Content that Gets Read

Creating content is a grind. Creating content that no one reads is a bummer on top of the grind. Follow these tips to develop content that gets read.

First, set realistic expectations.

Don’t worry about “going viral,” focus on reaching your target audience. You don’t need to reach everyone, you need to reach only the people who need to know about what you offer.

Further, don’t expect everyone to engage with everything. People have lives and limited amounts of attention to give to you. Embrace what they can offer – periodic engagement.

Produce content that matters.

Quality trumps volume. Every time. Create content to serve your audience. Period. Fewer items of higher quality will serve you best.

Tell personal stories.

Storytelling works and personal stories are content that only you can share.  Personal stories give your audience content they can’t get anywhere else.

Bring in other voices.

Select leaders in your industry and community and invite their participation. This can range from submitting posts and/or images, to just lending a quote or thought. Adding more voices expands the range of your content and taps into related audiences.

Email Marketing on LinkedIn in 7 Easy Steps

With less competition than other social media platforms, LinkedIn can be an effective place for your paid outreach strategy. One option is LinkedIn Sponsored InMail, which delivers personalized messages direct to LinkedIn inboxes.

Give it a try with these 7 easy steps:

1. Go to Campaign Manager

Campaign Manager is the hub for all LinkedIn marketing campaign, including Sponsored InMail.  You’ll be presented with several paid options. Select “sponsored inMail.”

2. Set up your ad account.

You’ll be prompted to set up an ad account for your campaign. Select a memorable name for your account and your local currency. If you have a company page, you can link it to the account. Name the campaign.

Accept the default and select yourself as a sender. This will create the most credibility for your message. You can also designate any of your connections as the sender. Follow the prompts.

3. Develop a compelling message.

You need to say something valuable to your target audience to get ROI for this effort. Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind.

  • Messages that are less than 500 characters are most effective.
  • Add a custom salutation
  • Include links
  • Designate a banner image, 300×250 pixels.

4. Preview your InMail.

Test, test, test. Send yourself a test version of the message. You can also duplicate the campaign to set up A/B tests to determine the iteration that has the best impact.

5. Target effectively.

Be specific when selecting your target audience. Campaign Manager will estimate the size of your target audience based on the criteria you select.

6. Budget strategically.

Campaign Manager will suggest a bid range to reach your target audience. You are bidding against others who want  to reach a similar audience. The winning bid is determined via second-price auction, you will only pay enough to beat the second-highest bidder.

7. Launch!

Once you set bid and budget, you’re ready to launch. You can launch the campaign immediately or schedule for a future date.

Principles of Advocacy – Why the ALS Robocall Campaign Rocked!

phonecords headerGuest Post By Tracy Schario, APR

Advocacy simply put is the organized effort to influence public perception, the policymaking process and/or the policymakers. Whether your advocacy communications are online, face-to-face or one to many, to be effective, you need two key elements:

  • a clear purpose or desired outcome and
  • the authenticity to communicate that purpose with power.

In today’s digital-centric mindset, it can be easy to lose sight of more traditional methods of advocacy. Townhall meetings, for example, are still one of the best strategies for community engagement. Tactics like fact sheets, blogs, data visualizations and video are essential tools for both offline and online distribution channels. And the media tour resulting in article placements delivers valuable third-party credibility. A well-timed op-ed by a key influencer helps too.

Constituents, however, will always be the most powerful messenger. And delivering that message personally is often the most effective form of communication. The recent budget battle in Washington offers a contemporary case study that underscores the effectiveness of advocacy when it’s clearly defined and articulated.

Steve Gleason is a former New Orleans Saints football player who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. He created the Gleason Initiative Foundation, also known as Team Gleason, to help individuals with neuromuscular diseases and injuries to access cutting edge technology and services to achieve the highest level of independence possible.

The recent federal budget debate threatened Medicare funding for speech generation technology. This technology allows individuals with ALS and other speech impairments to use eye-tracking tech to speak. Without it – and without the Medicare funding – those with ALS could lose their only means of communication and, along with it, their ability to work and contribute to society.

Team Gleason needed a voice and a medium to tell Congress why Medicare funding for speech generation technology is essential. Working with Ogilvy, Team Gleason took a page from the political handbook used by many in Congress – they decided to robocall legislators. You can read more and listen to the robocall at Adweek.

Team Gleason’s success using a tactic typically only employed by those they were calling was extremely successful. On February 9, President Trump signed the Steve Gleason Enduring Voices Act, part of the bipartisan budget bill. This strategic effort underscores the basic principles of effective advocacy – speak from the heart via the medium your target understands, and you will be heard.

There are hundreds of tools to help you with digital advocacy – Hootsuite, Canva, Care2, Nation Builder, Outbrain and Salsa to name a few. But the most sophistical tools won’t make you successful. They only facilitate your communications.

You must always define your purpose with authenticity and select the medium that will best persuade your target audience. With another showdown over the omnibus looming March 23 and debates over gun control, immigration and other policies, there are more opportunities to practice effective advocacy.

About the Author

Tracy Schario, APR, is a public affairs and media consultant based in Washington, DC, and teaches media relations and issues management at GWU and Trinity U Washington.