In my many years of working in the field of Search and Social, the cool thing is our approach has always been focused on creating strategies all centered around research and data. (Check the tag line…)
Research could range from search engine rankings, analytics, content auditing, analyzing the competition, to the actual data research for the development of the content piece.
Prior to writing any content, we always research the targets, the competitors and ranking, the available data sources (free & paid), the authority influencers who can either be a contributor in our content piece OR would be interested in reading the content itself. From there, then we begin reviewing the topics and content types which the competition holds a strong placement for. And finally, once we gather all our background research, is when we decide on the content type we plan to create.
There has been many times we have gotten halfway through our process where we decided it wasn’t worth continuing if we couldn’t offer the user something of substance. If the information wasn’t totally different than what any other site was publishing in our space, I have made the decision to “Stop the Presses!”
Because when we develop content, we develop content with a purpose. If we don’t hit one to three of our goals, then the content didn’t perform the way we intended it to. When we don’t hit the goal, as a team we examine and analyze what went wrong and take a note so we don’t repeat.
Part of our SEO and content development process is using social media to find authority influencers.
What exactly is an authority influencer (AI)?
Of course the first thing that enters the mind is a celebrity, but the reality is how many people can interview or be in direct contact with a celebrity. So for the regular person who doesn’t have the connections to get a Kardashian’s phone number, where do we turn? Social Media has opened a path to connect with others throughout the world but mining through all the profiles on all the multiple networks can slow down the content creation and promotion process, hence slowing down the influencer courtship.
One suggestion, which we have used is to create a criteria that your influencers must meet. Whether they have over 10,000 followers, converse about a topic a few times a day, has a strong community within their own website niche; these are just a few ideas prior to spending your time researching for your AIs.
This week, I will be presenting at NCDM 2012 Orlando about this very topic with a colleague where we will share more details about the criteria we use when using social media data to find influencers. Incorporating Search, Social and Content Development data is all part of the strategy we created and continue to use as well as internal proprietary tools. Let’s connect!