to other social media tools, as well, and it’s a way to identify messages on a specific topic.
I ask the question, with a somewhat humorous tone — #whatisyourhashtagstrategyfor2014?
We all have seen the Jimmy Fallon/Justin Timberlake #hashtag video skit. If you haven’t seen it, check it out – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57dzaMaouXA. It’s a humorous view of how #hashtags have become part of pop culture.
But really…in terms of your business and marketing, the real meaning and value behind #hashtags is content – the content you create. And content is going to be more important than ever in 2014. Great content is valuable to your customers and potential customers and content is going to be one way to provide value to them. Gone are the days where you get to decide what you want the customer to know and how you will market to them. They want information. They crave information and they want it when then want it. Be sure it’s readily available to them because you have shared it often. Educating customers should be a key element of your marketing plan and this is what your customers and especially, your potential customers, want anyway. They want to go into that first conversation with your company knowing as much as they possibly can.
Don’t forget about mobile, how it grew this past year and will continue to grow in leaps and bounds in 2014 and beyond. Think about the instant gratification of your customers and, particularly, potential customers by getting answers to their questions immediately, whether they are at their desk, laptop or mobile device (smart phone or tablet). Relevant content is key with a mobile device in hand.
When creating content, you need to plan all the many, multiple uses your content will fulfill. If you are going to invest time, budget and resources to creating content, be sure to use it over and over again, as many times as you possibly can. An example of this is a white paper. If you create a white paper, let’s count the ways and see how you can use it:
- Print it for distribution at 1.) trade shows, 2.) events/speaking engagements, 3.) a mailing and a sales information packet to give to 4.) current customers and 5.) potential customers.
- Create/save the same document as an electronic version for 6.) your website, 7.) your Facebook company page, 8.) your Twitter account, 9.) your personal LinkedIn account, 10.) your LinkedIn company page, 11.) your Google Plus account, 12.) your Pinterest account and 13.) your blog.
- Create a Press Release about the launch of your white paper and distribute it both 14.) online and 15.) to key local, national and industry publications.
- Write a 16.) guest article in an industry publication and a 17.) guest blog post and link to your white paper on your website.
- Break it down to sections or paragraphs and create smaller snippets of information to use in 18.) multiple short videos, 19.) multiple blog posts and multiple posts to 20.) your Facebook company page, 21.) your Twitter account, 22.) your personal LinkedIn account, 23.) your LinkedIn company page, 24.) your Google Plus account and 25.) your Pinterest account.
Having these multiple uses for one piece of content makes the effort and the cost of the effort worthwhile, more so than if this activity had only one use.
There are some main elements to keep in mind with content marketing.
- You must create valuable, relevant content.
- Planning your content and inserting the plan into your overall marketing plan is important to your success.
- Distributing and sharing your content is another vital key to your success and being found online.
- Content is a great way to establish yourself/your company as a leader and an industry expert.
Getting back to #hashtags for a moment, #hashtags are a good way to organize your thoughts regarding content. By planning your content (a content calendar is a great idea), you will be thinking about timely, notable topics you want to discuss and information you want to share. You want people to search for your content and they will often do so by utilizing the #hashtag. When planning your topics, think about how your readers will search for your content and the topics for which they will search.
So…in a nutshell…
#marketingiscontent, #thinklikeapublisher, #contentisonepartofthebigpicture, #repurposeyourcontent, #establishyourexpertise, #takeadvantageofmultipledistributionchannels, #contentisking, #valuablecontent, #relevantcontent, #yourcompetitorsarealreadydoingit, #befoundonline, #makecontentandhashtagspartofyourmarketingplan
Here are some good articles to check out:
Please contact Anna Brice at Pinnacle Peak Marketing, Scottsdale AZ about Marketing for Small/Medium Business.