What if I told you that you could triple your traffic, without coming up with any of your own ideas, just by getting faster at publishing your content?
Is that something you might be interested in?
Well, you can! And the process is incredibly easy and useful to your content strategy. Consistent idea generation for website content can be challenging. In fact, 50% of marketers say they have trouble simply coming up with enough ideas to fuel their content strategy, according to a survey by Kapost.
There are a lot of shortcuts out there for coming up with more content ideas, such as curation of other people’s content or even repurposing of your own content into a new format. The benefit of live-blogging, however, is getting in front of an audience that is already online and engaged. This creates the potential for spreading your content to a wider audience, faster.
There are three ways to create a high amount of impact, quickly with real-time blogging.
1. Live-Blog at Conferences and Events
If you’ve ever been to a conference, you know that the hashtag blows up during the entire event, and often the weeks leading up to and following it as well. Both attendees, and even people who maybe wish they could have attended, follow and engage with the hashtag to learn and network.
This is a great opportunity for you to jump in and add something relevant to the conversation. The key here is relevancy. People are really quick to write you off if you contribute something that seems overly promotional or forced. But if you authentically add value to the conversation, you can get your message in front of a new audience and increase traffic to your website.
There are several potential ways to successfully capitalize on an event hashtag and drive traffic to your blog.
Write a Session Summary
People try their best to take notes during speaker sessions, but between live-tweeting, and well, life, some of the important things can slip away. And while slide decks are really helpful while the presenter is speaking, many times they just look like a bunch of pretty pictures after the fact.
Conference attendees, and those who may have missed out, will be genuinely grateful for composed, thorough recaps of a good session. And the speakers will be equally happy that you are helping to spread their message, and will likely share as well.
Tips for success:
- Write down everything you hear. Literally dump as much as you can as fast as you can, you can go back and edit after. The more thorough your notes, the easier crafting your post will be.
- Choose a session with a well-known speaker. And if you can get into a session that’s so popular they had to turn people away, even better. The speaker will likely share your recap with their audience. And the people who missed out will want to read it too.
- Put the hashtag in the headline. This way, when people click the tweet button from your blog post, your content will automatically be fed into the conference stream. But please be careful with this (i.e. people on a conference hashtag will realize very quickly if you have bots sharing your posts in abnormal patterns – not you, ever, right?).
Write an Overall Conference Recap
A second conference opportunity, which is along the same lines as the first, is to write a recap of the overall conference. You can give opinions on the best presenters, talk about what influencers are forecasting for the industry, and give suggestions for future attendees.
Tips for success:
- Take thorough notes each day. Write it down while it’s fresh in your mind. And better yet, write a post for each day (day one recap, day two recap, etc.). The more recent the information, the better.
- Don’t wait too long to publish. While people are likely still checking into the hashtag the day after the conference, they’ve moved on to bigger and better things if a week has gone by. Get it posted right away (see a pattern here?).
Write a Curated Content List
Remember how I was talking about how beneficial curated content is for lightening up your editorial planning load? You can give it an extra punch by curating real-time conference information. One easy way to do this is to write a list of the “most notable one-liners from presenters” or “best tweets of the day.”
Tips for success:
- Make sure they are actually notable notes. Don’t just write a list for a list’s sake. Be sure they are useful takeaways and give suggestions for how they could be used.
- Include a few influencers. Again, influencers are promoters of their own brand too, so they are likely to share your list if you make them look good.
2. Create Real-Time Recaps of Twitter Chats
Much like conference hashtags, Twitter chats are a great way to connect with an audience that is already actively engaged in a relevant conversation for your brand. Some Twitter chats have as many as 3000 tweets within their scheduled time slot!
The nice thing about Twitter recaps is that you don’t have to actually write a large amount of unique information for the post to be relevant, making it a quick way to churn out good content.
Write a brief introduction and then segment your post out by the questions asked during the twitter chat. List out a few of the best tweets per section. Then add a section that links back to the chat for those who want to continue reading, like this:
The hyperlink above automatically pulls you to all of the people who wrote “A9” in their tweet – pretty cool, right?
Tips for success:
- Copy the best tweets as you see them. Make sure you are taking good notes during the twitter chat. This can get tricky if you are trying to participate at the same time. But it will take you twice as long to go back and comb through the information later.
- Send shout outs when it’s published. If it takes you a day for the post to go live, be sure to let people you’ve quoted know they’ve been featured. Let them help spread the word, too!
3. Newsjack Relevant Topics
This is an oldie but a goodie. Newsjacking means jumping into a trending topic and adding something unique to the conversation. PR people have done this for years, but did you know it can help your SEO as well? And you don’t have to come up with the idea, you just have to share your perspective.
Some of the best brands are really good at newsjacking. We all remember the brilliant Oreo ad after the super bowl lights went out:
Newsjacking is great for social media, but you can use it to drive traffic back to your content as well by live-blogging a corresponding post. This is essentially what news sites like Search Engine Journal are really good at doing, writing about topics that are trending right now, and getting the message out, fast.
One company that does a lot of newsjacking is Spirit Airlines. They especially like to make waves with edgy emails, like one of their subject lines of “You know that cliff everyone’s been talking about” after Congress’s infamous fiscal cliff troubles.
Tips for success:
- Plan to be nimble. The ability to newsjack actually comes from careful planning about how you will get content out quickly. Know who is going to write, design, and edit ahead of time so that you can get the content out quickly.
- Don’t be a jerk. I love a quality edgy campaign, but DO NOT newsjack something that is going to make your brand look like an insensitive a**hole. It will become a huge PR scandal that’s not worth the risk. Just don’t do it.
- Make sure you have a CTA. It’s great if you’re brand goes viral for a minute in a conversation, but lead the viewers somewhere now that you’ve got their attention. Have a piece of content ready for them to consume.
Get in Front of a New Audience
All three of these tactics will help you get your content in front of a new audience you aren’t currently reaching—and the best part is they’re all free! On top of that, they simplify the content creation process, putting time back in your day that you can put toward other things like distributing your excellent new content.
Have you ever tried live-blogging or newsjacking an event? Let me know how it worked out for you in the comments below.